The monitors, with the advance of the troops, now moved parallel to the low, flat ground that extends northward between the sand-hills and Fort Wagner
, as near to the island as the depth of water permitted, rolling shells over the surface to clear away any bodies of troops that might be behind a continuous sand-ridge near the beach.
Two or three buildings near Fort Wagner
were set on fire by the enemy, for the supposed purpose of unmasking the guns of the fort looking down the beach.
The monitors were now laid abreast of Fort Wagner
, which is situated about 2 3/4 miles from the southern end of Morris Island
, and 1 3/4 mile north of the sand-hills situated on that end. The number of guns in Wagner
was supposed to be ten or twelve.
At 9.30 the monitors opened on the work.
The admiral desired to get within grape-shot range, but was not able to get closer than about 1,200 yards, by reason of shoal water.
The fire was promptly and vigorously returned till noon, when the monitors dropped down to allow the men to have dinner, after which they re-occupied their position and continued firing until 6 P. M., and then withdrew, the men having been fourteen hours employed.
The weather was excessively hot. Five hundred and thirty-four shell and shrapnel were fired during the day, and from the different points of view the practice appeared to be excellent.
The admiral was favorably impressed with the endurance of the monitors.
was struck sixty times, a large percentage of the hits being very severe.
The pilothouse, turret, and side armor, were all more or less damaged.
Some of the shots were large; one found on deck after striking the turret proved to be a X-inch; when these heavy shot struck, the concussion was very great.
An officer touching the turret at such a time was knocked down senseless and much injured.
The iron of the pilot-house was