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[121] miles, varying in breadth from, say one hundred yards at the narrowest point to half a mile at the broadest. Upon the west side the Island is separated from James Island by Vincent's Creek and by broad marshes intersected by numerous salt water creeks, while its eastern shore is washed throughout its entire length by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. At the south end were the batteries from which our troops had been driven in the morning. Light House Inlet separated this point from Folly Island, and across this Inlet the enemy had suddenly thrown their forces, under cover of a furious fire of artillery, as has already been stated. At the northern extremity of the island, known as Cumming's Point, was located Battery Gregg, and about three-quarters of a mile to the south of this, Battery Wagner stretched entirely across the island from the sea on the left, to Vincent's Creek on the right, the battery facing due south. It was an irregular work. On the extreme left, a heavy traverse and curtain protected the sally port and gave a flanking fire down the beach, to any force that might assail the main work. Then came a salient, one face of which commanded the ship channel, then a broken line, arranged for flanking fires, extending to the marsh. The parapets were solid, and a broad, deep, dry moat added boldness to their profile. Within the parade were bomb-proofs and lightly constructed barracks for the small garrison that had heretofore occupied the work. The armament consisted of one 10-inch Columbiad and some 32-pounders in the sea face, and four or five lighter guns, chiefly howitzers on the land-side. A short distance in front of the right of the line an inward bend of Vincent's creek narrowed the island in such manner as to render it obligatory upon an attacking force to deliver its assault only against the left half of the fort, and also affording scant opportunity for the deployment of such a column. In point of fact this peculiar feature in the topography proved of great service to us, and correspondingly troublesome to the enemy in the operations that followed. The surface of the island is but little raised above the level of the sea and presents a glaring stretch of white sandy hillocks, which were sparsely dotted with the coarse grasses of the coast, and which changed their contour in every high wind.

There is but to add that the main channel by which ships enter Charleston harbor runs within easy gunshot of Morris Island from one end of it to the other, then crosses to the northward and passes between Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island, and Fort Sumter, built upon a shoal about midway between the two islands.

From this rapid sketch, reference being had to the map, it will be


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Thomas M. Vincent (2)
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