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[161] which the topographical features of the ground presented for regular approaches, and counting with reason upon the damaging effect of the awful bombardment, both upon the work itself and the morale of the garrison, had determined to make one more effort to wrest the position from the Confederates by storm. To this end he had organized a strong column of two brigades (a third brigade being held in reserve), under command of General Seymour, the formation being made behind the sand-hills. Its advance was supported by light batteries, and as the heavy firing ceased, it swept forward with a rush. An officer, who was in Wagner, told me the following day that the assault came very near meeting with perfect success, for, although it was anticipated, the awful artillery fire had compelled the garrison to seek shelter in the bomb-proofs. The exits from these places were narrow, and there was much trouble in getting the men to the ramparts in time to repel the onslaught. As it was, the result was long doubtful. A part of the enemy's column effected a lodgment in the salient on the left, and not until reinforcements were sent down from James Island to the assistance of the garrison, were these assailants finally overpowered and the entire fort once more in the hands of the Confederates.

The attack was bloody and disastrous to the attacking force. Its leader, General Seymour, was dangerously wounded and General Strong with many of his best officers, and hundreds of the men, were killed, while the total loss in killed, wounded and prisoners, has been variously estimated at from 1,500 to 2,200 men. Nearly all of the enemy's regiments were in a statements were in a state of disorganization, and gloom and dismay settled upon them.

In this connection it will be of interest to state that, during the siege, the Federal signal book was in our possession, having been captured on the person of a signal officer, near Georgetown, South Carolina. Its valuable secrets had been drawn from him by a Confederate who shared his place of imprisonment in the garb of a Federal prisoner. More than once the knowledge thus acquired proved of essential service to us. On this occasion the following dispatch from General Gilmore to Admiral Dahlgren had been intercepted, and in General Beauregard's possession hours before the assault: ‘Continue the bombardment throughout the day; at sunset redouble it. The assault will commence at seven.’

Notwithstanding this disaster, General Gilmore, with great tenacity of purpose worthy of admiration, gave no evidence of having been diverted from his objective point. Though apparently convinced of

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