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[168] the war, when divers, in endeavoring to raise the Housatonic, discovered the cigar boat with the bleached bones of her crew lying near the wreck of the noble ship that she had destroyed.

The line of rifle pits in front of Wagner had been gallantly held by our men during the siege, and had sorely troubled the besiegers. On the 21st of August an infantry force attempted the capture of these pits, without success. On the afternoon of the 26th, a heavy artillery fire was brought to bear upon them without dislodging the holders, but that night a dashing charge of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts regiment gained the position, capturing most of the Confederates who held it, about seventy men. General Gilmore's fifth and last parallel was at once established on the ground thus won, and before dawn on the 27th, under cover of the flying sap, the trenches were pushed about one hundred yards nearer to the fort.

Notwithstanding this success, General Gillmore, in his report, speaks of this period as ‘the dark and gloomy days of the siege,’ and of the progress made as ‘discouragingly slow, and even painfully uncertain.’

The ground between his front and Wagner was thickly studded with torpedoes, his left flank was searched by the unremitting fire from our batteries on James Island. The head of the sap was slowly pushed forward under the ceaseless fire of howitzers and sharpshooters from the entire front of the fort, while last, though not least, the besiegers had now reached a point where every onward step compelled them to dig through the bodies of their dead, who had been buried some weeks before.

‘In the emergency,’ General Gilmore availed himself of his superior resources in artillery, to keep down the active resistance of Wagner, and to this end every gun ashore and afloat was turned upon it. The final bombardment began at daybreak on the 5th of September, and for forty-two hours continued with a severity and awful terror beyond the power of words to describe. That night, as witnessed from Fort Johnson, where the First regiment were stationed, the scene was grand in the extreme. The lurid flashes of the guns, their unceasing roar, the shells from every description of tremendous artillery, that could be tracked through the air by flaming fuses; the mortar shell rising in stately curve and steedy sweep, the Parrott shell darting like lightning in its mission of death, the missiles from the fleet booming along the water, and bursting in Wagner with cruel accuracy, the glare of calcium lights bringing out every detail of our works as in the noonday—all these filled the souls of Confederate

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