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[169] spectators with awe, and found their painful antithesis in—the silence of Wagner. The end had come.

All through the 6th the bombardment continued, and that evening the sap had reached the counter scarp of the work, and only the ditch and parapet separated the combatants. The assault was ordered for 9 o'clock on the morning of the 7th, but by midnight on the 6th the place was evacuated by the Confederates, the whole force being taken off the island in row boats. Some few of these boats were intercepted, but the garrison, as a garrison, was saved. The enemy at once occupied both Wagner and Gregg, and Morris Island, in its entirety, was in their possession.

So ended the siege of Battery Wagner, after a defence of fifty-seven days; a defence that may, without question, be said to have saved Charleston. The outwork was taken, but the inner citadel still proudly stood. Still from the ruins of Sumter, still from historic Moultrie, still from the ‘City by the Sea,’ the Southern Cross fluttered in the breezes of the bay and bade defiance to the foe.

The evacuation so successfully accomplished, in the face of so many difficulties, under so terrible a fire, and with the enemy in such close proximity, has justly been considered a remarkable event, and the crowning glory of the defence. That had been protracted to the latest moment, and when resistance was no longer possible, the brave garrison was saved to add fresh lustre to the Southern arms on many another field.

On the afternoon of the 8th of September, notice was received by the commanders of batteries within range of Sumter, that a boat attack would be made upon that fortification during the night, and they were ordered at a given signal to open with all their guns upon the points where the boats were expected. The signals of the enemy had again been interpreted, and upon our side there was perfect readiness. The garrison of Sumter prepared to meet the enemy upon the slope with a shower of musketry. The guns of our contiguous batteries were carefully trained upon the right spot before dark, and as soon as night had fallen, a Confederate iron-clad moved into position to add the fire of her powerful guns. Silently the night wore on; for hours not a sound broke its stillness; the men sat drowsily by the guns, and the belief gained ground that the proposed attack had been abandoned, when suddenly there was a twinkle of a musket from Sumter, then a rocket soared in the air, and then the bellowing thunder of the great guns and the explosion of shells instantaneously and startlingly contrasted with the sleepy quiet of our long hours of


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