will be readily appreciated, and the necessity for their reduction by the Federal
is equally manifest.
Situated to the south of ‘Morris Island
’ is ‘Folly Island
,’ separated from it by ‘Light House Inlet,’ about five hundred yards wide.
After the memorable repulse of the iron clad fleet, under Rear-Admiral DuPont
, by Fort Sumter
on the 7th of April, 1863, the enemy changed his plan of attack, and the Union Commander
, General Q. A. Gilmore
, who had relieved Major-General Hunter
, concentrated upon ‘Folly Island
,’ ten thousand infantry, three hundred and fifty artillery, and six hundred engineer troops.
In the meantime.
had been relieved and Rear-Admiral Dahlgren
placed in command of the naval squadron.
Concealed from the view of the Confederates
by dense brushwood, the Federal
commander with remarkable skill and celerity had erected formidable batteries within easy range of the weak and imperfect works of the Confederates
on the southern end of the island.
The presence of these works, armed with guns of heavy calibre, was unknown to the Confederates
and was a complete surprise to them.
On the morning of the 10th of July these batteries were unmasked and a furious cannonade, supplemented by the guns of the fleet in Light House Inlet, was opened upon the Confederate batteries, and under cover of this bombardment the Federal
troops succeeded in effecting a landing and lodgment on Morris island
They were gallantly met by the Confederate
troops under Colonel Robert Graham
of the First South Carolina regiment; but, after a sharp and severe engagement, they were forced to yield to the superior numbers of the enemy, and being rapidly driven back sought shelter and refuge in ‘Battery Wagner.’
Following up rapidly this success, and anticipating an easy capture of the latter; which now alone seriously disputed their full occupation of the island, on July the 11th they made their first assault upon it. During the night, however, ‘Wagner
’ had been reinforced by five hundred and fifty Georgia
troops under Colonel Charles H. Olmstead
(the distinguished and heroic defender of Fort Pulaski
) and Nelson
's South Carolina battalion.
This assault lasted less than half an hour and resulted in a complete repulse of the assailants who retired to the Sand hills
of the island, out of the range of the Confederate battery. General Gilmore
then commenced the erection of heavy batteries on the island, varying in distance from about thirteen hundred to nineteen hundred yards in front of ‘Wagner
,’ and thus were commenced the formidable preparations for the great attack