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[175] obscured by the now darkening and sulphurous smoke which hung over the island like a funeral pall. Still later in the afternoon as the darkness gathered and deepened did the lightnings of war increase in the vividness of their lurid and intolerable crimson which flashed through the rolling clouds of smoke and illumined the fort from bastion to bastion with a scorching glare; clouds of sand were constantly blown into the air from bursting shells; the waters of the sea were lashed into white foam and thrown upwards in glistening columns by exploding bombs, while wide sheets of spray inundated the parapet, and ‘Wagner,’ dripping with salt water, shook like a ship in the grasp of the storm. By this time all the heavy guns were dismounted, disabled or silenced, and only a few gun detachments were at their posts. Passive endurance now only remained for the garrison while the storm lasted. The troops generally sheltered themselves, as best they could, in the bomb-proofs and behind the traverses. But for such protection as was thus afforded, the loss of life would have been appalling, and the garrison practically annihilated. There was one command only which preferred the open air to the almost insufferable heat of the bomb-proof, and sheltered itself only under the parapet and traverses on the land face of the fort during that frightful day. Not one member of that heroic band, officer or man, sought other shelter. In all the flight of time and the records of valor, no example ever transcended their splendid heroism. All honor to the glorious name and deathless fame of ‘Gaillard's Charleston Battalion.’ A little after two o'clock, two deeds of heroism were enacted which will never be forgotten by the lookers on. The halliards were cut by a shot or shell, and the large garrison flag released from the lofty staff fell into the parade. Instantly, and without hesitation, there were a score of men racing for the prostrate colors. Out into the open area they rushed, regardless of the storm of death falling around them. Major Ramsey, Sergeant Shelton and private Flynn of the Charleston battalion, and and Lieutenant Reddick of the Sixty-Third Georgia regiment, bore it back in triumph to the staff, and deliberately adjusted it Up it went again, and amid the cheers of the garrison the Confederate banner again floated defiantly in the smoke of battle. Some little delay occurred in adjusting the flag, and some few moments elapsed during which Wagner showed no colors to the enemy. Supposing that the fort had struck its flag in token of surrender, exultant cheers burst forth from the crew of the ironsides. At that moment

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Thomas M. Wagner (1)
John Shelton (1)
Reddick (1)
S. A. Ramsey (1)
P. C. Gaillard (1)
Flynn (1)
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