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[179] six thousand strong, under the immediate command of Brigadier-General Truman Seymour, were steadily approaching the fort manned by a little more than one thousand three hundred troops. This division of the enemy consisted of three fine brigades. The first, commanded by Brigadier-General Strong, was composed of the Forty eighth New York, the Sixty-sixth Pennsylvania, the Third New Hampshire, the Sixth Connecticut, the Ninth Maine, and the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts. The second brigade, commanded by Colonel Putnam, consisted of the Seventh New Hampshire, the One hundredth New York, and the Sixty-second and Sixty-seventh Ohio. The third brigade, led by Brigadier-General Stevenson, consisted of four excellent regiments. These troops were from the Tenth and Thirteenth Army Corps, and were the very flower of the Federal army. The first brigade, commanded by General Strong, led the assault in column of regiments, the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, negro regiment recruited in that State, leading the brigade. On they came with a steady tramp until within easy rifle shot of the fort; they had been instructed to use the bayonet only. Not a single shot had yet been fired from the parapet of Wagner, and only the mournful cadence of the waves was heard breaking upon the beach. The stillness was ominous and oppressive. Then came a few stirring words, addressed by the Federal officers to the troops; they responded with loud and prolonged huzzar, and, breaking into a full run, they rushed gallantly upon the fort. Wagner, which up to that moment seemed to the Federals to be almost without life, was suddenly lit up with a sheet of flame from bastion to bastion. The deepening twilight was illumined by the irruptive flashes of the small arms, and the dark parapet of Wagner was decorated by a glowing fringe of fire. The rattle and crash of thirteen hundred rifles was deafening, and the guns of the gallant Simkins, the light battery of De Pass on the left, and a howitzer outside and on the right flank of the fort added to the roar and clamor. These guns, heavily charged with canister and grape, poured at short range a withering and destructive fire upon the crowded masses of the enemy. The carnage was frightful; yet with unsurpassed gallantry, splendid to behold, the intrepid assailants, breasting the storm, rushed on to the glacis of the fort like the waves of the sea which broke upon the shore. Oh! the sickening harvest of death then reaped. Like the ripe grain that falls beneath the sickle, the Federal infantry reeled and sank to the earth by hundreds, yet the survivors pressed on over the dead and

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G. C. Strong (2)
Stevenson (1)
Truman Seymour (1)
H. S. Putnam (1)
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