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M. in a new direction under heavy fire. Considering that the trench was but eighty yards from Wagner, good progress was made. The sap-roller could not be used, because of torpedoes planted thereabout. Our fire was concentrated upon Wagner on the 3d, to protect sapping. But little success resulted, for the enemy's sharpshooters on the left enfiladed our trench at from one hundred to three hundred yards. At this time the narrowest development in the whole approach was encountered,—but twenty-um light at night. From August 19 to this date, when the three regiments serving as guards of the trenches were relieved by fresher troops, their loss aggregated ten per cent of their whole force, mainly from artillery fire. On the night of the 3d, Wagner fired steadily, and the James Island batteries now and then. Our detail at the front had George Vanderpool killed and Alexander Hunter of the same company—H—wounded. Throughout the 4th we fired at Wagner, and in the afternoon received its<
of that day's bombardment would leave the work a ruin. He had but four hundred effectives, exclusive of artillerymen. His negro laborers could not be made to work; and thirty or forty soldiers had been wounded that day in attempting to repair damages. General Beauregard, who had been, since the 4th at least, jeopardizing the safety of the brave garrison, then gave the necessary order for evacuation. A picket detail of one hundred men went out from the Fifty-fourth camp at 5 P. M. on the 6th. Our usual detail was at work in the front under the engineers. It was not until two o'clock on the morning of September 7 that the officers and men of the regiment remaining in camp were aroused, fell into line, and with the colored brigade marched up over the beach line to a point just south of the Beacon house, where these regiments rested, constituting the reserve of infantry in the anticipated assault. Many of the regiments were arriving or in position, and the advance trenches were
el Keitt that everything was prepared, whereupon his troops were gradually withdrawn, and embarked after suffering a few casualties in the movement. By midnight Wagner was deserted by all but Capt. T. A. Huguenin, a few officers, and thirty-five men. The guns were partially spiked, and fuses prepared to explode the powder-magazine and burst the guns. At Gregg the heavy guns and three howitzers were spiked, and the magazine was to be blown up. The evacuation was complete at 1.30 A. M. on the 7th. At a signal the fuses were lighted in both forts; but the expected explosion did not occur in either work, probably on account of defective matches. Just after midnight one of the enemy, a young Irishman, deserted from Wagner and gained our lines. Taken before Lieut.-Col. O. L. Mann, Thirty-ninth Illinois, general officer of the trenches, he reported the work abandoned and the enemy retired to Gregg. Half an hour later all the guns were turned upon Wagner for twenty minutes, after whi
s of his regiment. In all this work preparatory to breaching Sumter the Fifty-fourth had borne more than its share of labor, for it was exclusively employed on fatigue duty, which was not the case with the white troops. There had been no time for drill or discipline. Every moment in camp was needed to rest the exhausted men and officers. The faces and forms of all showed plainly at what cost this labor was done. Clothes were in rags, shoes worn out, and haversacks full of holes. On the 16th the medical staff was increased by the arrival of Asst.-Surg. G. M. Pease. Lieut. Charles Silva, Fourth South Carolina (colored), was detached to the Fifty-fourth on the 21st, doing duty until November 6. Shortly after daybreak, August 17, the first bombardment of Sumter began from the land batteries, the navy soon joining in action. The fire of certain guns was directed against Wagner and Gregg. Capt. J. M. Wampler, the engineer officer at Wagner, and Capt. George W. Rodgers and Paymast
aybreak, August 17, the first bombardment of Sumter began from the land batteries, the navy soon joining in action. The fire of certain guns was directed against Wagner and Gregg. Capt. J. M. Wampler, the engineer officer at Wagner, and Capt. George W. Rodgers and Paymaster Woodbury of the monitor Catskill were killed. Sumter was pierced time and again until the walls looked like a honeycomb. All the guns on the northwest face were disabled, besides seven others. A heavy gale came on the 18th, causing a sand-storm on the island and seriously interfering with gun practice. Wagner and Gregg replied slowly. Lieut. Henry Holbrook, Third Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, was mortally wounded by a shell. By premature explosion of one of our shells, Lieut. A. F. Webb, Fortieth Massachusetts, was killed and several men wounded at night on the 19th. The water stood in some of the trenches a foot and a half deep. Our sap was run from the left of the third parallel that morning. The One
in until the walls looked like a honeycomb. All the guns on the northwest face were disabled, besides seven others. A heavy gale came on the 18th, causing a sand-storm on the island and seriously interfering with gun practice. Wagner and Gregg replied slowly. Lieut. Henry Holbrook, Third Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, was mortally wounded by a shell. By premature explosion of one of our shells, Lieut. A. F. Webb, Fortieth Massachusetts, was killed and several men wounded at night on the 19th. The water stood in some of the trenches a foot and a half deep. Our sap was run from the left of the third parallel that morning. The One Hundredth New York, Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania, and Third New Hampshire were detailed as the guard of the advance trenches. An event of the 20th was the firing for the first time of the great three-hundred-pounder Parrott. It broke down three sling-carts, and required a total of 2,500 days labor before it was mounted. While in transit it was only mov
e in transit it was only moved at night, and covered with a tarpaulin and grass during the daytime. The enemy fired one hundred and sixteen shots at the Swamp Angel from James Island, but only one struck. Sumter's flag was shot away twice on the 20th. All the guns on the south face were disabled. Heavy fire from land and sea continued on the 21st, and Sumter suffered terribly. A letter from Gillmore to Beauregard was sent on the 21st, demanding the surrender of Morris Island and Sumter, uan Terry, Captain, and Assistant Adjutant-General. Major Brooks, in his journal of the siege under date of August 31, thus writes,— The Third United States Colored Troops, who have been on fatigue duty in the advance trenches since the 20th inst., were relieved to-day by the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers (colored), it being desirable to have older troops for the important and hazardous duty required at this period. Throughout the whole siege the First New York Engineers held
dical staff was increased by the arrival of Asst.-Surg. G. M. Pease. Lieut. Charles Silva, Fourth South Carolina (colored), was detached to the Fifty-fourth on the 21st, doing duty until November 6. Shortly after daybreak, August 17, the first bombardment of Sumter began from the land batteries, the navy soon joining in action. but only one struck. Sumter's flag was shot away twice on the 20th. All the guns on the south face were disabled. Heavy fire from land and sea continued on the 21st, and Sumter suffered terribly. A letter from Gillmore to Beauregard was sent on the 21st, demanding the surrender of Morris Island and Sumter, under penalty, if21st, demanding the surrender of Morris Island and Sumter, under penalty, if not complied with, of the city being shelled. The latter replied, threatening retaliation. Our fourth parallel was opened that night 350 yards from Wagner, and the One Hundredth New York unsuccessfully attempted to drive the enemy's pickets from a small ridge two hundred yards in front of Wagner. The Swamp Angel opened on Char
ibly. A letter from Gillmore to Beauregard was sent on the 21st, demanding the surrender of Morris Island and Sumter, under penalty, if not complied with, of the city being shelled. The latter replied, threatening retaliation. Our fourth parallel was opened that night 350 yards from Wagner, and the One Hundredth New York unsuccessfully attempted to drive the enemy's pickets from a small ridge two hundred yards in front of Wagner. The Swamp Angel opened on Charleston at 1.30 A. M. on the 22d. By one shell a small fire was started there. Many non-combatants left the city. Wagner now daily gave a sharp fire on our advanced works to delay progress. The New Ironsides as often engaged that work with great effect. Late on the 22d a truce boat came from Charleston, causing firing to be temporarily suspended. Although almost daily the Fifty-fourth had more or less men at the front, it had suffered no casualties. The men were employed at this period in throwing up parapets, enlar
as in open trenches. Occasionally solid shot were thrown, which at times could be distinctly seen bounding over the sandhills, or burying themselves in the parapets. Our batteries and the navy were still beating down the walls of Sumter on the 23d, their shots sweeping through it. That day Colonel Rhett, the commander, and four other officers were there wounded. With Sumter in ruins, the breaching fire ceased that evening, and General Gillmore reported that he considered the fort no longersels in the attempt. Captain Partridge about August 23 applied for sick leave and shortly went north. In consequence Captain Emilio again became the senior officer and was at times in charge of the regiment until the middle of October. On the 23d the brigade was reviewed on the beach by General Gillmore, accompanied by General Terry. The latter complimented the Fifty-fourth on its appearance. That evening Captain Emilio and Lieutenant Higginson took one hundred and fifty men for grand gu
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