thunder-storm was raging. One column was led by General Strong, the other by Colonel H. L. Putnam, acting as brigadier. The struggle was brief but fearful. Both columns of the Nationals were repulsed, with great slaughter in their ranks, losing in the aggregate, full fifteen hundred men. Strong and Putnam were mortally wounded; and Colonel Robert G. Shaw, who was at the head of the first regiment of colored troops organized in the free-labor States, was instantly killed. Because he commanded colored troops, Shaw was intensely hated by the Confederates; and they foolishly thought they had dishonored him when, as they proclaimed, they had buried his body "in a pit under a heap of his niggers."
Gillmore now abandoned the plan for capturing Fort Wagner by direct assault, and began a regular siege. With infinite labor a battery was constructed in a morass half-way between Morris and James islands, upon a platform of heavy timbers standing in the deep black mud. When a lieutenant of engineers was ordered to construct it he said, "It is impossible." His commanding officer replied, "There is no such word as impossible; call for, what you need." The lieutenant, who was a wag, made a requisition on the quartermaster for "one hundred men eighteen feet high to wade in mud sixteen feet deep"; and he gravely inquired of the engineer whether these men might be spliced, if required. The lieutenant was arrested for contempt, but was soon released, and he built a redoubt with the services of men of ordinary height. Upon the redoubt was erected a Parrott gun, which they called "The Swamp Angel," that sent shells into Charleston, five miles distant. One of these entered St. Michael's Church near the roof, and destroyed the tablet on the wall that contained the ten commandinents, obliterating all of them excepting two - "Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. "
General Gillmore was ready for another attack on Forts Wagner and Sumter on the 17th of August, and on that day the guns of twelve batteries and of the fleet opened upon them. Before night the granite walls of Fort Sumter began to crumble and its cannons ceased to roar, under the pressure of Dahlgren's guns. The land troops pushed their parallels nearer and nearer Fort Wagner; while the fleet guns continually pounded away, day after day, until the 6th of September, when General Terry was prepared to storm the latter work. Then it was ascertained that the Confederates had evacuated it and fled from Morris Island. Gillmore took possession of Fort Wagner and turned its guns on Fort Sumter, battering it dreadfully and driving away (it was supposed) its garrison. But that sentinel, which had so long guarded the gate to Charleston harbor, only slumbered; and when, on the night of the 8th, an armed force from the ships, in small boats, attempted to take possession of it, a vigilant garrison that had been lying quietly there, suddenly arose and repulsed the assailants with great loss to the latter. Finally, late in October (1863), Gillmore brought his heaviest guns to bear on Sumter, and reduced the once proud fort to a heap of ruins. Charleston now, as a commercial mart, had no existence. For months not a blockade-runner had entered its harbor, and its wealth and trade had departed. In a military point of view, as we have observed, it was absolutely of very little importance. Let us leave the Atlantic coast, and consider stirring events in the interior.
A thousand miles westward of the seacoast the war was still going on, but more feebly than at first. The Confederates reoccupied all Texas in 1863, and carried on a sort of guerrilla warfare in Arkansas and Missouri during a part of that year. In the earlier months, Marmaduke was active with his mounted men. He rushed over the border from Arkansas into Missouri, and fell upon Springfield in January, but was repulsed with a loss of two hundred men. After some other