The duty upon Morris Island continued in the same routine until the completion of our batteries.
During the night of the 14th, the enemy twice attacked our lines on Morris Island, but were driven back. The officer at the front having been supplied with Coston light and a code of preconcerted signals, used them to communicate intelligence of the attack to General Seymour's headquarters.
Upon the morning of the 18th, preparations being completed for opening for upon Wagner, headquarters were established on Morris Island. Fire was opened at noon. General Gillmore made his headquarters at a signal tower built upon Gregg's Hill. Lieutenant Vidal was stationed at the right battery, during the day. During the afternoon, two and sometimes three flags at a time were at work on Gregg's Hill station. Fire was from our batteries and the iron-clad fleet. Shortly before dark, Lieutenant Carrique went to left battery to relieve Lieutenant Fenner, whom I directed to relieve Lieutenant Vidal, he being unable to do duty from exhaustion and loss of sleep. At dusk a terrific fire was opened upon Wagner from all our artillery, aided by the fleet, and a column was formed for an assault. The column moved at dark, and, after a desperate and long fight, our troops were repulsed. Lieutenant Hickock, who had been unwell and not seen during the day, appeared in the fight as an aide to General Strong. Lieutenant Hatfield was also with General Strong, prepared to signal. Both these officers were wounded slightly during the fight.
At about 10 o'clock that evening, I returned to headquarters on Morris Island, and opened communication from there with all other stations.
Lieutenants Cross, Brodie, and Hawkins were relieved from duty with General Terry upon his arrival at Morris Island, and Lieutenant Bruyn arrived from Edisto, in compliance with orders. I sent Lieutenant Brodie to Hilton Head (being unwell), to relieve Lieutenant Stroop, whom I ordered to report here for duty.
On the 20th, our batteries reopened on Wagner, and continued a fire more or less heavy, and sometimes aided by the fleet, until the 17th of August. Our troops were employed in building works and mounting guns to breach Fort Sumter. During the time we had stations at the right battery and left battery, which were both under fire, and at which officers and men were relieved every twenty-four hours. During this time these stations were occupied by nearly all of the officers and men in turn, and all rendered good service.
On the 23rd of July, orders reached me for Lieutenant Reynolds to proceed to Washington, and I relieved him by Lieutenant Carrique.
On the 23rd of July, the station, which had been kept at the south side of Light-House Inlet to communicate with General Vogdes, was discontinued, General Vogdes having removed his headquarters.
On the 27th of July, Lieutenant [Peter H.] Niltes arrived at Hilton Head kith two signal telegraph trains, which arrived at Folly Island on the 30th. By direction of the general commanding, I felt one train on Folly Island and brought one to Morris Island. I immediately proceeded to have officers and men instructed in their use, to get them into the fields as speedily as possible.
On the 2nd of August, I considered them sufficiently instructed to warrant opening a line. Accordingly, in compliance with directions of the general commanding, I run a line from his headquarters to