the naval force, if this plan should be agreed upon by the commanding officer of the squadron, and if, after thirty hours' bombardment it should appear to be justifiable, to follow it by an assault.
In conference with the commanding officer of the naval forces, it was agreed upon to put the Ironsides into the attack upon Wagner, which would bring a battery of eight heavy guns into action; the monitors to prevent the succor of the place during the night after the first day's bombardment, to interrupt communication between Forts Wagner and Gregg, and to engage Wagner just previous to the assault.
Accordingly, at daylight on the morning of the 5th of September, all the troops but a picket guard being withdrawn to the rear of the batteries, our artillery opened fire.
The following pieces of artillery were brought into action: One 10-inch rifle; four 8-inch rifles, nine 100-pounder rifles; ten 30-pounder rifles; ten 10-inch siege mortars; four 8-inch siege mortars, and three Coehorn mortars.
The 30-pounder Parrotts were used principally to intercept communication between Wagner and Gregg. The heavy guns, with the exception of two 8-inch in Battery Brown, were directed upon the bomb-proof. Battery Brown was used upon the left flank of the enemy's works extending down to the sea; the vertical fire searched the fort from right to left, and the Ironsides took it in flank, enfilanding the entire front.
This fire continued with no abatement during the day and night, and opened with renewed vigor on the morning of the 6th.
The enemy's fire was completely silenced by it, and he was driven for cover to his bomb-proof. Our engineers, availing themselves of this, renewed their labors, and on the morning of the 6th had crowned the glacis of the work.
The enemy was unable to withstand for an instant the fury of our fire, but kept close in his bomb-proof, and our parties pushing the sap worked undisturbed. On the morning of the 6th, it became apparent that under our fire we could run our approaches so far forward as to mask all the enemy's artillery, and so enable an assaulting column to debouch from them and gain the enemy's parapets without being exposed to a single gun. This it was deemed desirable to do, and accordingly the fire was ordered to be continued till the following morning, the 7th, when an assault was arranged to take place at low tide, which would give us the greatest breadth of beach. The fire of the heavy rifle guns, through, was slackened, it being evident they were doing no great damage to the bomb-proof, and five of them were turned upon other parts of the work.
During the night of the 6th, information was received that the enemy was evacuating the place, which was confirmed by a reconnaissance, when our fire ceased, and our troops immediately took possession.
This bombardment lasted about forty-hours, in which time there were thrown by the land batteries 1,663 rifle projectiles and 1,553 mortar shells.
Notwithstanding the heavy fire of this bombardment, together with all the fire Fort Wagner had been subjected to since the commencement of our attack, from land and naval batteries, its defenses were not materially injured; that is to say, the parapets, bomb-proofs, and traverses of sand still remained and would have afforded shelter to infantry behind them, though greatly tossed about and torn up by