War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0302 S. C. AND GA COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

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Before the above-described operations were completed, a deserter came inside our lines, and reported "Fort Wagner evacuated," the evacuation having taken place before midnight. Possession was taken of it and of the whole island, including Battery Gregg, before daylight of September 7.

In this bombardment, which lasted forty-two hours, four distinct lines of batteries were used, each firing over those in advance of it. Mortars were fired from the fifth, third, and first parallels, and heavy rifled guns from the second parallel and left batteries. The practicability of this method of using guns, into which we were forced by our narrow front, was demonstrated.

Some valuable lives were lost from the effect of our own shell, which exploded prematurely, but no such demoralizing and damaging effect on the troops in the advance was experienced as had been anticipated by some.

Monday, September 7.- The following injures, inflicted on Fort Wagner by the artillery fire of the past two days, were observed this morning:

Of the sixteen pieces of ordnance in position which constituted the armament of the fort when it was taken, and in which there had probably been no change during the bombardment, only three were wholly disabled and unserviceable; this, after forty hours' bombardment, at short range, by an army and navy supplies with the best heavy guns in our service, manned by experienced artillerists, and during which the army alone threw over 3,000 projectiles at the work. Only a part of these were directed at the guns of the fort.

The most serious injury to the material of Fort Wagner was inflicted on the most southerly of the sea-face traverses, in which was situated a bomb-proof shelter. A timber forming the south upper corner of the sheathing of this bomb-proof shelter was struck by a shot from the land batteries, and considerably splintered. To reach this timber, at least 10 feet of sand had been penetrated or removed by successive shots. It should be remarked that this bomb-proof shelter, as originally constructed, was open at its south end, forming, with the similar passage-ways through the other traverses, a free straight communication between the bomb-proof shelter and the sea face of the work throughout their length.

This passage-way was probably closed up after our lodgment on Morris Island, by the traverse which we found at its south end, to protect it from an enfilading fire; hence may not have been as well built as the rest of the fort.

considerable earth, which covered the south end of the main bomb-proof shelter, and the magazine just east of it, was removed by our fire. About 7 feet was left, however, which was enough to make both structures secure against a much longer continued fire.

The other injuries to the work may be briefly enumerated thus: The regularity of all the lines and surfaces of the exposed parts was more or less destroyed, the superior slope of the south face being least injured. The banquette tread and breast-height rivetting of the north and west faces, which were taken in reverse by our fire, were so completely destroyed that these parapets afforded no advantages over a natural sand back for musketry defense. The communication between the sea face and bomb-proof shelter was partially filled with sand, in some places being 3 feet deep, but it was quite passable. The wooden banquette tread and steps leading to it, which extended along the south face of the work, were more