War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0347 Chapter XL. OPERATIONS ON MORRIS ISLAND, S. C.

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Abbott; One hundredth New York, Colonel Dandy; Sixty-second Ohio, Colonel Pond; and Sixty-seventh Ohio, Colonel Voris.

The Third Brigade was commanded by Brigadier-General Stevenson and consisted of four excellent regiments.

General Strong was to take the advance. I had informed him that he should be promptly supported if it were necessary. Colonel Putnam was instructed to keep his brigade ready for following up the First, while General Stevenson was held in reserve.

That moment was chosen for moving forward when the dusk of the evening still permitted the troops to see plainly the way, already well known to the First and Second Brigades, but was yet sufficiently indistinct to prevent accurate firing by the enemy. Our troops were to use the bayonet alone.

Half the ground to be passed over was undulating, from small sand-hills, affording some shelter, but not so rough as to prevent free movement of troops. That part of it next the fort was quite smooth and unobstructed to the very ditch.

The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, a colored regiment of excellent character, well officered, with full ranks, and that had conducted itself commendably a few days previously on James Island, was placed in front.

Brigade commanders were advised to form in column of deployed regiments. The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts only being too large to admit this development, was in two lines.

Once in advance of our batteries, a few encouraging words were given to the men and the First Brigade launched forward. It had not moved far before the fort, liberated somewhat from the pressure of our fire, opened with rapid discharges of grape and canister, and its parapet was lit by a living line of musketry. More than half the distance was well passed, when, present myself with the column, I saw that to overcome such resistance, overpowering force must be employed. Major Plimpton, Third New Hampshire, my assistant inspector-general, was sent to order the Second Brigade forward at once. To my surprise this officer returned from Colonel Putnam, stating that he positively refused to move, with the explanation from Colonel Putnam that he had received orders from General Gillmore to remain where he was. At this moment the wounded, and many unhurt also, were coming thickly from the front, along the breach. General Strong had urged his command on with great spirit and gallantry, but his losses had been so severe that his regiments were much shaken, and the consequent confusion was much heightened by the yielding of the leading regiment, large portions of which fell harshly upon those in their rear. Fragments of each regiment, however-brave men, bravely led-went eagerly over the ditch, mounted the parapet and struggled with the foe inside. But these efforts ere too feeble to affect the contest materially. Prompt support was not at hand, and the First Brigade, as a mass, had already retired, although detached portions, principally from the Forty-eighth New York and Sixth Connecticut, with the colors of those regiments, still clung to the fort.

After a painful and unnecessary interval, Colonel Putnam, knowing that I had expected him to come up closely and to take an energetic share in the assault, had without further orders moved his command forward. This gallant brigade went steadily on, in spite of much loss and not a little falling to the rear, and, clearing rapidly the intervening space, came to the aid of the noble fellows still bat-