War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0361 Chapter XL. OPERATIONS ON MORRIS ISLAND, S. C.

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They had us then to great disadvantage. The question was, whether we should surrender as prisoners, attempt to carry the works and be entirely annihilated (as they greatly outnumbered us), or take the back track and run the gauntlet for our lives. Upon consulting the colonel, he reluctantly gave the order to "retreat." Lieutenant Phillips exclaimed, "For God's sake, don't let us retreat!" As if by magic, the order was recalled, and although some had started, they returned. But the order had to be repeated, and down we went across the moat and over the work. They had a perfect enfilading fire of small-arms for a thousand yards, besides three pieces giving us grape and canister. They fell on all sides of me, and I alone of the four captains was spared. And out of the 191 officers and men that marched out to attack the foe, but 88 returned safe to camp; and ever let it be said, to the credit of the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, that not one straggler could be discovered. Fifteen minutes after arriving in camp, roll was called, and but 1 man came in after, and he was delayed by assisting a wounded comrade in. Lieutenant-Colonel Rodman was struck first in the side, and then in the left leg. He was wounded about 150 yards from the fort. Lieutenant Greene went to his assistance at the time he received his first wound, and after going about 2 rods he got shot in the leg. I saw him when he fell, but saw others go to his help. After I had gone a short way, I could not bear the thought of leaving the colonel, and I returned to his assistance, and did not leave him until I saw him safe in camp. Met General Strong coming off, and, with tears in his eyes, he said we had done our whole duty and covered ourselves all over with glory, and if the support had come to time that we should have taken the works. And we should, without a doubt. But our loss is great. We had 11 officers in our mess, now we have but 4. It is hard, but such is the fate of war. I think that Charleston must surely fall.

Our attack on the 10th was a perfect surprise to them. They had but few troops on this island. If they had 5,000 infantry on here, the natural defenses are of such a character that we could never have taken it.

I send a list of casualties.*

Whole number of commissioned officers and enlisted men who left camp July 11, 1863, to assault Fort Wagner, S. C.:

Commissioned Enlisted

officers. men.

Company A ................................... 2 58

Company B ................................... 2 37

Company I ................................... 2 40

Company K ................................... 3 50

Lieutenant-Colonel Rodman, com. detachment .. 1

Lieutenant Ira E. Hicks, acting adjutant ........ 1

Total ....................................... 11 185

Killed, wounded, and missing ................ 7 97

Returned to camp ............................ 4 88

The above is a fair and correct account.

SYLVESTER H. GRAY,

Captain Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, Commanding Detachment.

Colonel J. R. HAWLEY.

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* Embodied in revised statement, p. 210.

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