War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0373 Chapter XL. OPERATIONS ON MORRIS ISLAND, S. C.

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special interposition of Providence, our loss was slight. Indications of an assault at dusk were apparent, and the guns of Sumter and Battery Gregg were in preparation to open fire over Battery Wagner on the columns of the enemy. Brigadier-General Hagood was relieved from the command of James Island, to be in readiness to support or relieve Brigadier-General Taliaferro, and Colonel [George P.] Harrison's [jr.] Thirty-second Regiment of Georgians proceeded to the re-enforcement and relief of the garrison. While in passage, the assault commenced, which was bravely met and repulsed, with terrific slaughter on the part of the enemy, by the heroic garrison and its commander, Brigadier-General Taliaferro, who directed all the operations until the final repulse.

In his report, the details of the assault and its repulse are set forth, and I cannot do more or better than to second his commendations of those brave officers and men who stood the tempest of shot and shell, and sent back the columns of the enemy from their work with a loss which may safely be computed at about 3,000 in killed, wounded, and prisoners. Brigadier-General Hagood, with Colonel Harrison's regiment, assisted in the final repulse of a party who had made a lodgment in the southeastern salient of the battery.

The carnage of the enemy in the confined space in front of Battery Wagner was extreme. The ditch and glaciss were encumbered with the slain of all ranks and colors, for the enemy had put the poor negroes, whom they had forced into an unnatural service, in front, to be, as they were, slaughtered indiscriminately. The white colonel who commanded them fell, with many officers of the regiment (the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts), and the colors under which they were sent to butchery by hypocrisy and inhumanity fell, dragged in blood and sand, in the ditch, a mournful memorial of the waste of industry.

This result was not accomplished without a loss on our part of brave officers and men; though of those who in this struggle battled for the right, the proportion who fell was far less than that of their enemy. In this engagement, our loss in killed, wounded, and missing was 174. Among the officers whose loss we have to lament, and whose position and services entitle them to especial mention, were Lieutenant Colonel J. C. Simkins, of the First South Carolina [Regular] Infantry; Captain William H. Ryan, Charleston Battalion; Captain W. T. Tatom, First South Carolina [Regular] Infantry, who were killed, and Major David Ramsay, of the Charleston Battalion, who was severely wounded. Other gallant officers and soldiers fell, whose names are mentioned in the reports of their several commanders, and whose memories should be cherished by a grateful country.

While the assault on Battery Wagner was progressing, Battery Gregg, under Captain Lesesne, and the batteries of Fort Sumter, under Colonel Alfred Rhett, kept up a continuous fire upon the ground over which the enemy advanced until Brigadier-General Taliaferro advanced his pickets to the front, when they ceased, and the narrow field of battle was quiet for the night. Brigadier-General Taliaferro, who had been in command and on trench duty for five days, was relieved in the morning by Brigadier-General Hagood.

This report ending with the second repulse of the enemy from Battery Wagner, will be continued from that time. The operations of the enemy from that date within the limits of my command have changed their character.

In closing it, I have the honor to express my high appreciation of