War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0390 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

Search Civil War Official Records

a demonstration of attacking during the afternoon, but having received a few shots, retired.

At Battery Wagner his approaches were kept up, but being checked by the riflemen and artillery, his progress was slow. During the night, the Charleston Battalion relieved the First Georgia Battalion, and a company of the Second South Carolina Artillery relieved Captain [F. T.] Miles' company (acting artillery) at Battery Wagner. The garrison was otherwise supplied and provisioned. An additional supply of ammunition was transported from Sumter to Sullivan's Island. Batteries Cheves and Simkins had kept up their fire during the day and night of the 19th, receiving and occasional shot from the enemy.

On the 20th, the enemy reopened his fire heavily, principally against Fort Sumter, doing, as might be expected, more damage than before. It was steadily kept up throughout the day, and at night Colonel Rhett reported it as the heaviest which had taken place. Eight hundred and seventy-nine shots were fired, of which 408 struck outside, 296 inside, and 175 passed over. The greater portion of the gorge wall had fallen in, but the sand and cotton in the rooms had been revetted by the debris, and protection to a certain extent was still afforded. The northwest face was clearly breached by the reverse fire, and a casemate knocked through. One rifled 42-pounder on the east and one on the northeast face were disabled. Captains [A. S.] Gaillard and [D. G.] Fleming and 1 private were slightly wounded. The enemy being observed advancing by sap on Battery Wagner, Colonel Keitt opened his batteries upon them, and, with his sharpshooters, succeeded in checking their progress. The Ironsides and monitors moved up to close proximity to the fort and opened a heavy enfilading and direct fire, which caused him to close his embrasures. The damage to Battery Wagner was no greater than usual upon that battery. Batteries Simkins, Cheves, and Haskell were in operation upon the enemy's flank during the 20th. Lieutenant-Colonel Yates reports the practice as having been much improved, and that he had reason to believe that two ammunition chests had been blown up in the enemy's trenches, and one gun dismounted; also that in the afternoon the fire of the enemy had become somewhat wild from the effect of rapid firing on his pieces at long range.

The report given above contains the principal active operations of the defense and attack up to the evening of the 20th. During the time included in it, our works of preparation on the interior lines have steadily progressed. The batteries and shelters on Sullivan's Island have advanced to completion, and the heavy guns and mortars which have been received and secured from Fort Sumter have been placed in position, manned, and provided with ammunition as far as possible. A strong front has been made to command the channel should the enemy succeed in overpowering the brave defenders of Batteries Wagner and Gregg and Fort Sumter. Preparations have been made for placing heavy batteries along the shores of Ashley River from Fort Johnson west, to command the inner harbor and channels. All batteries which would bear upon the enemy have been served with as much vigor as circumstances would permit, and his attack confined to as narrow limits as possible.

During this twenty days' progress of the siege, the conduct of the troops and their commanders has been admirable.

Brigadier-General Hagood and Colonels Keitt and Harrison, who have commanded the advanced posts on Morris Island during the