Finding his falsehood unavailing, his parties pushed in firing spherical case from their boat howitzers.
Meanwhile Fort Moultrie, and Battery Bee opened over and to the right of Battery Gregg. Our infantry plied the attacking party vigorously. Two field howitzers, under Lieutenant [E. Wister] Macbeth, were opened upon them, and evidently much cut up, they hauled off and made the best of their way back to their position through the creeks and marshes. The enemy's calcium light had been freely used during the night to light had been freely used during the night to light up Wagner and its approaches, and after the repulse of his boat party he kept up a furious shelling, almost entirely preventing work upon repairs.
At daylight on the 6th, this was completely stopped by his over-whelming force of sharpshooters. The fire from the land batteries was kept up throughout the whole day, and from time to time the whole iron-clad fleet fired furiously upon the work, adding heavily to the list of casualties, which for the 5th and 6th amounted to over 150.
Batteries Wagner and Gregg had now been held under a continued and furious cannonade by land and sea for fifty-seven days. Two assaults had been signally and gloriously repulsed. The enemy had been forced to expend time, men, and material most lavishly in approaching the first, but at this time he was within a few yards of the salient. Most of the guns of the fort were injured; transportation and supply had become most difficult, with the inefficient means at our disposal; the possibility of throwing heavy re-enforcements in time to resist an assault by the enemy's overwhelming forces, issuing from his trenches only a few yards distant, out of the question, and the practicability of keeping a sufficient force on the island for the purpose, under the furious cannonade from land and sea without protecting shelter, scarcely less so. This matter had been some time under consideration by the commanding general, and after receiving reports concerning the state of the works, and our capabilities for re-enforcing the garrison, it was determined not to subject those brave men-the flower of our force-to the desperate chances of assault. Orders were accordingly given, on the morning of the 6th, to prepare for evacuation, and the details arranged. A fleet of transport steamers was to assemble between Forts Johnson and Sumter, covered by the iron-clad steamer Charleston while small boats, manned by officers and men of the Palmetto and Chicora and details from the army were to embark the forces from Cumming's Point. Instructions were sent for the demolition of the armament of both batteries and for blowing up the magazines as the places were abandoned. It is to be regretted that the last instructions did not reach Morris Island earlier but the communication having been completely interrupted by the enemy's boat attack on the night of the 5th they did not reach the commander until the evening of the 6th, a short time before the evacuation was to be commenced. Fort Moultrie Battery Bee, Batteries Simkins, Cheves, and Haskel were all manned and in readiness to open fire to cover the embarkation, should the enemy have discovered the movements and attempted to interfere. For the details of the evacuation, I beg respectfully, to refer to the able report of Colonel L. M. Keitt, Twentieth South Carolina Volunteers, and the reports accompanying it.
It commenced about 9 p.m. and was concluded at about 12. The guns of the batteries were spiked and implements generally destroyed. Matches were fired to explode the magazines, but from
26 R R-VOL XXVIII, PT I