War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0402 S.C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

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some unfortunate cause both those at Wagner and Gregg failed to explode.

The enemy threw his calcium light on Wagner during the whole night, and one of the most furious bombardments on record, even during this war, was continuously kept up while the movements were progressing; but he did not ascertain the evacuation until the last of the boats were leaving. Then his guard-boats discovered the movement of our boats engaged in the embarkation and creeping up upon the rear, succeeded in cutting off and capturing three barges, containing Lieutenant [Charles H.] Hasker and boat's crew of the Chicora and soldiers of the army.

The enemy occupied Battery Wagner about daylight on the 7th, and was opened upon by Batteries Simkins and Cheves and Fort Moultrie, with the works adjacent. Soon after, Admiral Dahlgren, commanding the enemy's fleet, sent a demand to Major Stephen Elliott, jr., commanding Fort Sumter, for a surrender of that post. Major Elliott declined, meantime referring the matter to the headquarters of the district. Under instructions from the headquarters of the department, Admiral Dahlgren was informed that he could have Fort Sumter when he could take and hold it. About 6 p.m. the Ironsides and five monitors came up the channel and opened fire against Fort Sumter and the batteries on Sullivan's Island, which was promptly and steadily replied to by our guns (until it was too dark to observe the vessels), with some effect. The enemy kept up his fire until about 9 o'clock doing but little damage to the works. First Lieutenant E. A. Erwin, First South Carolina Infantry [Third Artillery], was killed at Battery Beauregard.

On the morning of the 8th, a monitor, supposed to be the Weehawken, was observed aground in the channel leading to Cumming's Point, near the shore of Morris Island. A slow fire was opened on her from a trebly-banded Brooke gun and the 10-inch columbiads from Sullivan's Island, and from such guns as would bear from Fort Johnson. The endeavor was made to strike her below her armor, which was out of water at low tide. She was struck several times below the usual water lines, and about 9 o'clock the Ironsides and five other monitors came up to her assistance, engaging the forts and batteries at distances varying from 800 to 1,500 yards, keeping up a very heavy cannonade.

A shell from the Weehawken struck and disabled an 8-inch columbiad in Fort Moultrie, and, glancing, burst near a service magazine which was protected by a heavy traverse, throwing incendiary contents into the magazine and exploding it and several shells, killing 16 and wounding 12 men of Captain R. Press. Smith's company (E), First South Carolina [Regular] Infantry [Third Artillery]. This disaster interrupted the practice but little, for Captain [B. S.] Burnet's company relieved Captain Smith's, under a heavy cannonade, and an accurate and deliberate fire was maintained against the enemy from all the batteries on the island for about five hours, when the enemy withdrew, evidently much cut up and disabled.

From personal observation, I take pleasure in commending the conduct and practice of the officers and men engaged of Colonel Butler's regiment [Third South Carolina Artillery.]

The effect on the iron-clads I believe to have been greater than on April 7, and since the action but one monitor has fired a gun. Their number has been decreasing four only being now (21st) in sight. Besides the casualties mentioned from the explosion, 3 men were killed