I kept 200 men, that I might have otherwise worked, waiting all night at Cumming's Point for guns.
They did not come. I worked all night every man not on guard, and 20 negroes with proper tools would have done as much work in the same time. They are broken down; so are the 2 men from engineer department here. Please relieve these last with 2 active men. Can't you send an active ordnance officer to assist mine? Shot turns of duty here by troops I consider very desirable. Block and fall of gin not here. Send Whitworth rifles, and men used to them, if possible. Send me any letters addressed to your care.
HEADQUARTERS FORT WAGNER, July 23, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In pursuance of General Orders, Numbers 27, district headquarters, I beg leave to make the following report, upon turning over my command to General Taliaferro:
The effective force upon Morris Island is:
Locality. Artillery. Infantry. Total.
Fort Gregg 73 120 193
Fort Wagner 171 1,080 1,251
[Total] 244 1,200 1,444
Of these, the infantry are tolerably fresh, all but 260 having arrived at the post just before my departure, and had lost but one night's sleep. Of the artillery, Peronneau and Gary should be relieved to-night; they are worn out.
I append a list of killed and wounded during my tour of duty,*
as also reports from my ordnance officer and chief of artillery.
It is proper to observe that all the casualties reported occurred in the first day's bombardment, after my taking command. None occurred afterward. This was due to some extent, perhaps, to the fact that the first day's bombardment was the heaviest. But I attribute it chiefly to my having reduced the garrison in the day time. I found that about 500 men could be tolerably protected behind portions of the parapet not enfiladed, and in the bomb-proofs. The balance of the force, every morning at daybreak, I withdrew to the sand-hills, 300 yards in rear of the fort, and held them there until night, with orders to move at double-quick to the fort whenever they heard musketry fire, or had other intimation of an assault being made. Five hundred men were deemed sufficient to hold in check any assault, however formidable, for a sufficient time to allow the reserve from the san-hills to come up.
I am, captain, your obedient servant,
Captain W. F. NANCE,
*See p. 406.