War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0521 Chapter XL. OPERATIONS ON MORRIS ISLAND, S.C.

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safety, fuse, sledges, &c., to Morris Island. I went at once to Battery Wagner, taking the spikes in my land. I had made requisition for rat-tail files in August, but had received none. These were intended as substitutes. I found Captain Huguenin with the ordnance officer, Lieutenant Mazyck, arranging the safety fuse previously sent, and gave them my assistance. The splicing was carefully done, the ends of the fuse split and pinned. Captain Huguenin stated that he had tried several pieces of the fuse, but I repeated the experiment and found it burned perfectly well . When the main body of the garrison was withdrawn, I remained to assist in the final dispositions. The proper time having elapsed. Lieutenant Mazyck, assisted by Lieutenant [James A.] Ross, Twenty-fifth South Carolina Volunteers, was left to lay the fuse, and I, accompanied by Captain Huguenin, to spike the guns. Here we encountered great difficulty. The vents of most of the pieces were greatly enlarged. In many cases the spikes loosely in, and we were obliged to use two and sometimes three of them . We could have remedied this in a measure had it been practicable to drive them tightly and hammer the edges of the orifice over them, but Captain Huguenin's order enforced the most perfect quiet, and the necessity was sufficiently obvious. We obviated the difficulty as well as it was possible by bundling up a haversack and hammering through that, but it could not be thoroughly effective. Having thus spiked each piece in succession, excepting the 10-inch columbiad, Captain Huguenin arranged a lanyard for firing this gun, the vessels being in rear, and we returned to the magazine. The cartridges (a large number) were piled up against one wall and the fuse, inserted in one of them, going down to the bottom, and carefully trained out of the door and along the side of the covered way, to avoid the feet of any passers by. We then waited the courier from Colonel Keitt; Lieutenant Ross and myself, by Captain Huguenin's orders, joining the lookouts in firing an occasional rifle from the parapet, to keep up a show in occupation. The courier came. Lieutenant Ross then took the lanyard and Captain Huguenin ordered "The last gun from Battery Wagner, fire!" But the primer failed. Another gave no better result. We then primed with powder from a Whitworth rifle cartridge, but the piece could not be fired. We then got out one of the two spikes from the 32-pounder, but the other prevented the passage of the flame. So much time was now consumed that Captain Huguenin thought best to abandon the attempt. He lit the fuse, all of us watching to see that it was burning correctly. We then abandoned Battery Wagner. Great was our disappointment as we looked in vain during our passage to the city for the expected explosion. Possibly a fragment of shell may have cut the use before it burned to the door . I can think of no other accident; no precaution was omitted.

Though not officially present, I trust I may be allowed as a spectator to bear witness to the coolness, judgment, and fidelity of Captain Huguenin and the officers under him in the discharge of the delicate task confided to them.

I have the honor, general, to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain Artillery, and Ordnance Officer 1st Mil. Dist. S. C.

Brigadier General R. S. RIPLEY,

Commanding First Military District, South Carolina.