War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0539 Chapter XL. OPERATIONS ON MORRIS ISLAND, S.C.

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Preparations were then made to burst the 32-pounder, which bursting of a gun was the signal to Colonel Keitt that the evacuation was completed. But this failed also, after several attempt. The rear guard had been gone fifteen or twenty minutes, and the enemy having slackened their fire a little upon Wagner and commenced firing on Cumming's Point and between the two batteries, I thought that perhaps they had discovered our intentions, and, knowing that Colonel Keitt and the remainder of the garrison at Battery Gregg and the rear guard would be waiting for me, I in order to preserve them from danger, abandoned the idea of bursting the 10-inch columbiad, and immediately, with my own hands, applied the match to the safety fuse. It ignited, and I remained and saw it burning for fifteen or twenty seconds, apparently fairly and successfully ignited. Believing that I had done everything that could possibly be done, I commenced my retreat, arriving at Battery Gregg during the fire of the mortars and rifled guns on Morris Island and the firing of small-arms from the enemy's boats near that point.

In justice to myself, I desire to state I had taken command of the artillery at Battery Wagner under a heavy bombardment, which continued until after I left, and, therefore, my duties in the batteries were such as to prevent my giving the proper attention to every matter of detail, as I would have done under other circumstances. I feared the slow-match would not answer, and I applied to Colonel Keitt to be permitted to set fire to the bomb-proof with three barrels of resin, but he refused, upon the ground that the instructions stated distinctly that the fire was to be communicated by slow-match, and upon the advice of the engineer officer that the smoke and fire would make known our intentions to the enemy.

In conclusion, I am happy to state that the rear guard behaved with perfect coolness. They were marched from Battery Wagner, in perfect order, by the second officer of the guard, Lieutenant [F. B.] Brown, Twenty-fifth South Carolina Volunteers.

From the continued firing of the enemy, I am inclined to believe that the enemy did not discover that the evacuation had taken place until the last boat-load had reached Fort Sumter.

Inclosed you will find a copy of Lieutenant Mazyck's (ordnance officer) report, to whom I am much indebted for his valuable services.*

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


Captain 1st S. C. [Regular] Inf. [3rd Art.], Chief of Artillery.


Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure A.]

Plan of operations of the rear guard in the evacuation of Battery Wagner.

Force employed: Detachment of Company A, First South Carolina Infantry, Lieutenant Wardlaw, 25 men; detachment of Hunter's artillery, Lieutenant Millar, 20 men; detachment of Kanapaux's artillery, Captain Kanapaux, 8 men; detachment of Twenty-fifth


* See No. 34, p.522.