propose to land from boats one of your best regiments, to assault the angle rearward and toward the water. I would also suggest a picked column of 300 or 400 men to attack the angle rearward and landward, passing up the rivulet that enters Vincent's Creek. For this I would also endeavor to furnish boats.
Thus assaulted, and these men kept under shelter to the last moment, it seems to me that the gallantry of our troops cannot fail to carry them into the work.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. DAHLGREN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Morris Island, S. C., July 20, 1863.
Commanding S. A. B. Squadron, off Morris Island, S. C.:
DEAR SIR: I am in receipt of your communication of this date suggesting a method of attacking Fort Wagner. I am pleased with the project. I had already determined to advance my batteries, and shall commence doing so to-night. I also like your plan of assaulting the work, although I would much prefer making two columns of attack only, one in front along the beach and the other in rear landing on the east side of Morris Island.
It involves, however, the consumption of men, in which this army has already been a very severe sufferer. I began here with the minimum force deemed safe for any offensive operations. Of that force, I have lost 33 per cent. in killed, wounded, missing, and sick.
My actual loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners will not fall short of 1,200 men. As many more are laid up by sudden sickness, occasioned by excessive fatigue duty. With this more than triple decimation of my active available command, I hesitated to incur any further immediate loss in the absence of powerful reasons to the contrary.
If the navy can furnish sailor and marines for one of the columns of attack, I will supply the other or others, and a combined attack can be made on the work.
I can also issue to your men any arms they may require, either muskets or lances. I will engage to furnish a large proportion of the attacking force.
Should you desire to confer with me on this project, I will come to see you.
I have the honor to be, admiral, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Q. A. GILLMORE,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Folly Island, S. C., July 20, 1863.
Colonel J. W. TURNER,
Chief of Staff:
COLONEL: About 9 o'clock last evening I received information that 3 suspicious persons were seen crossing Folly River upon a