Especial gratitude is due to Dr. M. M. Marsh, medical inspector of the commission, through whose efficiency, energy, and zeal, the wants of the troops have been promptly ascertained, and the resources of the commission made available for every portion of the army.
By order of Brigadier General Q. A. Gillmore:
ED. W. SMITH,
SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Numbers 150. Morris Island, S. C., September 9, 1863.
An attempt will be made to-night to carry Fort Sumter by assault. The regiments detailed for this purpose are the Tenth Connecticut and Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers. Colonel Osborn, of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, will command the party. He will be accompanied by Major O. S. Sanford, Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, on the staff of the brigadier-general commanding the post, who, having carefully reconnoitered the route to be taken, will be able to advise Colonel Osborn of it.
One hundred additional men for oarsmen have been detailed from the Seventh Connecticut and One hundred and fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers. The men will be embarked at the bridge, immediately after sunset, and the assault will be made at the earliest moment possible. Should the assault succeed, a red countersign light will be immediately burned from the parapet of the work.
After the capture of the fort, the force will return at once, leaving 100 men as a garrison. These men must shelter themselves as far as possible in the uninjured casemates, and they will be supplied with provisions to-morrow night. A signal officer will accompany the party, who will remain with the garrison to be left in the fort.
The plan of the attack has been communicated verbally to Colonel Osborn. A red light burned on the fleet prior to the arrival of Colonel Osborn's party, will indicate that a similar attack has been successfully made by the navy.
On withdrawing the force, the boats will be brought into Vincent's Creek, on the left of the approaches to Wagner. Every man will have the countersign "Detroit," and will use it as a watchword in making the assault.
By order of Brigadier General A. H. Terry:
Captain, and Assistant Adjutant-General.
MORRIS ISLAND, September 10, 1863-12.45 p.m.
In reply to your letter of the 7th, asking if I had a large side-wheel steamer under charter which would answer as a ram against the obstructions in the channel between Sumter and Moultrie, I beg leave to state, after making inquiry, that there is but one steamer in the department that meets the description, viz, the Ben De Ford. I hesitate to spare her for a use which would doubtless insure her destruction, and seriously cripple any transportation, until I have time to get another to replace her. What time would you require her?