Today in History:

46 Series I Volume XXVIII-I Serial 46 - Ft. Sumter - Ft. Wagner Part I

Page 46 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

Light-House Inlet, where troops were crossing, and with the tower on Folly Island, whence we communicated with headquarters through Palmetto station. Lieutenant Vidal accompanied General Seymour, who crossed that day to Morris Island. An attempt to take Fort Wagner immediately upon leading having failed, our forces withdrew below the Beacon House, and pickets were stationed in advance of that point. That evening Lieutenant Hickok was sent to the picket line, was under fire from some guns of long range on Sumter.

During the night of the 10th, an unsuccessful effort was made to carry Fort Wagner by assault. The column was accompanied by Lieutenants Hatfield and Hickok, Lieutenant Vidal remaining at Gregg's Hill.

On the morning of the 11th General Terry having landed on James Island, opposite Lagerveville, communication was opened from the signal tower on Folly Island with his headquarters, where Lieutenant Cross was stationed. At this time General Gillmore made his headquarters on board the steamer Mary Benton, and was partly in Light-House Inlet and partly in Folly River, but both places were in communication with the signal tower on Folly Island.

This brings this report down to the time that our footing was established on Morris Island, and preparations made for the capture of the entire island and the reduction of Fort Sumter.


Our troops on Morris Island were at this time engaged in erecting works for the bombardment of Fort Wagner. The headquarters of the commanding officer of the trenches was at the right battery, near the Bacon House, and a signal officer was stationed there. Being under a heavy fire, the officer and men had no sleep, and it was necessary to relieve them every twenty-four house. This duty requiring an additional officer on Morris Island, I sent, Lieutenant Fenner there. This station communicated with Gregg's Hill, and thence with headquarters of the general commanding.

Our communication continued uninterrupted with General Terry on James Island until the night of the 16th, when he was ordered by signals to evacuate James Island. Lieutenant Cross, at General Terry's headquarters, had opened communication with the Pawnee, on which was stationed Lieutenant Brodie.

On the morning of the 16th, the enemy, in strong force of artillery and infantry, attacked General Terry's line and the Pawnee. After a well-contested fight, the enemy was driven back. The Pawnee was under a very severe fire of artillery, and received a large number of shots before she could get into position to reply, owing to want of water. Upon this occasion the signals were successfully and very advantageously used. The signal station was at one time almost cut off by the enemy, and the party then there in danger of capture . This was the second time within a week that our signals prevented her guns upon a body of our own men, who were mistaken for the enemy, but the accident was avoided by the signal officer communicating to the Pawnee. The fire of the naval force in Stono was directed during the affair by our signals, through Lieutenant Cross, Brodie, and Hawkins.

Page 46 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.