Today in History:

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

Page 49 Chapter XL. GENERAL REPORTS.

the fire was reduced to an occasional shot, to prevent repairs being made. The same arrangement of signal stations on Morris Island was continued until the 6th of September.

On the 20th of August, I was directed to open communication with Back Island, where some troops were stationed. Accordingly, I sent Lieutenant Strops there. Black Island is in direct communication with headquarters.

Our troops, under charge of the engineers, were sapping toward Fort Wagner, and on the evening of the 25th of August, having approached near to the enemy's rifle-pits, a charge was made upon them, which was unsuccessful.

On the 26th, at dark, the attempt was renewed, and was successful, the enemy's rifle-pits being taken by the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers.

On the latter occasion, a signal flag, under charge of Lieutenant Carrique, was posted at headquarters grand guard, second parallel, and when the troops were formed and all was ready, the signal to charge was made under orders of the general officer of the trenches by this flag, and the regiment charged. The night our advance being so near the fort and no obstacles intervening, General Terry anticipated a sortie, and to give timely notice of it, if made, I arranged the following code for the use of countersign signal cartridges, and sent cartridges and equipments to the advance and to the second parallel, viz:

White: Preparatory and advancing.

White-red: Enemy has attacked our advance.

White-green: Enemy has been driven back.

Red: Enemy has driven our advance in.

Red-white: Enemy is advancing in force on our works.

Green: Send re-enforcements.

Green-white: All is well again.

I also sent the equipments and cartridges to the left battery and to Black Island.

On the night of the 6th of September, preparations were complete for an assault upon Wagner the following day, but during the night the general commanding having learned of the evacuation of the fort, our forces were pushed forward to Fort Gregg, and possession taken of it and Fort Wagner and some prisoners. Lieutenant Hatfield accompanied this column, but no signals were made, the general in command not wishing to show lights unless compelled by urgent necessity. Our signal telegraph line was immediately extended to Fort Wagner, and communication opened by it at 5.30 a. m. of the 7th of September. Lieutenant Dana had charge of extending this line, and, on the 10th, the line was extended under his charge to Fort Gregg.

On the night of the 8th of September, an expedition in boats was set to assault Fort Sumter. Lieutenant Vidal accompanied the force, and he was directed to open signal communication from the fort, and remain there if the expedition was successful. It returned, however, without having been able to accomplish its object.

On the 9th of September, the station on the left battery was discontinued by direction of Colonel Turner.

In addition to the duties performed in the field, a board for the examination of officers of the acting corps met at this office on the 11th of August, and adjourned sine die on the 15th, having examined


Page 49 Chapter XL. GENERAL REPORTS.