Today in History:

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

Page 80 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

by order of Secretary of the Navy, two Brooke guns have been taken from me, to be shut up in a new gunboat so pierced as only to give a range of a mile and a half at most.

Throughout the 30th, Batteries Wagner and Gregg were subjected to a furious fire from both land batteries and fleet. As an example of the rapid fire of the enemy, I may mention that between the hours of 10.30 a. m. and 1 p. m. 599 shots were fired at our different batteries, principally Gregg and Wagner. During the same time shots were fired from our works.

Our loss to-day was 2 killed and 7 wounded on Battery Wagner. No damage of consequence done to the works.

Brigadier-General Ripley wa instructed to transports as early as possible one of the 10-inch columbiads lately arrived from Richmond to Battery Wagner, which was accomplished on the night of the 30th.

The enemy fired heavily on Battery Wagner throughout the 31st. Our loss was 7 wounded. Our new works progressed very satisfactorily, and the strengthening of Fort Sumter and removal of its guns went on rapidly.

The enemy's fire on August 1 was slack, and did but little execution, save a slight injury to the front traverse of the 8-inch shell gun in Battery Wagner, which did not, however, disable it. The casualties to-day were only 2 wounded. The enemy was industriously engaged in throwing up new batteries and advancing his trenches. Every endeavor was made, by firing from Sumter, Gregg, Wagner, and the James Island batteries, to annoy and delay his approach.

Throughout the morning of August 2, the enemy did not answer our fire; but about 2 o'clock they opened with vigor on Wagner. The damage done to the work, however, was comparatively small. In my telegram of that date I mentioned that-

Transports filled with troops are reported going south from Stono, probably intended to operate against Savannah. Cannot some of my troops sent to General Johnston be ordered back immediate for defense of this city?

Orders were given to the chief quartermaster to have trains in waiting sufficient to transport two regiment of infantry to Savannah. The difficulties attending the defense of Charleston were greatly increased by the celerity with which the enemy could remove his operations from one point to another, and from the paucity of troops in my command. Savannah and the coast line were nearly denuded. Instructions were given for increasing the armament of Fort Johnson by two 6.40-inch Brooke guns turned over by the Navy Department, and to place floating torpedoes in certain localities. Brigadier-General Mercer was directed to forward a detachment of artillerists to relieve those of the Sixty-third Georgia Volunteers, who had become reduced by casualties and sickness, and had been ordered to return to Savannah. The Ordnance Department in Richmond was applied to for Coehorn mortars.

The fire of the enemy of the 3rd was not heavy, but his sharpshooters annoyed the garrison of Wagner considerably. No casualties occurred during the day. Brigadier-General Mercer, at Savannah, was informed that transports were reported moving south from here, and that two regiments were held in readiness to move at a moment's notice. I was informed that Evans' brigade was ordered to Savannah from Mississippi. In a personal visit paid to Morris Island that evening, I found Battery Wagner in very serviceable

Page 80 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.