Today in History:

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


or small-arms, and the enemy is thus left free to work in his trenches, which he is pushing rapidly forward, the head of the sap being, as above stated, within 40 yards of the salient of the work, which is so seriously damaged by a battery of Parrott guns kept constantly playing upon it as to render it untenable. This difficulty could, however, be overcome by the erection of a parapet across the gorge of the salient, and the conversion of the bomb-proof and magazine also needs repair. We have been thus far able not only to repair damage at night, but to add from day to day to the strength of the battery; but now that the enemy's sap is in such close proximity to the battery, and he has contrived to throw light upon the parapets at night, it is impossible to do so without a heavy loss of men.

In the effort last night to repair damages, the commanding officer of the fort reports a loss in killed and wounded of 60 or 80 men of the working party alone. Without our ability to repair damages at night, the battery would become, under the incessant fire of the enemy's land batteries and fleet, untenable, say, in two days. It is in view of these facts that I have thought it my duty to make the recommendation at the commencement of this report.

I have the honor to be, general, yours, very respectfully,


Lieutenant-Colonel, and Chief Engineer.

[Inclosure D.]

SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPT. OF S. C., GA., AND FLA., No. 176. Charleston, S. C., September 6, 1863.

Battery Wagner, Morris Island, being no longer tenable without undue loss of life and the risk of final capture of its entire garrison, the position and Battery Gregg will be evacuated as soon as practicable, to which end the following arrangements will be made by the district commander:

I. Two of the Confederate States iron-clads should take up positions near Fort Sumter, with their guns bearing on Cumming's Point and to the eastward of it. At the same time all our land batteries will be held prepared to sweep all the water faces of Battery Gregg. Transport steamers will take positions within the harbor, but as near as practicable to Cumming's Point, to receive the men from the row-baots, by which the embarkation will be effected from Morris Island. As many row-boats as necessary, or which can be manned by efficient oarsmen, will be provided, and kept in readiness at once to proceed to and reach Cumming's Point, or that vicinity, as soon after dark as may be prudent. Having reached the beach of Morris Island, a courier or a relay of footmen will be dispatched by the naval officer in charge, with notice of the fact to the officer in command of Battery Wagner, and of the exact transport capacity of the boats. A naval officer with proper assistants will have exclusive charge of the boats and of their movements.

II. The commanding officer of Battery Wagner, having made during the day all arrangements for the evacuation and destruction of the work and armament, when informed of the arrival of the boats, will direct first the removal and embarkation of all wounded men, and thereafter, according to the capacity of the boats at hand, will withdraw his command by companies with soldierly silence and deliberation. Two companies will remain, in any event, to preserve a