Today in History:

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


The enemy have to-day transferred large bodies of troops from Folly to Morris Island-probably six regiments of infantry.

From Major Manigault's diary is extracted the following.

The Ironsides and two monitors bombarded Battery Wagner heavily from early dawn, the land batteries aiding slightly, and was continued until about midday. Wagner replied slowly until about 10 a.m.

In the afternoon the iron-clads retired, and the bombardment was resumed by the rifle batteries near Graham's house.

About 5.30 p.m. information was received that an attack on Cumming's Point was possible, and all the available guns in Haskell were gotten in readiness to open on Morris Island in case of an assault. Colonel Johnson reports no material change in the enemy's fleet at Hilton Head.

The following are copies of enemy's signal messages intercepted by our signal corps:


I shall try Cumming's Point to-night, and want the sailors again early. Will you please send in two or three monitors just at dusk, to open fire on Moultrie as a diversion? The last time they were in they stopped re-enforcements, and may do so to-night. Don't want any fire in the rear from re-enforcements.


The signal for assault will be the hauling down the red flag on the Ironsides. I shall deploy skirmishers between Wagner and Gregg; don't fire into them. Let the monitors engage the-by 9 o'clock.

[No signature.]

One private was killed to-day at Fort Johnson by a Parrott shell from one of the enemy's batteries.

In pursuance of orders from these headquarters, Major Stephen Elliott [jr.] assumed command to-day of Fort Sumter, relieving Colonel Alfred Rhett. He reports there was no direct fire on the fort to-day; recommends that timber for bomb-proofs be sawed in the city, as there are no facilities for doing it there.

The enemy in front of Wagner remained quiet last night. Fire was, however, opened on them by Colonel Keitt with five guns and one mortar until about 11 p.m., when Colonel Keitt received a message by signal that three regiments of infantry were thought to be advancing on the battery. The infantry were immediately placed in position, but the enemy did not appear.

At about 4.30 a.m. the enemy opened a mortar fire on the battery.

At daylight a United States flag was visible on the enemy's works about 300 yards in front, which during the night had been much strengthened.

About 5 o'clock the enemy opened with a large Parrott gun and from the Ironsides, firing heavily, with the apparent intention of penetrating the bomb-proof and magazine, from which much sand is continually being displaced.

The casualties during the day were very heavy. No official report of number received yet at these headquarters.

September 6, 1863-6 a.m. Moultrie, Simkins, Cheves, and Haskell have been firing steadily during the night, and, with Wagner and Gregg, which were in action during the first part of the night, have thrown since 6 p.m. of the 5th, 696 shots. In the same time the enemy have expended 1,201 shots, &c. During the past twenty-four hours, our batteries have fired 974 shots and the enemy 2,680, majority of which directed against Wagner; occasional shot at Gregg.