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History & Genealogy


A History of the

in the Wars of
1775-1812, 1861-'65,
Joseph T. Wilson
Late of the 2nd Reg't. La. Native Guard Vols. 54th Mass. Vols.
Aide-De-camp to the Commander-In-Chief G. A. R.
Author of
"Emancipation," "Voice of a New Race,"  "Twenty-Two Years of Freedom," etc., etc.
56 Illustrations
Hartford, Conn.:
American Publishing Company


pg. 249

     The appearance of the negro in the Union army altered the state of affairs very much.  The policy of the general Government was changed, and the one question which Mr. Lincoln had tried to avoid became the question of the war.  General Butler, first at Fortress Monroe and then at New Orleans, had defined the status of the slave, "contraband " and then "soldiers," in advance of the Emancipation Proclamation.  General Hunter, in command at the South, as stated in a previous chapter, had taken an early opportunity to strike the rebellion in its most vital part, by arming negroes in his Department, after declaring them free.
     Notwithstanding the President revoked Hunter's order, a considerable force was organized and equipped as early as December, 1862; in fact a. regiment of blacks was under arms when the President issued the Emancipation Proclamation.  This regiment, the 1st South Carolina, was in command of Colonel T. W. Higginson, who with a portion of his command ascended the St. Mary's river on transports, visited Florida and Georgia, and had several engagements with the enemy.  After an absence of ten or more days, the expedition returned to South Carolina without the loss of a man.
     Had there been but one army in the field, and the fighting confined to one locality, the Phalanx would have been mobilized, but as there were several armies it was distributed among the several forces, and its conduct in

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battle, camp, march and bivouac, was spoken of by the commanders of the various armies in terms which any class of soldiers, of any race, might well be proud of.
     General Grant, on the 24th of July, following the capture of Vicksburg, wrote to the Adjutant-General:
     "The negro troops are easier to preserve discipline among than are our white troops, and I doubt not will prove equally good for garrison duty.  All that have been tried have fought bravely."
     This was six days after the unsurpassed bravery of the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers—representing the North in the black Phalanx—had planted its blood stained banner on the ramparts of Fort Wagner.  It was
the Southern negroes, who, up to this time, had reddened the waters of the Mississippi. It was the freedman's blood
that had moistened the soil, and if ignorance could be so intrepid still greater daring might be expected on the part
of the more intelligent men of the race.
     The assault on Fort "Wagner, July 18, 1803, was one of the most heroic of the whole four years' war.  A very
graphic account of the entire movement is given in the following article:
     "At daylight, on the morning of the 12th of July a strong column of our troops advanced swiftly to the attack of Fort Wagner.  The rebels were well prepared, and swept with their guns every foot of the approach; to the fort, but our soldiers pressed on, and gained a foothold on the parapet; but, not being supported by other troops, nor aided by the guns of the fleet, which quietly looked on, they were forced to retreat, leaving many of their comrades in the hands of the enemy.
     "It is the opinion of many that if the fleet had moved up at the same time, and raked the fort with their guns, our troops would have succeeded in taking it; but the naval captains said in their defence that they knew nothing of the movement, and would have gladly assisted in the attack had they been notified.
     "This, unfortunately, was not the only instance of a want of harmony or co-operation between the land and naval forces operating against Charleston.  Had they been under the control of one mind, the sacrifice of life in the siege of Forts Wagner and Sumter would have been far less.  We will not assume to say which side was at fault, but by far the greater majority lay the blame upon the naval officers.  Warfare kindles up the latent germs of jealousy in the human breast, and the late rebellion furnished many cruel examples of its effects, both among the rebels and among the patriots.  We have had the misfortune to witness

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them in more than one campaign, and upon more than one bloody and disastrous field.
     "By the failure of this attack, it was evident that the guns of Wagner must lie silenced before a successful assault with infantry could be made; and, in order to accomplish this, a siege of greater or less duration was required.  Therefore earthworks were immediately thrown up at the distance of about a thousand yards from the fort, and the guns and mortars from Folly Island brought over to be placed in position.
     "This Morris Island is nothing but a narrow bed of sand, about three miles in length, with a breadth variable from a few hundred yards to a few feet.  Along the central portion of the lower end a ridge of white sand hills appear, washed on one side by the tidal waves, and sloping on the other into broad marshes, more than two miles in width, and intersected by numerous deep creeks.  Upon the extreme northern end, Battery Gregg, which the rebels used in reducing Fort Sumter in 1861, had been strengthened, and mounted with five heavy guns, which threw their shot more than half way down the island.  A few hundred yards farther down the island, and at its narrowest portion, a strong fort had been erected, and armed with seventeen guns and mortars.  This was the famous Fort Wagner; and, as its cannon prevented any farther progress up the island, it was necessary to reduce it before our forces could approach nearer to Fort Sumter.
     " It was thought by our engineers that a continuous bombardment of a few days by our siege batteries and the fleet might dismount the rebel cannon, and demoralize the garrison, so that our brave boys, by a sudden rush, might gain possession of the works.  Accordingly our seige train was brought over from Folly Island, and a parallel commenced about a thousand yards from Wagner.  Our men worked with such energy that nearly thirty cannon and mortars were in position on the 17th of July.  On the 18th of July the bombardment commenced.  The land batteries poured a tempest of shot into the south side of Wagner, while the fleet moved up to within short range, and battered the east side with their great guns. In the mean time the rebels were not silent, but gallantly stood to their guns, returning shot for shot with great precision.  But, after a few hours, their fire slackened; gun after gun be came silent, as the men were disabled, and, when the clock struck four in the afternoon, Wagner no longer responded to the furious cannonade the Federal forces. Even the men had taken shelter beneath the bomb-proofs, and no sign of life was visible about the grim and battered fortress.
     "Many of our officers were now so elated with the apparent result of demolition, that they urged General Gillmore to allow? them to assault the fort as soon as it became dark.  General Gillmore yielded to the solicitations of the officers, but very reluctantly, for he was not convinced that the proper time had arrived; but the order was finally given for the
attack to take place just after dark.  Fatal error as to time, for our troops in the daytime would have been successful, since they would not

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have collided with each other; they could have seen their foes, and the arena of combat, and the fleet could have assisted them with their guns, and prevented the landing of the re-enforcements from Charleston.
     " It was a beautiful and calm evening when the troops who were to form the assaulting column moved out on to the broad and smooth beach left by the receding tide.
     "The last rays of the setting sun illumined the grim walls and shattered mounds of Wagner with a flood of crimson light, too soon, alas!  to be deeper dyed with the red blood of struggling men.
     "Our men halted, and formed their ranks upon the beach, a mile and more away from the deadly breach.  Quietly they stood leaning upon their guns, and awaiting the signal of attack.  There stood, side by side, the hunter of the far West, the farmer of the North, the stout lumber man from the forests of Maine, and the black Phalanx Massachusetts had armed and sent to the field.
     "In this hour of peril there was no jealousy, no contention.  The black Phalanx were to lead the forlorn hope.  And they were proud of their position, and conscious of its danger.  Although we had seen many of the famous regiments of the English, French, and Austrian armies, we were never more impressed with the fury and majesty of war than when we looked upon the solid mass of the thousand black men, as they stood, like giant statues of marble, upon the snow-white sands of the beach, waiting the order to advance.  And little did we think, as we gazed with admiration upon that splendid column of four thousand brave men, that ere an hour had passed, half of them would be swept away, maimed or crushed in the gathering whirlwind of death!  Time passed quickly, and twilight was fast deepening into the darkness of night, when the signal was given.  Onward moved the chosen and ill-fated band, making the earth tremble under the heavy and monotonous tread of the dense mass of thousands of men.  Wagner lay black and grim in the distance, and silent.  Not a glimmer of light was seen.  Not a gun replied to the bombs which our mortars still constantly hurled into the fort.  Not a shot was returned to the terrific volleys of the giant frigate Ironsides, whose shells, ever and anon, plunged into the earth works, illuminating their recesses for an instant in the glare of their explosion, but revealing no signs of life.
     "Were the rebels all dead?  Had they fled from the pitiless storm which our batteries had poured down upon them for so many hours?  Where were they?
     "Down deep beneath the sand heaps were excavated great caverns, whose floors were level with the tide, and whose roofs were formed of huge trunks of trees laid in double rows.  Still above these massive beams sand was heaped so deeply that even our enormous shells could not penetrate the roofs, though they fell from the skies above.  In these dark subterranean retreats two thousand men lay hid, like panthers in a swamp, waiting to leap forth in fury upon their prey.
     "The signal given, our forces advanced rapidly towards the fort,

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Desperate charge of the 54th Mass., Vols., in the assault on Fort Wagner, July 1__, 1864

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while our mortars in the rear tossed their bombs over their heads.  The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts [Phalanx Regiment] led the attack, supported by the 6th Conn., 48th N. Y., 3rd N. H., 76th Penn. and the 9th Maine Regiments.  Onward swept the immense mass of men, swiftly and silently, in the dark shadows of night.  Not a flash of light was seen in the distance!  No sentinel hoarsely challenged the approaching foe!  All was still save the footsteps of the soldiers, which sounded like the roar of the distant surf, as it beats upon the rock-bound coast.
     "Ah, what is this! The silent and shattered walls of Wagner all at once burst forth into a blinding sheet of vivid light, as though they had suddenly been transformed by some magic power into the living, seething crater of a volcano!  Down came the whirlwind of destruction along the beach with the swiftness of lightning!  How fearfully the hissing shot, the shrieking bombs, the whistling bars of iron, and the whispering bullet struck and crushed through the dense masses of our brave menuever shall forget the terrible sound of that awful blast of death, which swept down, shattered or dead, a thousand of our men.  Not a shot had missed its aim.  Every bolt of steel, every globe of iron and lead, tasted of human blood.
     " 'Forward! ' shouted the undaunted Putnam, as the column wavered and staggered like a giant stricken with death.
     " ' Steady, my boys! ' murmured the brave leader, General Strong, as cannon-shot dashed him, maimed and bleeding, into the sand.
     "In a moment the column recovered itself, like a gallant ship at seawhen buried for an instant under an immense wave.
     "The ditch is reached; a thousand men leap into it, clamber up the shattered ramparts, and grapple with the foe, which yields and falls back to the rear of the fort.  Our men swarm over the walls, bayoneting the desperate rebel cannoneers.  Hurrah! the fort is ours!
     "But now came another blinding blast from concealed guns in the rear of the fort, and our men went down by scores.  Now the rebels rally, and, re-enforced by thousands of the chivalry, who have landed on the beach under cover of darkness, unmolested by the guns of the fleet.  They hurl themselves with fury upon the remnant of our brave band.  The struggle is terrific.  Our supports hurry up to the aid of their comrades, but as they reach the ramparts they fire a volley which strikes down many of our men.  Fatal mistake!  Our men rally once more; but, in spite of an heroic resistance, they are forced back again to the edge of the ditch.  Here the brave Shaw, with scores of his black warriers, went down, fighting desperately.  Here Putnam met his death wound, while cheering and urging on the overpowered Phalanx men.
     "What fighting, and what fearful carnage!  Hand to hand, breast to breast!  Here, on this little strip of land, scarce bigger than the human hand, dense masses of men struggled with fury in the darkness; and so fierce was the contest that the sands were reddened and soaked with human gore.
     "But resistance was vain.  The assailants were forced back again to

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the beach, and the rebels trained their recovered cannon anew upon the retreating survivors.
     "What a fearful night was that, as we gathered up our wounded heroes, and bore them to a place of shelter!  And what a mournful
morning, as the sun rose with his clear beams, and revealed our terrible losses! What a rich harvest Death had gathered to himself during the short struggle!  Nearly two thousand of our men had fallen.  More than six hundred of our brave boys lay dead on the ramparts of the fatal fort, in its broad ditch, and along the beach at its base.  A flag of truce party went out to bury our dead, but General Beauregard they found had already buried them, where they fell, in broad, deep trenches."

Colonel Shaw, the young and gallant commander of the 54th Regiment, was formerly a member of the famous 7th N. Y. Regiment.  He was of high, social and influential standing, and in his death won destruction.  The confederates added to his fame and glory, though unintentionally, by burying him with his soldiers, or as a confederate Major expressed the information, when a request for the Colonel's body was made, "we have buried him with his niggers! "
     A poet has immortalized the occurrence and the gallant Shaw thus:

'They buried him with his niggers!'
Together they fought and died.
There wan room for them all where they laid him.
(The grave was deep and wide).
For his beauty and youth and valor,
Their patience and love and pain;
And at the last together
They shall be found again.

'They buried him with his niggers!'
Earth holds no prouder grave;
There in not a mausoleum
In the world beyond the wave.
That a nobler tale has hallowed,
Or a purer glory crowned.
Than the nameless trench where they buried
The brave so faithful found.
'They buried him with his niggers I'
A wide grave should it be:
They buried more in that shallow trench
Than human eye could see.
Aye, all the shames and sorrows
Of more than a hundred years
Lie under the weight of that Southern soil
Despite those cruel sneers.
They buried him with his niggers!'
But the glorious souls set free
Are lending the van of the army
That fights for liberty.
Brothers in death, in glory
The same palm branches bear;
And the crown is as bright o'er the sable brows
As over the golden hair.


Burled with a band of brothers
Who for him would fain have died;
Buried with the gallant fellows
Who fell fighting by his side;

Buried with the men God gave him.
Those whom he was sent to save;
Buried with the martyr heroes.
He has found an honored grave.

Buried where his dust so precious
Makes the soil a hallowed spot;
Buried where by Christian patriot.
He shall never be forgot.
Buried in the ground accursed.
Which man's fettered feet have trod;
Buried where his voice still speaketh.
Appealing for the slave to God;

Fare thee well, thou noble warrior.
Who in youthful beauty went
On a high and holy mission,
By the God of battles sent.

Chosen of him. 'elect and precious,'
Well didst thou fulfil thy part;
When thy country 'counts her jewels,'
She shall wear thee on her heart."

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     The heroic courage displayed by the gallant Phalanx at the assault upon Fort Wagner was not surpassed by the Old Guard at Moscow.  Major-General Taliaferro gives this confederate account of the fight, which is especially interesting as it shows the condition of affairs inside the fort:

     "On the night of the 14th the monster iron-plated frigate New Iron sides, crossed the bar and added her formidable and ponderous battery to those destined for the great effort of reducing the sullen earthwork which barred the Federal advance.  There were now five monitors, the Ironsides and a fleet of gunboats and monster hulks grouped together and only waiting the signal to unite with the land batteries when the engineers should pronounce them ready to form a cordon of flame around the devoted work.  The Confederates were prepared for the ordeal.  For for fear that communications with the city and the mainland, which was had by steamboat at night to Cummings' Point should be interrupted, rations and ordnance stores had been accumulated, but there was trouble about water.  Some was sent from Charleston and wells had been dug in the sand inside and outside the fort, but it was not good.  Sand bags had been provided and trenching tools supplied sufficient for any supposed requirement.
     "The excitement of the enemy in front after the 10th was manifest to the Confederates and announced an 'impending crisis.'  It became evident that some extraordinary movement was at hand.  The Federal forces on James Island had been attacked on the morning of the 16th by General Hagood and caused to retire, Hagood occupying the abandoned positions, and on the 17th the enemy's troops were transferred to Little Folly and Morris Islands.  It has been stated that the key to the signals employed by the Federals was in possession of General Taliaferro at this time, and he was thus made acquainted with the intended movement and put upon his guard.  That is a mistake.  He had no such direct information, although it is true that afterwards the key was discovered and the signals interpreted with as much ease as by the Federals themselves.  The 18th of July was the day determined upon by the Federal commanders for the grand attempt which, if successful, would level the arrogant fortress and confuse it by the mighty power of their giant artillery with the general mass of surrounding sand hills, annihilate its garrison or drive them into the relentless ocean, or else consign them to the misery of hostile prisons.
     "The day broke beautifully, a gentle breeze slightly agitated the balmy atmosphere, and with rippling dimples beautified the bosom of
the placid sea.  All nature was serene and the profoundest peace held dominion over all the elements.  The sun, rising with the early splendors of his midsummer glory, burnished with golden tints the awakening ocean, and flashed his reflected light back from the spires of the beleag-

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uered city into the eves of those who stood pausing to gather strength to spring upon her, and of those who stood at bay to battle for her safety.  Yet the profound repose was undisturbed; the early hours of that fair morning hoisted a flag of truce between the combatants which was respected by both.  But the tempest of fire which was destined to break the charm of nature, with human thunders then unsurpassed in war, was gathering in the south.  At about half-past 7 o'clock the ships of war moved from their moorings, the iron leviathan the Ironsides, an Agamemnon among ships, leading and directing their movements, then monitor after monitor, and then wooden flagships.  Steadily and majestically they marched; marched as columns of men would march, obedient to commands, independent of weaves and winds, mobilized by steam and science to turn on a pivot and manoeuvre as the directing mind required them; they halted in front of the fort; they did not anchor as Sir Peter Parker's ships had done near a hundred years before in front of Moultrie, which was hard by and frowning still at her ancient enemies of the ocean.  They halted and waited for word of command to belch their consuming lightnings out upon the foe.  On the laud, engineering skill was satisfied and the deadly exposure for details for labor was ended; the time for retaliation had arrived when the defiant shots of the rebel batteries would be answered; the batteries were unmasked; the cordon of fire was complete by land and by sea; the doomed fort was encircled by guns.
     "The Confederates watched from the ramparts the approach of the fleet and the unmasking of the guns, and they knew that the moment had arrived in which the problem of the capacity of the resistant power of earth and sand to the forces to which science so far developed in war could subject them was to be solved and that Battery Wagner was to be that (lay the subject of the crucial test.  The small armament of the fort was really inappreciable in the contest about to be inaugurated.  There was but one gun which could be expected to be of much avail against the formidable naval power which would assail it and on the land side few which could reach the enemy's batteries.  "When those guns were knocked to pieces and silenced there was nothing loft but passive resistance, but the Confederates, from the preliminary tests which had been applied, had considerable faith in the capacity of sand and earth for passive resistance.
     "The fort was in good condition, having been materially strengthened since the former assault by the indefatigable exertions of Colonel David Harris, chief engineer, and his valuable assistant, Captain BarnwellColonel Harris was a Virginian, ex-officer of the army of the United States and a graduate of West Point, who had some years before retired from the service to prosecute the profession of civil engineering.  Under a tempest of shells he landed during the fiercest period of the bombardment at Cummings' Point, and made his way through the field of fire to the beleaguered fort to inspect his condition and to inspire the garrison by his heroic courage and his confidence in its strength.  Escaping all the dangers of war, he fell a victim to yellow fever in Charleston, be-

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loved and honored by all who had ever known him.  The heavy work imposed upon the garrison in repairs and construction, as well as the strain upon the system by constant exposure to the enemy's fire, had induced General Beauregard to adopt the plan of relieving the garrison every few days by fresh troops.  The objection to this was that the new men had to be instructed and familiarized with their duties; but still it was wise and necessary, for the same set of officers and men, if retained any length of time, would have been broken down by the arduous service required of them.  The relief was sent by regiments and detachments, so there was never an entirely new body of men in the works.
     "The garrison was estimated at one thousand seven hundred aggregate.  The staff of General Taliaferro consisted of Captain Twiggs, Quartermaster General; Captain W. T. Taliaferro, Adjutant General; Lieutenants H. C. Cunningham and Magyck, Ordnance Officers; Lieutenants Meade and Stoney, Aides-de-Camp; Major Holcombe; Captain Burke, Quartermaster, and Habersham, Surgeon-in-Chief; Private Stockman of McEnery's Louisiana Battalion, who had been detailed as clerk because of his incapacity for other duty from most honorable wounds, acted also in capacity of aid.
The Charleston Battalion was assigned to that part of the work which extended from the Sally port or Lighthouse Inlet creek around to the left until it occupied part of the face to the south, including the western bastion; the Fifty-first North Carolina connected with these troops on the left and extended to the southeast bastion; the rest of the work was to be occupied by the Thirty-first North Carolina Regiment, and a small force from that regiment was detailed as a reserve, and two campanies of the Charleston Battalion were to occupy outside of the fort the covered way spoken of and some sand-hills by the seashore; the artillery was distributed among the several gun-chambers and the light pieces posted on a traverse outside so as to sweep to sea face and the right approach.  The positions to be occupied were well known to every officer and man and had been verified repeatedly by day and night, so there was no fear of confusion, mistake or delay in the event of an assault.  The troops of course were not ordered to these positions when at 6 o'clock it was evident a furious bombardment was impending, but, on the contrary, to the shelter of the bomb-proofs, sand-hills and parapet; a few sentinels or videttes were detailed and the gun detachments only ordered to their pieces.
     "The Charleston Battalion perferred the freer air of the open work to the stifling atmosphere of the bomb-proofs and were permitted to shelter themselves under the parapet and traverses.  Not one of that heroic band entered the opening of a bomb-proof during that frightful day.  The immense superiority of the enemy's artillery was well understood and appreciated by the Confederate commander, and it was clear to him that his policy was to husband his resources and preserve them as best he could for the assault, which it was reasonable to expect would occur during the day.  He recognized the fact that his guns were only

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defensive and he had little or no offensive power with which to contend with his adversaries.  Acting on his conviction he had the light guns dismounted and covered with sand bags, and the same precaution was adopted to preserve some of the shell guns or fixed carriages.  The propriety of this determination was abundantly demonstrated in the end.
     "About a quarter past 8 o'clock the storm broke, ship after ship and battery after battery, and then apparently all together, vomited forth their horrid flames and the atmosphere was filled with deadly missiles.  It is impossible for any pen to describe or for anyone who was not an eye-witness to conceive the frightful grandeur of the spectacle.  The writer has never had the fortune to read any official Federal report or any other account of the operations of this day except an extract from any other account of the operations of this day except an extract from the graphic and eloquent address of the Rev. Mr. Dennison, a chaplain of one of the Northern regiments, delivered on its nineteenth anniversary at Providence, R. I.  He says: 'Words cannot depict the thunder, the smoke, and lifted sand and the general havoc which characterized that hot summer day.  What a storm of iron fell on that island; the roar of the guns was incessant; how the shots ploughed the sand banks and the marshes; how the splinters flew from the Beacon House; how the whole island smoked like a furnace and trembled as from an earthquake.'
     "if that was true outside of Wagner it is easy to conceive how intensified the situation was within its narrow limits towards which every hostile gun was pointed.  The sand came down in avalanches; huge vertical shells and those rolled over by the ricochet shots from the ships, buried themselves and then exploded, rending the earth and forming great craters, out of which the sand and iron fragments few high in the air.  It was a fierce sirocco freighted with iron as well as sand.  The sand flew over from the seashore, from the glacis, from the exterior slope, from the parapet, as it was ploughed up and lifted and driven by resistless force now in spray and now almost in waves over into the work, the men sometimes half buried by the moving mass.  The chief anxiety was about the magazines.  The profile of the fort might be destroyed, the ditch filled up, the traverses and bomb-proof barracks knocked out of shape, but the protecting banks of sand would still afford their shelter; but if the coverings of the magazines were blown away and they became exposed, the explosion that would ensue would lift fort and garrison into the air and annihilate all in general chaos.  They were carefully watched and reports of their condition required to be made at short intervals during the day.
     Wagner replied to the enemy, her 10-inch columbiad alone to the ships, deliberately at intervals of fifteen minutes, the other guns to the land batteries whenever in range, as long as they were serviceable.  The 32-pounder rifled guns was soon rendered useless by bursting and within two hours many other guns had been dismounted and their carriages destroyed.  Sumter, Colonel Alfred Rhett in command, and Gregg, under charge of Captain Sesesne, with the Sullivan and James Island batteries at long range, threw all the power of their available metal at the assail-

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ants and added their thunders to that universal din; the harbor of Charlston was a volcano.  The want of water was felt, but now again unconsciously the enemy came to the assistance of the garrison, for water was actually scooped from the craters made in the sand by the exploded shells.  The city of Charleston was alive and aflame with excitement; the bay, the wharves, the steeples and streets filled with anxious spectators looking across the water at their defenders, whom they could not succor.
     "At 2 o'clock the flag halliards were cut by a shot and the Confederate garrison flag was blown over into the fort; there was an instant race for its recovery through the storm of missiles, over the broken earth and shells and splinteres which lined the parade.  Major Ramsey, Sergeant Shelton and private Flinn of Charleston Battalion, and Lieutenant Riddick,of the Sixty-third Georgia, first reached it and bore it back in triumph to the flagstaff, and at the same moment Captain Barnwell of the engineers, seized a battle-flag, and leaping on the ramparts, drove the staff into the sand.  This flag was again shot away, but was again replaced by Private Gaillard, of the Charleston Battalion.  These intrepid actions, emulating in a higher degree the conduct of SErgeant Jasper at Moultrie during the Revolution, were cheered by the command and inspired them with renewed courage.
     "The day wore on; thousands upon thousands of shells and round shot, shells loaded with balls, shells of guns and shells of mortars, percussion shells, exploding upon impact, shells with graded fuses - every kind apparently known to the arsenals of war leaped into  and around the doomed fort, yet there was no cessation; the sun seemed to stand still and the long midsummer day to know no right.  Some men were dead and no scratch appeared on their bodies; the concussion had forced the breath from their lungs and collapsed them into corpses.  Captain Twiggs, of the staff, in executing some orders was found apparently dead.  He was untouched, but lifeless, and only strong restoratives brought him back to animation, and the commanding officer was buried knee-deep in sand and had to be rescued by spades from his imprisonment.  The day wore on, hous followed hours of anxiety and grim endurance, but no respite ensued.  At last night came; not however, to herald a cessation of the strife, but to usher in a conflict still more terrible.  More than eleven hours had passed.  The fort was torn and mutilated; to the outside observer it was apparently powerless, knocked to pieces and pounded out of shape, the outline changed, the exterior slope full of gaping wounds, the ditch half filled up, but the interior still preserved its form and its integrity; scarred and defaced it was yet a citadel which, although not offensive, was defiant.
     It was nearly eight-o'clock at night, but still twilight, when a calm came and the blazing circle ceased to glow with flame.  The ominous pause was understood; it required no signals to be read by those to whom they were not directed to inform them that the supreme moment to test the value of the day's achievements was now at hand.  It meant nothing but assault.  Dr. Dennison says the assault was intended to be

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midst of thousands of their white comrades-in-arms, to whom they nightly repeated the story of the late terrible struggle.  The solemn sentry pacing the ramparts of Fort Wagner night and day, his bayonet glittering in the rays of the sun or in the moonlight, seemed to be guarding the sepulchre of Col. Shaw and those who fell beside him within the walls of that gory fort, and who were buried where they fell.  Only those who have lived in such a camp can appreciate the stories of hair-breadth escapes from hand-to-hand fights.
     The repose lasted until January, when an important movement took place for the permanent occupation of Florida.  The following account, written by the author of this book, was published in " The Journal," of Toledo, O.:

     "The twentieth day of February, 1864, was one of the most disastrous to the Federal arms, and to the administration of President Lincoln, in the annals of the war for the union.  Through private advice Mr. Lincoln had received information which led him to believe that the people in the State of Florida, a large number of them, at least, were ready and anxious to identify the State with the cause of the Union, and he readily approved of the Federal forces occupying the State, then almost deserted by the rebels.  Gen. Gillmore, commanding the Department of the South had a large force before Charleston, S. C, which had been engaged in the capture of Fort Wagner and the bombardment of the city of Charleston, and the reduction of Sumter.
     "These objects being accomplished, the army having rested several months, Gen. Gillmore asked for leave to undertake such expeditions within his Department as he might think proper.  About the middle of December, 1861, the War Department granted him his request, and immediately he began making preparations for an expedition, collecting transports, commissary stores, drilling troops, etc., etc.
     "About the 1st of January, 1864, General Gillmore wrote to the General-in-Chief, Halleck, that he was about to occupy the west bank of St. Johns river, with the view (1st) to open an outlet to cotton, lumber, etc., (2d) to destroy one of the enemy's sources of supplies, (3d) to give the negroes opportunity of enlisting in the army, (4th) to inaugurate measures for the speedy restoration of Florida to the Union.
     "In accordance with instructions from President Lincoln received through the assistant Adjutant General, Major J. H. Hay, who would accompany the expedition, on the 5th of February the troops began to embark under the immediate command of General Truman Seymour, on board of twenty steamers and eight schooners, consisting of the following regiments, numbering in all six thousand troops, and under convoy

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of the gunboat Norwich:
     "40th Massachusetts Mounted Infantry, Col. Guy V. Henry.
"7th Connecticut, Col. J. R. Hawley.
     "7th New Hampshire, Col. Abbott.
     "47th, 48th and 115th New York, Col. Barton's command.
     "The Phalanx regiments were: 8th Pennsylvania, Col. Fribley; 1st North Carolina, Lt.-Col. Reed; 54th Massachusetts, Col. Hallowell; 2d South Carolina, Col. Beecher; 55th Massachusetts, Col. Hartwell, with three batteries of white troops, Hamilton's, Elder's and Langdon's.  Excepting the two last named regiments, this force landed at Jacksonville on the 7th of February, and pushed on, following the 40th Massachusetts Mounted Infantry, which captured by a bold dash Camp Finnigan, about seven miles from Jacksonville, with its equipage, eight pieces of artillery, and a number of prisoners.  On the 10th, the whole force had reached Baldwin, a railroad station twenty miles west of Jacksonville.  There the army encamped, except Col. Henry's force, which continued its advance towards Tallahassee, driving a small force of Gen. Finnegan's command before him.  This was at the time all the rebel force in east Florida.  On the 18th Gen. Seymour, induced by the successful advance of Col. Henry, lead his troops from Baldwin with ten days' rations in their haversacks, and started for the Suwanee river, about a hundred and thirty miles from Baldwin station, leaving the 2d South Carolina and the 55th Massachusetts Phalanx regiments to follow.  After a fatiguing march the column, numbering about six thousand, reached Barbour's Station, on the Florida Central Railroad, twenty miles from Baldwin.  Here the command halted and bivouaced, the night of the 19th, in the woods bordering upon a wooded ravine running off towards the river from the railroad track.
"It is now nineteen years ago, and I write from memory of a night long to be remembered.  Around many a Grand Army Camp-fire in the last fifteen years this bivouac has been made the topic of an evening's talk. It was attended with no particular hardship.  The weather was such as is met with in these latitudes, not cold, not hot, and though a thick vapory cloud hid the full round moon from early eventide until the last regiment filed into the woods, yet there was a halo of light that brightened the white, sandy earth and gave to the moss-laden limbs of the huge pines which stood sentry-like on the roadside the appearance of a New England grove on a frosty night, with a shelled road leading through it.
    "It was well in the night when the two Phalanx regiments filed out of the road into the woods, bringing up the rear of the army, and took shelter under the trees from the falling dew.  Amid the appalling stillness that reigned throughout the encampment, except the tramp of feet and an occasional whickering of a battery horse, no sound broke the deep silence.  Commands were given in an undertone and whispered along the long lines of weary troops that lay among the trees and the underbrush of the pine forest.  Each soldier lay with his musket beside him, ready to

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spring to his feet and in line for battle, for none knew the moment the enemy, like a tiger, would pounce upon them.  It was a night of intense anxiety, shrouded in mystery as to what to-morrow would bring.  The white and black soldier in one common bed lay in battle panoply, dream mg their common dreams of home and loved ones.
     "Here lay the heroic 54th picturing to themselves the memorable nights of July 17 and 18, their bivouac on the beach and their capture of Fort Wagner and the« terrible fate of their comrades. They were all veteran troops save the 8th Pennsylvania, which upon many hard fought fields had covered themselves with gallant honor in defense of their country's cause, from Malvern Hill to Morris Island.
     It was in the gray of the next morning that Gen. Seymour's order aroused the command.  The men partook of a hastily prepared cup of coffee and meat and hard-tack from their haversacks.  At sunrise the troops took up the line of march, following the railroad for Lake City.  Col. Henry, with the 40th Massachusetts Mounted Infantry and Major Stevens' independent battalion of Massachusetts cavalry, led the column.  About half-past one o'clock they reached a point where the country road crossed the railroad, about two miles east of Olustee, and six miles west of Sanderson, a station through which the troops passed about half-bast eleven o'clock. As the head of the column reached the crossing the rebel pickets fired and fell back upon a line of skirmishers, pursued by Col. Henry's command.  The enemy's main force was supposed to be some miles distant from this place, consequently General Seymour had not taken the precaution to protect his flanks, though marching through an enemy's country. Consequently he found his troops flanked on either side.
     "Col. Henry drove the skirmishers back upon their main forces, which were strongly posted between two swamps.  The position was admirably chosen  their right rested upon a low, slight earthwork, protected by rifle-pits, their center was defended by an impassable swamp, and on their left was a cavalry force drawn up on a small elevation behind the shelter of a grove of pines.  Their camp was intersected by the rail road, on which was placed a battery capable of operating against the center and left of the advancing column, while a rifle gun, mounted on a railroad flat, pointed down the road in front.
     "Gen. Seymour, in order to attack this strongly fortified position, had necessarily to place his troops between the two swamps, one in his front, the other in the rear.  The Federal cavalry, following up the skirmishers, had attacked the rebel right and were driven back, but were met by the 7th New Hampshire, 7th Connecticut, a regiment of the black Phalanx (8th Pennsylvania), and Elder's battery of four and Hamilton's of six pieces.  This force was hurled against the rebel right with such impetuosity that the batteries were within one hundred yards of the rebel line of battle before they knew it.  However, they took position, and supported by the Phalanx regiment, opened a vigorous fire upon the rebel earthworks.  The Phalanx regiment advanced within twenty or

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Federal picket boat near Fernandina, Fla., attached by Confederate sharpshooters
stationed in the trees on the banks.

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