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Assault on Fort Wagner
Harper's Weekly Article August 29, 1863

Top Left: Gillmore's Headquarters

Top Center: Craig's Hill Signal Station

Top Right: In the Trenches before Wagner

General View of Morris Island - Union Camps and Rebel Works - Fort Johnson- The Lower Harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, etc., etc.

          The above pictures and story article below is transcribed from Harper's Weekly Journal of Civilization, dated August 29, 1863:

The Siege of Charleston

          The above illustrations are of the operations of General Gillmore and Admiral Dahlgren against Forts Wagner and Sumter in the Bay of Charleston -- from sketches by several correspondents on the spot.

          One of the correspondents, writing form the Catskill, says:

U.S. Iron-clad  Catskill 

Charleston Bar, S. C. , Aug. 5, 1863 

          "One of my sketches represents the iron-clads in their position in the attacks on Fort Wagner and the Cumming's Point Battery during the last two weeks of July. In the first attack on the 10th and 11th, before the Ironsides came over the bar, the Catskill bore the blue pennant of Admiral Dahlgren, and was therefore the chief object of the enemy's fire.

          "We were struck sixty-four times -- our smokestack being thoroughly ventilated with shot-holes, and our turret and deck well punched, but not materially damaged.

          "About midnight on the 19th July a large iron side-wheel steamer, having  escaped the fire of the guns of the outside blockading fleet, was just crossing the bar when Captain Rodgers arrested her progress by two shots from our 11 and 15 inch guns. The vessel ran ashore near Sullivan's Island, took fire, and became a total wreck -- a warning to all Anglo-rebels to keep away from Charleston during the present siege."

          Another correspondent, to whom we have been indebted for sketches more than once, writes:

Folly Island, S.C., Aug. 1, 1863 

          "I herewith transmit a sketch of the exchange of wounded prisoners at the buoy off Fort Wagner, Charleston Harbor, July 24, 1863. While the Ironsides and the Monitors were pouring into Fort Wagner a terrific rain of shot and shell, and occasionally Sumter and the Cumming's Point batteries assisted in the reply, a beautiful steamer of English build (the Alice), and painted the color of our own cruisers, came down past Sumter and communicating with one of the Monitors; the Cosmopolitan hospital steamer, which was anchored among the fleet below, started and met her at the buoy of Fort Wagner. Immediately upon the sight of the flag of truce all firing stopped on both sides for the rest of the day. The iron-clads were covered with their crews, who appeared to be curious spectators of the handsome blockade-runner which the rebel authorities had chosen to display to our fleet by daylight -- the first instance of the kind on record.

          "The flag-staff of Fort Wagner was shot away during the first days of the bombardment, and they do not now pretend to fly the symbol of the Confederacy. Our batteries for the breaching of Fort Sumter are established in lines in advance of the house upon the beach shown in the sketch. The new rebel batteries on James Island, in the rear of Sumter, which have been erected since we commenced the siege, explode shell over our workmen in the trenches day and night, but do not hinder the progress of the great work.

          "General Gilmore proposes to demolish Sumter by firing over Fort Wagner and Battery Bee on Cumming's Point, leaving them to fall into our hands subsequently. We shall hurl against her brick walls 21 cwt. of shell from the heaviest rifled guns at every discharge of out battery."

          The other pictures, the General View of Morris Island, showing the rebel works and our own, General Gilmore's headquarters, the work in the trenches, etc., etc., explain themselves.

          The Herald correspondent writes:

          Operations on this island have pursued the even tenor of their way. We have the usual amount of heavy artillery firing daily, and occasionally a casualty on our side, but at long intervals, and our work goes on with as much regularity and freedom as if the enemy were ignorant of our presence and operations in their immediate neighborhood. Out protective works are now so well advanced that it is only through carelessness or foll-hardiness we suffer any loss at all. The men have shelters against almost any fire; but they do not always care to avail themselves of the protection thus afforded, and consequently limbs and hands are lost from fragments of shells which are exploded over the trenches by the rebel artillerists on James Island and Fort Sumter.

Top Left: The Iron-clad "Catskill" Sinking a Blockade Runner under Sumter's guns, July 26, 1863

Top Right: Union Sharpshooters in Front of Fort Wagner, Charleston South Carolina

Bottom Left: Exchange of Prisoners under a Flag of Truce, Charleston, South Carolina, July 21, 1863

Bottom Right: Bombardment of Fort Wagner, Charleston, South Carolina

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