Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16, 1863: The Confederacy braces for attack at Morris Island, South Carolina

The USS New Ironsides and several monitor ironclads off Morris Island, near Charleston Harbor.
As Union forces closed in on the Confederate defenses south of Charleston Harbor, the Confederate forces braced for attack on Morris Island, South Carolina.
CHARLESTON, S. C., July 16, 1863 - 9.30 a. m.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond:

All quiet yesterday. Enemy working diligently on his Morris Island batteries. Ironsides and several gunboats have crossed the bar. Another attack is expected soon on Batteries Wagner and Gregg. Am preparing for it.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

CHARLESTON, S. C., July 16, 1863 - 9.45 p. m.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

We attacked part of enemy's forces on James Island this morning, and drove them to the protection of their gunboats in Stono, with small loss on both sides. Enemy is massing his troops on Morris Island, evidently for another attack on Battery Wagner this night or to-morrow. Their monitors, gunboats, and mortar-boats kept up an almost constant fire all day on that work, with little damage to it and few casualties.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.


HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., July 16, 1863.

D. B. HARRIS,

Lieutenant-Colonel, and Chief Engineer:

COLONEL: The commanding general directs me to say that he wishes the batteries on James Island (about Legare's) bearing on Black Island to be increased by at least twenty guns on siege carriages.

This work should be pushed forward night and day, as, indeed, at Shell Point and all other works under construction about the harbor, so soon as the force of negro labor may be sufficient.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS JORDAN,

Chief of Staff.

(Copy to Brigadier General R. S. Ripley.)


HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., July 16, 1863.

Brigadier General R. S. RIPLEY,

Commanding First Military District, Charleston, S. C.:

GENERAL: The commanding general wishes Colonel Rhett, or the commanding officer at Fort Sumter, instructed on the following points, to wit:

Several guns of that work shall always be kept loaded and carefully trained at night, on the creeks near Battery Wagner and Marsh and Shell Point Batteries.

Should events oblige us to abandon Fort Sumter, not one heavy gun must be left in serviceable condition, to be turned against our own works.

The commanders of Batteries Gregg and Wagner you will please instruct to the same effect, and every proper means calculated to that end must be provided, for an emergency.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS JORDAN,

Chief of Staff.

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