Friday, July 19, 2013

July 19, 1863: The assault on Battery Wagner fails


By 3:40 a.m. on the morning of July 19, 1863, the second Union assault on Battery Wagner had failed. While the Union troops under George Strong--including the 54th Massachusetts--gained the parapet of the fort, a Confederate counterattack by troops ferried over to Morris Island for that purpose. P.G.T. Beauregard sent the following triumphant message:
CHARLESTON, S. C., July 19, 1863 - 3.40 a. m.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General:

After furious bombardment - eleven hours - from ships and shore, throwing many thousand shots and shells, enemy assaulted Battery Wagner desperately and repeatedly, beginning at dark. Our people fought worthily, and repulsed attacks with great slaughter. A number of prisoners captured. Our loss, relatively slight, includes, however, valuable lives. Brigadier-General Taliaferro commanded our side. Pickets now well in advance. God again with us.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

[Indorsement.]

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.

JNO. WITHERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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