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.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.