Thursday, September 5, 2013

September 5, 1863: Time is running out for Fort Wagner

Colonel Lawrence M. Keitt, C.S. Army, commander of Fort Wagner on Morris Island.
After weeks of stubborn resistance, time was running out for the Confederate garrison of Fort Wagner. On this day 150 years ago, Colonel Lawrence M. Keitt appealed to his superiors, implicitly asking for permission to withdraw from the embattled fort.
MORRIS ISLAND, September 5, 1863. [Received September 6,12.45 a.m.]

Captain [W. F.] NANCE,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

I had 900 and not 1,400 men. About 100 of these to-day were killed and wounded. The parapet of salient is badly breached. The whole fort is much weakened. A repetition to-morrow of to-day's fire will make the fort almost a ruin. The mortar fire is still very heavy and fatal, and no important work can be done. Is it desirable to sacrifice the garrison? To continue to hold it is to do so. Captain [F. D.] Lee, the engineer, has read this, and agrees. Act promptly, and answer at once.

LAWRENCE M. KEITT,

Colonel, Commanding.

[Indorsement.]

The above was received by me at 1.30 a.m. September 6.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

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