Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 20.djvu/176
170 Southern Historical Society Papers.
upon it by land and sea on the i8th July, 1863, which is the subject of this address.
" BATTERY WAGNER "
was named after Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas M. Wagner, of the First regiment of South Carolina Regular Artillery, who was killed by the bursting of a gun at Fort Moultrie in July, 1863. It was a large bastioned earth-work enclosed on all sides, and was situated at a very narrow neck of the island extending across its full width at that point from the sea on one side to Vincent creek on the other, so that its flanks were protected by these natural barriers from assault. Its sea line, which faced the ship channel, was three hundred feet long, and its land faces extended about two hundred and fifty yards across the island. Its magazine was protected by a roofing of heavy timbers, which were compactly covered over with ten feet of sodded earth. It was also provided with a bomb-proof, similarly constructed for the protection of the troops, thirty feet wide by one hundred feet long. There was also a gallery of a similar character about twelve feet wide by thirty feet long through which the bomb-proof was entered from the parade of the fort. The work was constructed with heavy trav- erces, and its gorge on the north face provided with a parapet for infantry fire. The embrasures were revetted with palmetto logs and turf, and around the work was a wide, deep, but dry ditch. In the parade of the fort on its west side was a row of wooden tenements, roughly built for officers' quarters and medical stores. Brigadier- General Taliaferro, who had been stationed with his command on James island, was ordered by General Beauregard to take command of "Battery Wagner," and on the morning of the I4th of July, he relieved Colonel Robert Graham of that charge. This gallant officer, who was a native of Virginia, and who is still living and practicing law in that State, had served with the immortal Stonewall Jackson in many of his brilliant campaigns in the valley. While at home in Georgia, convalescing from a wound received while serving with my regiment in Virginia, I was ordered to report to General Beauregard, at Charleston, and was assigned to duty with General Taliaferro, who placed me temporarily on his personal staff as assistant inspec- tor-general. I trust that you will pardon this reference to myself. I make it because I claim for this narrative some degree of accuracy acquired largely from personal observation in the drama afterwards enacted. Between the I2th and i8th of July the enemy was steadily