Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/555
Letters from Fort Sumter. 545
little unwell to day. I am sorry to inform you that Lieutenant Erwin had his foot shot off at Wagner. I believe I told you of it in my dispatch two nights ago to my father. He is from York, and brother of John Erwin, whom Pa knows. I am now Acting Adjutant to the Colonel, Lieutenant Boyleston having gone home in consequence of his wound.
Charleston, S. C, September 7, 1863.
My Dear Mother, — As you will observe, I am now stationed in the city, where Colonel Rhett has his headquarters for the present. I had the pleasure of being among the very last to leave the Old Fort on the morning of the 5th instant, which event, I assure you, was char- acterized by the deepest feelings of regret and sadness on my part. And now I will speak of the progress of events since that time, and particularly as I myself am concerned with those events, as you get from the daily journals the general history of affairs. All day Friday and Saturday Morris's Island was subjected to a terrible and trying ordeal, which resulted, at Wagner, with the loss of one hundred and fifty killed and wounded, together with considerable damage to the work itself; while at Gregg the loss was proportionately great. On the evening of the 5th, I had the honor to be the bearer of dis- patches from General Ripley to Colonel Keitt to say that the dis- patches of the enemy had been intercepted, which informed us that there would be an assault on the rear of Gregg by means of barges during the night. When I reached Gregg and delivered the dis- patches, everything seemed to be in such a bad condition, and know- ing that all the assistance possible was needed, I thought it my duty to remain for the fight, and accordingly I reported, with my boat's crew, to Captain Lesesne, commanding Battery Gregg, who gave me com- mand of thirty-four men in one of the most important positions. Our force was very small — not more than two hundred men. After everything was ready, we waited quietly until about half-past one o'clock Sunday morning, when we saw the barges approaching the battery slowly in a semi-circular line. They were 'about twelve in number, and carrying not less than fifty men each. They reached about one hundred and fifty yards from the battery, when we opened on them "like a thousand of bricks," on a small scale. The rascals cried out: "Don't shoot! We are friends!" But we piled it on the better. The barges then replied rapidly with boat howitzers and