Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 20.djvu/187
The Defence of Battery Wagner.
to advance with his brigade to his support, when he also was shot down. While being carried from the field he repeated the order to General Stevenson, but for some reason it was not obeyed. Mean- while Colonel Putnam had leaped upon the parapet, and, surrounded by his chief officers, Colonel Dandy, of the One hundredth New York ; Captain Klein, of the Sixth Connecticut and others, was wav- ing his sword and urging his men to hold their ground, as they would soon be re-inforced, when he was shot dead upon the parapet. In the language of his division commander, " There fell as brave a soldier, as courteous a gentleman, as true a man as ever walked beneath the stars and stripes." An officer of his staff, Lieutenant Gate, of the Seventh New Hampshire, seeing his chief fall, sprang to his side to aid hirn, when a bullet pierced his heart and he too fell dead across his prostrate body. Putnam's brigade now having also been repulsed with great slaughter, the enemy abandoned all further effort to carry the fort, and thus ended this memorable bom- bardment and bloody assault. The enemy's columns, shattered and torn, retreated as rapidly as possible until they gained the shelter of their works. There was no cessation, however, of the Confederate fire during this rush to the rear, and Sumter and Gregg also threw their shells over Wagner into the crowded masses of the discomfited enemy. In the meantime the Federal troops in the southeast bas- tion of the fort were hopelessly cut off from retreat. In the language of General Taliaferro, " it was certain death to pass the line of con- centrated fire which still swept the faces of the work behind them, and they did not attempt it. Still these resolute men would no surrender and poured a concentrated fire into the Confederate ranks. Volunteers were called for to dislodge them, and this summons was responded to by Major McDonald, of the Fifty-First North Carolina Captain Rion, of the Charleston battalion, and Captain Tatem, of the First South Carolina, followed by many of their men." Rion and Tatem were shot dead by these desperate refugees, who seemed to invite immolation. Being securely sheltered in the bastion of the fort by heavy traverses, the effort to dislodge them failed, and for hours they held their position. Finally, Brigadier-General Johnson Hagood, of South Carolina, late Governor of that State, and one of the most heroic soldiers that she ever sent to battle, landed at Cumming's Point at the head of Harrison's splendid regiment, the Thirty-second Georgia, for the purpose of reinforcing the garrison.