Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 20.djvu/188
182 Southern Historical Society Papers.
Hurrying to the fort he found the assault repulsed, but he arrived at an opportune moment to compel the surrender of the obstinate men in the salient, who, seeing themselves outnumbered, and with no hope of escape, laid down their arms. The engagement had ended in a bloody and disastrous repulse to the assailants, and the ground in front of Wagner was literally strewn with the dead and dying. The cries of anguish and the piteous calls for water will never be forgotten by those who heard them. The Federal loss, considering the numbers engaged, was almost unprecedented. General Beaure- gard, in his official report, estimates it at three thousand, as eight hundred dead bodies were buried by the Confederates in front of Wagner the following morning. If this is a correct estimate, it will be seen that the Federals lost twice as many men as there'were troops in the Confederate garrison. Among their killed were Colo- nel R. G. Shaw of the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts, Colonel H. S. Putnam and Lieutenant-Colonel Greene, of the Seventh New Hamp- shire. Brigadier-General G. C. Strong and Colonel J. L. Chatfield, of the Sixth Connecticut, were mortally wounded ; Brigadier-Gene- ral Seymour, commanding, Colonels W. B. Barton, A. C. Voris, J. H. Jackson and S. Emory, were among the wounded. Lieutenant- Colonel Bedell, Third New Hampshire, and Major Filler, Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania, were among the prisoners. The Confederate loss in killed and wounded was only one hundred and seventy-four, but the loss on both sides was unusually heavy in commissioned officers. Among the Confederate officers killed were Lieutenant-Colonel John C. Simkins, First South Carolina infantry, Captain W. H. Rion, Charleston battalion, Captain W. T. Tatem, First South Carolina infantry, and Lieutenant G. W. Thomson, Fifty First North Carolina. The gallant Major Ramsey, of the Charleston battalion, was mortally wounded. Among the wounded were Captains De Pass, Twiggs and Lieutenant Stoney of the staff. It is said that "the bravest are the gentlest and the loving are the daring." This was eminently true of that accomplished gentleman and splendid soldier, Lieuten- ant-Colonel J. C. Simkins, of Edgefield, South Carolina. As chief of artillery, he had directed its operations with conspicuous skill and coolness, and he frequently mounted the parapet during the assault to encourage the infantry. He fell pierced through the right lung with a Minie ball, and died by my side with his hand clasped in mine. To me he gave his dying message to his wife, and long after-