Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 20, 1863 (Tuesday): Defending Charleston

Battery Wagner
July 20, 1863.
Brigadier General R. S. RIPLEY,
Commanding First Military District, Charleston, S. C.:
     GENERAL: The batteries from Shell Point to Fort Johnson being nearly completed, and some of the guns in position, it becomes necessary to guard them strongly at night with infantry. The same must be done with regard to the new lines of batteries from Legare's Point toward the extremity of the eastern lines on James Island. Everything must be put in readiness for all those batteries to open at a moment's notice.
The accumulation, last night, of the enemy's barges, with armed men, among the fleet, would seem to indicate one of two things - either to re-enforce his troops on Morris Island for another attack, by landing a strong party between Batteries Wagner and Gregg, or to make an attempt on Sullivan's Island.
     The renewal of the shelling to-day with such vigor would incline me to believe that the first will be attempted, but prudence demands that we should guard against both; hence, I beg that you should adopt all the necessary measures to frustrate their designs.
     Respectfully, your obedient servant,

     General, Commanding.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 28, Part 2, Page 212.

The attack on Battery Wagner, immortalized in the movie "Glory" had taken place on the 18th and Union forces remained in position to move against the defenses of Charleston.  Beauregard had done a skillful job of preparing his fortifications against such an attack, his forces were stretched. 

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