The Battle of Fort Wagner/Morris Island
Other Names: Second Assault, Morris Island
Location: City of Charleston
Campaign: Operations against Defenses of Charleston (1863)
Union: Maj. Gen. Quincy Gillmore [US]
Confederate: Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard [CS]
Forces Engaged: 6,800 total (US 5,000; CS 1,800)
Estimated Casualties: 1,689 total (US 1,515; CS 174)
Description:After the July 11 assault on Fort Wagner failed, Gillmore reinforced his beachhead on Morris Island. At dusk July 18, Gillmore launched an attack spearheaded by the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, a black regiment. The unitís colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, was killed. Members of the brigade scaled the parapet but after brutal hand-to-hand combat were driven out with heavy casualties. The Federals resorted to siege operations to reduce the fort. This was the fourth time in the war that black troops played a crucial combat role, proving to skeptics that they would fight bravely if only given the chance.
National Park Service
The Civil War, American Heritage (Doubleday, 1960)
These CSA pages online since December 11, 1996.
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