“Bright, silvery rays upon our front”: Use of the Calcium Light against Battery Wagner

Recording the activities on the night of September 5-6, 1863, Colonel Lawrence M. Keitt, of the 20th South Carolina, commanding the Morris Island garrison, wrote, “Throughout the night, the enemy’s calcium light threw its bright, silvery rays upon our front.”  The employment of this artificial light greatly aided Federal efforts in the closing days ofContinue reading ““Bright, silvery rays upon our front”: Use of the Calcium Light against Battery Wagner”

“long expected and anxiously hoped for”: Federals make last push towards Wagner

Ever since the disastrous attack on July 18, the Federals had worked to close the distance between their trenches and the ditch in front of Battery Wagner. By a few feet here and yards there, they had advanced a siege line, placed heavy guns, and buttressed the trenches to allow staging an assault force. AfterContinue reading ““long expected and anxiously hoped for”: Federals make last push towards Wagner”

The horse and the ox: Comparing the work of whites and blacks on Morris Island

As the work from the fifth parallel drug on… slowly drug on… Major Thomas Brooks recorded a change of the duty regiment among the fatigue detail on August 31, 1863: The Third U.S. Colored Troops, who have been on fatigue duty in the advanced trenches since the 20th instant, were relieved to-day by the Fifty-fourthContinue reading “The horse and the ox: Comparing the work of whites and blacks on Morris Island”