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Battle of Fort Wagner/Morris Island

By

Dates:

July 18-September 7, 1863

Other Names:

Second Assault, Morris Island

Location:

Fort Wagner/Morris Island, South Carolina

Key Individuals Involved in the Battle of Fort Wagner/Morris Island:

Union: Major General Quincy Gillmore
Confederate: General P.G.T. Beauregard

Outcome:

Confederate Victory. 1689 casualties of which 1515 were Union soldiers.

Overview of the Battle :

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 unit’s 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.
Source: CWSAC Battle Summaries
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