Second Battle of Fort Wagner

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Second Battle of Fort Wagner
Second Assault, Morris Island
Began:

July 18, 1863

Ended:

September 7, 1863

Location:

City of Charleston, South Carolina

Theater:

Lower Seaboard Theater

Campaign:

Operations against Defenses of Charleston

Outcome:

Confederate victory

33 star flag.png
Combatants
Conf Navy Jack.png
Commanders

Quincy Gillmore
Major General, USA

P.G.T. Beauregard
General, CSA

Strength

5,000

1,800

Casualties

1,515

174

  

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. (NPS summary)

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