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Report of Major Plimpton - 2nd Assualt on Battery Wagner, July 18th, 1863
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Report of Maj. Josiah I. Plimpton,

Third New Hampshire Infantry,

Acting Assistant Inspector General, of second assault on Battery Wagner, July 18.



HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Morris Island, S. C., October 20, 1863. GENERAL:


In accordance with your request I have the honor to make the following statement regarding the assault on Battery Wagner on the 18th of July, 1863: The troops were formed on the beach in the following order: The First Brigade, commanded by General Strong, in the advance; next the Second Brigade, Colonel Putnam, and Third Brigade, General Stevenson, in the rear, all in column by companies. The order being given to move for- ward the First Brigade advanced above our line of works and deployed and charged upon the enemy’s works, from which a terrific fire of grape, canister, and musketry was opened. You, with your staff, went forward with the First Brigade, and seeing they were checked by the fire of the enemy, turned and asked, where is the Second Brigade and not seeing them, ordered me to go back and find them and order them to move forward immediately. I rode back and found them about 200 yards in the rear of our batteries, deployed in column of regiments. I gave Colonel Putnam your order to move forward, and he replied, I am ordered by General Gillmore to remain here. I said, General Seymour needs your brigade and orders you to move forward to support the First Brigade. He replied again, General Gillmore [ordered] me to remain here, and I cannot move without his order. I then returned to the front and reported to you. Soon after this the First Brigade began to fall back, when you sent me back to the mortar batteries with an order to open fire, after which I again returned to the front. In about half an hour after I gave Colonel Putnam the order he marched his brigade up and advanced on Wagner. In a few minutes came word that Colonel Putnam was in the work and wanted support, and you again ordered me back to bring up the Third Brigade. After giving the order to General Stevenson I returned to the front and found you wounded and asked you what to do, and you replied, hurry forward the Third Brigade, which I did, and went to General Gillmore and told him that you and General Strong were wounded, and he sent Colonel Turner to the front to take command.



I am, & c.,

J. I. PLIMPTOX, Major Third New Hampshire Volunteers,

Acting Assistant Inspector.


General, Seymour’s Staff.




SOURCE: The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 - Volume 53; page 15.