Thursday, August 12, 2010

This summer in history: Morris Island

Union forces spent the summer of 1863 trying to dislodge Confederates around Charleston, S.C.

Two attacks focused on Fort Wagner. The one made famous by the movie "Glory" took place on July 18, when the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, made up of African-Americans, tried in vain to take the fort.

On Aug. 1, the Union began a prolonged bombardment of entrenchments, according to Georgia's Blue and Gray Trail. Confederates fired back on Morris Island on Aug. 11, starting a barrage between the enemies that lasted four days.

Confederate-held Fort Sumter took fire beginning Aug. 17. The shells caused heavy damage but the Union made no assault. Federal assaults continued off and on until September 1864.

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