Tag Archives: Fort Wagner

Mainers meet the Swamp Angel, part 2

After arriving on Morris Island and before meeting the Swamp Angel, S.C., 2nd Lt. Charles H. Foster and 40 enlisted men from the 11th Maine Infantry Regiment trained on the 10-inch siege mortars manned by the 3rd Rhode Island Artillery at Battery Reynolds on Morris Island. The Mainers “coolly and unhesitatingly … went into action” […]

Mainers meet the Swamp Angel, part 1

While that weren’t no angel the 11th Maine boys aimed at Charleston, Brig. Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore certainly thought it was. Few individual artillery pieces drew acclaim during the Civil War. For the Confederacy, there was the 12-pounder bronze Napoleon that Maj. John Pelham and his gunners from the Virginia Horse Artillery maneuvered at Fredericksburg […]

Did racist white soldiers go after their black comrades in Cape Elizabeth? — Part I

Did racist white Maine soldiers run amuck at Camp Berry in Portland in mid-winter 1864? Unsure as to the truth, a livid Gov. Samuel Cony wanted answers — immediately, if not sooner. By late 1863, black Maine men were joining the fight against the Confederacy. War Department policy prohibited blacks from serving in white regiments, […]

A brave Union soldier wins the Medal of Honor at Fort Wagner: Part II

For the brave Union soldier who won the Medal of Honor at Fort Wagner, the day started off with a bang on Saturday, July 18, 1863. Charles E. Smith and his companions from the 9th Maine Infantry Regiment listened all day as land- and sea-based Union artillery shelled Wagner to damage its walls, unseat its […]

A brave Union soldier wins the Medal of Honor at Fort Wagner – Part I

For his incredible bravery during the “Glory” assault on Fort Wagner near Charleston, S.C., a Union foot soldier later won the Medal of Honor. And when he died at age 72 on Thursday, Aug. 8, 1912 — more than 49 years after 10 Federal regiments attacked the Confederate fort blocking access to Charleston Harbor — […]

Charleston at mid-war

Charleston, early summer 1863: The hot and humid weather surely matches the surly mood among senior Union officers attempting to capture this port where the Civil War began … at least where the actual shooting began some 26 months ago. Like moths drawn to the Charlestonian flame, Federal authorities cannot resist Charleston, a haven for […]