CRT Transformation of the American Military – Guest Post by Leonard M. “Mike” Scruggs

CRT Transformation of the American Military
Neo-Marxist Subversion and Its Washington Allies
Guest post by Leonard M. "Mike" Scruggs
Eye-opening book about Marxism in our military by U. S. Space Force Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier.
Eye-opening book about Marxism in our military by U. S. Space Force Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier.

[Publisher's Note, by Gene Kizer, Jr. : United States Space Force Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier has done our country a HUGE HUGE favor by publishing his excellent book, Irresistible Revolution, Marxism's Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military. This extremely important book should be read by everybody who cares about our country and military, and people need to start RAISING HOLY HELL about all this.

It seems that every institution in our country is under attack by Marxists in the Democrat Party and their "long march through the institutions." People had better wake up and start fighting back.

Where is the Republican Party?

I am a Republican but without Trump the Republican Party is the most worthless cowardly party in history. They allow this stuff to go on when there should be universal outrage about all of it. This is not business as usual. Critical Race Theory has got to be destroyed and those promoting it, discredited.

People should demand that academia, where all this hatred and Marxism come from, be defunded. Academia gave us CRT and this racist hatred of white people, who I might remind them still make up 62% of the country. Academia does not deserve one penny of taxpayer money.

I know there are good people in academia but they damn well better stand up and take their institutions back from the Marxists or they can go down with them. But don't hold your breath.

Academia is sick. Real debate is impossible because it is 100% liberal. I know the actual number is only 90% but the other 10% will not say a word and risk the mob showing up at their office, or having their tenure denied.

It is hard to believe that anybody would accept CRT when 62% of the country is white and only 12% is black. Why would 62% of the country allow their precious children to be labeled racists and oppressors so the Democrat Party can use the 12% of blacks to their political advantage?

Black people don't like Critical Race Theory either! They don't want their precious children labeled losers and the oppressed, because they are not.

Face it. The Democrat Party does not care a damn about black people or they would solve problems like 70 blacks being shot every weekend in Chicago. Defunding the police will make that worse.

Democrats divide everybody into racial groups because that's what today's Marxists do. They couldn't take over with class struggle because American capitalism obliterated Socialism and Communism and provides so much opportunity and wealth, there is no class struggle. Everybody has opportunity in America.

So racist American Marxists seek to destroy our country with racial hate and division.

They think they can control the future by open borders, and they might. We are on track for over 3,000,000 people from all over the world, many who are COVID positive, to cross our southern border this year and be taken by the federal government to states where they can one day make the difference in national elections. This is treason. It is certainly not democracy.

Also, those 3,000,000 illegal immigrants prove that the Democrat Party and Marxists in academia are frauds who are lying about systemic racism and America being so horrible. Nobody would risk all to come to a horrible, racist country.

The Democrat Party and Marxists in academia have convinced a generation of young people to hate their own country when the evidence is in plain sight that America is the greatest nation in history, while the Democrat Party and Marxists in academia are the biggest frauds in history.

See my article on this blog: "Woke Liberals in Academia, and the Marxist Communists They love." There is a link below. It quotes extensively from the definitive work about Communism, The Black Book of Communism, Crimes, Terror, Repression. It labels Communism, which academia loves, as a "tragedy of planetary dimensions" that has murdered over a hundred million people.

And academia is supposed to be about knowledge, learning, enlightenment? Yet they choose Marxism and racism over America? Academia has taught a generation of young Americans to hate their country. There is nothing wrong with America but there is a lot wrong with the unimpressive people in academia.

Republicans and Independents believe in Martin Luther King's colorblind meritocracy, where people are judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Critical Race Theory rejects Martin Luther King as a dupe and tool of the white man.

The Democrat Party believes skin color is the most important thing about a person and they don't care a damn about the content of one's character as long as they vote democrat.

Contact your representatives and other leaders and tell them you are fed up with what's happening in the country. Contact veterans and veteran groups, especially high-ranking retired military personnel with political connections. Write letters. File law suits. Speak at school board and city council meetings. Band with neighbors and make yourselves heard. Run for office. Set up a website and blog. We should fight these traitorous Marxists everywhere they pop their ugly heads up.

Fly the American flag. I put one on my house this past Fourth of July and I love looking at it every day, several times a day. Love it! I draw power from it!

Push for laws which forbid American Olympic athletes from dishonoring the American flag or the national anthem by kneeling while representing the United States on the world stage. They can hate America all they want but if they have to dishonor the flag or kneel for the national anthem, they can not be on the American Olympic team. Period. There should be stiff fines for disobeying this rule, and a lifetime ban on ever representing the United States in the Olympic Games again. Many athletes from Communist countries have made the point that if a Communist athlete dishonors their country's flag, they are executed.

Lt. Col. Lohneier's book was just published in May and as of July 27, 2021 had 1,241 reviews on Amazon and a 4.9 out of 5 overall rating. The book is self-published, which makes him one of the greatest American patriots of all time for taking the initiative to warn our country of this dire Marxist threat.

It is 230 pages and out in hardback and paper. It has an Amazon ranking of #2 under Military Policy, and #11 under Communism and Socialism. Buy it on Amazon and other places, and on Lohmeier's website where there is more information including videos of several national TV interviews with people like Tucker Carlson. There is a link below.

This article, by Mike Scruggs, is eye-opening. Mike is an historian, author and columnist for The Times Examiner out of Greenville, South Carolina. He goes into detail on Lt. Col. Lohmeier's book, points out acts of blatant insubordination in the ranks, and takes apart Critical Race Theory, which threatens to destroy the United States Military. CRT is well embedded already in the military, apparently starting under Obama.

Our military has always been one of the greatest institutions in the history of the world, a true colorblind meritocracy, until now. Like the Democrat Party, they are becoming anti-white racists who are super-aware of skin color and politics, which will degrade and destroy the greatest military ever. We must stop CRT now.

Following Mike's bio and article are links to The Times Examiner website, Mike's outstanding columns, and to his books.]

Mike Scruggs is the author of two books - The Un-Civil War, Shattering the Historical Myths; and Lessons from the Vietnam War, Truths the Media Never Told You - and over 600 articles on military history, national security, intelligent design, genealogical genetics, immigration, current political affairs, Islam, and the Middle East.

The abridged version of The Un-Civil War sold over 40,000 copies and won the prestigious D. T. Smithwick Award by the North Carolina Society of Historians, for excellence.

Mike holds a BS degree from the University of Georgia and an MBA from Stanford University. A former USAF intelligence officer and Air Commando, he is a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War and holds the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and Air Medal. He is a retired First Vice President for a major national financial services firm and former Chairman of the Board of a classical Christian school.

CRT Transformation of the American Military

By Mike Scruggs

(First published in The Times Examiner, 26 July 2021)

Neo-Marxist Subversion and Its Washington Allies

The greatest threat to American security is not China, Russia, or Iran. It is the Critical Race Theory (CRT) transformation of our military. CRT is also our greatest threat to freedom.

According to U.S. Space Force Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, during the first month he was assigned as commander of the 11th Space Warning Squadron at a Colorado Air Force and Space base in July 2020, he was asked by base leadership to watch two videos in preparation for training and discussion on race and inclusion. This was in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd and rioting, looting, and burning in Minneapolis. Trained facilitators would mediate discussion sessions for base personnel.

The first video portrayed American history as 400 years of racist white supremacy beginning in 1619.  The film taught that the U.S. Constitution codified a racist social order that intended to keep whites in power and subjugate and oppress blacks and that this racist foundation remained strong. The video narrator claimed that upon ratification of the Constitution, “white supremacy” was now the “official policy of the United States of America.” It also made reference to then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and asserted that because the mentality of white supremacy has become engrained in our nation’s psyche, he and others like him, do not want blacks to “get too far.” The narrator stated that the racism of these white people is true whether they recognize it or not, and they cannot help it.

The second video portrayed Republican politicians as racist and claimed that George Bush 2 won his election by causing Americans to fear black people and showed clips of Donald Trump before the 2016 election that cast him in a negative light, insinuating that he had fueled systemic racism in America. The video also portrayed President Trump, who was still President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces at the time this video was created and shown to base personnel, in a terrible out-of-context light directly implying that he enjoys oppressing blacks and keeping minorities in an inferior status. However, the video portrayed Democratic politicians as aiding the black community. The video included favorable clips of Barack Obama, and Bill and Hillary Clinton, depicting them as having undoubtedly made great contributions to the eradication of anti-black racism and systemic oppression of the black community at large. The video also contained clips of an interview with Marxist activist Melina Abdullah, who organized the Los Angeles Black Lives Matter chapter. According to Lt. Col. Lohmeier, Abdullah’s comments were intended to build a suitably unfavorable narrative of American history to justify and demonstrate sympathy for violent riots in the United States. Throughout the video, the United States in referred to as a “system of oppression.”

According to discussions Lohmeier had with a base chaplain, many of the chaplains were pushing the CRT concept of “systemic racism” and the belief that “basically all whites are racists” All this divisive and slanderous nonsense was being done in the name of “racial healing.”  In my opinion, CRT is completely incompatible with Scripture-based Christianity or Judaism.

Note again that Donald Trump was President and Commander-in-Chief at the time these videos were authorized by base commanders and shown to military personnel.  Moreover, the President was in the midst of the 2020 election campaign.

President Trump did not become fully aware of this insubordinate treachery until the summer months of 2020. Under the guise of Diversity and Inclusion training, the Defense Department and several other Federal agencies had been spreading Critical Race Theory (CRT). On September 4, 2020, the Trump Administration took swift action to intervene. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), under Director Russ Vought, issued a memorandum (M20-34) to cease and desist this radical anti-American training and materials distribution. Below are some excerpts from the memorandum:

It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date “training” government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda.

For example…employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend trainings where they are told that ‘virtually all White people contribute to racism.’ Or where they are required to say they “benefit from racism.

These types of trainings not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce…. We cannot accept our employees receiving training that seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce.

The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive , un-American propaganda training sessions….All agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on ‘critical race theory,’ ‘white privilege,’ or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is inherently evil or racist or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil…

The memorandum went on to assure all personnel that President Trump continued to be fully committed to fair and equal treatment of all individuals regardless of race, religion, or creed and ended with this statement:

The divisive, false, and demeaning propaganda of the critical race theory movement is contrary to all we stand for as Americans and should have no place in the Federal government.

On September 22, 2020 President Trump issued Executive Order 13950 restating much of the OMB memorandum of September 4 to be effective immediately.  It further contrasted the ideals of America’s founding documents and its historical progress of freedom with the lies, malign ideology, and distorted anti-American propaganda taught in CRT training. It included this statement:

Today, however, many people are pushing a different vision of America that is grounded in hierarchies based on collective social and political identities rather than in the inherent and equal dignity of every person as an individual.

The EO also cited several inappropriate training materials from various agencies, including the Smithsonian Institution, which included such statements as “virtually all White people, regardless of how ‘woke’ they are, contribute to racism,” and that racism is “interwoven into every fabric of America.” “White males” are criticized as placing an unhealthy emphasis on “rationality over emotionality.” Many non-minority participants were asked to “acknowledge their privilege.”  It also asserted that the policy of the United States does not permit promotion of stereotyping or scapegoating in the Federal workforce and Uniformed Services.

On September 28, the OMB issued another memorandum (M-20-37) on training forbidding divisive training that undermined the “Principle of Fair and Equal Treatment of All.”

On October 16, Defense Secretary Mark Esper directed the immediate suspension of diversity and inclusion training for all military and civilian personnel.

However, according to Lt. Col. Lohmeier, promotion of CRT did not stop, except for postponements (until after the November Election?) of larger training sessions. Less visible and smaller sessions on CRT issues continued, at least on his base.

In late October 2020, he attended a “book study” led by a polite but CRT-promoting officer. The book was So You Want to Talk about Race by CRT activist Ieoma Oluo.

The book teaches that the United States is a “white supremacist society” that must be “dismantled piece by piece.” The book covered the usual range of CRT subjects including “privilege,” “intersectionality,” “cultural appropriation,” “police brutality,” and “microaggressions.”

All these were specifically prohibited by Secretary Defense Esper on October 16 and the previous memorandums of OMB and President Trump’s Executive orders. Obviously, President Trump was being outrageously and secretly betrayed and undermined by senior military officers and deep state federal bureaucrats who opposed his agenda. This was also a monstruous outrage of Constitutional government and a betrayal of the American people.

According to Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, the Obama Administration began increased efforts in 2011 to shift the Department of Defense away from the principles of non-discrimination and individual merit to increased emphasis on quotas. The driving agency for this was the Pentagon’s new Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC), which was composed largely of diversity consultants and leftist academics. Their reports closely resembled CRT promotions of “diversity,” “inclusion,” and the Marxist equal outcome philosophy of “equity.”

Besides the wild-eyed but clueless CRT enthusiast President Joe Biden and his radical but almost invisible VP Kamala Harris, David Horowitz recently named several top military and Defense Department officials, who are deeply involved in pushing CRT in the military. They are Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley, Chief of Naval Operations Michael Gilday, Air Force Chief of Staff Charles Q. Brown, Jr, the leading candidate to replace Milley as CJCOS, and Bishop Garrison, of the National Security Institute, and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense on Human Capital, Diversity, “Equity,” and Inclusion, who according to Horowitz in leading the charge to purge conservatives and Trump supporters from the military.

It is my opinion that there are abundant signals that the Obama/Biden Administration plans to transform the military into an environment where conservatives are unwelcome and have little chance of advancement. Morale is already plummeting, and our military readiness and preparedness will soon be showing those stresses and losses in highly trained and skilled personnel, which are essential to national security, especially when confronting increasingly aggressive hostile or potentially hostile powers. Dumping the fanatical and poisonous chalice of Marxist CRT is urgent to preserve national security and American freedom.


Link to The Times Examiner website:

Link to Mike Scruggs's columns at The Times Examiner:

Link to Mike's book website: His books are also available on Amazon and other places.


Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier's website where you can buy  his excellent book:


My article about Marxism and Communism quoting extensively from The Black Book of Communism, Crimes, Terror, Repression showing how Communists have murdered a hundred million people in their utopian idiocy:

"Woke Liberals in Academia, and the Marxist Communists They Love", by Gene Kizer, Jr.

Our Confederate Ancestors: Part Four, Conclusion, of The Daring Exploits of H. D. D. Twiggs and His Confederate Compatriots in the War Between the States: The Union Assault on Battery Wagner, July 18, 1863

A Series on the Daring Exploits of Our Confederate Ancestors in the War Between the States.

Then came a few stirring words, addressed by the Federal officers to the troops; they responded with loud and prolonged huzzas and breaking into a full run they rushed gallantly upon the fort.

Wagner, which up to that moment seemed to the Federals to be almost without life, was suddenly lit up with a sheet of flame from bastion to bastion. The deepening twilight was illumined by the irruptive flashes of the small arms and the dark parapet of Wagner was decorated by a glowing ring of fire. The rattle and crash of thirteen hundred rifles was deafening and the guns of the gallant Simkins, the light battery of De Pass on the left, and a howitzer outside and on the right flank of the fort added to the roar and clamor.

Part Four, Conclusion, of
The Daring Exploits of H. D. D. Twiggs and His Confederate Compatriots in the War Between the States
The Union Assault on Battery Wagner, July 18, 1863

[Publisher's Note, by Gene Kizer, Jr. : This is the second half of Lieut. Col. H. D. D. Twiggs' Address on the Battle of Battery Wagner delivered before the Confederate Survivors' Association in Augusta, Georgia April 26, 1892.

This is incredibly fascinating reading since most people's knowledge of the Battle of Battery Wagner comes from the movie Glory. Around 1,300 Confederates endured 11 hours of non-stop bombardment in bombproofs as hot as ovens in mid-July with no water, then, when the order was given, sprang out onto the parade of the fort and to their places on the parapet to face an attack by 6,000 Union troops.

The numbers engaged are not much different from the Battle of Secessionville 13 months earlier, on June 16, 1862, when 6,600 Union troops attacked 500 Confederates at Tower Battery on James Island, which was soon reinforced by 750 Confederates via a mile-long footbridge across the marsh.

Once again, brilliant planning and strategy, with valor unsurpassed in the history of the world, enabled Southerners to defeat, thoroughly, far larger numbers of well-equipped, well-fed, vastly-better-armed Yankees from the most powerful army in the world.]

from Lieut. Col. H. D. D. Twiggs

. . . Anticipating that the smaller guns and the light battery would be destroyed or disabled by the bombardment, General Taliaferro had directed them to be dismounted from their carriages and covered with sand-bags, and the sequel proved the wisdom and foresight which suggested it.

Again, in order to avoid delay, particular sections of the parapet had been assigned to the respective commands so that they could assemble there, without first forming in the parade of the fort, and thus ensure prompt resistance to the rush upon it which was expected.

The enemy believing Wagner to be practically demolished, and its garrison too crippled and demoralized to make other than a feeble resistance, were rapidly forming to make their grand assault.

As soon as the firing had ceased, the buried guns were hastily exhumed and remounted. The Charleston Battalion, which had all day nestled under the parapet, were already in their places and when the order was given to man the ramparts, one regiment alone failed to respond.

The bombardment of eleven hours had served to utterly demoralize the 31st North Carolina Regiment and all the efforts of General Taliaferro and his staff to persuade or drive this command from the shelter of the bomb-proofs was unavailing; therefore the south-east bastion and sea front to which it had been assigned was left unguarded.

While a faithful narration of facts requires me to note this incident, it gives me pleasure to state that this regiment fully redeemed itself the following year by gallant conduct on the field of battle in Virginia.

When the order to man the ramparts ran like a bugle from the stern lips of Gen. Taliaferro, all the other commands, officers and men, leapt to their feet and rushed out into the parade of the fort. Seeing the dark masses of the Federal infantry rapidly advancing, these veteran Confederates, still undaunted by the experience of that dreadful day defiantly rending the air with enthusiastic cheers, sprang to their places on the parapet.


The Roncevalle's Pass, where fell before the opposing lance the harnessed chivalry of Spain, looked not upon a braver, a better, or a truer band. It was a sight once seen never forgotten.

Dropping on their knees, crouching low, their keen eyes glancing along the barrels of their leveled rifles, the whole face of the fort was suddenly transformed into a line of bristling steel upon which the sinister red glow of the setting sun was falling.

The Federal columns, 6,000 strong, under the immediate command of Brigadier-General Truman Seymour, were steadily approaching the fort manned by a little more than 1,300 troops.

This division of the enemy consisted of three fine brigades: The first, commanded by Brigadier-General Strong, was composed of the 48th New York, the 66th Pennsylvania, the 3d New Hampshire, the 6th Connecticut, the 9th Maine, and the 54th Massachusetts.

The second brigade, commanded by Col. Putnam, consisted of the 7th New Hampshire, the 100th New York, and the 62nd and 67th Ohio.

The third brigade, led by Brigadier-General Stevenson, consisted of four excellent regiments. These troops were from the 10th and 13th Army Corps, and were the very flower of the Federal army.

The first brigade, commanded by Gen. Strong, led the assault in column of regiments, the 54th Massachusetts, negro regiment recruited in that state, leading the brigade. On they came with a steady tramp until within easy rifle shot of the fort; they had been instructed to use the bayonet only.

Not a single shot had yet been fired from the parapet of Wagner and only the mournful cadence of the waves was heard breaking upon the beach. The stillness was ominous and oppressive.

Then came a few stirring words, addressed by the Federal officers to the troops; they responded with loud and prolonged huzzas and breaking into a full run they rushed gallantly upon the fort.

Wagner, which up to that moment seemed to the Federals to be almost without life, was suddenly lit up with a sheet of flame from bastion to bastion. The deepening twilight was illumined by the irruptive flashes of the small arms and the dark parapet of Wagner was decorated by a glowing ring of fire. The rattle and crash of thirteen hundred rifles was deafening and the guns of the gallant Simkins, the light battery of De Pass on the left, and a howitzer outside and on the right flank of the fort added to the roar and clamor.

Union attack on Battery Wagner in Harper's Weekly, Aug. 8, 1863.
Union attack on Battery Wagner in Harper's Weekly, Aug. 8, 1863.

These guns, heavily charged with canister and grape, poured at short range a withering and destructive fire upon the crowded masses of the enemy. The carnage was frightful; yet with unsurpassed gallantry, splendid to behold, the intrepid assailants, breasting the storm, rushed on to the glacis of the fort like the waves of the sea which broke upon the shore.

Oh ! the sickening harvest of death then reaped. Like the ripe grain that falls beneath the sickle, the Federal infantry reeled and sank to the earth by hundreds; yet the survivors pressed on over the dead and dying. Many crossed the ditch, and some leaping upon the parapet met death at the very muzzles of the Confederate rifles.

The Federal commander either did not remember the existence of the creek upon the right flank of the fort, or did not estimate the short distance between it and the sea at this point; therefore, as the assaulting columns pressed forward, they became crowded into masses which created confusion and greatly augmented the loss of life.

Human courage could no longer withstand the frightful blasts of the artillery, which, handled by Simkins with consummate skill and rapidity, well nigh blew them to pieces.

The 54th Massachusetts, leaving half their number killed and wounded on the field, broke and fled in confusion, and falling upon and forcing their way through the ranks of the advancing column threw it into confusion, and the entire brigade rushed to the rear completely routed.

The loss of life was terrible; the brigade commander, Gen. Strong, and Col. Chatfield of the 6th Connecticut, were mortally wounded; Col. Shaw, of the 54th Massachusetts was killed outright besides large numbers of other officers killed and wounded.

In the meantime the Confederate fire was incessant and destructive and a general repulse seemed so imminent that General Seymour saw the necessity of immediate support and he accordingly dispatched Maj. Plympton of his staff to order up Putnam with his supporting brigade.

To his amazement Putnam positively refused to advance, claiming that he had been directed by Gen. Gilmore to remain where he was.

Finally, after a disastrous delay, and without orders, says Gen. Seymour, this gallant young officer, who could not stand idly by and see his class mates and intimate friends cut to pieces, led forward his brigade and fiercely assaulted the southeast angle of the Fort.

He was received with a galling fire, for the first brigade having been repulsed, his approach was enfiladed by the centre and both flanks of the Fort, which swept the glacis and ditch in front of that angle with terrible effect.

It will be remembered that this south-east bastion had been left unguarded by the failure of the 31st North Carolina to man the ramparts there.

Notwithstanding the withering fire with which he was received, this intrepid officer cross the ditch, which had become filled with sand, and several hundred of his brigade poured into the sout-east bastion.

Heavily traversed on three sides this salient secured to these troops a safe lodgment for a time. Seeing the advantage gained by Putnam, Gen. Seymour had just sent an order to Gen. Stevenson to advance with his brigade to his support when he also was shot down.

While being carried from the field he repeated the order to Gen. Stevenson, but for some reason it was not obeyed.

Meanwhile Col. Putnam had leapt upon the parapet, and, surrounded by his chief officers, Col. Dandy, of the 100th New York, Capt. Klein of the 67th Connecticut and others, was waving his sword and urging his men to hold their ground, as they would soon be re-inforced, when he was shot dead upon the parapet.

In the language of his division commander, "There fell as brave a soldier, as courteous a gentleman, as true a man as ever walked beneath the Stars and Stripes."

An officer of his staff, Lieut. Cate, of the 7th New Hampshire, seeing his chief fall sprang to his side to aid him when a bullet pierced his heart and he too feel dead across his prostrate body.

Putnam's brigade now having also been repulsed with great slaughter, the enemy abandoned all further effort to carry the fort and thus ended this memorable bombardment and bloody assault.

The enemy's columns, shattered and torn, retreated as rapidly as possible until they gained the shelter of their works.

There was no cessation, however, of the Confederate fire during this rush to the rear, and Sumter and Gregg also threw their shells over Wagner into the crowded masses of the discomfited enemy.

In the meantime the Federal troops in the south-east bastion of the Fort were hopelessly cut off from retreat.

In the language of Gen. Taliaferro, "it was certain death" to pass the line of concentrated fire which still swept the faces of the work behind them, and they did not attempt it.

Still, these resolute men would not surrender and poured a concentrated fire into the Confederate ranks. Volunteers were called for to dislodge them, and this summons was responded to by Maj. McDonald of the 51st North Carolina, Capt. Rion of the Charleston Battalion, and Capt. Tatem of the 1st South Carolina, followed by many of their men."

Rion and Tatem were shot dead by these desperate refugees who seemed to invite immolation.

Being securely sheltered in the bastion of the Fort by heavy traverses, the effort to dislodge them failed and for hours they held their position.

Finally, Brigadier-General Johnson Hagood, of South Carolina, late Governor of that State and one of the most heroic soldiers that she ever sent to battle, landed at Cumming's Point at the head of Harrison's splendid regiment, the 32nd Georgia, for the purpose of reinforcing the garrison.

Hurrying to the Fort he found the assault repulsed, but he arrived at an opportune moment to compel the surrender of the obstinate men in the salient, who, seeing themselves outnumbered and with no hope of escape, laid down their arms.

The engagement had ended in a bloody and disastrous repulse to the assailants, and the ground in front of Wagner was literally strewn with the dead and dying. The cries of anguish and the piteous calls for water will never be forgotten by those who heard them.

The Federal loss, considering the numbers engaged, was almost unprecedented. Gen. Beauregard, in his official report, estimates it at three thousand as eight hundred dead bodies were buried by the Confederates in front of Wagner the following morning.

If this is a correct estimate, it will be seen that the Federals lost twice as many men as there were troops in the Confederate garrison.

Among their killed were Col. R. G. Shaw, of the 54th Massachusetts, Col. H. S. Putnam, and Lieut.-Colonel Greene of the 7th New Hampshire. Brigadier-General G. C. Strong and Colonel J. L. Chatfield, of the 6th Connecticut, were mortally wounded; Brigadier-General Seymour, commanding, Cols. W. B. Barton, A. C. Voris, J. H. Jackson and S. Emory were among the wounded. Lieut.-Colonel Bedell, 3d New Hampshire, and Maj. Filler, 55th Pennsylvania, were among the prisoners.

The Confederate loss in killed and wounded was only one hundred and seventy-four, but the loss on both sides was unusually heavy in commissioned officers. Among the Confederate officers killed were Lieut.-Colonel John C. Simkins, 1st South Carolina Infantry, Capt. W. H. Rion, Charleston Battalion, Capt. W. T. Tatem, 1st South Carolina Infantry, and Lieut. G. W. Thomson, 51st North Carolina.

The gallant Maj. Ramsey of the Charleston Battalion was mortally wounded. Among the wounded were Captains De Pass, Twiggs, and Lieutenant Stoney of the Staff.

It is said that "the bravest are the gentlest and the loving are the daring." This was eminently true of that accomplished gentleman and splendid soldier, Lieut.-Colonel J. C. Simkins of Edgefield, South Carolina. As Chief of Artillery, he had directed its operations with conspicuous skill and coolness, and he frequently mounted the parapet during the assault to encourage the infantry. He fell pierced through the right lung with a minnie ball, and died by my side with his hand clasped in mine. To me he gave his dying message to his wife, and long afterwards I found an opportunity to discharge this sad duty in person. Mrs. Simkins was the accomplished daughter of Judge Wardlaw of South Carolina, and not long since she joined her heroic husband in rest eternal beyond the stars.

The limit of this address would be far exceeded to give any account of the operations which for forty-eight days were incessantly prosecuted for the reduction of this indomitable Battery.

Suffice it to say that it was never reduced by artillery or captured by assault and was finally evacuated on the night of the 6th of September, 1863, after the Federals, resorting to the science of engineering, had pushed their sap to its counterscarp and were about to blow up the work with gun-powder.

In alluding to the defence of Charleston the Rev. John Johnson of that city, who was a gallant officer and the distinguished Chief of Engineers at Fort Sumter, in the conclusion of his admirable work entitled "The Defence of Charleston Harbor," from which I have drawn much valuable data in the preparation of this address, says: "It did not end in triumph, but it has left behind a setting glory as of the western skies, a blazonry of heroism where gold and purple serve to tell of valor and endurance, and the crimson hue is emblem of self-sacrifice in a cause believed to be just."

No sting is left in the soldier heart of the South for the brave men who fought us. The great Captain and Lord of Hosts, who guides the destiny of men and nations, directed the result of the struggle and made the Union of the North and the South indissoluble. Thus united, this great country which, in its marvelous development of progress, power, and wealth, has startled the world, is yet destined to compass inconceivable possibilities of achievement in its onward march in the race of nations.

Let us therefore accept, like a brave and patriotic people, the result of this great war between the States.

Let us bow with reverence to that Divinity which shaped it. Let us rejoice in the peace and prosperity which has followed it. Let us give our hands and hearts in cordial friendship and greeting to the gallant boys who once wore the blue. Let us forgive them more freely because time has made them like ourselves at last---the wearers of the gray.

But Comrades, let us never cease to honor and revere the martyred heroes who died in a cause they believed to be just.

"Forgive and forget?" Yes, be it so
From the hills to the broad sea waves;
But mournful and low are the winds that blow
By the slopes of a thousand graves.

We may scourge from the spirit all thought of ill
In the midnight of grief held fast,
And yet, oh Brothers, be loyal still
To the sacred and stainless Past.

She is glancing now from the vapor and cloud,
From the waning mansion of Mars,
And the pride of her beauty if wanly bowed,
And her eyes are misted stars.

And she speaks in a voice that is sad as death,
There is duty still to be done,
Tho' the trumpet of onset has spent its breath,
And the battle been lost and won.

And she points with a trembling hand below,
To the wasted and worn array
Of the heroes who strove in the morning glow
For the grandeur that crowned 'the Grey.'

Oh God ! they come not as once they came
In the magical years of yore;
For the trenchant sword and soul of flame
Shall quiver and flash no more.

Alas ! for the broken and battered hosts:
Frail wrecks from a gory sea;
Though pale as a band in the real of ghosts,
Salute them. They fought with Lee.

Our Confederate Ancestors: Part Three of The Daring Exploits of H. D. D. Twiggs and His Confederate Compatriots in the War Between the States

A Series on the Daring Exploits of Our Confederate Ancestors in the War Between the States.

But, my friends, I may not detain you. An eloquent member of this Association has consented, on this occasion, to revive the memory of a siege illustrious in the annals of war; a siege, the brave traditions of which will live with the recollections of Leyden and Malta, Crema and Saragossa. Himself an actor in the grand drama, he will speak with the thunders of the guns still ringing in his ears, with the incidents of the strife indelibly stamped upon his retentive memory, and with the fervor of one who bared his breast in the heroic defence of Battery Wagner. I have the honor and the pleasure of presenting our friend and comrade, Lieutenant Colonel H. D. D. Twiggs, of the Georgia Regulars.

Introduction by Col. Charles C. Jones, Jr., President of the Confederate Survivors Association in 1892, 29 years after the Battle of Battery Wagner.

Part Three of

The Daring Exploits of H. D. D. Twiggs and His Confederate Compatriots in the War Between the States

Address of Hon. Lieut. Col. H. D. D. Twiggs on the Battle of Battery Wagner, July 18th, 1863, Delivered Before the Confederate Survivor's Association, Augusta, Georgia, at Its Fourteenth Annual Reunion, Memorial Day, April 26th, 1892.

[Publisher's Note, by Gene Kizer, Jr. : This is an UNBELIEVABLY detailed and exciting account of the second Battle of Battery Wagner, July 18, 1863, by a then-young officer who was there in the thick of it. What the movie Glory did for the Union side in 1989, Twiggs did for the Confederate 103 years earlier with this address.]

Mr. President and Comrades:

My theme for this occasion is the defence of Battery Wagner, in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, against the combined attack of the land and naval forces of the United States, which occurred on the 18th of July, 1863.

The defence of Charleston harbor and of Fort Sumter, which commanded the channel approach to that city, is familiar to the civilized world. The memories of that heroic struggle have been preserved by history, and embalmed in story and in song; and while incidental reference will be made to these defences during a long and memorable siege, my remarks will be confined chiefly to the military operations against Wagner on the 18th July.

Battery-Wagner-Sheet-Music 43K

The almost unexampled magnitude of the war, involving during its four years of incessant strife an enormous sacrifice of men and material on both sides, tended to obscure and obliterate the details and incidents of any particular military event---yet the heroic defence of this outpost battery located upon an isolated island, against the powerful military and naval forces which assailed it, "is worthy in itself of the dignity of a great epic" even in the drama which in its gigantic proportions required a continent for its theatre of action.

History fails to furnish example more heroic, conflict more sanguinary, tenacity and endurance more determined and courageous than were displayed in the defence of this historic little stronghold.

From the time of its construction to the 18th of July, 1863, it was known and designed as Battery Wagner; after that memorable day the enemy called it Fort Wagner. A brave and appreciative foe thus christened it in a baptism of blood, but that earlier name was known only to the heroic dead who fell defending it upon its ramparts, and my unhallowed hand shall not disturb it.

Twenty years and more have elapsed since that bloody day, but the lesson then enforced is as important as ever, and no richer inheritance of emprise and valor will ever be transmitted to posterity.

In speaking of the defence of Charleston a prominent writer in "the French Journal of Military Science" states that prodigies of talent, audacity, intrepidity and perseverance are exhibited in the attack as in the defence of this city which will assign to the siege of Charleston an exceptional place in military annals.

Viscount Wolseley, Adjutant-General of the British Army, in reviewing some of the military records of the war in the "North American Review" of Nov. 1889, uses the following language: "Were I bound to select out of all four volumes the set of papers which appears of most importance at the present moment not only from an American, but also from a European point of view, I should certainly name those which describe the operations around Charleston."

For the instruction of those who are unfamiliar with the topography of Charleston and its surroundings, I shall give a short introductory description of the harbor defences of this city in order to convey a better appreciation of the location and relative importance of Battery Wagner.

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Charleston, as you know, is situated on a narrow peninsula at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers.

These rivers in flowing together form a broad, picturesque, and beautiful bay, lying to the South-east of the city, which has for its Northern boundary the mainland, and for its Southern, James Island.

Fort Sumter is constructed upon its own little island of artificial rock, and is situated within the entrance to the harbor. It is nearly equi-distant between James and Sullivan's Islands, and is three and a half miles from East Bay battery of the city.

Fort Johnson on James Island is situated to the right of Sumter as you look from the battery towards the sea, and is one mile and a quarter from the Fort.

Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan's Island, is to the left of Sumter and about one mile distant from it.

Morris Island, upon which Battery Wagner was built, is a long, low, sandy sea island, denuded of growth, save here and there a solitary palmetto, and was considered practically the key to Charleston. Its Northern end nearest the city, known as Cummings Point, is the seaward limit of the harbor on the South, as Sullivan's Island is the seaward limit on the North, and these two points determine the entrance to the harbor and are about twenty-seven hundred yards apart.

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Morris Island is separated from James Island by wide and impenetrable marshes. On Cumming's Point was Battery Gregg, named in honor of Brig. General Maxey Gregg of South Carolina, killed at Fredericksburg, Va.

Nearly a mile South of Gregg, on the island, was located Battery Wagner. This famous work was erected to prevent the Federal occupation of the island and the erection of batteries for the destruction of Fort Sumter, which disputed the passage of the enemy's fleet to the city.

Battery Wagner was one and a half miles from Sumter and five miles from Charleston. Between Sumter and the shores of Morris and James Island is only shallow water, unfit for navigation.

The main channel, which is very deep between Sumter and Sullivan's Island, takes an abrupt turn to the South about one thousand yards East of Sumter and flows in a Southerly direction along the shores of Morris Island so that a fleet before entering the harbor would be compelled to run the gauntlet of Battery Wagner and Gregg before reaching Sumter and the city.

The importance therefore of these auxiliary defences against naval attack will be readily appreciated, and the necessity for their reduction by the Federals is equally manifest.

Situated to the South of Morris Island is Folly Island, separated from it by Light House Inlet, about five hundred yards wide.

After the memorable repulse of the Iron Clad Fleet under Real Admiral DuPont by Fort Sumter on the 7th of April, 1863, the enemy changed his plan of attack and the Union Commander, Genl. Q. A. Gilmore, who had relieved Maj. Genl. Hunter, concentrated upon Folly Island, 10,000 Infantry, 350 Artillery, and 600 Engineer Troops. In the meantime, Rear Admiral DuPont had been relieved and Rear Admiral Dahlgren placed in command of the naval squadron.

Concealed from the view of the Confederates by dense brushwood, the Federal Commander with remarkable skill and celerity had erected formidable batteries within easy range of the weak and imperfect works of the Confederates on the Southern end of the island. The presence of these works, armed with guns of heavy calibre, was unknown to the Confederates and was a complete surprise to them.

On the morning of the 10th of July these batteries were unmasked and a furious cannonade, supplemented by the guns of the fleet in Light-house Inlet, was opened upon the Confederate batteries, and under cover of this bombardment the Federal troops succeeded in effecting a landing and lodgment on Morris Island.

They were gallantly met by the Confederate troops under Col. Robert Graham of the First South Carolina Regiment; but, after a sharp and severe engagement, they were forced to yield to the superior numbers of the enemy, and being rapidly driven back sought shelter and refuge in Battery Wagner.

Following up rapidly this success, and anticipating an easy capture of the latter, which now alone seriously disputed their full occupation of the island, on July the 11th they made their first assault upon it.

During the night, however, Wagner had been re-inforced by 550 Georgia troops under Col. Charles H. Olmstead (the distinguished and heroic defender of Fort Pulaski) and Nelson 's South Carolina Battalion.

This assault lasted less than half an hour and resulted in a complete repulse of the assailants who retired to the Sand hills of the island out of the range of the Confederate battery.

General Gilmore then commenced the erection of heavy batteries on the island varying in distance from about 1300 to 1900 yards in front of Wagner, and thus were commenced the formidable preparations for the great attack upon it by land and sea on the 18th of July, 1863, which is the subject of this address.

Battery Wagner

was named after Lieut. Col. Thomas M. Wagner of the 1st Regiment of South Carolina Regular Artillery, who was killed by the bursting of a gun at Fort Moultrie in July, 1863.

It was a large bastioned earth work enclosed on all sides and was situated at a very narrow neck of the island extending across its full width at that point from the sea on one side to Vincent Creek on the other, so that its flanks were protected by these natural barriers from assault.

Its sea line, which faced the ship channel, was 300 feet long and its land faces extended about 250 yards across the island.

Its magazine was protected by a roofing of heavy timbers which were compactly covered over with ten feet of sodded earth. It was also provided with a bomb-proof, similarly constructed for the protection of the troops, thirty feet wide by one hundred feet long.

There was also a gallery of a similar character about twelve feet wide by thirty feet long through which the bomb proof was entered from the parade of the Fort.

The work was constructed with heavy traverses, and its gorge on the North face provided with a parapet for Infantry fire. The embrasures were revetted with palmetto logs and turf, and around the work was a wide, deep, but dry ditch.

In the parade of the Fort on its West side was a row of wooden tenements, roughly built for officers' quarters and medical stores.

Brigadier General Taliaferro, who had been stationed with his command on James Island, was ordered by General Beauregard to take command of Battery Wagner and, on the morning of the 14th July, he relieved Col. Robert Graham of that charge. This gallant officer, who was a native of Virginia and who is still living and practicing law in that State, had served with the immortal Stonewall Jackson in many of his brilliant campaigns in the valley.

While at home in Georgia convalescing from a wound received while serving with my Regiment in Virginia, I was ordered to report to Gen. Beauregard at Charleston and was assigned to duty with Gen. Taliaferro, who placed me temporarily on his personal staff as Assistant Inspector General.

I trust that you will pardon this reference to myself. I make it, because I claim for this narrative some degree of accuracy acquired largely from personal observation in the drama afterwards enacted.

Between the 12th and 18th of July the enemy was steadily and rapidly constructing and equipping his batteries designed to co-operate with the fleet in the bombardment which followed.


While this work was in progress, the monitors of the fleet would daily leave their anchorage and engage in a desultory shelling of the fort. The huge projectiles, fired from their 15 inch guns, weighing 440 pounds and visible at every point of their trajectories, made it very uncomfortable for the garrison.

They practiced firing ricochet shots which would skip and bound upon the water, each impingement making sounds similar to the discharge of the gun itself. Indeed, until this curious phenomenon was noted, the multiplication of detonations was regarded as separate discharges of different guns.

Some of these enormous shells would roll into the fort, bury themselves in the earth, and, with deafening explosions, would make huge craters in the sand, lifting it in great columns, which falling in showers like the scoriae and ashes from a volcanic eruption, would fill the eyes, ears, and clothing, mingling the dirt of the fort with the original dust from which we sprung.

Some would burst in the air; others passing over the fort with a rush and roar which has aptly been likened to the noise of an express train, would explode in the marsh beyond.

Of course our guns replied, but they were so inferior in calibre compared to those of the monitors, that they did little harm at such long range to the iron armor of their turrets eleven inches in thickness.


consisted of one 10 inch Columbiad, one 32 pound rifle, one 42 pounder Carronade, two 32 pounder Carronade, two naval shell guns, one 8 inch sea coast howitzer, four smooth bore 32 pounders, and one 10 inch sea coast mortar; in all thirteen guns, besides one light battery. Of these only the 10 inch Columbiad, which carried a projectile weighing 128 pounds, was of much effect against the monitors.


of Gen. Taliaferro consisted of W. T. Taliaferro, Assistant Adjutant General, Lieutenants Henry C. Cunningham and Mazyek, ordnance officers, Captain Burke, Quartermaster, Lieutenants Meade and Stoney, aides, Dr. J. C. Habersham, Surgeon in Chief, and Captain H. D. D. Twiggs, Inspector General.


was composed of the 51st North Carolina, Col. H. McKethan; the 31st North Carolina, Lieut. Col. Charles W. Knight; the Charleston Battalion, Lieut. Col. P. C. Gaillard; the Artillery Companies of Captains J. T. Buckner and W. J. Dixon, of the 63d Georgia Regiment, and two field howitzer details of Lieut. T. D. Waties of the 1st South Carolina Regular Artillery.

All the Artillery was under the immediate command of Lieut. Col. John C. Simkins of the 1st South Carolina Regular Infantry.

Let it be borne in mind that the entire garrison, according to official reports, numbered on the 18th of July thirteen hundred men only. These troops had relieved, a few days before, Olmstead's Georgia Regiment, Capers', Hanvey's and Basinger's Georgia Battalions, Nelson's South Carolina Battalion, and the Artillery Companies of Mathews and Chichester under Lieut. Col. Yates of South Carolina. They had participated gallantly in repelling the assault of the 11th of July and needed relief from the heavy work and details to which they had constantly been subjected.


opposed to this artillery and infantry force of Wagner consisted of four heavy batteries on the island mounting 42 siege guns of heavy calibre, and the naval squadron of iron clads and gun-boats carrying an armament of 23 of the most formidable guns ever before used in the reduction of a fortification, making an aggregate of 64 guns.

In addition there were 6,000 veteran infantry within the batteries on the island, ready for the assault. To say that the outlook to the garrison of Wagner was appalling, but feebly expresses the situation.


On the morning of the 18th I was invited to breakfast with Dr. Harford Cumming of Augusta, Ga., an Assistant Surgeon in the Fort. Our repast consisted of some hard crackers and a tin bucket of fresh butter sent the Doctor from home; a most tempting meal in those times of gastronomic privation.

We were sitting in the little Medical Dispensary over which the Doctor presided, by the side of an open window which looked out upon the parade, with a small table between us upon which our breakfast was laid.

Just as we had begun our meal, a 200 pounder Parrott shell was heard screaming through the air above us and descending it buried itself in the earth just outside the window. It exploded with terrific report, shattering into fragments the glass and filling our bucket, about half full of butter, with sand to the very top. The frail tenement reeled with the shock.

This shell was followed by another and another in rapid succession, which exploded in the parade of the Fort and were fired from the land batteries of the enemy.

This was the beginning of the bombardment long anticipated and our first intimation of it. We no longer felt the pangs of hunger and hurriedly left the building for a safer place.

Upon reaching the open air the shot and shell began to fall by scores and we saw the infantry streaming to the bomb-proof.

For a considerable time the firing of the enemy was conducted by the land batteries alone.

Finally the enemy's entire squadron, iron clads and gunboats, left their moorings and bore down steadily and majestically upon the Fort. The heavy artillerists sprang to their guns and, with anxious but resolute faces, awaited coolly the terrible onset.

It was now apparent that the entire force of the enemy, land and naval, was about to be hurled against Wagner alone, but the dauntless little Garrison, lifting their hearts to the God of battles in this hour of fearful peril, with their flag floating defiantly above them, resolved to die if need be for their altars, their firesides and their homes.

The day broke bright and beautiful. A gentle breeze toyed with the folds of the garrison flag as it streamed forth with undulating grace, or lazily curved about the tall staff. The God of day rising in the splendor of his midsummer glory, flung his red flame upon the swelling sea, and again performed the miracle or turning the water into wine.

Rising still higher he bathed the earth and sea in his own radiant and voluptuous light, and burnished with purple and gold the tall spires of the beleaguered and devoted old city.

What a strange contrast between the profound calm of nature and the gathering tempest of war, whose consuming lightnings and thunders were so soon to burst forth with a fury unsurpassed!

On came the fleet, straight for the Fort; Admiral Dahlgren's flag ship, the Monitor Montauk, Commander Fairfax, in the lead.

It was followed by the New Ironsides, Captain Rowan; the Monitors, Catskill, Commander Rogers; Patapsco, Lieut. Commander Badger; Nantucket, Commander Beaumont, and Weehawken, Commander Calhoun.

There were besides five gunboats, the Paul Jones, Commander Rhind; Ottawa, Commander Whiting; the Seneca, Commander Gibson; the Chippewa, Commander Harris, and the Wissahickon, Commander Davis.

Swiftly and noiselessly the Monitors approached, the white spray breaking from their sharp prows, their long dark hull lines scarcely showing above the water, and their coal black drum-like turrets glistening in the morning's sun.

Approaching still nearer they formed the arc of a circle around Wagner, the nearest being about three hundred yards distant from it.

With deliberate precision they halted and waited the word of command to sweep the embrasures of the Fort where our intrepid cannoniers stood coolly by their guns.

As the flagship Montauk wheeled into action at close quarters, a long puff of white smoke rolled from the mouth of the 10 inch Columbiad on the sea face of the Fort, and the iron plated turret of the Monitor reeled and quivered beneath the crashing blow.

Then the pent up thunders of the brewing storm of death burst forth in all their fury and poured upon the undaunted Wagner a remorseless stream of nine, eleven, and fifteen inch shells monitor after monitor, ship after ship, battery after battery, and then altogether hurled a tempest of iron hail upon the Fort.

About seventy guns were now concentrating a terrific fire upon it, while the guns of Wagner, aided at long range by the batteries of Sumter and Gregg, and those on Sullivan's and James Islands replied.

Words fail to convey an adequate idea of the fury of this bombardment. "It transcended all exhibitions of like character encountered during the war."

It seemed impossible that anything could withstand it.

More than one hundred guns of the heaviest calibre were roaring, flashing and thundering together. Before the Federal batteries had gotten the exact range of the work, the smoke of the bursting shells, brightened by the sun, was converted into smoke wreathes and spirals which curved and eddyed in every direction; then as the fire was delivered with greater precision, the scene was appalling and awe inspiring beyond expression and the spectacle to the lookers on was one of surpassing sublimity and grandeur.

In the language of Gen. Gilmore, "the whole island smoked like a furnace and shook as from an earthquake."

For eleven long hours the air was filled with every description of shot and shell that the magazines of war could supply. The light of day was almost obscured by the now darkening and sulphurous smoke which hung over the island like a funeral pall.

Still later in the afternoon as the darkness gathered and deepened did the lightnings of war increase in the vividness of their lurid and intolerable crimson which flashed through the rolling clouds of smoke and illumined the Fort from bastion to bastion with a scorching glare; clouds of sand were constantly blown into the air from bursting shells; the waters of the sea were lashed into white foam and thrown upwards in glistening columns by exploding bombs while side sheets of spray inundated the parapet, and Wagner" dripping with salt water, shook like a ship in the grasp of the storm.

By this time all the heavy guns were dismounted, disabled, or silenced, and only a few gun detachments were at their posts.

Passive endurance now only remained for the garrison while the storm lasted. The troops generally sheltered themselves, as best they could, in the bomb proofs and behind the traverses. But for such protection as was thus afforded, the loss of life would have been appalling and the garrison practically annihilated.

There was one command only which preferred the open air to the almost insufferable heat of the bomb proof, and sheltered itself only under the parapet and traverses on the land face of the Fort during that frightful day. Not one member of that heroic band, officer or man, sought other shelter. In all the flight of time and the records of valor, no example ever transcended their splendid heroism. All honor to the glorious name and deathless fame of "Gaillard's Charleston Battalion."

A little after two o'clock, two deeds of heroism were enacted which will never be forgotten by the lookers on. The halliards were cut by a shot or shell, and the large garrison flag released from the lofty staff fell into the parade.

Instantly, and without hesitation, there were a score of men racing for the prostrate colors. Out into the open area, they rushed regardless of the storm of death falling around them. Maj. Ramsay, Sergeant Shelton, and Private Flynn of the Charleston Battalion, and Lieutenant Reddick of the 63rd Georgia Regiment, bore it back in triumph to the staff and deliberately adjusted it. Up it went again, and amid the cheers of the garrison the Confederate banner again floated defiantly in the smoke of battle.

Some little delay occurred in adjusting the flag, and some few moments elapsed during which Wagner showed no colors to the enemy. Supposing that the Fort had struck its flag in token of surrender, exultant cheers burst forth from the crew of the Ironsides.

At that moment Captain Robert Barnwell of the Engineers seized a Regimental battle flag and recklessly leaping upon the exposed ramparts, he drove its staff into the sand and held it there until the garrison flag had been hoisted in its place.

There was one Jasper at Moultrie.

There were a score of them at Wagner.

In the meantime the City of Charleston was aflame with excitement; the battery, house-tops and steeples were crowded with anxious spectators. Hundreds of fair women were there with hands clasped in silent prayer for the success of their gallant defenders; strong men looked on with throbbing hearts and broke forth into exclamations which expressed their hopes and fears.

How can the Fort hold out much longer? It has ceased firing altogether! Its battery has been silenced!

Yes but see the colors streaming still amid the battle smoke!

Suddenly the flag is seen to droop, then rapidly descend.

Oh God! was the agonized cry, Wagner has at last struck her colors and surrendered. Oh! the unspeakable suspense of that moment.

Then tumultuous cheers arose from hundreds of throats amid the waving of snowy handkerchiefs.

No ! no ! they shouted, look ! Look! It has gone up again, and its crimson cross flashes once more amid shot and shell and battle smoke.

What a wonderful power there is in the flag of one's country. How mysterious the influence by which it sways and moves the hearts of men.

A distinguished general in the Confederate army, who had been an officer in the old army, was so strongly imbued with the power of this influence over the will of men that he expressed the belief that if the Confederate Government had adhered to the stars and stripes thousands in the North, who, early in the war were Southern sympathizers, would have rallied around it, and thousands, who were actually arrayed against us, would have refused to fire upon it.

The colors of an army have carried more strongholds than the bayonet, and battered down more fortresses than artillery.

Even in Holy Writ we find the expression "As terrible as an army with banners."

'Twas the flag that floated again over Wagner which restored confidence in Charleston, and the exultant cry which broke from the lips of these lookers on, was the echo of that hoarser shout in the battle scarred Fort in the  midst of the roar of cannon.

The banner of the stars and stripes is again the flag of our united country, and long may it wave over the land and the sea, for it is the symbol and the emblem of a union never again to be sundered.

The Southern heart is true and loyal to that flag but base is the soul and craven is the heart of him who marched and fought beneath the starry cross of Dixie which will cease to love and honor it.

It waved its conquering folds in the smoke of battle at Manassas and Shiloh. It stirred the souls of men with thrilling power in the wild assault upon Cemetery Hill. It floated triumphant amid the roar of cannon at Spottsylvania's bloody salient, and was borne resistless at the head of  conquering hosts on an hundred bloody fields.

Though furled forever and no longer existing as the emblem of a brave and heroic people, still we salute thee with love and reverence oh ! phantom banner of that great army underground, which died beneath thy crimson cross.

"For though conquered, we adore it,
Love the cold dead hands that bore it."

But I return to the raging battle at Wagner.

All day did the furious bombardment continue without intermission. The long midsummer day seemed endless and the fierce July sun seemed commanded by another Joshua to stand still---would it never set?

The wooden tenements in the fort were literally torn into splinters, and the ground bore little trace of where they stood.

The fort itself was pounded into an almost shapeless mass; the parapet, traverses, scarp, and counter scarp, were well nigh obliterated, and the ditch was filled with sand.

The covering of the bomb--proof had, to a large extend, been torn away, and now the magazine containing a large quantity of powder was in imminent danger of being breached by the heavy projectiles hurled incessantly against it, and the immense shells from the Cohorn mortars which, thrown to an incredible altitude, would descend with terrific force now almost upon the yielding and dislocated timbers.

The magazine once pierced, Wagner would have been blown to atoms, with not a man surviving to tell the story of its demolition. The reports constantly made to the commanding officer by the ordinance sergeant in charge justified the gravest fears of such a catastrophe.

Once, after a report of its condition had been made, this stern old veteran, addressing a member of his staff sitting beside him, quietly asked him if he was a married man.

Upon being answered in the affirmative, he shrugged his shoulders and said with a grim smile, "I'm sorry, sir, for we shall soon be blown into the marsh."

Indeed this result was but the question of a little time when suddenly, to the infinite relief of the harassed and weary garrison, the blazing circle of the enemy's fleet and batteries ceased to glow with flame.

In the language of Gen. Taliaferro, "the ominous pause was understood---the supreme moment of that awful day had come."

Wagner, which could not be conquered by shot and shell, must now be carried by assault. . . .

Part Two, the Conclusion, of Hon. Lieut. Col. H. D. D. Twiggs' Address will be published next week, July 22, 2021 in Part IV, Conclusion, of The Daring Exploits of H. D. D. Twiggs and His Confederate Compatriots in the War Between the States.

Lt. Col. H. D. D. Twiggs' Address comes from "Anonymous, British Library, Historical Print Editions, Jones, Charles Colcock, 1892" from the BiblioLife Network under title: Defence of Battery Wagner, July 18th, 1863. Addresses delivered before the Confederate Survivors' Association ... by Col: C. C. Jones ... Hon: Lieut: Col: H. D. D. Twiggs ... and by Captain F. E. Eve.

The title page states: DEFENCE OF BATTERY WAGNER, JULY 18TH, 1863. / ADDRESSES / Delivered Before the / Confederate Survivors Association / in / Augusta, Georgia, / On the Occasion of Its Fourteenth Annual Reunion / on / Memorial Day, April 26th, 1892, / by / COL. CHARLES C. JONES, Jr., LL. D., / President of the Association / by / HON: LIEUT: COL: H. D. D. TWIGGS, / Member of the Association, / and by / CAPTAIN F. EDGEWORTH EVE, / First Vice President of the Association. / Printed by Order of the Association. / Augusta, Georgia. / Chronicle Publishing Company. / 1892.

[Publisher's Note, by Gene Kizer, Jr. : This article is verbatim from the original including with the original spelling and most of the punctuation. Long paragraphs were broken up, here and there, for easier online reading.]

Our Confederate Ancestors: Part Two of The Daring Exploits of H. D. D. Twiggs and His Confederate Compatriots in the War Between the States

A Series on the Daring Exploits of Our Confederate Ancestors in the War Between the States.

We were enjoying, as only ravenous soldiers could, the delicious viands which tender hands at home had stored away in this precious box, and had nearly finished our meal, when one of Tutt's men came in hurriedly and reported, with a voice quivering with emotion, that a well-known comrade of his command (whose name the writer has forgotten) had just been shot dead in the open fort by one of the enemy's sharpshooters from the house referred to.

Tutt sprang from his seat, his dark eyes flashing fire, with a strange light gleaming from their depths, and, looking into our faces said, with his own set hard with determination and with fury written in every line: "Boys, let us get a rifle apiece and drive the d____d rascals from that house and burn it, or perish in the attempt."

Part Two of
The Daring Exploits of H. D. D. Twiggs and His Confederate Compatriots in the War Between the States
Perilous Adventure at Battery Wagner

by Judge H. D. D. Twiggs from Confederate Veteran, Volume XII, No. 3, March, 1904

[Publisher's Note, by Gene Kizer, Jr. : This is one of the most exciting stories I have ever read. The unbelievable daring of this handful of Confederates is so typical, which is why we celebrate them as the truest heroes of American history. Their cause of Southern independence in 1861 was identical to the cause of the Patriots of 1776, which is why George Washington in military uniform on his horse is front and center on the great seal of the Confederacy.

It is also why the most widely quoted phrase in the secession debate in the South the year before the Cotton States seceded came from the Declaration of Independence:

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

This article is dedicated, with great love and respect, to Lieut. Thomas Tutt, of Augusta, Georgia, and Sergt. Hopps, of Missouri, two of the five Confederates who carried out this daring raid but were killed later in the war.]

Perilous Adventure at Battery Wagner
by Judge H. D. D. Twiggs

The incident above referred to took place during the siege of Battery Wagner, S. C. , a short time prior to the bombardment and assault upon that historic fortress, which occurred on the 18th of July, 1863 resulting in the complete repulse of the Federal forces and one of the most signal defeats of the war, the numbers engaged considered.

Although the writer has heretofore given a very full account of this great siege, bombardment, and assault in several addresses which have been printed, no reference was made to the episode hereinafter described, for the reason that he was one of the participants in the same. At the special request, however, of some of his comrades in arms, he has consented to send it to the Confederate Veteran, being largely induced to do this because of the pleasure it gives him to make public the conduct of his gallant associates upon the occasion referred to.

Battery Wagner was situated on Morris Island about six miles from Charleston. Its guns commanded the channel approach to that city and the possession of the island was considered the key to the city. The enemy had affected a landing on the southern end of the island, and, moving up their forces, had erected heavy batteries about sixteen hundred yards in front of Wagner.

Harper's Weekly, Sept. 26, 1863, caption: ". . . View from the sea-face of Fort Wagner. . ."
Harper's Weekly, Sept. 26, 1863, caption: ". . . View from the sea-face of Fort Wagner. . ."

The latter, which was occupied by our troops, was a large bastioned earthwork inclosed (sic) on all sides and situated upon a neck of the island, so narrow that the battery (more properly fort) extended across its full width two hundred and fifty yards at that point from the sea or ship channel on one side to Vincent Creek, a deep and narrow salt water creek, on the other. This island was a long, low, sandy, sea island, almost denuded of growth, save a few palmetto trees, a number of which grew along the banks of Vincent Creek.

There was situated near the banks of this creek an abandoned two-story wooden house, much nearer the enemy's works than ours, of which a small body of the enemy took possession; in fact, it was the headquarters of their night outpost picket.

From the upper windows of this house a band of sharpshooters had been constantly harassing the garrison at Wagner by firing plunging shots in their elevated positions from their long-range rifles, and scarcely a day passed without some soldier in the open parade of the fort being killed or wounded. Of course, the troops could not perpetually remain under cover in the stifling bomb proofs, and they were necessarily exposed to the rifle fire of this unseen, pitiless foe, who were dealing death day after day in their ranks.

They could not be dislodged by infantry, as they had the near support of ten thousand troops in their own works (our force in the fort being less than fifteen hundred men). They could not be shelled by artillery, because we were day and night strengthening our works, and any artillery demonstrations from our fort would have resulted in drawing upon us the concentrated fire of all the enemy's siege guns, which were of the heaviest caliber.

In the daytime the enemy's pickets were withdrawn from the house, leaving only the sharpshooters to do their daily, deadly work. No feasible expedient could be adopted to burn this house and abate this intolerable nuisance, and night only brought relief to the harassed garrison.

It was possible for a very few men, under the shelter of the creek bank in places, and the scant growth of shrubbery, to approach the house in the daytime, but no considerable number could do so without being seen at once, and it was, of course, impracticable to do so at night.

At the time mentioned I was a captain of infantry, but detached from my regiment in Virginia, and was temporarily assigned to staff duty as inspector general with Gen. William B. Taliaferro, who commanded Fort Wagner.

Judge Twiggs, 1904, 41 years after destroying a nest of Yankee sharpshooters with four others.
Judge Twiggs, 1904, 41 years after destroying a nest of Yankee sharpshooters with four others.

One morning in July, 1863, about a week or ten days before the bombardment and assault on the 18th of July, described in my address, Lieut. J. J. Doughty, of Augusta, Ga., who is still living in that city, received a box of eatables from home, and invited the writer, Lieut. W. M. Hitt, and Lieut. Thomas Tutt, also of Augusta at that time, and Sergt. Hopps, from Missouri, to dine with him in his quarters in the fort.

Around 1904.
Around 1904.
Around 1904.
Around 1904.

We were enjoying, as only ravenous soldiers could, the delicious viands which tender hands at home had stored away in this precious box, and had nearly finished our meal, when one of Tutt's men came in hurriedly and reported, with a voice quivering with emotion, that a well-known comrade of his command (whose name the writer has forgotten) had just been shot dead in the open fort by one of the enemy's sharpshooters from the house referred to.

Tutt sprang from his seat, his dark eyes flashing fire, with a strange light gleaming from their depths, and, looking into our faces said, with his own set hard with determination and with fury written in every line: "Boys, let us get a rifle apiece and drive the d____d rascals from that house and burn it, or perish in the attempt."

There were five of us present---Tutt, Doughty, Hitt, Hopps, and myself in the party. We were all quite young, and the strange magnetism of Tutt, who was our senior by several years, and his determined bearing immediately fired us all with an enthusiasm which I will never forget, and, without taking time to reflect upon the peril or the consequences of the enterprise, we agreed, and at once formed our plan of action. Gen. Taliaferro had gone that day to the city of Charleston, and, in his absence, the command of the fort devolved upon Col. Charles H. Olmstead, formerly of this city, but now living in New York.

We quickly made our plans, and, each procuring a rifle and ammunition, we secretly left the fort about 3 p.m. on the perilous expedition. Being a staff officer, I was enabled to pass the party out at the sally port, and, crouching low and stealthily, in Indian file, Tutt being in the lead, we glided slowly up the creek, taking advantage of its banks, the palmetto trees, and occasional sand dunes to hide us from view (which we found it to be a very difficult matter to do).

The house was about fifty yards from the creek, and, when we had reached a point about one hundred yards from it, we halted, and, lying down together behind some stunted shrubbery, held a council of war. It was impossible to retreat then, because the sharpshooters had evidently seen some movement, and, with their rifles in hand, we could see them at the windows, looking intently in our direction.

The space between us and the house was a perfectly open sand area, without the slightest shelter or protection. There was not a moment to lose, as the enemy was growing more and more suspicious. There were eight sharpshooters in the house, but at the time we did not know the number. There were only five of us.

We at once concluded to make a dash for the house. The enemy were at the windows on the side of the house looking toward our fort. We had crept to a point nearly opposite the end, so that they could only get a few oblique shots at us from the windows before we could pass the line of fire, the end of the house interposing its friendly shelter after passing this line.

At a signal from Tutt (who, by common consent, became our leader), and on the full run we rushed for the building, a scattering volley being fired at us, providentially without effect. Meeting together on the opposite side of the house, we ran pellmell into the building through the open door in the back of the same.

The enemy seemed stunned by the suddenness of the attack, and we were fairly in the hall before they were enabled to start down the narrow stairway to meet us. A general fusillade followed. The vivid flashes of the rifles lighting up the hall, which was soon filled with dense smoke, caused them to retreat to their former position, and Tutt, raving like a demon, started upstairs alone, but we pulled him back.

He then, in a loud voice, ordered the house set on fire, which we at once did, retiring to the open area in the rear after the fire had made considerable headway, which we started immediately under the stairsteps. The building was old and dry, and burnt like tinder, and it was a case of the enemy being cremated or leaving the house. Some of them ran out of the doors, and others jumped from the windows. We stood around with our rifles cocked, firing at them as they appeared. They made a feeble resistance, shooting wildly, and the survivors took to their heels. Several of them were shot and the others made good their escape.

By this time the musketry and the burning building had aroused the respective garrisons of the two forts, which swarmed in masses on their parapets; we were at easy rifle range of the Yankee garrison, and if we attempted to retreat across the open area of sand, death to us would have been the inevitable result. The only way back by the creek margin was already swept by a hurricane of bullets, the enemy evidently supposing that there was a large body of us concealed in the shrubbery near the now consumed house. We realized too late that we were caught like rats in a trap.

In front of us, two hundred yards nearer the enemy's works, was a little hillock or sand dune on this open area of sand, and, although it brought us much nearer the Federal works, we made a dash for it in order to shelter ourselves from the terrific fire which was now concentrated upon us by the thoroughly aroused Yankee garrison. With only a slight wound received by Hopps, though some of us had our clothing torn by bullets, we providentially gained the sand hill, which was only a few feet higher than the surrounding plane, and each of us sank down at full length behind it, and for the time being were comparatively safe from the enemy's leaden missiles, which sung around us, intermixed with that ominous sound of the bullet----s---t, s---t, s---t----familiar to all soldiers who saw service in that war.

It was our purpose in seeking this shelter to remain there until night had set in then slip back to Wagner under cover of darkness, but it was not so ordered. After lying in the position described, under the pitiless rays of a scorching July sun for some little time, the enemy's fire greatly slackened and I stealthily peeped over the sand dune to take an observation, when, to my horror, I saw a full company of Yankee infantry, which had silently moved out of their works, rapidly approaching us, the sunlight flashing from their bright bayonets as they marched.

Turning to my companions, I said: "Boys, look yonder; it's all up with us now." Certain death or capture indeed seemed inevitable, and we each realized it.

The invincible Tutt, however, swore that he would not be taken alive and seemed inexorable in this determination, although we assured him that any resistance we might then make would be unavailing against such a body of men, numbering thirty of forty rifles, and would end in our butchery by an exasperated foe.

Tutt persisted, however, and, indignantly scorning the idea of surrender, without further parley discharged his rifle full at the approaching enemy. This, of course, settled the question, as nothing was then left to us but to stand by our reckless and intrepid comrade, which we did for all we were worth.

With elbow touching elbow, and our heads alone visible above the sand bank, we kept up a steady fire upon the line of blue rapidly nearing us. At the first volley they halted, returned the fire, and then with huzzas came for us on the full run. The situation was appalling, but we continued to pour our fire into them.

Occupying a position prone on the sand, and our vision obscured by the smoke of the guns, we did not see the effect of our shots, and did not know until afterwards informed by Col. Olmstead, who watched the scene closely with his field glass, that several of the enemy were carried off by their comrades.

What was it, then, that shook the island from center to circumference? Turning our heads in the direction of the sound, we witnessed a sight which sent the blood tingling in our veins. The entire face of Wagner were suddenly opened upon the approaching Federal infantry. Charlie Olmstead, my old schoolmate, who was commanding in the absence of Gen. Taliaferro, had come to the rescue.

The artillery fire, conducted by that accomplished and gallant soldier, Lieut. Col. J. C. Simpkins, of South Carolina, and chief of artillery, was directed with wonderful precision, and the shells passing over our heads and bursting beyond us uncomfortably close, in the very face of the enemy, scattered them like chaff before the wind.

But something we had not counted on followed. The Yankee fort immediately opened their batteries of heavy guns upon Wagner, and one of the most terrific artillery duels I ever witnessed during the war was thus precipitated between the respective forts, and all stirred up by our little band.

The scene was grand and awe-inspiring, both sides shelling furiously over our heads at each other. Of course all the infantry on both sides were driven from the parapets by this terrific artillery fire. It was plain that this demonstration on the part of Col. Olmstead was made to safely cover our retreat, and we rapidly raced for our works through the heavy sand and under the rays of the hottest sun I ever felt. We arrived safely, completely winded and exhausted.

Once in the fort we separated, and silently crept to our respective quarters. Col. Olmstead soon made his appearance and placed the writer under arrest. The Colonel had, without orders, assumed a grave responsibility in the prompt and gallant action he had taken to save us, and save us he did, as but for his conduct not one of us would have been left to tell the tale.

The heavy firing on the island had greatly excited the people in Charleston, and Gen. Taliaferro hurried back to the fort, reaching it a little after dark. Olmstead met him at this boat landing at Cummings Point and related to this grim old soldier all that had passed. They then came together into my quarters (also the quarters of the General), and, feigning sleep, I overheard their conversation.

"Well," said the General, "the boys destroyed that infernal nuisance, the house, did they?"

"Yes," responded Olmstead.

"Good," grunted the old General. Then, nodding toward me as I lay on the floor, "Release him from arrest when he wakes up," which Charlie was only too glad, of course, to do.

Tutt and Hopps not long afterwards joined the ranks of that great army underground---they were spared the great sorrow of the final disaster, when the sun of the Confederacy went down at Appomattox. They were both killed. Three of us survive---J. J. Doughty, of Augusta, Ga.; William M. Hitt, now of Atlanta, Ga.; and the writer. "May both these boys be spared for many years to come, for truer soldiers and more gallant men never faced a foe!"