The Attack on Fort Wagner - The Stormers Advancing Under Fire

August 8, 1863, page 509

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We publish on page 509 an illustration of the unsuccessful attempt of General Gilmore's army to storm Fort Wagner, on Morris Island, on 18th ult.  The bombardment of the fort by the iron-clads and our land-batteries on Morris Island commenced at noon that day, and lasted till the evening.

The 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry was the nation’s most famous all-black regiment. Its (white) commander was Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, the brother-in-law of Harper’s Weekly editor George William Curtis. In July 1863 the Massachusetts 54th spearheaded an assault on Fort Wagner, a Confederate stronghold outside Charleston, South Carolina. Their high casualty rate in the battle, included Colonel Shaw. The story of the Massachusetts 54th and their heroic though ill-fated attack on Fort Wagner is retold in the 1989 film "Glory." A monument in Boston Commons honors their service and memory.


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