June 28

June Twenty-Eighth


The battle holds a conspicuous place in the history of the Revolution. It was our first clear victory over the British, and won over one of England's most distinguished naval officers.

John J. Dargan


Defence of Fort Sullivan, (Moultrie,) 1776

North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana readmitted to the Union, 1868



We relieved the Fourteenth New Jersey from picket; all quiet through the night; made my headquarters with the reserve in an orchard where we got plenty of green apples, etc.; was relieved by the One Hundred and Sixth New York after dark. On returning from picket was happily surprised to find that preparations had been made to go into camp, and that the men of my Company had a tent all up for me. The Company (D) generally looks after me very nicely. This Company, too, is a splendid fighting one with me, anyway; but, as we have been in tight places, I guess K Company has won my admiration as a valiant one over all others, except Company B, which will follow me anywhere I lead, as it did over the fence at Locust Grove, Va. in a plucky charge for which we never got credit. It was only bandbox soldiers who were seen that day and mentioned in orders.

June 28

June 28, 1879.--Last lecture of the term and of the academic year. I finished the exposition of modern philosophy, and wound up my course with the precision I wished. The circle has returned upon itself. In order to do this I have divided my hour into minutes, calculated my material, and counted every stitch and point. This, however, is but a very small part of the professorial science, It is a more difficult matter to divide one's whole material into a given number of lectures, to determine the right proportions of the different parts, and the normal speed of delivery to be attained. The ordinary lecturer may achieve a series of complete séances --the unity being the séance. But a scientific course ought to aim at something more--at a general unity of subject and of exposition.

Has this concise, substantial, closely-reasoned kind of work been useful to my class? I cannot tell. Have my students liked me this year? I am not sure, but I hope so. It seems to me they have. Only, if I have pleased them, it cannot have been in any case more than a succès d'estime ; I have never aimed at any oratorical success. My only object is to light up for them a complicated and difficult subject. I respect myself too much, and I respect my class too much, to attempt rhetoric. My rôle is to help them to understand. Scientific lecturing ought to be, above all things, clear, instructive, well put together, and convincing. A lecturer has nothing to do with paying court to the scholars, or with showing off the master; his business is one of serious study and impersonal exposition. To yield anything on this point would seem to me a piece of mean utilitarianism. I hate everything that savors of cajoling and coaxing. All such ways are mere attempts to throw dust in men's eyes, mere forms of coquetry and stratagem. A professor is the priest of his subject; he should do the honors of it gravely and with dignity.

June 28, 1863

Sunday. Am all right again. To-day has been a busy one. A big gun, the biggest I ever saw, "Old Abe" it is called, was dragged here last night and got up on the point opposite the Rebels' water battery. To-day the gun has been got into position. Being so near, and having so little to do, I put in the day with them, helping in any way I could. The fort is made of cotton bales, backed up by bags of earth too thick to be shot through. When all was ready it was most sundown. A limb with thick leaves hung over one side, and under this I got to see what happened. When "Old Abe" finally did speak, the shell went into the ground way under the rebel gun, and after what seemed a long time exploded. The whole thing went up in the air, and when the dust settled, the muzzle of the gun lay sticking over the bank, pointed up toward the moon. So ended the famous "water battery" that we have heard so much about. "Billy Wilson's" Zouave regiment, our left-hand neighbor, then came up the ravine dragging a long rope they had got from the gunboats, and slipped it over the muzzle of the gun, intending to drag it over. But they couldn't budge it, and finally gave it up. Next they came back with hand grenades which they fired and tossed over. They had cut the fuses too long and they had no more than landed on the other side when the Rebs threw them back. That made the red legs skedaddle, and all that saved them was the fact that in coming up they had come on a slant, while the grenades rolled directly down. As it was, a piece hit a drummer boy, and he lies here on the ground apparently breathing his last. The top of his head has a large piece chipped off. There has been a good deal of powder burned to-day. What has been done besides tearing up the water battery I don't know. To-night the mortar boats have been throwing shells into the works. They pass directly over us. We are so near, the report is almost stunning. The fuse is cut long enough to last until they drop. I hope none of them may go off while over our quarters.