- Jun 2, 2017
JOHN MORRIS WAMPLER
On August 17, 1863, Union monitors less than 1000 yards offshore were continuing their barrage of Battery Wagner on Morris Island just outside of Charleston harbor. By richocheting their shots off the water these ironclads were able to send their giant spherical shells skipping into the battery. About 11:00 in the morning, Wagner's chief engineer, the Virginia-born John Morris Wampler sat down in a sheltered area to write his family. Suddenly a projectile bounded over the wall and fragments exploded into the bombproof killing Wampler instantly. Afterwards, his unfinished letter was found in the rubble of the bombproof . In its entirety it read: "My dear wife and child."
source: "Gate of Hell--Campaign for Charleston Harbor, 1863" by Stephen R. Wise