To-day was performed the first work by daylight in the second parallel, in continuing its defensive arrangements. Built traverses, formed banquette tread, and continued sand-bag rivetting. For the first time, the enemy's sharpshooters have annoyed our working parties.
At night, extended the parapet to the left, and finished the bomb-proof magazine; also built two barbette emplacements for Napoleon guns in the salient angles near the center of the line, for its defense. Water casks, procured from the navy, were used as splinter-proof service magazines for these and other defensive guns.
The defensive arrangements of the second parallel are now so far perfected that the first parallel has been abandoned as a defensive line, and to-night the remaining inclined palisading in front of it was taken up and set in front of the second parallel, thus extending the return in the obstacle nearly back to the left of the howitzer battery. Captain Graef had charge of the magazine, Lieutenant Wilcken of the obstacle, and Lieutenant Farrand of the other work.
The enemy opened on our advanced works on the right this morning with columbiads and a Brooke rifle, from what was afterward known as Battery Simkins, on Shell Point, distant from the second parallel about 3,300 yards. This is the first fire we have received from James Island, and was particularly heavy to-day. (It afterward, with the fire of Sumter and Battery Gregg, continued day and night.) Our batteries reply by firing at Wagner, which does not respond. This James Island battery will be most annoying, because our works are not, and could not easily be, defiladed against it, either in profile or trace, on account of the form and scarcity of the ground on which we have to operate.
Sunday, July 26.-The construction of splinter-proof shelters* for the protection of the guard of the trenches was begun this night in the second parallel, using frames that had been prepared to the rear during the day. A boom,+ which had been built at the lumber-yard by Sergt. Samuel Clark, New York Volunteer Engineers, was floated down with the tide, and made fast across the creek on the extreme left of the second parallel, thus securing that flank from being turned by the enemy's boats. An important topographical feature in the second parallel is a small artificial island, situated about 75 yards east from the creek, and 175 yards in advance of the right of the parallel. Upon this island, emplacements were built for one Requa battery and three Coehorn mortars, to be used against the enemy's sharpshooters. The former also flanked the obstacle. This was afterward designated Battery Kearny. Our line was to-night located and worked to the creek, which limits its farther extension westward. The left third of this line follows an artificial dike.
I reported verbally to the general commanding, to-day, that the second parallel is necessarily stronger than Wagner, in this, that it admits of as large a musketry fire, has a greater number of, and better, defensive guns, and a formidable material obstacle in front, while the fort has none.
The bomb-proof shelter in Wagner, its superior natural position, and stronger profile, are advantages over our line.
To-night we ceased to employ the entire fatigue force, now averaging 375 infantry and 130 engineers, on defensive works, and began, on the right of the second parallel, by order of the general
*See Note, 21, p. 331.
+See Note 3, p. 308.