War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0277 Chapter XL. OPERATIONS ON MORRIS ISLAND, S. C.

Search Civil War Official Records

commanding, the construction of Battery Brown, for two 8-inch Parrott rifles, intended to be employed in the demolition of Sumter. Sergt. Walter Smith, New York Volunteer Engineers, had charge of this work.

About two thousand two hundred days' work* have already been expended in advance of the first parallel.

Colonel J. W. Turner, chief of staff, Department of the South, was to-day announced as chief of artillery also.

Monday, July 27.-Continued work in second parallel day and night, strengthening parapets of approaches, rivetting breast heights,+ building splinter-proof shelters, and constructing breaching battery. Only a small detachment of engineers work during the day, the heavy work being all done at night. This arrangement is made necessary by the enemy's sharpshooters, who during this period give us more trouble by day than his heavy guns. The least exposure above the crest of the parapet will draw the fire of his telescopic Whitworths, which cannot be dodged. Several of our men were wounded by these rifles at a distance of 1,300 yards from Wagner, where prisoners informed us the riflemen were stationed.

Tuesday, July 28.-The parapet and epaulement of Battery Brown are finished. Began laying the platforms to-day; it will be ready for its armament to-morrow morning. This battery is to be served from the large magazine already built. Commenced an emplacement for a Requa battery on the extreme left of the line for the defense of the boom; in charge of Corpl. P. Berry, New York Volunteer Engineers. Also began a lookout++ of sand-bags on top of the large magazine, and a splinter-proof latrine,++ found to be necessary, on its west side.

About 10 p. m. I received at the front, through Lieutenant Henry M. Bragg, aide-de-camp, an order from the general commanding, "to make my arrangements for five 100-pounder Parrott rifles in the second parallel." At this time some work had been done with a view to putting these guns in position on the left. I had recommended that they be changed to the right, and expected the order. To receive them, a battery for three and one for two guns, afterward named Rosecrans and Meade, respectively, were laid out, en echelon, near the center of the second parallel, and work was commenced on them before midnight. Battery Rosecrans is distant from Fort Sumter 3,500 yards; Battery Meade, 3,475 yards. In order to accommodate the heavy transportation to these batteries, a road was located from them, which struck the beach about 160 yards in rear of the second parallel. Its construction was begun this night.

Wednesday, July 29.-The destructive effect of the wind on our works greatly increases the labor of the siege. Strong parapets, built of fine sand, the only available material, are half destroyed in a week, and the trenches are correspondingly filled up; hence a force must be constantly kept on repairs. This same difficulty was experienced at the siege of Fort Pulaski. Any other than the temporary work of a siege should be covered with mud or sods; and I am not sure but it would pay to expend the great amount of labor which would be required in thus covering important siege works.

Guide-boards, containing the names of parallels, batteries, &c., were erected on the right to-day.

Began to-night a bomb-proof magazine, for service of all the 100-


*See Note 18, p. 326.

+See Note 10, p. 318.

++See Note 20, p. 331.