War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0278 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

Search Civil War Official Records

pounder Parrott rifles in the second parallel, so located as to form the left epaulements of Battery Rosecrans.

Great difficulty is experienced at the second parallel, which has been the case elsewhere on this coast, in making a permanent obstacle across the beach, to prevent an advance of the enemy at low water. Our wire entanglement in front of the defensive line has been carried away by the spring tides, which caused to float against it timbers which had been used by the enemy for the obstruction of Charleston Harbor.

To remedy this, as well as to increase the development of the second parallel, consequently its amount of fire, I proposed to extend the line seaward below high tide, by a defensive barricade,* supported on piles. The general commanding gave his approval, and the work was begun this night, under the direction of Captain Suess, who arranged the details of the plan. He completed, at this low tide, emplacements for three Requa batteries. The pieces are in embrasure, protected by a splinter-proof parapet of timber and sand-bags. The fire of these batteries enfilades the beach perfectly.

During the latter part of last night, Colonel Edward W. Serrell, New York Volunteer Engineers, assistant engineer, Department of the South, by order of the general commanding, undertook to extend the obstacle in front of the second parallel seaward by means of abatis, thus to replace the lost wire entanglement. His operations drew a fire of grape and canister from the enemy, which caused the withdrawal of his fatigue party without accomplishing anything, and with the loss of Sergt. Theodore Mandeville, New York Volunteer Engineers. This, so far, is the only engineering operation attempted in advance of the first parallel which has not been under my direction. The abatis provided for this use was deposited at various points along the beach, to the rear of the second parallel, and was afterward used as a part of the obstacle in front of it.

Thursday, July 30.-To-day began to put down heavy gun platforms in Batteries Rosecrans and Meade; also continued sand-bag rivetting in same. This work was in charge of Sergeants [Joseph C.] Howell and [Charles H.] Dutcher, New York Volunteer Engineers. These platforms for the Parrott rifles are more easily laid than any other heavy gun platforms that have been used in this department.

At night, as usual, those portions of the work which require the men to expose themselves above the crest of the parapets, such as epaulements, magazines, splinter-proof shelters, and seaward barricade, were progressed. Built a splinter-proof shelter for the headquarters of the general officer of the trenches, and used also as a telegraph office+ on the east side of the large magazine.

Heavy firing from both sides during these twenty-four hours.

Friday, July 31.-Continued the work which was in progress yesterday.

The timber required for the piling and cribbing of the seaward work on the right of the second parallel has to be cut on Folly Island (there being but two trees on Morris Island), then hauled to Light-House Inlet, rafted across, again loaded in wagons and hauled at night and at low tide nearly 3 miles to the work. I sought some plan to avoid this labor and delay. Having observed that brush caused the accumulation of sand, which was moved either by wind or water, I thought piers built of filled sand-bags, and resting on a foundation of brush, which would prevent their being undermined, would an-

---------------

*See Note 4, p. 308.

+See Note 20, p. 331.

---------------