War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0279 Chapter XL. OPERATIONS ON MORRIS ISLAND, S. C.

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swer to support the banquette tread of the barricade. Experiments tried this day, on the south end of Morris Island, did not warrant the application of this method in practice. Had the bags been of a closer texture, and more firmly bound together with ropes, I think they would have stood. A coating of pitch or tar would have been advantageous.

Saturday, August 1.-To-day was laid the last heavy gun platform in the second parallel, making seven in all-two 8-inch Parrott rifles in Battery Brown and five 100-pounder Parrott rifles in Battery Rosecrans and Meade. All these batteries can now receive their armament, although the earthwork is not entirely finished.

The engineering operations in the second parallel are out of the way of the ordnance and artillery, but the progress is very slow. One important cause of delay and of increased labor, which affects all the work on the right, is a lack of ground. This want, whether it be expressed by surface or volume, is constantly felt. For want of sufficient space, all the defensive and offensive works of the second parallel are crowded into an area of less than 9 acres, having a square development of 225 yards. Consequently, the heavy breaching guns have to fire over defensive ones, and they over each other. There is not room enough, nor earth enough, to make suitable traverses, epaulements, and bomb-proof shelters for the protection of guns, ammunition, and garrison. From lack of depth (the earth does not average over 3 feet), our trenches have to be sunk so low that they are flooded at spring tides.

A very unpleasant feature connected with this lack of earth arose from the number of dead bodies found in all our advanced works on the right, particularly in the second parallel, and immediately in front of Wagner. Ten have been exhumed in one night. Handing these bodies was very disagreeable. They were generally in coffins, but many soldiers, friend and foe, were wrapped in blankets only, and others not that. At first we endeavored to re-bury the bodies in places away from the works where they would not be disturbed. But as the siege progressed, the scarcity of earth compelled a second, and, in one case, a third disinterment of the same corpse. After this experience in the second parallel, all bodies that had to be moved were buried in the parapets of the works, where they lie undisturbed.

On an old map, Morris Island is called "Coffin Land." It was used, I am informed, as a quarantine burying-ground for the port of Charleston.

For the protection of the artillerists serving the defensive guns in the second parallel from sharpshooters, the construction of circular rope mantelets, to be attached to the guns, was commenced to-day, at the request of Colonel Turner, chief of artillery. But little use was made of them, as these guns were seldom used by daylight.

Lieutenant Wilcken, who, up to this time, has superintended the construction of splinter-proof shelters, was for this night relieved by Captain Joseph Walker, New York Volunteer Engineers.

Sunday, August 2.-Not having succeeded in fastening the hides which are used in lining the sand-bag embrasures of the defensive guns so but that the blast of the piece soon destroyed them, I to-day sent a small squad of men to obtain plates of sheet or boiler iron from the wreck of the steamer Ruby, a blockade-runner, to be used for this purpose.*


*See Note 12, p. 322.