This night the return in the obstacle in front of the second parallel was extended back to the left of the howitzer battery; thence along its front to the defensive barricade, from which point, with an intermediate link of abatis, the barricade continues the obstacle to low water. Began, by order of the general commanding, a breaching battery, about 130 yards in front of the second parallel, just inside the northeast salient of the obstacle; also an approach to it from the parallel. Captain Walker superintended the work. This battery was afterward abandoned, and converted into a defensive splinter-proof shelter for the use of reserves of the grand guard.
To-night Lieutenant Farrand, who has had the superintendence of the musketry and defensive gun arrangements of the second parallel, and of a portion of its heavy batteries, was relieved temporarily by Lieutenant E. N. K. Talcott, New York Volunteer Engineers.
Being convinced, from constant observation, that the enemy's sharpshooters are doing better service, and our own becoming less efficient every day, I reported the facts to the general commanding to-day, and suggested a remedy.*
An 8-inch Parrott rifle was mounted in Battery Brown to-night, being the first heavy breaching gun placed in position on the right.
Monday, August 3.-A 10-inch Parrott rifle has been received by the ordnance department of use in the siege, and the question of its position is under consideration. I to-day submitted to the general commanding the following memoranda, setting forth the advantages (as they appeared to me) of a position 225 yards in advance of the first parallel, and midway between the beach and the lumber-yard, over a position on the left:
1. The distance to Sumter is 550 yards (about one-seventh) less.
2. Greater isolation is obtained from the James Island fire, which has given us most annoyance.
3. Much less cost, in labor and time, is required for the transportation of guns and projectiles.
4. The position on the right gives the best five on the channel, to be used in case our hand batteries had to defend themselves from the enemy's iron-clads, in the contingency, which is now considered possible, that the navy may be driven to the open sea by a storm.
On the other hand, the left position gives 10 degrees more favorable fire for breaching the gorge wall end enfilading the sea face of Sumter, and masks all of its guns which are on the southeast face. The left position does not require the gun to fire over other batteries, which the right does.
I received the order from the general commanding to lay out and begin the construction of an emplacement for this 10-inch Parrott rifle, on the right, in the position above designated. This order was countermanded before the work was commenced, and the gun put in Battery Strong, on the left. Twenty-five hundred nights' work were expended in hauling the gun to its place, nine-tenths of the work being after it had left the beach. In its transportation, the wheels of the two sling-carts sank into the sand on the beach 2 inches, and on a dry sand road 12 inches.+
This night began, under the superintendence of Lieutenant Wilcken, the construction of a bomb-proof surgery in the second parallel, using lumber obtained during the day from the Beacon House.
*See Note 14, p. 323.
+See Note 17, p. 326.