Continue to get iron from the wreck of the Ruby, to be used as lining for embrasures, also for mantelets for the heavy guns. Seven iron linings are already in-three in the surf battery and four in Battery Kearny. They work well thus far.
During the night the line of abatis in front of the third parallel was finished, thus completing the keep. The services of the Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteers are highly spoken of, in connection with this work, by the superintending engineer officer.
Improved the embouchure of approach from second parallel to make it passable for carts.
At the request of Colonel Turner, chief of artillery, bullet-proof merlons, made of iron gabions* filled with sand-bags were begun in Battery Brown, under Sergeant [Joshua] Felter, New York Volunteer Engineers. To accomplish a similar end (the protection of the artillerists from Wagner's sharpshooters), the soles of the embrasures of Battery Kearny are given a counter slope.
Friday, August 14.-Since the occupation of the third parallel by our sharpshooters, those of the enemy have given much less annoyance to the second parallel, as they have been driven farther back, and their attention fully occupied by our advanced riflemen. This gives opportunity for more day work in the second parallel, and accordingly, from this time forward, an engineer officer will be constantly on duty there,+ which has not been the case heretofore.
To-day, for the third time, the trenches to the rear of the second parallel were cleaned out and their parapets rebuilt. Continued work on splinter-proof shelters++ between the first and second parallels, it being designed, if the enemy's fire continues annoying, to build cover for the entire guard of the trenches and the artillerists, altogether at least 1,000 men.
This night added sand to the covering of all the service magazines in the second parallel, to supply waste caused by the wind. They are now receiving powder.
Continued splinter-proof merlons for heavy guns, and commenced, at the request of Colonel Turner, chief of artillery, putting boiler-plate mantelets in their embrasures, to give the gunners additional protection against sharpshooters. But little use was made of these mantelets. After the fire opened on Sumter, the enemy's sharpshooters directed their attention to the sappers, who then commenced their advance.
To-day was built, at the request of the chief of artillery, a small splinter-proof magazine, in which to load shells for the use of Battery Brown.
Saturday, August 15.-Portions of the sand-bag rivetting@ of the second parallel are failing. The dry sand runs out through rents made in the bags by the service of the defensive guns, and the destructive operations of the guard of the trenches in their efforts to shelter themselves from the sun and the night air. It is probable that many of the bags that are giving out are the ones that had been already once used in rivetting the siege batteries on the north end of Folly Island, and a second time here for want of better. This can only be remedied by replacing or facing such rivetting with new. The latter plan was adopted, and a poor quality of sods cut from the marsh was used. This work was begun in the howitzer battery, on the right of the second parallel, and, with the unfinished work of yesterday, is in progress this day and night.
*See Note 9, p. 317.
+See Note 18, p. 326.
++See Note 21, p. 331.
@See Note 10, p. 318.