War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0289 Chapter XL. OPERATIONS ON MORRIS ISLAND, S. C.

Search Civil War Official Records

brigade, consisting of 10 men from his own company (I, New York Volunteer Engineers). He had executed 60 feet at 8 a. m., and was then relieved by Captain Suess, with a sapping brigade from his company (B), same regiment, who completed 70 feet of approach during the day. The enemy's sharpshooters opened on the head of the sap as soon as they observed its progress in the morning, and fired at it all day. One casualty occurred among the sappers, a slight wound from the explosion of a shell. Captain Walker again took the advance this night, and, by means of the flying sap, executed about 160 yards of approach, leaving the sap-roller at daybreak in position several yards in advance of our picket line.

In the second parallel, during this day and night, a force has been repairing the damage done by the storm. The two field guns, which had to be removed from the surf battery, are being put in position at high-water line, 6 yards in advance of the parapet of the second parallel. The merlons of the breaching batteries have received some repairs. Lieutenant Baldwin relieved Lieutenant Farrand on this work.

At the request of the officers in charge of the sap, I to-day prepared instructions for the guard of the advanced trenches. They received the approval of the general commanding, and went into operation this night. Three regiments, averaging 300 men each, were assigned to alternate as guard of the advanced trenches. The Third New Hampshire Volunteers, Captain Randlett commanding, went on duty this night.

The commander of the detachment making gabions on Folly Island reports that he has been sent to Light-House Inlet 350 gabions, and for the future 60 will be furnished per day, or about 1 gabion to 2 men employed. This is small work. It was soon afterward more than doubled.*

Thursday, August 20.-Captain Walker was relieved in the sap this morning by Lieutenant Wilcken, who was relieved by Captain Suess, who was relieved in the evening by Lieutenant Charles B. Parsons, New York Volunteer Engineers, each tour of duty being about six hours long. The sap progresses very slowly, but constantly. The soil is easily worked, but averages less than 2 feet in depth to the water; hence the slow progress in keeping a strong parapet closed up against the sap-roller. Three sappers were slightly wounded to-day.

Completed emplacements and a barrel splinter-proof magazine for two howitzers in the second parallel, begun yesterday. Increased the size of left epaulement of Battery Meade, to secure its guns against an increased fire from James Island, as the enemy are opening new batteries in that direction. The frame of the bomb-proof surgery, which shows evidences of failing, has been braced and strengthened to-day. The repairs made in the embrasures of several breaching guns in the second parallel consist chiefly in replacing the iron gabions* which are worn out by new ones. In these repairs of embrasures, both of defensive and offensive guns, in the second parallel, it is observed that those having iron lining+ require the least; in fact, almost none. Captain Comstock, commanding Battery Rosecrans, says of the iron embrasure of gun Numbers 1, which had a boiler-plate hanging door for a mantlet:

It worked very well, indeed, until disabled by a shot. I consider it a good protection against musketry fire. It was not in my way in the least in loading and sighting upon Sumter.

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

*See Note 9, p. 317.

+See Note 12, p. 322.

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

19 R R-VOL XXVIII, PT I