Lieutenant M. Adams, Fourth New Hampshire Volunteers, was detailed, at my request, for engineer duty, and reported to-day.
The 10-inch Parrott rifle on the left has opened fire on Sumter.
The Marsh Battery against Charleston City is completed.
Friday, August 21.-Captain Walker reports that he relieved Lieutenant Parsons in the sap at 3.30 a. m., at which time the enemy were directing a heavy fire of grape and canister upon it, which fire ceased before daylight. This permitted him to place a line of gabions on the reverse side of the trench, to shield the sappers from the enemy's sharpshooters, who, it was feared, would occupy the cover furnished by the old ruins to the front and head of the sap. This they endeavored to do at daylight, but were prevented by our sharpshooters, who had been stationed by the captain, for this purpose, so as to command the approach to these ruins. At about 9 o'clock an artillery fire was opened upon the head of the sap from Wagner. Several shells burst directly over it; others entered the parapet and grazed the sap-roller. The fire of the sharpshooters was constant and accurate. At 11.30 a. m. Lieutenant Wilcken took charge of the sap, but was soon obliged to retire on account of the enemy's artillery fire, and that of his sharpshooters, who reached the ruins above referred to during a flag of truce.
On being informed of these facts by the general commanding, the naval commander opened on Wagner a fire from his vessels, which, to a considerable extent, subdued the fire of the work.
At my request, General Terry ordered the One hundredth New York Volunteers, Colonel Dandy commanding (the guard of the advanced trenches), to endeavor this night to drive the enemy from behind a small ridge 150 yards to our front, where their picket reserves were stationed, and which was the only natural cover outside of Wagner. We hoped and expected to have obtained a lodgment here by the flying sap, which would bring us within 200 yards of the fort. Several efforts were made, which caused brisk skirmishing and the loss of 6 men, but we did not get the ridge. The picket line settled down in nearly the position occupied last night. I examined the ground, and concluded to establish a fourth parallel, in order to secure possession of the ruins on the elevated ground to the left, from which the enemy's sharpshooters had long given us so much annoyance, and to increase our front preparatory to another attempt to take the ridge. This parallel, comprising a linear development of 300 yards, was opened from the beach to the marsh, close along the heels of our outposts (its right being 350 yards from Wagner), by Captain Suess. He reports most part of the work was done by means of the flying sap, the engineers placing the gabions and the negro troops (Third Regiment United States Colored) digging the trench. The part on the left, near the ruins, being constantly swept by the enemy's musketry fire, was performed by the full sap; not, however, using the sap-roller, as a flank fire only had to be provided against.* The details for this advanced work this night were 100 infantry and 15 engineers.
The same repairs and improvements are in progress in the second parallel as yesterday, and under the same officers.
Seventeen 8-inch Parrott rifle projectiles were fired from Battery Brown at Wagner to-day. Each threw up large quantities of earth, but did no serious injury to the work, so far as could be observed.
*See Note 13, p. 323.