The officers are requested to be on hand promptly at these hours. Officers unfit for duty will please report the fact four hours before their tour begins, that other arrangements may be made.
Sunday, August 23.-Captain Suess went on duty in the sap at 3 o'clock this morning. He extended the fourth parallel to the marsh, and, by means of gabions, a short distance out upon it. At daylight the enemy opened on this new work with artillery from Wagner, and completely destroyed it, knocking the gabions to pieces, and caving the parapet back into the trench for 12 yards in length. This part of the work had to be abandoned, and as it was not thought advisable to start the sap-roller under the circumstances, the day was spent in improving the fourth parallel.
The enemy in Wagner have become very expert in filling the throats of their embrasures with sand-bags after each discharge, thus shielding the detachments serving the heavy guns from our sharpshooters and even our artillery.
Two emplacements for defensive guns (Requa batteries) are building on the left of the fourth parallel to-day.
To-night Captain Walker is on duty in the sap. A small redan was built in front of the left of the fourth parallel by the flying sap, the enemy's pickets being within 25 yards. This increased the development of the parallel, perfected its flanking arrangements, and gave cover in reverse against our own fire, and, what was still more important, against the fire of James Island, which is producing more casualties* among our troops than at any previous time, averaging, in the special guard of the advanced trenches, 10 per day. On one day one of these regiments, the Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, numbering 300 men, lost 20 men.
One Requa battery was placed in position on the left of the fourth parallel this night. A return of 25 yards, extending along the marsh, was made from its extreme left to protect that flank. A light musketry parapet, built of gabions for the same purpose, has already been established on a dike leading from near the left of the fourth parallel to the creek.
Captain Pratt this night superintended moving sap-rollers to the left of the fourth parallel; also to the same place a Coehorn mortar battery, with its platforms and ammunition, from the left of the second parallel.
In addition to the ordinary repairs in the second parallel, the parapet of the approach between it and its obstacle was this night raised by means of a row of powder barrels filled with earth. These powder barrels, emptied by the firing, have also been used to a considerable extent in the fourth parallel for rivetting and for a banquette tread. The parapet of the third parallel, and of the line of approach immediately to its rear, was thoroughly repaired and strengthened. Began the construction of emplacements for four 8-inch siege mortars in rear of the traverse which defends the right flank of the third parallel, with a bomb-proof magazine for the service of the same; also to move forward from the first parallel the platforms belonging to this battery.
This evening the "seven days' bombardment of Sumter," which began on the 17th instant, ended in thoroughly demolishing the gorge wall of the fort, dismounting most, if not all, of its guns, and greatly injuring its walls.
*See Note 18. 326.