War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0323 Chapter XL. OPERATIONS ON MORRIS ISLAND, S. C.

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NOTE Numbers 13.


Seventeen hundred and twenty-five yards of approach, including parallels and bayous, were executed in advance of the obstacle of the second parallel, all of which may be considered as having been exclusively employed against Fort Wagner. Of this, about 1,250 yards, or three-fourths of the whole, were by the flying sap, in only 75 yards of which were gabions used. Over 600 yards were arranged for musketry defense; the banquette slope only, however, being rivetted.

The full sap proper was not employed. About 180 yards were executed by the full sap without rivetting, and 300 yards by the half full sap, mostly without rivetting. The full sap without gabions was advanced at the rate of 6 or 8 feet per hour under the fire of sharpshooters and distant artillery. The artillery fire of Fort Wagner, when directed on the sap, greatly delayed, and, on several instances, stopped its progress.

A sapping brigade consisted of 8 artificers and 2 non-commissioned officers of volunteer engineers, divided into two squads, who alternated on duty at the head of the sap. All assisted in moving the sap-roller, which weighed about a ton.

The roller was moved forward a few inches at a time, the interval being closed up to it quickly by filling the gap with sand. The trench was dug 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep, with no berm. The tools employed were one common short-handled shovel for each sapper, two sap-hooks, and two strong levers 12 feet long. Axes were used for removing roots and timber.

For forming the top of the parapet, a drag shovel, made by bending the blade of a common long-handled shovel at right angles, was used.

With instructed sappers, better tools, and light gabions (ours weighed 60 pounds), the full sap might have progressed faster then the modified form used.

NOTE Numbers 14.



Engineer's Office, Morris Island, S. C., August 2, 1863.

Brigadier General Q. A. GILLMORE,

Commanding Department of the South:

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following concerning sharpshooters, for offensive and defensive operations, in the advanced works under my charge:

The present so-called sharpshooters are inefficient. First, they are not good shots; second, their arms are not in good condition; third, they are not in sufficient numbers, even if they were efficient; fourth, they are not properly officered.

To remedy this, I recommend that all regimental and battalion commanders of this command be ordered to report with their arms, to a suitable officer whom you may designate, 8 per cent. of the line officers and 2 per cent. of the rank and file of their command who