by connecting their heads, about 100 yards and are now about 600 yards from these works, though with no guns apparently as yet mounted in their advanced position.
4 p.m. No firing by enemy up to this time, excepting from sharpshooters; our fire with great spirit and believed effect.
5 p.m. The enemy's land batteries have opened briskly. The wheel of the 32-pounder carronade, having been knocked to pieces, has been replaced by a wheel from a gun some time since dismounted.
8 p.m. Fire from enemy's batteries still going on slowly. Battery Gregg replying. Colonel Harrison arrived with orders to relieve me. Effective strength same as yesterday.
Three casualties to-day-too slight to go to hospital.
General report will be made to-morrow.
Captain W. F. NANCE,
HEADQUARTERS FORCES, MORRIS ISLAND,
Battery Wagner, August 21, 1863
GENERAL: This morning at 2 o'clock I relieved Colonel Keitt in command of this post.
The reports of the chief of artillery and engineer in charge will show in detail the condition of this fort, as they are herewith sent.* It will suffice in general terms, that the defensive powers of the fort are not materially impaired, and its armament, such as it is, is in fair condition. I find, however, the 10-inch gun, which has heretofore done such good service, disabled beyond the means of repairs at hand, and the banded rifle on the sea face has been disabled and replaced by a smooth 32-pounder.
Our means of reply to the fleet are therefore limited to one 10-inch gun.
There are some deficiencies in the supply of ordnance, which will be brought to the attention of the department by the proper officer. His report is also inclosed.
There are but about two and a half days' rations on the island.
Without at least ten days' supply it will be difficulty to obey the standing order to defend the fort to the last extremity, should communication with the city be destroyed.
This matter was brought to your attention this morning at 2.20, by telegraph.
The enemy have pushed their approaches to within 450 yards of the fort, and are steadily and rapidly pushing on.
The only means of retarding their progress at our disposal is night fire from the artillery of the land face, and sharpshooters (about 100) during the day. Both so far have done, I am informed, but little to retard them. They are pushing their sap, with a roller at the head. Day fire has also been used to some extent from the land face. This, however is very much controlled by the superiority of the enemy's fire.
*For Captain Gregorie's reports of this date, thus referred to, see Numbers 28, p. 502, post.