August 23, 1863
CAPTAIN: The enemy during the last night succeeded, notwithstanding the constant fire of our pickets, in extending their works about 40 yards. At as early an hour this morning as the fog would permit, we opened fire from an 8-inch shell gun, a 32-pounder and a 42-pounder carronade from our land face. This fire was continued at intervals during the day. We succeeded in destroying the work of the night almost entirely. The land batteries of the enemy replied in the morning and again during the afternoon.
A little after 7 a.m. the Ironsides opened fire. We replied slowly with our 10-inch columbiad, and, with the assistance of Battery Gregg, succeeded in forcing her to retire in an hour and quarter. She was frequently struck. One of her boats was disengaged and fell into our hands.
A flag of truce from the enemy was met about 12 m., with communications for commanding general and certain consuls.
During the night all damages done the battery, none of which were serious, were repaired.
The enemy has been busy during the day repairing damages done his lines by our fire, and strengthening his advanced lines.
The carriages of both 8-inch shell guns are almost disabled and can only be used in case of emergency. For one, both carriage and chassis are needed; for the other, a carriage and tongue of chassis. These are very important guns.
We are much retarded in our operations for want of 32-pounder shell and solid shot, for which frequent requisitions have been made.
Casualties, 7 wounded, two of which were in the rifle-pits, by a shell from Battery Simkins.
I regret to report among the wounded the gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Gaillard, of the Charleston Battalion. His hand and wrist were so shattered by a shell as to render amputation necessary. The loss of the services of so efficient and brave a man at this crisis is a serious calamity.
I shall endeavor to-night to do some work upon the right flank of the rifle-pits, to meet the threatening approach of the enemy's sap at that point.
I would have been glad, however, had some engineer officer of experience (if not the chief, as requested last night) been sent down to-day. The engineer officer here has been unable to suggest anything.
Effective strength as reported yesterday, with exception of a few sick sent off, and casualties. Among the sick is Lieutenant [John A.] Keith, Lucas' battalion. Another lieutenant should be sent, as it leaves important guns in charge of non-commissioned officers.
Captain W. F. NANCE,
[P. S.] - A separate statement relative to flag of truce communications sent.*
Report from Battery Gregg inclosed.+
*See "Correspondence, etc., "Part II.
+See Gilchrist's report of August 23, Numbers 48, p. 548, post.