repair the gun carriages; in no other way can the efficiency of the ordnance be maintained.
The necessary repairs to-night can with difficulty be made in consequence of the want of sand-bags, which have been repeatedly required for in the last two days. Colonel Harris, chief engineer, visited the post last night and approved the plan adopted for meeting the enemy's attempt at flanking, by sap, our rifle-pits. That work (extremely important, in my opinion) cannot go on efficiently to-night on account of the absence of sand-bags. In connection with this work, my thanks are due to Captain [Edward] Mallett, Sixty-first North Carolina, for valuable suggestions and superintendence.
Yesterday Sergeant Ehbrenstein, of the same regiment, volunteered and succeeded in remounting a gun for which it was thought we would be compelled to use a gin, and consequently have to wait for night. He is a valuable man, and has been ordered to report temporarily to the engineer for duty with him.
Casualties to-day, 5 wounded; 1 killed is included in to-day's report. He was reported wounded yesterday in the pits by a shell from Simkins, but was, in fact, killed.
The same battery threw fragments from two of its shell into this fort again to-day. I respectfully request that steps be taken to stop this thing.
Effective strength, 935.
Captain W. F. NANCE,
August 24, 1863
CAPTAIN: Owing to the want of sand-bags, of which we are much in need, the repairs on the parapets have been much retarded. The line of rifle-pits has been extended in a northwestward direction; but this work could not be expedited as we wish in consequence of absence of sand-bags. The direction of the line of the rifle-pits of the enemy has been changed, making the distance between the two opposing lines greater. A strong line for our rifle-pits is now being worked upon across a marsh, which renders our position much stronger; but owing to absence of sand-bags to form bases as initial points, the work is attended with danger, and we make slow progress.
The southwest flank of Battery Wagner has been repaired along the whole line, but not perfectly; the plank revetments have been braced and steps for infantry more strongly secured. A new platform has been made for a 6-pounder howitzer, brass, and the gun mounted on the land face. Coverings of loose sand have been placed over the bomb-proof near headquarters, which had been weakened by shell from the enemy; but not effectually owing to the great want of sand-bags and material for transporting earth; hand barrows have been made, but for want of proper lumber not as many as are required. There exists great need of timber for the purpose of erecting platforms or repairing injuries.
The engineer department is very much cramped by the want of carpenter's tools and an engineer's level.
A ditch has been begun between the line of the enemy's pickets and ours.