HEADQUARTERS SULLIVAN'S ISLAND,
August 8, 1863.
SIR: In concluding the journal of events which occurred while I was in command on Morris Island, I would respectfully remark, that I leave our works there much stronger than they were on my arrival; and, that I responded promptly to every call of engineer and ordnance officers for working parties at Battery Wagner, and, with trifling exceptions, at Cumming's Point also. It has not been in my power to constantly overlook the work at the latter place, and I am protection of working parties and stores in much needed there.
While our own works have been much increased in strength, it is apprehended that the works of the enemy, in our front, have been strengthened to an equal extent. The enemy appear to work with industry and great caution. I have been compelled generally to remain quiet; so as not to draw their fire on my working parties. The experimental fire which I opened from the land face of Battery Wagner, about midday on the 2nd instant, proved that the enemy could concentrate a well-directed fire, and from a wide field, upon my embrassures, dismounting some of the guns, almost certainly, in a long-continued fight. It is also in the power of the enemy to keep up an annoying fire, through their sharpshooters, on the embrasures. The enemy's sharpshooters have been decidedly checked, though not driven off by our own sharpshooters, who use Whitworth rifles.
In this connection, I would respectfully advise that we should bring to bear upon the enemy's near works as much vertical fire as possible from small mortars and howitzers, which might be fired without greatly exposing the men or guns. Cannot the 8-inch side howitzer, with reduced charges, and at a considerable elevation, be used as a substitute for a mortar? I beg that this may be carefully tested.
In connection with this vertical fire, our 8-inch shell guns and 32-pounders might open at any favorable moment, for a limited time. From the limited supply of ammunition, I was restrained from keeping up any contest with the enemy.
The enemy use sand-bags freely, protect themselves carefully as they proceed, and must advance if not interrupted. They have no large number of guns visible. Only eleven could be seen in an observation on the afternoon of the 4th instant. Of these, three were large barbette guns on the sand-hills. I was not able to form any estimate of the number of their mortars.
With trifling exceptions, I had good reason to be satisfied with the spirit and conduct of the officers and men under my command on Morris Island.
Lieutenant-Colonel Danzler, in addition to commanding the Twentieth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers with ability, often assisted my adjutant-general in having the enceinte and rear of the battery properly policed-no small matter, when meat, transported at no small cost from Charleston, had sometimes to be buried as a nuisance.
Lieutenant-Colonel Gaillard, of the Charleston Battalion, remained habitually with his men, and exercised, each might, the greatest vigilance. I beg to say the same also of Lieutenant-Colonel Dargan, of Twenty-first South Carolina Volunteers.
The artillery, commanded by Major Warley, Second South Carolina Artillery, remained habitually at their guns, and gave me entire