War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0468 S.C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E.FLA. Chapter XL.

Search Civil War Official Records

HEADQUARTERS BATTERY WAGNER,

August 16, 1863-9 a.m.

CAPTAIN: My last report was up to 11.30 p.m. on the 15th, at which time the enemy were keeping up a vigorous fire, both vertical and horizontal.

This fire continued on both sides, sometimes less rapid, until 4.30 a.m. to-day, when firing ceased on both sides. The fire of the enemy's rifled guns (frequently firing shrapnel), was generally good, but, excepting the two casualties reported last night, in Twentieth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, no harm was done by it.

Their mortar fire was poor until about 2.30 a.m. (their shell falling mostly in rear of this battery and on the beach), but at this time their fleet seemed to direct their fire by signal, and it became more accurate. Two men were wounded by it, viz: Private John Smith, Company A, Eighteenth Georgia Battalion, slight wound in hand; Private Patsey Bannon, Company E, First South Carolina Artillery, severe contusion in both thighs. Between 11.30 p.m. and 2 a.m., our fire was continuous and slow. About 2 o'clock, a general discharge took place along our whole front, and shortly after this, the sound of the bugle was heard from the enemy's lines, and reported by a messenger from the picket in rifle-pits. The enemy fired no guns from the immediate vicinity of their stockade, but seemed to be at work on or near the beach.

Notwithstanding the rapid fire of the enemy last night, Captain Wampler, the engineer in charge, reports that the damage to this work was very trifling, and can be easily repaired. He did no work last night, but is working 50 men this morning at the infantry banquettes on the west face.

He has no detailed instructions about the erection of a new bomb-proof in this battery, and no timber for it. I beg that definite instructions be given to him forthwith, and that the necessary timbers be sent at once to Cumming's Point, and rafted up Vincent's Creek to Battery Wagner.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

LAWRENCE M. KEITT,

Colonel, Commanding.

Captain W. F. NANCE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

P. S.-Please request Major Pringle to have the wooden water tank for Cumming's Point sent down to-night, with a workman to put it up. All quiet this morning.

Send whitewash brush for hospital.

HEADQUARTERS BATTERY WAGNER,

August 16, 1863-5 p.m.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report, since my last up to 9 a.m., that the day has so far passed very quietly, the usual firing of sharpshooters on both sides going on briskly.

No artillery fire from the enemy has been directed against this battery, and I have no casualties to report.

I have the honor to inclose morning report and Captain Chichester's report* of last night's firing, with his views on certain dispositions of guns, an answer to which is respectfully solicited.

---------------

*See No. 31, p.511.

---------------