and the First Georgia, commands Cumming's Point and the sand-hills. Owing to the long delay in relieving troops, I did not open on the enemy until 11.45 p.m., calling in my picket (save 33 in the rifle-pits), and opening about half an hour afterward a steady fire of one gun every three minutes, the enemy replying oftener.
To-morrow night I propose to use my field pieces with spherical case, and am very anxious to use spherical case from the 8-inch siege howitzer.
Please send all that can be had from the siege train on James Island, as I think they would be very effective on the enemy's working parties.
The spiked plank were not laid in the moat to-night, in consequence of a doubt as to torpedoes having been planted there and the possibility of thus exploding them.
I trust that proper materials and instructions will be supplied to the engineers here to execute defensive works, particularly bomb-proofs.
1.30 a.m. The firing continues, our part under the direction of Captain Chichester, who, though unwell, remains at his post; the enemy's fire more frequent.
Please have two or more iron tanks from the floating battery sent to Battery Wagner. (See the inclosed note of Captain Tucker,* who had them examined.) If the quartermaster requires assistance in moving them, probably Captain Tucker would give a helping hand, through Captain Rutledge.
If no reliefs are made to-morrow night, I will open fire early.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
LAWRENCE M. KEITT,
Captain W. F. NANCE,
HEADQUARTERS BATTERY WAGNER,
August 17, 1863-9 p.m.
CAPTAIN: I had the honor last night to forward report up to 1.30 a.m. this morning, when slow firing was going on from our land face, which continued up to 4.30 a.m.
The enemy responded with a vigorous mortar fire, ceasing about the same time as ours.
At 5 a.m. they opened a severe fire of Parrott guns from their works on Morris Island, to our right, ceasing just before 6. There were no casualties reported from this fire, and no material damage done.
Just after 6 a.m. a monitor, and then the Ironsides, were seen drawing up, and, according to the views of the commanding general, were allowed to come in close. An action with these and other monitors commenced about half past 6, Lieutenant Alston's detachment manning the two columbiads, and a squad of Company B, Lucas' battalion, manning the rifled 32-pounder, directed mostly by Captain [Robert] Pringle and sometimes by Lieutenant [E. B.] Colhoun. Lieutenant Alston acted as gunner for right columbiad, directing his fire on left and nearest monitor, distant about 600 yards. Sergeant [D. H.] Welch, Company E, First Artillery, directed the fire of left columbiad against the Ironsides, distant about 700 to 800 yards.