P. S.-Private H. Mehrtens, Company G, First Volunteers, Georgia Regiment, while at Battery Gregg this morning, had his leg shot off, and died in forty minutes.
No other casualties to-day.
AUGUST 19, 1863-p.m.
The enemy pushed forward a rifle-pit to-day 50 yards in advance of their last stockade, working with sappers.
They fired upon our pickets to-night, while being posted, but they hold their ground.
LAWRENCE M. KEITT,
HEADQUARTERS BATTERY WAGNER,
August 20, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I had the honor yesterday of reporting affairs to you up to 7 p.m.
The picket in the rifle-pit reported that they had during the day fired upon two suspicious men dressed in brownish-gray, without arms, in the marsh about 500 yards off.
In posting the new picket, the enemy fired some 20 shots on them, very slightly wounding Lieutenant [W. J.] Altmon, Company I, Twenty-first South Carolina, who, whenever, remained on duty and held his ground.
The enemy were quiet during the night, but doubtless worked on. I furnished sufficient men to Captain Gregorie, engineer, who worked on until 3.15 p.m., repairing sea face and south magazine (A), also embrasures on southwest bastion.
I opened no fire, as I wished to press on the engineer work, and about 11 p.m. Major Pringle, assistant quartermaster, called at Battery Wagner and urged that the debarkation of the stores from steamer Chesterfield, going on with the assistance of the navy, should proceed uninterrupted. I therefore waited to hear that the stores were landed, but Captain Guerard, assistant quartermaster, could not finish this until 3 a.m., and when his report came it was too late to open.
Company H, Second South Carolina Artillery, Captain Kennady, reported about 10.30 p.m. and relieved Captain Miles' company, Charleston Battalion. The Charleston Battalion relieved the First Georgia Regiment, throwing out beach pickets and furnishing fatigue at Cumming's Point. Lieutenant Stiles reported for engineer duty at Battery Gregg, and Mr. Stewart, assistant engineer of this battery, left but the relief for him never came.
This morning at an early hour, the enemy directed a mortar fire upon the sand-hills for nearly an hour, evidently to worry our troops, as they even fired from the fleet afterward at 2 officers, bathing.
About 11 a.m. several of the enemy's wooden gunboats opened on this battery, at long range, the shots mostly striking to the rear.
The enemy's sappers were observed to continue their work, pushing on under cover, and at midday were estimated at probably 600 yards from our work, and have been since advancing.