August 26.-Captain [T. B.] Lee, of the engineers, engaged in opining the embrasures at Battery Haskell, so as to extend the field of fire to the southward.
While his hands were so employed, we were prevented from firing upon Morris Island or the Marsh Battery Numbers 1. In the afternoon, fired several shots at the Marsh Battery Numbers 1.
Nothing more has been done by the enemy on Marsh Battery Numbers 2. It is possible that this battery may be only a sham to attract our notice and draw our fire, while the true batteries are being erected on Black Island. Battery Haskell has not yet fired on this battery, and will not do so until there are further evidences of its being a real work. It has, however, been fired on from either Battery Cheves or one of the batteries at Fort Johnson.
At 6.40 p. m. the enemy made an attack upon the rifle-pits in front of Battery Wagner. All of the James Island batteries opened a rapid fire upon the portion of Morris Island to the south of said rifle-pits. The 8-inch columbiad, 5.82-inch rifle, and 4.62-inch rifle were used for this purpose at Battery Haskell. As the evidences of musketry fire at Battery Wagner ceased, our fire was suspended. Later we received orders from General Taliaferro to continue the fire at intervals, as nearly as possible upon the rifle-pits, which were reported to be in the hands of the enemy. Accordingly, fire was kept up all night from the 8-inch columbiad and 4.62-inch rifle, at intervals of ten to fifteen minutes.
The detachment from the Siege Train (20 men) which has been on duty at Battery Wagner, was relieved at 1 o'clock this morning (27th), and returned to James Island. Night stormy and rainy. Wind at first southeast, then permanently northeast.
August 27.-The enemy very busy in entrenching himself in the sand-hill about 200 or 250 yards in front of Battery Wagner (of which he got possession last night). The 8-inch columbiad in Battery Haskell was brought to bear upon the working parties, and continued firing slowly until the ammunition was so nearly exhausted as to render it prudent to reserve what remained (the difficulty is to procure 8-inch shells). The 24-pounder rifle and 4.62-inch rifle; but the failure of the shells to explode rendered the fire comparatively ineffective. Battery Simkins was also firing slowly at the same point. Battery Cheves did not fire.
At 8 p. m. received orders to be prepared for firing on Morris Island to south of Battery Wagner, in case of a further attack on that post. There guns were accordingly prepared, but as no attack was made, we did not fire.
August 28.-Some object resembling a gun is visible this morning in Marsh Battery Numbers 2. It is impossible, however, to decide if it be a reel gun or not. The battery has not been built higher since it was first observed on the morning of 25th instant.
About 11 o'clock Major Mallett, of the Confederate Ordnance Department, came to Legare's Point for the purpose of inspecting, and if possible, remedying the defects of the fuses and other ordnance stores. He remained, witnessing the firing, &c., for two hours, and had full evidence of the worthlessness of the fuses.
About 3 p. m. Colonel [John F.] Lay, inspector of artillery, visited Battery Haskell, and remained until 4.30 p. m.