close under arch ceiling, from which sand had settled); it dropped in parade. Few will strike just at this level. Eleven a. m. fire slackened; greatest displacement on gorge is over sally-port, parapet having fallen; second-tier casemate rooms, the second and fourth east of sally-port, partially uncovered, without loss of sand filling yet; magazine in no danger; can stop penetration of 10.20 a. m., very easily to-night from outside; northwest front has 4 upper and 3 lower embrasures more or less shattered from reverse fire; southeast pan coupe has large crater under cornice; on whole, less damage up to date than I expected, &c.
Lieutenant of Engineers.
SUMTER, August 20, 1863.
MAJOR: Since 1 p. m. yesterday the eastern half of gorge scarp has been falling away from arches. Three are now partially uncovered; before noon there will be four with their loading above and filling below. The rubbish in falling is piled up to level of window sills second story, or about 15 feet high; we may count upon its covering, when all down, to a height of 20 feet, upon which I can drop sand-bags from ramparts at night, and make lower story of this, as well as western half, secure from battering. The demolition of these rampart arches and piers, with filling of rooms, will occupy at least one week longer. The gorge arches to west of and over sally-port are now nearly covered from fire by mass of sand-bags and rubbish. I think we may count on the prolonged stability of these, together with their loading above and filling below, thus securing, longer than I can estimate, the safety of western magazine. East magazine can stand battering also a week, but as no sand-bag revetment can be used there, it will have to be given up. Last night worked on hospital traversing, filling tightly between sand and under side of arches, in two most exposed rooms of east half gorge, and enlarging re-enforce of west magazine.
First Lieutenant of Engineers.
Major W. H. ECHOLS,
Charleston, S. C.
SUMTER, August 21, 1863-10 a. m.
(Received 1.10 a. m.)
MAJOR: Same large holes opened through northwest scarp by reverse firing to-day; six upper embrasures and three lower shattered; one opening 8 by 10 feet; east scarp, as before, damaged very slightly. Southeast pan cupoe battered under traverse, and one-half parapet in its front fallen. East magazine re-enforce stone work damaged, slight. Northwest covered by loss brick from upper port, which is half gone; same way rubbish from above has covered sand and cotton filling reported exposed this morning by falling of scarp, upper 5 feet of the four exposed rooms being all now visible. Worst effect to-day is demolishing some 7 feet of arch rampart for length