Today in History:

18 Series I Volume XXVIII-I Serial 46 - Ft. Sumter - Ft. Wagner Part I

Page 18 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

tance from that work was 4,200 yards. Major Brooks was charged with this work.

Second Parallel.

103. July 23. On the night of the 23rd the "second parallel" was established by the flying sap, about 600 yards in advance of the first, upon a line running diagonally across the island, in a direction approximately northwest and southeast, by taking advantage of a narrow ridge which stretched across the island at that point and extended some distance into the marsh. The end of this ridge on the left rested boldly on Vincent's Creek.

104. It being the intention to place, directly in the rear of the second parallel, as many breaching guns against Fort Sumter as the place would accommodate, provided it should be found practicable to establish them there, under the concentrated fire to which the position was exposed, orders were issued to give to its defensive arrangements the most formidable character.

105. The creek on the left was spanned by two booms of floating timber, to keep off sorties from boats. An obstacle, consisting of abatis, inclined palisading, and wire entanglements, was placed several yards in advance, with its left resting on the creek, and with a return on the right perfectly flanked by six light guns in the parallel. On the right the parallel itself was extended by a defensive barricade to low-water mark, terminating at that point in a strong crib work on which was placed three Requa batteries and two field howitzers to sweep the beach. This was called the Surf Batteery, and was a novel and not unimportant feature of that portion of our approaches.

106. July 26, directed breaching batteries against Fort Sumter to be established in the second parallel.

107. Major Brooks, assistant engineer, upon whom this duty devolved, although entertaining and expressing pretty decided views of the impracticability of such an undertaking, under the heavy, direct, and flank fire to which the fatigue parties would be exposed, nevertheless entered zealously upon the work.

108. No serious difficulty in executing the appropriate work of the engineers was apprehended, but in the slow and tedious labor of moving into position and mounting the heavy guns and carriages under a constant and severe fire from the front and one flank, it was greatly feared that we would not only lose many valuable lives, but that the gun carriages as well as the sling-cart, gins, and other appliances necessary for such work would be destroyed by the enemy's fire.

109. The work was successfully accomplished, however, with unusual rapidity and without serious loss. The transportation to these batteries, and the labor of mounting the carriages and guns, could be performed during the night time only.

110. The defensive arrangements of the second parallel were, for all practical purposes, complete by the 26th of July, and comprised, besides the formidable obstacle in front of it already referred to, 290 liner yards of parapet arranged for infantry fire, and twenty-one pieces of light artillery. It also continued three 30-pounder Parrott rifles and one Wiard field gun, to be used against Fort Wagner and Battery Gregg.

111. The breaching batteries against Fort Sumter located in this parallel contained two 8-inch Parrott rifles, and five 100-pounder Parrott rifles.

Page 18 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.