166 Southern Historical Society Papers.
city at night. Our opportunities permitted us to remove very few of the dead from the island during the latter days of the siege.
The suffering of the men was somewhat allayed by digging wells in the bomb-proofs. Tolerably good water was thus obtained, but not in sufficient quantities. The heat was intense, and the air in the bomb-proofs became very foul and hardly supported life. The light of the lamps, kept constantly burning, could hardly penetrate the gloom. Rev. A. F. Dickson, our worthy and efficient chaplain, held the usual Sunday's religious services in the bomb-proof, and the voices of the men singing the praises of God could be heard amid the screaming of solid shot and bursting of shells.
To prevent as much as possible over-crowding of the reeking bomb-proofs, Companies C and E were sent out to the sand hills north of the fort. It must not be imagined that they were in a place of safety. The enemy were dropping their shells all over the island from Wagner to Gregg. When a message was sent from one work to another it was borne by a mounted courier, who rode at full speed. Whenever any signs of life were seen by the fleet, the Ironsides or the monitors would sweep the island with their guns, sometimes being near enough to use grape shot for that purpose. Private Hugh M. Pressley, of Company C, was wounded by a piece of shell thrown at him from one of the guns of the Ironsides. Major Bryan, A. A. General for Colonel Keitt, not only to-day, but on every day during the time he was in the fort, distinguished himself by his close atten- tion to his duties, skill and valor. He is entitled to the gratitude of his country, and carried away with him the lasting admiration of both officers and men of the garrison. I think he deserves more credit than any other one officer of the garrison.
About 2 o'clock P. M., Colonel Harris and Captain S. D. Lee, of the Engineer Corps, came down from the city to inspect the fort and report its condition to General Beauregard. Colonel Harris was of the opinion that the fort could not be held longer. The work was, in his judgment, untenable. Captain Thomas Lee was the engi- neer in charge. He was completely worked down, but was still dis- charging his duties bravely. Under his direction, the damages done by the enemy's guns had been promptly repaired till the last parallel of the besiegers was completed. It was then no longer possible, and it was very hard to keep from being entirely buried by the sand-drifts occasioned by the bursting shells. Constant work was necessary to effect this. The parapet of the salient was entirely gone, and the ditch in front filled for a space of fifty feet or more.