near the right of our camp.
It was learned that a list of prisoners recently received from the enemy contained no names of Fifty-fourth men. On the 30th Lieut.-Col. Henry A. Purviance
, Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania, was killed by the premature explosion of one of our own shells.
The enemy's steamer Sumter,
returning from Morris Island
early on the 31st with six hundred officers and men, was fired into by Fort Moultrie
, and four men were killed or drowned.
With our capture of the ridge on the 26th the last natural cover was attained.
Beyond for two hundred yards stretched a strip of sand over which the besiegers must advance.
It seemed impossible to progress far, as each attempt to do so resulted in severe losses.
Every detail at the front maintained its position only at the cost of life.
So numerous were the dead at this period of the siege that at almost any hour throughout the day the sound of funeral music could be heard in the camps.
Such was the depressing effect upon the men that finally orders were issued to dispense with music at burials.
The troops were dispirited by such losses without adequate results.
That the strain was great was manifested by an enormous sick list.
It was the opinion of experienced officers that the losses by casualties and sickness were greater than might be expected from another assault.
Success or defeat seemed to hang in the balance.
Under no greater difficulties and losses many a siege had been raised.
, however, was equal to the emergency.
He ordered the fifth parallel enlarged and strengthened, the cover increased, and a line of rifle trench run in front of it. New positions were constructed for the sharpshooters.
All his light mortars were moved to the