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[161] bake-house and tore up the bake-oven. Several others played the wild in the company quarters, but fortunately nobody has been hurt.

I went over to Battery Wagner yesterday evening, on duty. The enemy have extended their approaches to within six hundred yards of the Battery. Night before last, however, we used grape and canister on their most advanced work and drove them off, but I understand they worked considerably last night. They have now reached the extreme end of the sand hills, and the remaining portion of ground over which or through which they have to advance is a low, open, level plain, very much exposed to flank fire, and it will be many times more difficult for them to advance farther now than it has been for them to reach the position they already occupy. Our men on the Island are in fine spirits. They have learned to perfection that lovely art, familiarly known to all those who have had occasion to appreciate it, as the ‘art of dodging.’ The artillery remain in the Battery; the infantry support grabble holes in the sand hills this side, and then they sit all day long watching that hateful puff of smoke. When they see it, like prairie dogs, they pop down. When all is over, the hills are alive again, and the glorious Confederates who but just now mingled with pleasure with ‘fiddlers’ and ‘sand crabs,’ now rise up to the dignity of their species and can be seen brushing their clothing and shaking sand out of their locks. At the Battery the men are in high spirits, always cracking jokes and laughing while the shelling is going on. They have watched the enemy's batteries so much until they know each gun and have a name for each. They have the utmost contempt for a Whitworth or Parrott shot, and pay no regard to them whatever; but I can tell you when they hear the words, ‘Look out, mortar!’ you can see a long train of Generals, Colonels, Majors, Captains, Lieutenants, privates, quartermasters, commissary and ordnance officers all walking as if they would like to go faster, into the bomb-proof. The enemy have some little mortars that shoot shrapnel shells, and with these they do a good deal of damage. The sharpshooters on both sides keep up a constant duel. Whenever a man shows his head over the parapet at the Battery, he is sure to get a shot at him. And they are constantly practicing all kinds of tricks, such as holding up their hats on sticks to be shot at, &c.

Evidently the object of the enemy is now to endeavor to take Wagner by gradual approaches, and ours seems to be to dispute every inch of ground. General Beauregard was here again yesterday evening. The enemy are far ahead of us in skill and energy.

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Tom Wagner (1)
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