bar, including a French and an English sloop of war. Several vessels arrived during the day from both the north and south; and though some of them were loaded, none brought troops.
The enemy's working parties kept well under cover to-day, and did not make much progress. Only a few shots were fired, all directed against Moultrie, and all of which fell short.
Battery Simkins fired 22 shots from the Brooke gun with good effect. Twelve shots were fired from Cheves and 20 from Haskell. Very few of the shells from the latter battery exploded, and all those fired from the double-banded 24-pounder rifle against Battery Wagner fell short, although a charge of 6 pounds of powder was used, with an elevation of 17.
Since the increase in negro labor, the engineer work at Fort Johnson is progressing favorably.
One banded 7-inch gun was taken from Sumter last night and brought to the city. A large quantity of 32-pounder canister and 8-inch shot were also brought away, and an 8-inch shell gun was placed on the berm ready for shipment.
Reports from the Stono state that men were seen working all day on the bridge at Green Creek, and that a regiment appears to be on Kiawah Island.
A daring reconnaissance was made on Black Island last night by Captain Samuel Le Roy Hammond, who, accompanied by 2 men, proceeded in an open boat to that island. Arriving there at about 2.30 a.m., Captain Hammond approached to within a few yards of the enemy's pickets, and discovered them at work erecting a new battery on the wooded portion of the island. He estimates this force at about 250 men. Leaving the island at dawn, his party were very near being intercepted by a barge with about 10 men, who were probably returning from a similar reconnaissance of our works. Fortunately, the enemy passed without discovering Captain Hammond, who returned to camp in safety. Captain Hammond reports that from observation to-day with his glass he is led to believe the enemy have a rope obstruction across Light-House Inlet. Will endeavor to ascertain nature of obstruction whenever opportunity offers.
September 23, 1863, 5 a.m.-Buildings observed on fire on Sullivan's Island.
6 a.m. Enemy's Battery No. 1 fired 2 shots.
In the past twenty-four hours, Moultrie, Simkins, Cheves, and Haskell have been at various times in slow action, firing during that time 218 shots, to which the enemy only replied by firing twice.
Thirty-nine vessels are inside the bar, including the Ironsides, four monitors, one sloop of war, three guns, three mortar-boats, &c.
The enemy have been working to-day in large numbers at Wagner and Gregg and the intermediate sand-hills. The effect of Moultrie's fire is not perceptible; but the fire of the James Island batteries, when directed against Wagner, where the working party is larger, always causes them to seek cover.
Sixty-eight shots were fired to-day with good effect from Battery Simkins.
Mr. J. Fraser Mathewes reports that he brought away last night from Fort Sumter one 32-pounder rifled and banded gun. The high wind which has prevailed for the last three or four days has prevented him from bringing away one 10-inch columbiad and one 8-inch shell gun lying on the north and east berm of the fort.