October 24, 1863.-To-day commenced with rain, which continued at intervals until 4 p.m.
The Ironsides, four monitors, one mortar-boat, and twenty other vessels are inside of the bar. Five blockaders and 24 vessels of various character in Light-House Inlet.
Eleven shots were fired to-day from Battery Cheves and 37 rounds from Battery Simkins. The enemy did not reply. They are reported busy upon the battery between Gregg and Wagner, and have opened an embrasure in that work bearing upon Sumter, and have constructed a traverse for protection against the fire of our guns on James Island. Battery Wagner is being rivetted with sods along the entire line of parapet.
At 5 p.m. a bay steamer arrived from northward with troops, which were disembarked on Folly Island.
A force of about 200 negroes is employed on the bomb-proof and thickening the parapet of Battery Tatom.
The following Yankee dispatch was intercepted to-day:
Will bring your leave up in the morning.
October 25, 1863.-There is no change reported in the fleet this morning.
Monitor [No.] 2 rejoined the fleet to-day, and Monitor No. 6 departed-it is supposed for repairs.
Now inside the bar-Monitors [Nos.] 2,3,4, and 5, while Nos.1, 6, and 7 are absent.
Only 8 shots were fired by us to-day, and those from Battery Simkins. The enemy still silent.
Four guns are now observed in position at Battery Gregg-three Parrotts and one 10-inch columbiad. The Parrott gun on the northeast angle still has the breech toward Sumter and the muzzle in the sand. One Parrott and the columbiad is mounted on the north face, and one Parrott on southwest angle, bearing on the city.
At the midway battery [between Gregg and Wagner] the embrasure toward Sumter is masked with sand-bags. The southeast angle off this work appears to be intended for mortars bearing in the direction of Sullivan's Island. All the guns seem to be removed from the Gadberry Hill batteries.
An extensive work has been completed south of Gregg's Hill; also the batteries on each side of Light-House Inlet and near the observatory on Folly Island. At the former battery three naval guns are in position, but none are observed in the latter.
Four heavy guns are thought to be in position at Battery Wagner.
A large increase of tents is reported on Cole's and Folly Islands.
October 26, 1863.-The Federal fleet this morning is composed of the Ironsides, four monitors, a mortar-boat, and twenty-four other vessels of various classes.
No material change is to be observed in the appearance of affairs on Morris Island, excepting the large Parrott gun at Battery Gregg has finally been turned with the muzzle toward Fort Sumter.
Until about 12.30 p.m. to-day the enemy's guns were silent, when Battery Gregg, the midway battery, and Battery Wagner opened upon Fort Sumter, Sullivan's Island, and Fort Johnson, directing most of their fire at Johnson and Sumter. One hundred and eighty-