Captain J. J. Magee, Company B, Rutledge Mounted Rifles (horse artillery), reports his return from a reconnaissance, within the enemy's lines. Accompanied by Sergt. Bowie W. Barnwell, he started on the 2nd instant from Chisholm's Island, and, returning, reached Palmetto Point on the 6th instant, the interval being spent within the enemy's lines. He proceeded as far as Beaufort in a canoe, descending the various small streams in that region, and he concludes from his investigations that there are but few troops on the route.
November 9, 1863.-The enemy inside the bar this morning the Ironside, four monitors, flag-ship, two mortar-boats, twenty transports, &c. Six vessels are outside the bar.
Last night only 42 rifled shots struck Fort Sumter, and 16 missed. The usual bombardment of the fort continued to-day with a still further abatement. Of the 61 rifled shots fired from the Morris Island batteries, 21 missed. Seven of the 25 shots from the monitors failed to strike. The same number (25) was fired from the mortars, but of these only 5 missed.
The heavy guns from the enemy's land batteries have ceased fire to a great extent, being replaced by light pieces.
The only casualty reported to-day was the wounding of 1 private in Sumter by a piece of shell.
Only one of our batteries is reported to have been in action to-day, to wit, Battery Simkins, which threw 8 shells, but with what effect is unknown.
A negro force is still engaged at Batteries Tatom and Ryan. The platform for one gun was laid down in the battery to the left of Tatom.
Major Manigault states that the new picket-boat has been recalled, and stationed in advance of the right flank of Battery Haskell.
Reports from the Stono are unimportant. Fourteen schooners, two gunboats, two brigs, two transports, and one steamer are in the harbor.
To-day Brigadier-General Walker reports having sent two scouting parties-one to Port Royal Island and one to Hilton Head Island. Also sends reports of a daring and successful reconnaissance around the enemy's lines made by Captain Magee and Sergt. Bowie W. Barnwell, of the Rutledge Mounted Rifles (horse artillery). The return of the other party is not expected for two or three days. The former is confident that the telegraph wire over Archer's Creek can be tapped with great security, and the general proposes trying it when circumstances justify the risk. Captain Magee also states that a vedette of the enemy can be captured without much risk whenever desirable. The fact of the discovery of the wire should be kept as secret as possible. General Walker also suggest that whatever commendation may be bestowed upon the scouts, it should be for the present of a private character, to prevent, if possible, the enemy's becoming aware of our proceedings. Captain Magee is organizing a fine body of scouts.
November 10, 1863.-The enemy's fleet off the harbor, and this morning remains unchanged.
For the first time since the commencement of the bombardment of Fort Sumter, the enemy last night resorted to mortar shelling. The rifle practice was also more continuous than on any previous night. One hundred and fifty-four of this class of projectiles were fired, of which 62 missed, and 152 mortar shells, 50 of which fell outside the fort.