Copy of intercepted dispatch from flag-ship to headquarters on Morris Island:
Please send a dispatch to Stono, inquiring why the tug De Ford has been not come up. Request Captain B
to send her, if the weather permits.
December 8, 1863.-There is no material change noted in the appearance of the enemy's fleet off the harbor to-day.
The enemy appear to have altogether ceased any further attempts against Sumter, and have not fired a shot at that work in the past two days.
A party was observed this morning at Battery Gregg (Fort Putnam) engaged in placing sand on the magazine of that work, and also erecting what is thought to be a new battery in that vicinity.
The fire of the enemy to-day was confined to an occasional shot, directed against Sullivan's Island and Battery Simkins, which replied with a few shots from columbiads and mortars. The effect, however, was not apparent.
The enemy's fleet at Port Royal is composed of two steam frigates, two sloops of war, one steam cutter, two iron-clads, five wooden gun-boats, and eighty-seven transports. Considerable activity was observed in the fleet, but no troops were noticed on any of the vessels.
December 9, 1863.-The Morris Island batteries were again silent last night. To-day, however, the enemy engaged Battery Simkins and some of our Sullivan's Island works, which replied from Batteries Marion and Rutledge with about 40 mortar shells. Battery Simkins also fired a few shots.
Colonel Elliott reports that the enemy show themselves in considerable numbers at Batteries Gregg and Wagner, where the work of rivetting those batteries with sods still continues.
Only 6 rifle shots were fired at the fort to-day, and of these 1 missed.
Colonel Harris, chief engineer, reports that a large supply of sand and other material was thrown into Sumter without interference from the enemy.
At 4.10 p.m. one of the batteries at Cumming's Point opened on the city, apparently with three guns, and fired at intervals of from one to three minutes. After throwing 7 shells, they ceased at 4.26 p.m.
At 9.40 p.m. fire was again opened from the same point, and, after 4 shells had been thrown into the city, Batteries Simkins, Marion, and Moultrie returned the fire, whereupon Cumming's Point ceased.
The enemy have at Port Royal to-day two steam frigates, two steam sloops of war, one steam cutter, two iron-clads, eight wooden gunboats, and eighty-six transports.
December 10, 1863.-There was no firing but the enemy at Fort Sumter to-day, with the exception of 1 rifle shot, which missed.
Captain [A. S.] Gaillard, Company K, First South Carolina Artillery, and 40 men, relieved Captain [William H.] Peronneau, Company G, and 40 men of the same corps, last night.
The enemy fired 6 mortar shells at James Island. Our batteries were engaged as follows: Marion, 19 mortar shells; Simkins, 16 10-inch mortar shells, 20 8-inch columbiad shells, and 6 rifle shots; Cheves, 15 8-inch columbiad shells. Effect unknown. No casualties reported.
Eleven shells were thrown into the city last night and this morning. Officers in charge of picket-boats last night are of opinion that