hours, throwing at intervals 150 and 32 pounder shells, while the schooner shelled the shore to the northward and eastward of her, while lying in the main channel. They withdrew about 12 o'clock without coming in range of our guns. No casualties.
December 26, 163.-With the exception of an occasional gun heard in the direction of the Stono, not a shot was fired from our batteries or those of the enemy during the day.
The fleet off the harbor is about the same in number and character as last recorded.
Colonel Elliott reports that at 12 m. yesterday, at the signal of a steam whistle in the fleet and a gun from the direction of Light-House Inlet, a Federal flag was raised at the middle battery on Cumming's Point. He adds, as a significant fact, that at the first attempt the bunting went up "Union down."
Major Jenkins reports that soon after the withdrawal of our forces yesterday from near Legareville, the enemy commenced shelling the vicinity, and in the afternoon advanced their pickets so as to occupy our deserted batteries. After dark, with a view to ascertain the exact position of the enemy, Major Jenkins advanced a cavalry force, and discovered that they had evacuated the batteries, and retired some distance to the rear, and that the 8-inch howitzers left by Colonel Kemper had been dismounted, carriages overturned, and wheels taken off, so as to render it extremely difficult to recapture them. The night being very still and the enemy only a short distance off, the attempt was for the time abandoned.
December 27, 1863.-The Ironsides, four monitors, and the usual number of gunboats, transports, &c., compose the enemy's fleet off the harbor this morning.
At 3 a.m. Battery Cumming opened fire witch one gun, and, after firing 5 shells, ceased. Before the second shell had been fired, Batteries Simkins and Marion and the Brooke gun battery responded, and continued firing until the enemy closed. From this time until 4.20 p.m. everything was quiet, when Cummming and Gregg each fired one gun at Sumter. This brought on a reply from Simkins and the Sullivan's Island works. As the enemy appeared to be satisfied with firing only two guns at the fort, our batteries soon closed.
It is reported that the embrasure at Battery Gregg, formerly occupied by our 10-inch columbiad is closed up, and one large Parrott is the only heavy gun now bearing on the fort from that point.
The following is a summary of shots fired by our batteries since last report: Simkins, 3; Marion, 5, and Brooke gun battery, 1.
The enemy have at Hilton Head two steam frigates, one steam sloop of war, one steam cutter, five wooden gunboats, and once hundred and three transports.
The telegraph station at Secessionville was reopened to-day for business.
December 28, 1863.-There was no firing last night, but at 9 o'clock this morning the enemy opened upon the city from Batteries Cumming and Gregg and the mortar battery, and fired 5 shells, 2 of which failed to explode. Our batteries did not, as usual, respond. They remained silent the entire day, and it was not until 9.30 p.m. that a gun was fired on our side. At this time the enemy's calcium light at Gregg being reflected on the channel, Batteries Bee, Marion, Rutledge, the Brooke gun battery, Moultrie, Cheves, and Simkins opened a brisk fire with a view to extinguish it. At 10.40, the light being no longer visible, our batteries ceased.