Twenty men landed at Seabrook Island from boats, and took off lumber. They remained two hours.
The commanding general ordered that the recovery of the guns should not be attempted without an apparent prospect of success and at not too great sacrifice of life.
The following are the numbers of shots fired by our batteries to-day: Battery near Fort Johnson, 8; Simkins, 8; Cheves, 10; Rutledge, 2; Marion, 5; Brooke gun battery, 10.
December 30, 1863.-No change is to be noted in the appearance of the enemy's fleet off the harbor.
During the day nothing of importance occurred, except for about an hour in the morning, and again in the afternoon an artillery duel was maintained by our batteries in the vicinity of Secessionville with those of the enemy on Black Island and Light-House Inlet.
Occasional shots were also exchanged between Gadberry Hill battery and some of our works on James Island, the effect of which fire is not stated.
Battery Simkins appears to have been the only one of our harbor batteries in action during the day, whence 6 mortar shells were directed against a working party of the enemy at Gregg, at which work the embrasure formerly occupied by the 10-inch columbiad has been reopened and traverses constructed to protect the guns from the fire of our Sullivan's Island batteries.
The detail from the Twenty-seventh South Carolina Volunteers, under Captain Chisolm, on duty in Fort Sumter, were last night relieved by Captain [S. L.] Hammond, 100 men, and 6 officers of the Twenty-fifth South Carolina Volunteers.
The two 8-inch howitzers left by the Legareville expedition on the morning of the 25th instant in our batteries on the Stono were carried off by the enemy on the evening of the 28th. The limber of one of them was left behind, and was brought away last night by Major Jenkins, who also set fire to the wharves and bridges at Legareville, and left them burning at 11 p.m. It was ascertained, however, this morning that owing to the material of which the foundation of the bridges was composed the entire structures were not consumed, but were sufficiently damaged to prevent further use at present.
General Hagood telegraphs that this morning there are no signs of the enemy at or near Legareville, and that they are again at work on the end of Long Island in front of Secessionville.
This evening from Fort Sumter indications were observed of some parade or ceremony on Morris Island. Music was heard, batteries fired their guns, the slopes of the works at the southern end of the island were thronged with men, and a steamer with more than the usual amount of decorations lay at the landing at Light-House Inlet. A volley of musketry was also heard at 8 p.m.
The steamer Moultrie attempted last night to run the blockade from this harbor, but she was fired into by the enemy's pickets on the beach, and was forced to return.
December 31, 1863.-To-day was stormy, with wind and rain, and there was very little activity among either the enemy's fleet or land batteries.
At 10 a.m. Battery Cumming opened on the city with two guns, but ceased after firing 5 shells, 2 only of which exploded. Cheves, the battery near Fort Johnson, Marion, and the Brooke gun battery responded, and, as usual, ceased immediately after the enemy had closed.