HDQRS. 1ST MIL. DIST., DEPT. OF S. C., GA., AND FLA.,
Charleston, September 22, 1863.
GENERAL: On the morning of August 21, the enemy opened heavily against the east face of Fort Sumter from his land batteries, enfilading it, and by 7.30 had succeeded in disabling one 10-inch gun and a rifled 42-pounder. The cannonade was continued throughout the day. Four hundred and sixty-five shot and shell struck Fort Sumter outside, 259 inside, and 219 passed over - 943 in all. The effect was to batter the eastern face heavily, doing considerable damage, and to disable the guns already mentioned (one 8-inch columbiad and a rifled 42-pounder). Seven men were wounded in the fort, 3 dangerously. In the evening, the Ironsides frigate came within range. Five 11-inch shot were fired at her, when she withdrew.
Brigadier-General Hagood relieved Colonel Keitt in command of our troops on Morris Island at 2 o'clock on the morning of the 21st. At 2.30 he opened fire on the enemy's advance, then within about 450 yards, to which the enemy responded vigorously. The practice was kept up until daylight. During the early part of the day, the enemy's land batteries were employed upon Fort Sumter, and fired but little upon Wagner. A monitor and two wooden gun-boats during the afternoon opened upon the battery and the troops in the hills. This fire was replied to by a 10-inch gun from Wagner and by Battery Gregg. Toward evening the heavy land batteries commenced upon Wagner, adding their annoyance to that of the sharpshooters, which had been constantly kept up during the day. At dusk a large force of the enemy was observed approaching, with the apparent intention of assaulting the rifle-pits. He was received with a brisk fire, and General Hagood, immediately re-enforcing his advance, drove back the assault.
The casualties at Wagner were: Captain Robert Pringle, of Lucas' battalion of artillery (who died nobly at his post), killed, and 7 wounded. Batteries Cheves and Simkins kept up a continuous fire with columbiads and mortars, throughout the day, on the enemy's advance.
At 12 o'clock, the enemy sent a flag of truce to Battery Wagner with a communication to the commanding general. This Brigadier-General Hagood retained, there being no immediate communication with the city until the evening, when it was delivered to the commanding general, who visited Morris Island at that time.* At about 2.30 o'clock on the morning of the 22nd, an officer was sent to Morris Island, returning the dispatch inclosed to the commander of the enemy's forces, for signature, which had been omitted.
Soon after 3 o'clock, the enemy opened from a new battery (constructed in the marsh a little to the west of Thomas Island) at long range upon the city of Charleston, several shots reaching the city, but doing no damage whatever beyond the destruction of a few medical stores and injuring one or two walls slightly.
During the night of the 21st, the Twentieth South Carolina Volunteers was relieved from duty at Morris Island by the Sixty-first North Carolina Regiment, and different detachments of artillery were also replaced by fresh troops. Captain [Alfred S.] Gaillard's company of artillery was relieved from Fort Sumter and stationed
* [Note on original.] It being at night, with no proper light at hand, the communications were sent unread by the same messenger to my headquarters. - G. T. Beauregard, general commanding.