War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0435 Chapter XL. OPERATIONS ON MORRIS ISLAND, S.C.

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HDQRS. FIRST MIL. DIST., DEPT., OF S. C., GA. AND FLA.,

Charleston, August 9, 1863

Respectfully returned.

The Twenty-first South Carolina Volunteers was withdrawn from Battery Wagner last night. To-night the Eighth North Carolina will be relieved by Colonel Olmstead's command, which will leave the garrison a little more than 1,000, but as nearly as possible without dividing commands.

The couriers will also be relieved by an equal number from Fifth South Carolina Cavalry.

R. S. RIPLEY,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS MORRIS ISLAND,

Battery Wagner, August 8, 1863

SIR: I have the honor to report the following as the journal of the siege of this place, from 9 p.m. last evening:

About 12.30 p.m. a rocket was sent up by the enemy, from a position in the harbor to the right in front of Fort Sumter, and lights were at the same time and place exhibited; instantly the enemy's land batteries opened on Cumming's Point, and this fire was continued until after 2 a.m. About 9 a.m. a few shots were fired toward Cumming's Point. About 4.30 three of enemy's gunboats opened fire at this place and at Battery Gregg, and a little later the enemy's land batteries opened briskly on this place. It was discovered at this time that the rifled and banded gun recently put up was obstructed by some metallic substance. I at once telegraphed for an expert and tools to remedy the difficulty.

6.30. After firing with the land batteries nearly three hundred times to the hour, the gunboats retired. The land battery of enemy on their extreme right on the beach have continued firing mortar shells very briskly. The firing of last night on Battery Gregg was from three guns placed to the right of Gregg's Hill. The firing was rapid for about an hour and then slow. Battery Gregg replied to the fire upon it this morning for about a half hour, when firing on both sides ceased. The fuses there are reported as defective. At 12 m. a working party of the enemy was discovered from Battery Gregg in the marsh between Black and Morris Islands. One 9-inch shell was fired at it from Battery Gregg, but the enemy was found to be out of range. Three 9-inch shells were fired at the Parrott gun battery, to the right of Gregg's Hill. The shells burst well. Battery Gregg replied to the firing of this evening with one 10-inch columbiad and 9-inch Dahlgren. No casualties at Battery Gregg to-day. Two wounded at Battery Wagner to-day, and 1 killed. Eight-inch naval gun on land front had tongue of chassis injured by enemy's fire. Effective strength of command: Infantry, 717; artillery, 240; cavalry, 11; total, 968.

The journal of this post for the day before yesterday was sent up by Captain Stoney, aide-de-camp of General Ripley's staff, who had just brought dispatches from General Ripley. The journal of yesterday was sent up this morning by Dr. [Thomas S.] Grimke, assistant surgeon, no opportunity having offered sooner. The steamboat last night for Cumming's Point departed before I was informed of her arrival.