HEADQUARTERS MORRIS ISLAND,
August 31, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of operations during the last twenty-four hours:
Last night the enemy were again busily engaged, in spite of a heavy fire from us, in strengthening their works. So far as can be seen, no new works were commenced near the fort. Their sharpshooters were active part of the night and they replied to our fire regularly with their mortars.
The fire from the guns at Fort Wagner was effective and was kept up all the night.
The batteries on James Island threw so many of their shells over the fort that I telegraphed them to cease firing.
This morning they (batteries on James Island) commenced firing again, and killed 2 men in Fort Wagner. Things were quiet, during the morning; only occasional shots from the enemy's batteries, and a brisk fire from their sharpshooters. This evening, about 3.30 o'clock, four monitors moved up and commenced firing at Fort Gregg, Sullivan's Island, and the wreck of the boat Sumter. The guns at Fort Gregg replied firing about 40 shots, some of which were seen to take effect upon the monitors.
The batteries on Sullivan's Island assisted in the fight.
No damage reported at Fort Gregg.
Captain Smith, commanding at Fort Gregg, reports that he steamer Sumter left that post at about 2 o'clock this morning loaded with troops; Twentieth South Carolina, Twenty-third Georgia, and Captain Mathewes' artillery company. A very few moments after, the batteries on Sullivan's Island opened fire on her. He immediately caused a dispatch to be sent to Colonel Butler, informing him that it was the Sumter, and also one to yourself, stating that the steamer was in great danger, and asking for a steamer to assist. The steamer was subjected to a tremendous fire, and is now a wreck near Sullivan's Island. I have not been able to get a very definite account of the amount of loss sustained by the troops on board.
The Thirty-second Georgia and Eighth North Carolina Regiments occupy the works at Fort Wagner. The Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Georgia Regiments came in last night, and are in reserve.
The mortar at Fort Gregg could not be brought down and mounted for want of a bed; two have been sent over, neither of which could be used. We are waiting for another.
A. H. COLQUITT,
Captain W. F. NANCE,
[Inclosure Numbers 1.] Number of shots fired from Fort Wagner in last twenty-four hours:
Ten-inch mortar, 40 shells; 10-inch, 30 shells and 8 grape; 32-pounder smooth-bore, 19 shells, 1 grape, 1 canister; 12-pounder howitzer, brass, 622 spherical case, 44 shells, 8 canister.