About 9 p.m. or sooner, the enemy up a signal rocket from the marsh or creek far to our right, and immediately opened fire on steamer Chesterfield at Cumming's Point, just landing the Charleston Battalion, and shortly two monitors, and perhaps a gunboat, opened fire in the same direction. The result was that the steamer's crew carried her off precipitately, leaving the caption on shore, and leaving the Fifty-fourth Georgia, which should have been taken.
I hear of no injury to the steamer, and no casualty occurred at Cumming's Point, though the enemy had the range well, and fired their Parrott guns rapidly. Their fire lasted upward of an hour and a half, and distracted our working parties; many shots being also fired at Battery Wagner.
By 2 o'clock this morning, the 10-inch columbiad was remounted and the chassis and carriage for another columbiad placed in position. The columbiad also was, with much effort, dragged up to the parapet, and there masked with sand-bags, Colonel Yates deeming it impracticable to mount it before daylight. He ceased work at 2 a.m., and said it was necessary to return the portion of Fort Sumter garrison with him. He asked for 100 men at dark to-night, who will be taken from the Charleston Battalion.
The enemy opened with mortars at 4.30 a.m. to-day, but soon ceased. Police and engineer parties were formed, but the enemy opened a slow fire from the land, about 8 a.m., which soon suspended working. Our sharpshooters being re-enforced by 7 men from the Charleston Battalion, provoked a sharp return from the enemy's, and Minie balls have been whizzing all about. Our sharpshooters claim to have shot down two of the enemy's. Between 11.30 and 12 o'clock Major F. F. Warley, by my order, opened on the enemy's near battery and sharpshooters, with three 8-inch shell guns; one siege howitzer; one sea-coast howitzer and one 8-inch shell gun, and on their palisade, with a 32-pounder (shot). Our shell burst well, and the men stood gallantly to their guns, but the enemy gave at least two shots to our one, striking our embrasures, &c., resulting in a contusion on the thigh of Private [O. H.] Kingman, Company E, Charleston Battalion. I ceased our fire in thirty or forty minutes, and soon the enemy slackened their rapid fire, but still fired often. A good many shots were thrown from a gunboat, which has now ceased.
Private [Simeon B.] Edge, Company D, Fifty-first North Carolina, has just brought in, with left knee torn by a shell, and amputation is in progress.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
LAWRENCE M. KEITT,
Captain W. F. NANCE,
P. S.-It is very difficult to shelter the large garrison here.
HEADQUARTERS BATTERY WAGNER,
August 2, 1863-11 p.m.
CAPTAIN: Since writing to you at 2 p.m., when the shelling was slowly progressing, numerous injuries were occasioned by bursting of two large shell from land batteries. Just before 3 o'clock, one