was imperfectly done, and will require that a large party be employed at it to-night, thus again preventing the fire of our land guns.
The men were greatly fatigued last night, and it was difficult to keep any but the willing men at work.
Lieutenant [W. E.] Erwin reported last night, with 13 men, and relieved Lieutenant Alston, whose devotion to his duty has been worthy of all praise. Sergeant Welch, of Alston's old squad, was detained as ordnance sergeant and artificer.
He was quite willing to stay, and has done good service. Captain Gregoria reported as chief engineer at 1.30 a.m. to-day, and, after conferring with Colonel Harris, took charge of work, he and his assistants, Gillon and Stewart, working all night.
At a few minutes before 5 o'clock, one monitor moved up in front of the fort, and opened with a few shots. The Ironsides, shortly afterward, and another monitor followed, taking position as follows:
The Ironsides nearly abreast the fort, one monitor a short distance to her left, but 200 or 300 yards nearer in, and the other still farther to her left and beyond the buoy. Some time was occupied by them in getting into position, and at 7 o'clock they anchored and opened fire sharply. The fire was replied to briskly by our columbiad and rifled gun for a half hour, but was afterward slackened, in view of the shortness of ammunition. The enemy also afterward fired with more deliberation, and directed their shots chiefly toward the rifled gun, which they struck with a shell at 9 o'clock, shivering the carriage and breaking the trunnion of the piece. The columbiad continued its fire, at intervals of about ten minutes, until about 11 o'clock, when the fleet slowly withdrew.
The rifled gun was well served throughout the engagement, or until this gun was disabled, by Lieutenant Colhoun and his detachment, and the columbiad by Lieutenant Erwin, who was very faithful in the discharge of his duties, continuing at his post without relief until the fleet had withdrawn.
The monitor against which our fire was directed was struck fairly not less than five times, and it was soon after receiving the last shot she moved off, soon followed by the other.
Five wooden gunboats joined in the engagement, making, with the iron-clads, an enfilade fire, but their shots had no important effect.
They continued to fire more or less briskly until 12.30, when, the wind rising, they all withdrew. Since then, this post has been quiet, though the enemy's fire has been directed all day against Sumter. Some firing was done by their land batteries against us, but their shell burst in our rear.
The carriage of 32-pounder No.- was struck by fragment of shell on trunnion plate, and considerably injured, the fragment having penetrated the top of the upright. It can probably be used for some time.
The following are the only casualties:
Lieutenant J. D. Ford, Company B, Lucas' battalion, South Carolina Artillery, contusion of the hip, slight' and Private H. M. Hughes, Company E, Charleston Battalion, hand badly but by fragment of shell; since amputated.
Having received no instructions to the contrary, I am preparing to remount the smooth-bore 32-pounder belonging to the sea face on the left salient of land face, using the chassis formerly belonging to it, on which the rifled 32-pounder was mounted. All this depends, however, upon the enemy's fire to-night.