On 7th, the same was tried on steamer passing to Sumter, but not so respectfully, all shots falling for short. At 5 p.m. on this day, a mortar-boat took position off Wagner and shelled out troops in sand-hills for some thirty minutes. Previous to this a flag-of-truce boat had communicated with General Hagood at Wagner. At 11 p.m. the Parrott battery opened on us with unusual rapidity, with a range for the Point Landing. This fire was kept up some three hours longer than on any previous occasion. Their signal for commencing fire was a rocket thrown from the harbor opposite Battery Gregg. The steamer had, however, already left the point, and their signal was occasioned by a lighted lantern on beach, collecting ordnance stores.
On the 8th instant, observed distinctly with glasses men evidently laving platforms in marsh midway between Morris and Black Islands. The 9-inch Dahlgren was tried at highest elevation, but could not reach them. At 2 p.m. 5 shells were fired from Dahlgren-3 exploding over the enemy's advanced batteries and 2 just in advance of our gun. At 4 p.m. enemy engaged Battery Gregg with three mortar-boats, firing shell and 200-pounder Parrott shot. Shells all burst short; Parrott shots mostly passed over. Two of the Parrott shots struck the battery-one carrying away southeast corner of traverse over magazine, the other the step-ladder leading up to the rampart. The firing was rapid and continuous till sundown, and the enemy in this short engagement expended some 220 shell and shot. The most advanced battery of the enemy at the same time shelled the sand-hills between the forts. Lieutenant [T. G.] Dargan, First Regiment South Carolina Artillery, replied to this last fire, with excellent effect. Judging from what I could discern with glasses, he is a superior artillerist and deserves commendation for the precision with which he hurts his shells over the enemy's batteries. One 10-inch columbiad was brought into action during this engagement, but after the fourth, fire, the enemy's vessels proving to be out of range, our reply was directed with the 9-inch Dahlgren exclusively against the hand batteries of the enemy.
The morning of the 9th was very sultry and quiet. At 4.30 p.m. 11 shells were thrown from the 9-inch Dahlgren at the enemy's advanced works, some taking effect and some falling short. This was replied to by a few shots from the enemy's Parrott batteries, all passing over Battery Gregg.
At 3 a.m. on the morning of the 10th, Forts Sumter, Wagner, Gregg, and Simkins opened fire on the enemy's advanced working parties and drove them to their original line behind palisades. The remainder of this day was passed in quiet inactiveness until 5 p.m., when we exchanged some 13 shots from the 9-inch Dahlgren with the enemy's batteries. Captain Lesesne opened fire from this point with the 10-inch mortar at 6 p.m. Of the shots fired by the enemy's Parrott battery on this afternoon, one struck the traverse over the magazine, another passed through Lieutenant Dargan's tent, and a third through signal-house, carrying away half the chimney. On this evening, enemy lit up their calcium light at ----Hill. This day closing my tour of duty, my observation ended with the evening.
WM. TENNENT, JR.,
Colonel [D. B.] HARRIS,
Chief Engineer Department.