mine, with the commanding officers and local engineers, what is the minimum garrison and force of laborers that should be kept in the fort.
G. T. B. [BEAUREGARD],
FORT SUMTER, October 27, 1863-11 p. m.
MAJOR: I have the honor to state that the enemy opened fire upon Fort Sumter to-day at 7 a. m., from Gregg, Wagner, and the low battery to the east of Gregg. Up to dark this afternoon, 625 shots were fired; all but 90 struck. The interval between the cessation and the resumption of fire was short.
Since reopening, two guns, apparently from Gregg, with an occasional shot form a monitor, have been playing upon us at the rate of 2 shots in five minutes, and lately with the addition of a mortar from the battery to the east of Gregg. Shrapnel has occasionally been fired, and grape in the channel, to prevent approach and reconnaissances around the walls. The entire se face has been very much injured, the arches of the second tier being all breached and the material falling outside. This was done by the monitors, Gregg, and the battery east, both batteries having an enfilading fire upon it. The gorge wall has also received much damage, several shells and solid shots coming through and exploding and dropping beneath. This is east of the old sally-port. The remains of the north wall have been breached in several places. The southeast and southwest angle have also been hit as many as one hundred times. Two guns appear to direct their entire attention at the southwest angle. Many shells from the monitors dropped immediately tot he north of the new sally-port or guard room and in the interior, generally of the inner slope. Lieutenant [A. P.] Brown, Twelfth Georgia Battalion, was killed this afternoon by the explosion of a 15-inch monitor shell, which penetrated the top of the first arch of the second tier east. He was apparently struck by a brick.
If the shelling continues through the night and to-morrow as violently as it has to-day, there will be some breaches in the gorge wall near the southwest angle through the re-enforce. The traverse over the hospital on the west side, which was hot away yesterday and put up, was again nearly shot away to-day. There is all probability that the arches there will fall to-morrow, if the monitors attack, although Gregg plumps them full. No work has been done to-day, with the exception of that on the northeast angle at the new magazine, in which an arch has been entirely filled. The work is progressing there to-night, that angle being screened from the fire of the batteries. Had I material piled away under cover, as I intended, I could use it to advantage, but the supply has been too limited and was consumed at the time. The only safe place in the fort now is under the bomb-proof of the old sally-port, and in that of the new one immediately in rear, recently erected.
I am afraid we will not have shelter-proofs sufficient for the number here. The splinter-proofs for the negroes I find to answer admirably. I retreat that opportunity has not been given to cover them with sand. They would make admirable bomb-proofs.
The enemy, in large numbers, congregated upon the sand-hills and beach of Morris Island, to witness the fire on Sumter. Our batteries were occasionally heard through the day, but faintly, and the