five other monitors, with the Ironside, were seen approaching, whether to shield the boat that was thought to be aground, or whether it was a preconcerted move, I am unable to say. About this time a shot or shell form the Weehawken struck the muzzle of an 8-inch columbian in Fort Moultrie and glanced into some shell boxes which were protected by a traverse, producing an explosion, killing 16  and wounding 12 men of Company E, First South Carolina Infantry, [Third Artillery,] Captain R. Press. Smith, jr. This disaster rendered it necessary to replace Company E by Company F, Captain B. S. Burnet, which arrived under fire form the Beauregard Battery. The Ironsides took a position some 1,500 yards distant,a nd opened a very heavy fire from her broadsides. The monitors took positions varying form 900 to 1,400 yards, all directing their fire upon Fort Moultrie and the batteries adjoining. Batteries Bee and Beauregard also received a portion of their fire. The batteries replied, but, owing to the scant amount of ammunition on hand, the fire was not so rapid as that of the fleet. After the action had continued about five hours, the fleet withdrew, one of the monitors, I think, disabled, the Wheehawken remaining in the same position it occupied in the morning.
Besides the loss produced by the explosion before referred to, 3 men were killed, 2 officers (Captain G. A. Wardlaw slightly, and Lieutenant D. B. De Saussure severely) and 14 men wounded at Fort Moultrie; at Battery Bee 1 officer and 1 man were slightly wounded, and at Battery Beauregard 1 officer (Lieutenant Edward [W.] Macbeth) slightly wounded.
Two guns in Fort Moultrie were disabled, the 8-inch columbian, before referred to, and one rifled 32-pounder, which had the right trunnion knocked off by a shot or shell from the enemy. No other material damage wad done to the batteries.
I regret to say that the treble-banded Broke gun gave way during the action, a crack being made in the band in rear of the vent and through the breech. I beg leave to refer to the report of Lieutenant Dwight for an explanation of the circumstances attending the loss of this valuable gun.
The firing at the several batteries on the island was accurate and deliberate, and it affords me great pleasure to commend the conduct of both officers and men of my command.
I inclose herewith the reports of battery commanders, with a list of killed and wounded.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain EDWARD WHITE,
Numbers 4. Reports of Major Robert De Treville, Third South Carolina Artillery, commanding Fort Moultrie.
HEADQUARTERS FORT MOULTRIE, S. C., September 7, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that this evening about 6 o'clock, five monitors and the Ironsides were reported approaching the fort.