DECEMBER 25, 1863.-Engagement at Fort Brooke, Fla.
Report of Captain John Westcott, Second Florida Battalion.
TAMPA, December 26, 1863.
SIR: The enemy's gunboat Tahoma and a small schooner came up the bay and anchored in front of the garrison on Thursday nigher, the 24th instant, the Tahoma firing one gun (a shell) about 11.30 p. m.
On the morning of the 25th, the schooner altered her position to the main channel. About 9 o'clock the Tahoma opened fire upon the garrisons and continued it for two hours at intervals, throwing 150 and 32 pounte shells into the town and garrison. The schooner was not able to get up within range of her guns on account of the tide and wind, but shelled the shore to the northern and eastward of her as long as she remained there. They kept out of range of our guns. We were ready, however, to have received them properly if they had attempted a landing. About 12 o'clock they drew off and proceeded down the bay. None of my men or any of the citizens were injured.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding post Fort Brooke, Tampa.
Lieutenant Colonel T. W. BREAVARD,
Commanding Gulf Forces.
DECEMBER 28, 1863.-Affair on John's Island, S. C.
Report of Major John Jenkins, Third South Carolina Cavalry.*
HEADQUARTERS THIRD SUB-DISTRICT, John's Island, December 28, 1863.
CAPTAIN: At 9.30 this morning the gunboats shelled in the neighborhood and in front of the batteries for half an horn, ad the which they landed about 200 men at the Lady's Island battery from a flat. They came up Deep Creek, which touches the high land immediately in the rear of the battery. The enemy had thrown forward their pickets ot the second hedge from the village and in advance of the batteries. There were about 200, who appeared to be working at the guns left on the 25th instant, which I fear are now finally lost. The sling-carts arrived too late for me to attempt the removal last night, and to-day they have their gunboats as near to the batteries as they can get, while the Pawnee went up Kiawah River and took a position to command all approaches and to prevent any advance on our part. She, after the shelling was over, was relieved by another armed vessel and resumed her position near the batteries. It will be impossible,then (the enemy occupying the batteries in stronger force than I can bring against them, with their pickers also between and covered by intervening embankment and immediately protected by four gunboats), ot do anything to recover the guns.
Three steamboats left Legareville to-day, but the atmosphere was so thick it could not be ascertained whether there were troops aboard.
*For report of Lieutenant Commander Richard W. Meade, jr., U. S. Navy, see Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy, December 5, 1864.