FORT MONROE, VA., August 21, 1863. [Received 10.30 a.m.]
Major General H. W. HALLECK:
The steamer United States has arrived from Charleston, which place she left at 1 o'clock on Sunday, six hours after the John Rice. She met the northeasterly gale off Hatteras, and was obliged to lie two days under shelter of the cape. This explains the delay in her arrival. The report of the captain contains nothing new. The general bombardment had not commenced, although everything was being boat ready for it, and the general impression was that it would come off on Monday last. The monitors and Ironsides were inside the bar, ready for action, as were also some of the wooden gunboats. Desultory firing had been going on between our batteries and the enemy's, but no furious cannonade, such as was reported from the Chattanooga Rebel to have taken place on Saturday, had occurred. The mortar-boats drop shells at intervals of time into Fort Wagner, and occasionally the enemy's flanking batteries on James Island throw shots and shells into our batteries to delay their completion, but nothing more. The captain does not know how many guns of large caliber General Gillmore has in position, but it is sure he has ten or twelve, mainly 100-pounder and 200-pounder Parrotts. The 300-pounder was being moved up into the batteries, but was not yet into position. The captain seems to doubt the report of the captain of the John Rice about the insufficient supply of ammunition for this gun. The naval battery on shore is in a fine state of efficiency, at least so reported. The captain confirms the report of a shot being fired into Charleston from the naval battery on Morris Island, and of the message from Beauregard to know if it was the intention to bombard the city, in which case he wished to remove the women and children. The shot was from a large Whitworth gun. The captain heard Captain Balch, of the Pawnee, relate the circumstance in the quartermaster's office. The officers and men are reported in good spirits, and excellent health for the season.
As an evidence of General Gillmore's determination, there is a rumor that he has said that he will have Fort Wagner, if he has to fill it so full of iron as to leave no place for rebels. The Arago had not left, but was to leave next after the United States. Another northeaster has commenced blowing, which may delay her arrival.
J. G. FOSTER,
[Copy to President and Secretary of War.]
FORT MONROE, VA., August 21, 1863 [Received 7.40 p.m.]
General H. W. HALLECK,
Richmond pappers of the 17th, 18th, 20th, and 21st, received by flag of truce, contain the following dispatches from Charleston:
Charleston, August 14.-The bombardment for the last two nights has been incessant and spirited. Two monitors and one of the Yankee batteries on Morris Island were firing at Fort Sumter yesterday, at 4,000 yards distance. There are signs that another terrible bombardment will speedily begin. The Ironsides, with six monitors and five gunboats, are inside the bar, and twenty transports are in sight. A French war steamer is anchored off Fort Sumter. All quiet this morning.