HEADQUARTERS FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, Mount Pleasant, December 29, 1863.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that at dark last evening it was reported that four large parties of the enemy were seen proceeding from Battery Wagner toward Cumming's Point. They were believed by my informants to have been regiments. Whatever the object of the movement may have been, whether to repair damages tot he works done by the sworn or to make a hostile demonstration, I determined to intercept them, and directed the batteries on Sullivan's Island ot open heavily the, and directed the batteries on Sullivan's Island ot open heavily at ten minutes past 9 p. m., sending word at the same time to Fort Johnson of my intention.
The batteries opened at the time appointed, with rapidity, throwing about 45 mortar shell and 50 direct in the course of half an hour. The batteries in the vicinity of Fort Johnson also opened. The enemy did not reply.
Our practice was fair, the principal defect being the often-reported one of the fuses.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. S. RIPLEY,
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH MILITARY DISTRICT, Adams Run, S. C., December 29, 1863.
Colonel W. B. TABB,
Major Jenkins reports, under date of yesterday, that the enemy probably got the two guns on yesterday. The siege-carts reached him too late for their removal on night of 27th instant. The enemy were in stronger force than his own.
You will make no movement, therefore, without conference with Major Jenkins, and if the gunboats are in the river, or the enemy are in overwhelming force on land, you will remain long enough to reconnoiter and to re-enforce Major Jenkins against any attack or advance by the enemy. But if the guns are gone, and the enemy retire, you will return, leaving whatever infantry force to support Major Jenkins which you may deem necessary. You will direct Major Jenkins to return the sling-carts and Government wagons as soon as they can be spared.
Since writing the above, the following telegram has been received from General Beauregard. You will be guided strictly by its requirements.
It is not considered advisable to attack Legarevile at present. Limit expedition ot recovery of lost howitzers and tools. Movement must be concealed from enemy's lookouts, if practicable.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
You will acknowledge the receipt of this order by the courier who bears it.
By command of Brigadier-General Wise:
JAMES H. PEARCE,
38 R R-VOL XXVIII, PT II