night, until he safely established his command a short distance to the rear, when he retired, securing the captured guns. While this was occurring a portion of General Schimmelfenning's force, under Colonel Gurney, was prepared to assault Fort Johnson in boats. This attack was made in the night of the 2nd, with 1,000 men, but unfortunately more than an hour too late to profit by the tide. The consequence was some of the boats got aground, and although Colonel Hoyt, of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers, landed with his first division and captured Fort Simkins, he was not supported by Colonel Gurney with his reserve, and was finally forced to surrender with 5 officers and 132 men. Although this operations was a failure, it proved to me that a properly organized expedition of this kind can easily be made successful. One great want is a sufficient number of boats to carry the requisite of men.
In the mean time General Hatch with his command had marched across John's Island, but owing to the heat of the weather and our men being unaccustomed to long marches, he was unable to reach the ferry in time to prevent the enemy from concentrating and meeting him in some force. I therefore ordered him down on the Stono River in positions from which the first line of rebel defenses can be enfiladed and their bridge across the river near Fort Pringle be destroyed.
Such is the position of affairs at the present time, which I intend to continue and threaten the enemy for a few days longer, before withdrawing the troops. After giving them a few days' rest and preparing for a second raid, I shall make it, and, I hope, with better success than this one. I shall continue to do this as often as opportunities occur, and I can prepare, in obedience to your wishes and those of the General-in-Chief expressed to me in your letter of the 29th ultimo.* The present demonstration has had an excellent effect, inasmuch as it greatly alarmed the rebels. Their trains have been running night and day bringing in troops from the surrounding country. Having become convinced that the enemy were strengthening themselves in Fort Sumter and making arrangements for defense, I have concluded that it is necessary to more effectually demolish the walls of that fort. For this purpose I have ordered th bombardment to be renewed to-morrow morning and all the guns to be so aimed as to breach the wall in a horizontal line on that part of the wall which is now standing vertical. As soon as a good cut is made though the wall I shall float down against it and explode large torpedoes until the wall is shaken down and the surrounding obstructions are entirely blown away. I shall continue this until the walls are demolished as far as possible. I am convinced that the fort can, after such a bombardment, be assaulted and taken by boats, and that it can be held without any great loss of life. The only reasons in favor of taking it, beyond its occupation by our troops, are that it would afford a shelter or starting point by which boats expeditions can against attack Fort Johnson or Mount Pleasant. It now serves as a watch-tower to the enemy.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff.
*See Part II, p. 155.