War of the Rebellion: Serial 065 Page 0021 Chapter XLVII. OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, ETC.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, S. C., August 8, 1864.

GENERAL: The bombardment of Fort Sumter continues with marked effect, although our fire is very slow and unfrequent, in consequence of the stock of ammunition having given out and none being received. The rebels are calculating how many days they can hold the fort, expecting that we will assault. In consequence of our want of ammunition and guns, I have accepted the offer of Admiral Dahlgren of six 11-inch guns, with officers, crews, and ammunition, and these will soon be placed in a battery built by the troops, and will no doubt prove very effective. As you did not order the assaulting arks, plans of which I sent you, I am going to work building two of them here. These will be simply modern row galleys, fifty oars on a side; will draw 26 inches of water when loaded with 1,000 men; will have elevated towers for sharpshooters, and an assaulting ladder or gang-plank of 51 feet in length, operated by machinery. These will be very useful anywhere, in assaulting a fort or landing troops in shoal water. I propose also to build a light-draught iron-clad, and have written to General Meigs to ascertain if I can have the railroad iron, obtained from Florida, rolled into plates without delay; or if he can have an exchange made for 2-inch or 4-inch plates at once.

Very respectfully, and truly, your obedient servant,

J. G. FOSTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, S. C., August 18, 1864.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report the following operations in this department since my last report:

Brigadier-General Hatch has been actively engaged with his command in Florida, making successful raids in the surrounding country, and reports favorably in regard to an anticipated capture of a large number of horses, and thinks that quite a number of negroes will also be found who are waiting to come within our lines. In Hilton Head District the new work on the line of constructions is now nearly completed, and another work is about being erected on a site near Mitchellville. The work at Spanish Wells is rapidly progressing toward completion. In Beaufort District the works are being strengthened and put in order for defensive operations, and a new work to serve as a citadel is being commenced. In the Northern District the bombardment of Fort Sumter is progressing slowly but surely. Admiral Dahlgren has kindly consented to loan six of the heaviest naval guns, with officers and men to work them. A parapet has been thrown up for these guns, and as soon as they are placed in proper position the demolition of Sumter will progress much more rapidly.

The tents for the 600 rebel prisoners of war are being put in position on Morris Island, and the quartermaster has been ordered to have a high and strong board fence put around them to prevent any