has been ordered to prevent the enemy from carrying on the work of repair, which they have been doing to a considerable extent during the past month. In Charleston Harbor the enemy shows more life than usual. They maneuver with their rams in the rear of Castle Pinckney, in Cooper River, and practice with their guns. The firing into the city is continued at the rate of 2 or 3 shots in twenty-four hours, at irregular intervals and in different directions.
On James Island,in front of Long Island, and Black Island, viz, the line from John's Island to Secessionville, the enemy, it appears to me, has reduced his forces, or at least shows less than formerly. To ascertain the facts and find out the weak points, I have ordered the boat infantry to drive the enemy's boats out of the creeks and marsh between the two lines. I have also ordered the commander of Morris Island to take possession of a block-house in that marsh about midway between the fort on Black Island and Secessionville, and the commander of the outposts on Long Island to advance a post three-fourths of a mile in front of his outpost, and three-fourths of a mile from Secessionville, on a strip of land in the marsh studded with high trees.
Besides this I will adopt other measures. In front of Cole's Island and on James Island the enemy shows his usual strength and thick, double line of outposts. I have ordered the commander of Folly Island to take possession of Battery Island and make a lodgment there. As regards John's Island nothing has been done on our part, and we have no information of the enemy. Occasionally a shot has been fired from the gun-boats into Legareville, which has effectually prevented the enemy from re-establishing their pickets and lookouts there.
On Kiawah Island I have taken the guns from the forts, armed the large fort with rockets, and reduced the garrison to an outpost of 40 men.
As deserters of the Forty-first New York Volunteers had probably informed the enemy of these facts, their cavalry came up to our outposts yesterday. I therefore shall remove the negroes from the Vanderhost farm to-day, under the protection of a party now following up the enemy on Kiawah Island. The command has been well supplied with rations, but no hay has been received fro more than a fortnight, and the horses are now without it. The health of the troops in the district is good; with the exception of some of the colored regiments. From an investigation made, it appears to me that the surgeons excuse more men from duty than they should, and I have given the necessary orders in that respect. The Massachusetts colored regiments are dissatisfied and difficult to manage, having received no pay for more than a year.
I beg to call the general's attention to the fact that at this district about 500 men will have served out their time at the end of this or the beginning of next month. As will be seen by orders annexed, I have divided the district into two posts,at Morris Island and the south and of Folly Island, respectively. In order to keep up communication with Long Island, I shall leave a garrison of 40 men in a closed work at Pawnee Landing, and the same number in a similar work at the white house.
Patrols will be kept up between the works. Besides this, I very much need facilities for mounting a small forces of infantry for the purpose of patrolling the whole of Folly Island and also Kiawah, as well as occasionally for offensive purposes. I would therefore