taking prisoners from the enemy. An attempt to this effect by the One hundred and third New York Volunteers, from Long Island, proved highly successful. They crossed Secessionville Creek from the fort on Long Island by boat,advanced through the marsh on James Island,and captured a picket-post of 5 men. These men report the news in the Charleston papers of the 12th to be that Meade's army was thrown back by Lee, but that Meade had received re-enforcements and made a stand south of the Rappahannock. The prisoners are of the Second South Carolina Artillery Regiment, and, having been about more on James Island than the deserters from Fort Johnson, know more with regard to the troops remaining there. They present the force of the enemy as over six regiments of infantry,among whom is Colquitt's (Georgia) brigade,six light batteries, about 3,000 men of the heavy artillery (being the First and Second Regiments South Carolina Artillery and Lucas' battalion),and 400 men with the siege train. This does not include troops on John's Island and in the vicinity of Adams' Run nor the cadets in Charleston City. The prisoners stated that the enemy estimated our force here to be about 5,000.
Morris Island. - On the 13th instant, Fort Putnam and Battery Chatfield and the columbiad battery fired 240 shells at Fort Sumter, of which 227 were good,striking the point fired at. Two casemates were opened, and a large portion of the new parapets tumbled into the water. During the night mortar shells were fired into Sumter,at intervals,to prevent working parties from repairing damages done. Two of our monitors moved up at 11 a.m., and continued their fire until 6 p.m. The enemy directed all his fire at the monitors, without apparently doing them any serious damage.
On the 14th instant, we fired 308 shells at Fort Sumter from Fort Putnam and Battery Chatfield. The injury to the sea face of the fort was still further continued,and we knocked down the south portion of the Moultrie face. It will require perhaps one or two days' more firing to be certain that the guns which they had again mounted in Fort Sumter are unserviceable. Two monitors again took part in the action, but this day the enemy's fire was directed at our batteries on Morris Island. Four hundred and fifty shells were thrown around our forts and batteries, doing some damage to the traverses and parapets. No casualties occurred. The enemy opened from all his batteries on Sullivan's and James Island, with the exception of Johnson. On Sullivan's Island he displayed several batteries of which we were before ignorant, and which I shall have duly noted on the map. No changes have taken place in the number or disposition of troops in my command.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.
Captain W. L. M. BURGER,
HDQRS. NORTHERN DISTRICT, DEPT., OF THE SOUTH, Folly Island, S. C., May 21, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report as follows since my last communication:
On the 16th instant, we fired 49 shells at Fort Sumter, and the enemy fired 70 shells at our batteries. Two monitors took par tin