the action from 10 a.m. until noon. The enemy's batteries on Sullivan's Island opened on the monitors with 200-pounder rifles and columbiads, and badly damaged a pilot-house of one of the monitors.
On the 17th instant, we fired 50 shells at Sumter. The enemy did not reply. I consider the object in view in the late bombardment of Sumter as attained. The sea front has been so knocked down by our fire and that of the monitors that the batteries recently established there must be entirely unserviceable if not buried under the ruins. The repairs recently carried on by the enemy in the fort have again been overthrown; besides that we have now the advantage of knowing the armament of all the enemy's batteries capable of bearing on Forts Putnam, Chatfield, and Strong. The armament of Battery Bee is very effective (columbiad guns of 200 pounds and over, rifled and banded). The new battery at Mount Pleasant opened with one columbiad. The mortar batteries on James Island and several batteries on Sullivan's Island showed a very inferior armament, most of their shells not reaching our lines.
I am happy to be able to report the above results without any loss of life on our part, and that the enemy expended more ammunition in attempting to stop our fire than we did during the whole bombardment. Our only loss is the bursting of six guns. The enemy's loss is not known, but from the fact that the Charleston papers give no particulars, while formerly they used to be very minute in their accounts of casualties or in the statement that none had occurred, I conclude that the enemy has suffered more than he likes to confess.
It appears from the Charleston papers (herewith inclosed) that our fire at the city is not as effective as formerly. Banks, insurance companies, and offices are advertised as being open in the lower part of the city during business hours. Ever since I have taken permanent command of this district it has been my aim to force the enemy to keep a larger force than my own on my front, this being my only means of co-operating with the more important movements of our armies in Virginia. By minor operations, heretofore reported,and as stated hereafter, I have succeeded in this up to yesterday.
On the 17th instant, I ordered a reconnaissance up Stone River, with the intention of having the party land on John's Island, 2 miles above Legareville,drive in the enemy's outpost, and destroy their boats. This, however, did not succeed, as the place was strongly guarded and the shells of the gun-boats failed to drive the enemy back. The outposts hare are of a Virginia regiment, and were stronger on that day than ever before. Our boats frequently patrol, both by day and night, the creeks and marshes between Secessionville and Battery Simkins, and have been repeatedly fired upon. They have driven the enemy's boats out of these waters entirely. The boat infantry,under Captain Gurney, patrols around Sumter and between Sumter and Johnson's Point. They have not yet met the enemy's boats, but have been fired upon from the howitzers at Sumter, and have found the rebel iron-clad on guard every night in rear of Johnson as reported by deserters.
Desiring to compare our good news from the North with the rebel accounts, I instructed my pickets to shout over to them that they had got badly whipped, and see what they would say. In reply they sent over a flag of truce with some letters and papers of the