War of the Rebellion: Serial 065 Page 0058 S.C.,FLA., AND ON THE GA. COAST. Chapter XLVII.

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18th,and were anxious to get our news and papers. They were given an Herald of the 14th. It is evident from the annexed Charleston paper of the 18th that they had not later news from Lee than ours, and that communication between Richmond and Petersburg, as well as between Lee and Richmond, must be cut off.

Outpost reports of yesterday and to-day show that last night and the night before considerable moving took place on James Island, and the railroad was very active. Wagon trains have been moving, locomotive whistles and bells heard, and there is every indication that the enemy is withdrawing from my front inconsiderable numbers. In view of these facts, I have given the annexed instructions (A and B*) to my post commanders and shall report the result without delay. If the enemy has merely changed without diminishing the troops on my front, I consider it will be necessary, if he is to be retained there, to strike more decisive blows than heretofore. If he has withdrawn, there of course remains nothing for us but to follow up the advantage,the method of doing which I have made the subject of another communication to the general commanding.

I regret to be obliged to report that two bounty substitutes, Forty-first New York Volunteers, have again deserted to the enemy, even after the receipt of our good news. They were no doubt supported in their desertion by the picket-posts on their right and left, who have all been arrested. As the conscription and substitutes of this regiment have proved very unreliable and dangerous to my command I have given orders that they shall be formed into a working battalion,and employed only in doing fatigue duty under guard on the fortifications.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

A. SCHIMMELFENNIG,

Brigadier-General, Commanding District.

Captain W. L. M. BURGER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. NORTHERN DISTRICT, DEPT., OF THE SOUTH, Folly Island, S. C., May 23, 1864.

SIR: A general reconnaissance along my lines took place,during the night of the 21st, 22nd during the day yesterday. The enemy was found at Sumter ready to receive us, with a number of men on the walls and on the dock and several row-boats in the rear of the fort. It appears, therefore, that the garrison at Sumter has not been reduced. The party sent out in boats to land between Secessionville and Battery Simkins returned without accomplishing anything.

On Long Island, Major Morrison, of the One hundred and third New York Volunteers, with 150 men of his regiment, under command of Captain Quentin, and 250 men of the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Colored Regiment, crossed over to Tiger Island at night, waded through the marsh to James Island, and attacked the enemy early yesterday morning (the 22nd). They drove the enemy's pickets, about 120 men,far to the north of Battery Wright.

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*See Schauffler and Dean to Gilsa, May 21, Part II.

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