In regard to the sham attack on James Island,on the 22nd and 23rd of May, the contrabands state that the enemy sent,with the exception of a guard of 20 men, every available man from Johnson's Point to the support of his outposts; that the three steamer loads of troops which were reported as being sent over from Charleston to James Island,on the afternoon of the 22nd, consisted of armed citizens.
Yesterday and to-day 100 men patrolled Kiawah Island and found the enemy's cavalry pickets on Seabrook Island posted as usual, but dressed partly in civilians' dress. There were evidences that the enemy's cavalry patrols had been up Kiawah Island as far as Vanderhost's farm. On the morning of the 1st, a patrol of 40 men went over the southwest part of John's Island as far as 3 miles west of Legareville. They met the enemy's pickets in the usual force,not 30 cavalrymen. The enemy's river boats are now daily reported as being seen on Stono River above Battery Tynes and the bridge formerly mentioned. It appears to me that these steamers are only used for bringing down provisions, and one kept in Stono River only to convey troops from James to John's Island and vice versa, the bridge not yet being passable. I keep two rocket-boats in ambush every night in case these steamers should come farther down the river, as they were reported by the navy to have done one night.
It seems that the appearance of my boats farther up in the harbor of Charleston has caused the enemy to establish a second line of picket-boats between Charleston, Castle Pinckney, and Mount Pleasant. In accordance with the instructions of the major-general commanding department the fire into the city of Charleston and at Fort Sumter has been considerably increased. On the 2nd instant, a large working party at Fort Moultrie was dispersed our guns. Battery Simkins then opened and threw 12 shells into Fort Putnam. It was replied to and silenced by our batteries.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.
Captain W. L. M. BURGER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the South.
HDQRS. NORTHERN DISTRICT, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH, Folly Island, S. C., June 8, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to state that nothing of importance has occurred since my last report. No information has been received in regard to the enemy's movements and strength except by my outposts. The cavalry regiment reported in my last seems to have left James Island. The firing at the city and at Sumter has been kept up in accordance with instructions received from the major-general commanding department. The enemy have answered from Sullivan's and James Islands occasionally. The firing from Long Island at the Secessionville batteries, and vice versa, has been quite lively during the last few days. The enemy tries to fill up a gap between two of his batteries at Secessionville, which our battery on Long Island prevents him from doing. The enemy now uses a 100-pounder Whitworth gun in place of a 64-pounder, which was dismounted by our 200-pounder Parrotts.
The enemy's steamers on Stono River continue to ply about very frequently. It seems that they come down from Charleston Harbor