by way of James Creek and Newton's Cut. Two reports came in yesterday evening that one of the steamers had something like a large torpedo-boat or small ram in tow. These reports have not been confirmed by reports from other parts of the outposts, which only mention the steamer, but I have nevertheless ordered the picket-boats farther up the Stono, and to have ropes drawn across from the piles to the Cole's Island shore; also to have a calcium light established on the fort at the left of our outposts on Cole's Island. By these means I hope to prevent any torpedo-boats from coming down unnoticed, or without being attacked by my own and they navy's picket-boats. The gun-boats will go up to the Stono in a few days, and I will then land parties to search the John's Island shore. In regard to Kiawah River, a larger party should go up again as far as Haulover Cut. This will be done as soon as the men can be spared from this district.
I have the honor and pleasure to report the full destruction of one of the enemy's supply steamers by our artillery on Morris Island, and annex a full report of this affair made by Lieutenant-Colonel Ames, Third Rhode Island Artillery, chief of artillery of this district. The Ironsides has left the blockading fleet, and the rebel iron-clads have since then been moving about more than heretofore in the harbor. I have ordered over to Morris Island the battalion of the Thirty-second U. S. Colored Troops which was at the post of Folly Island, with a view to completing the bomb-proofs at Putnam and Chatfield as soon as possible. One officer and 30 enlisted men (cavalry) have reported here, and are now doing patrol duty on Folly Island.
It is ascertained that Light-House Creek has 18 feet of water at hight tide but a bar closes up the creek near the harbor. I have ordered a large plank walk over the marsh, west of Morris Island, to be relaid. This plank walk leads from the Swamp Angel to the Light-House Creek, and was formerly used by the enemy to pass from James to Morris Island. This pass will give me full control over Light-House Creek, and enable my scout-boats to risk more and go nearer the enemy's batteries.
The state of health of this command remains good up to this time, but I fear that scurvy will break out if vegetables are not more frequently supplied. Some indications of this disease have already appeared on Morris Island. I have written on this subject to the Sanitary Commission, and have ordered my commissary (Captain Leiby) to procure a larger supply either from the Government or by private means. I beg once more to call the attention of the major-general commanding the department to the fact that I am without a medical director.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.
Captain W. L. M. BURGER,
HDQRS. NORTHERN DISTRICT, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH, Folly Island, S. C., June 10, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that nothing of importance has transpired since my last communication. The enemy has kept