they have been talking of so long. The several batteries at Simkins' Point, known by the name of Battery Simkins, he is connecting by rifle-pits,and probably closing in the rear, on the line of batteries between Fort Johnson and Battery Cheves. New works appear at two different places on the so-called "new line," extending from Fort Pringle, in the arc of a circle, to Secessionville. The enemy is observed working nearly everywhere, completing the line, repairing damages, and erecting new batteries. He has also tried to repair Battery Wright to his front of the "new line," but the fire of our batteries on Cole's Island so often and effectually molested these parties that the enemy seems to have given up work there.
I expected the enemy would use his superiority in numbers to take the offensive to some extent, and execute his former threat of taking Forts Putnam and Strong by surprise, in order to either hold them or at least to spike the guns. I therefore, during the last four weeks, considerably strengthened the garrisons of those forts and the pickets in their vicinity. The expected attack, however, did not take place,and the enemy has also kept very quiet all around the harbor of Charleston. In front of Long Island his picket-boats have again appeared. I have given orders to place boats in ambush for them and drive them out of those creeks within the next few days.
The enemy's artillery fire has been heavier than usual during the last fortnight. He has again commenced from James as well as from Sullivan's Island to shell our camps, but without any effect. In the front batteries there have been 4 men wounded.
I annex the report of the chief of artillery, giving the exact number of shots fired by the enemy as well as from our batteries.
The following dispatch, sent by the enemy from the city of their gun-boats, shows a certain state of nervousness still prevailing on his part, and that he expects us to attack him at some weak point rather than to take the offensive himself. The alarm was caused by three boats, under command of Lieutenant Eaton, One hundred and twenty-seventh New York Volunteers, of the boat infantry, engaged in experimenting in the harbor with a rope:
City to 22.
The following message just received from Colonel Brown, commanding at ----:
"A large number of barges in front of Battery Simkins. The officer in charge heard the officer order the boats to move two abreast. I think it is for Sumter, but I will be prepared for them here. I sent a telegram to Sumter for them to be on the alert. Have your gun-boats out so as to prevent the enemy from taking Johnson in the rear."
C. S. STRINGFELLOW,
Major, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Another dispatch shows plainly that though our fire on Sumter was slow, the enemy has sustained considerable loss by it. In this dispatch the commander of Fort Sumter asks for 30 negroes to make up the losses which he had sustained in killed, wounded,and sick.
In regard to my own operations, I have to report that Captain Quentin,of my staff, with the assistance of a navy boat, which was willingly furnished by the fleet, landed at different points on Long island, north of Sullivan's Island, and found this island unoccupied by the enemy, a small outpost opposite Battery Marshall excepted. I have the honor herewith to annex his report.