was evidently done to prevent our obtaining lumber from there, as we have done lately. The enemy shows considerable activity in front of Folly Island.
On the 20th instant, two boats loaded with men appeared in Secessionville Creek,opposite Pine Island, the men of one boat landing on Pine Island and those of the other remaining in the stream, apparently fishing for or sinking something. They were fired at from Long Island, but did not hurry their departure on that account. I have reprimanded the officer then commanding Long Island for not attacking them more vigorously and in boats. On the afternoon of the 23rd instant, a small stern-wheel steamer came down Stono River as far as Battery Island, remaining in the stream about twenty minutes, and then returned up the river. In view of this reconnoitering on the part of the enemy I have ordered the 10-inch columbiad from the right of Cole's Island to be placed in the battery (No. 2) on the left of Cole's Island, on the Stono River, opposite Legareville. This is where it was originally intended to be placed when interfered with by the movement against James Island. I have also ordered another columbiad, of which the muzzle is partly blown off, to be placed in this same battery (No. 2), Cole's Island. Another rebel iron-clad or ram, making the fourth, is now visible in Charleston Harbor. This I am certain of from my own observation,having distinctly seen four iron-clads in Cooper River steam up. There was besides a smaller steamer, apparently built on the same model as the rams, which steamed about among them, and seemed to act as a tender.
On the night of the 21st to the 22nd, the enemy seems to have had an alarm in the harbor. Some shots were heard, and at daybreak about 100 men, armed with muskets, were seen on the species of citadel visible on Sumter.
The enemy has continued the work of repairs and alterations along his entire line of works.
The following is the number of shots fired by our batteries and by the enemy since my last report of the 16th instant; At Fort Sumter, total number of shots, 1,014; at the city we have fired within the last twenty-four hours fifteen 100-pounder shell. Previous to that there was no firing at the city, the 100-pounder being dismounted by reason of a broken carriage,and the powder that we had for the 30-pounder being so poor as not to throw a shell into the city. The enemy has fired from Sullivan's and James Islands at our camps and front batteries 118 shells. This fire has been responded to from Fort Strong.
I have stopped all the fatigue duty for the purpose of proceeding with the prisoners' camp and putting my front batteries in decent repairs, which they very much required. In order to make these batteries secure against assault a certain amount of strong palisading is required, which I cannot obtain here. I will make matter the subject of another communication.
In view of the reappearance of the enemy's steamers on Stono River, I would respectfully urge that the chains and other material for a boom across the river, called for some time ago, be furnished by the proper department without delay.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.
Captain W. L. M. BURGER, A. A. G.