the fact that several of its boats have become unserviceable; the reason assigned for their not having been repaired was the want of boards. Finding that the post quartermaster had a small quantity of suitable materials at his boat shop, I ordered all the boats needing repairs to be sent there.
Fire is kept up on Charleston at the rate of 1 shell every fifteen minutes from the 100-pounder Parrotts at Fort Putnam. There has been some mortar practice at Sumter from Battery Chatfield. On the morning of the 5th instant, a sloop was discovered aground off Fort Moultrie. Fire was opened upon her from Fort Putnam with two 30-pounder Parrotts, from Battery Chatfield with one 300-pounder Parrott, and from Fort Strong with 100-pounder Parrotts. Lieutenant-Colonel Ames, chief of artillery, reports the practice to have been remarkable good. The vessels was set on fire and burned to the water's edge. Her cargo is supposed to have been cotton. Only 33 rounds were fired at her in all.
On Folly Island, Fort Greene, at the northern end,is in good order. Battery Mahan and Fort Delafield are both undergoing repairs. In accordance with orders issued by General Scammon the Fifty-fourth New York has been moved from the southern end of the island and camped nearly midway between Pawnee Landing and the white house. The Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers remain at the southern extremity of the island.
On Cole's Island the battery on the right,known as No. 1, is being repaired by the officers in command. The abatis in its front needs to be renewed and strengthened, which I directed to be done. The battery on the left, No. 2, I found to be without ditch or palisade. This work is more exposed to attack than any other on the whole line. I ordered a ditch to be commenced at once and a palisading to be constructed.
A corporal of the New York Volunteer Engineers has been sent to take charge of this work. From Battery No. 1 to No. 2 a chain of pickets extends across the island. At the southern point of Cole's Island are encamped five companies of the Thirty-third U. S. Colored Troops, the remainder of the regiment furnishing the garrison of the batteries and the details for outpost duty.
The battery on Long Island is undergoing repairs. The interior slopes and magazines have been newly revetted. The exterior slopes are still in an unfinished state. The garrison upon this island consists of three companies Fifty-fifth Massachusetts (colored), detailed from the post of Folly Island.
The battery on Black Island is in good order. Its garrison consists of one company Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, from the post of Morris Island.
The supply of ammunition in all these forts and batteries is kept up to the amount of 100 rounds for each gun, besides the quantity in reserve in the ordnance depot. I forward herewith the report of Lieutenant-Colonel Ames, chief of artillery, Department of the South,of the firing from the heavy guns in this district during the month of October.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. E. POTTER,
Captain W. L. M. BURGER,