On the morning of the 3rd, at daylight, two columns of barges were observed rapidly approaching the Shell Point beach, upon which the several batteries known as Simkins are situated, and which is immediately connected with the important post and harbor defense of Fort Johnson. One column landed its men near the end of the point, and the other and larger between Battery simkins and Fort Johnson, which post was, simultaneously with Shell Point, fiercely assaulted. The gallant garrison, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Yates, received them with heroic determination, and the unerring fire of our musketry, soon staggered and drove them back, when, with a rapid charge upon the enemy, headed by Lieutenants Waties and Reynolds, First South Carolina Artillery, 140 prisoners, including 5 commissioned officers, were taken before they could make good their escape.
The participants in this brilliant affair were Company G, First South Carolina Artillery, Lieutenant Waties; Company K, Captain Gaillard; detachment Company E, Lieutenant Cooper, and detachments Companies A and E, Second South Carolina Artillery, Lieutenants Halsey and Raworth. These officers and Corporal Crawford, Company G, are spoken of in high terms of praise by Lieutenant-Colonel Yates for gallantry displayed on the occasion. Five barges felling to our hands, and it is certain that the enemy's loss in killed and wounded was heavy, probably exceeding 300. Many bodies subsequently floated ashore.
On the Stono the indications began to manifest that the movement of the enemy on this front was not designed to draw our attention from Fort Johnson, or for some sudden attack upon our lines, but that a serious and determined attack upon the Stono works was contemplated. Two monitors, the Pawnee sloop of war, several wooden guns-boats, and a number of transports filled with troops, and towing barges, also filled with troops, ascended the StoNumbers Legareville and other points on John's Island were occupied, troops debarked, and it seemed apparent that the design of the enemy was to occupy John's Island, to erect batteries to enfilade our lines, to reduce Battery Pringle, and secure the Stono for a base of operations against Charleston. This belief was strengthened by the fact that this route would be identical with that of the British under Sir Henry Clinton in March, 1780, who occupied John's Island, crossed the Stono at the present site of Fort Pemberton, and, after securing the river for his line of supplies, moved from James Island to the mainland.
The enemy commenced the day by a severe shelling of our picket-line, and by a fire upon Battery Pringle and other batteries of the southern lines-upon the latter apparently for the purpose of drawing their fire and ascertaining the character of our guns. Believing that the enemy had withdrawn part of his force in front to re-enforce John's Island, I directed Colonel Harrison, Thirty-second Georgia Regiment, with several companies of his regiment, to fell the enemy and endeavor to ascertain his strength, and if practicable to force him back beyond the causeway. This duty was very handsomely performed by this gallant officer and his capital command. The enemy gave back before them and our original picket-lines were re-established. I deemed it unadvisable to press beyond the causeway, as the enemy on the peninsula were observed to be consider-