the 22nd and 23rd was that he had been severely repulsed and beaten after having attacked Atlanta, and that he had lost several thousand prisoners and twenty-two pieces of artillery. No news of interest is given with regard from that I had before the late movements on James and John's Islands. The deserters state that the fatigue parties seen around Johnson and Simkins are not engaged in putting up any new works, nor inclosing or in any way changing the old ones, but merely in carrying on the usual repairs. They also state that the enemy are constantly expecting an assault of Fort Sumter as well as another attack on Johnson. At Fort Sumter the garrison of about 250 men is considered capable of holding it. At Fort Sumter the garrison of about 250 men is considered capable of holding it. At Fort Johnson five companies of heavy artillery are behind the breast-works every night, one to serve the guns, the other four used as infantry; one company of Black's cavalry regiment also reports at Fort Johnson for duty every night.
On Thursday last, the 21st instant, Captain Mitchel, of the First South Carolina Artillery, who has for some time past been in command of Fort Sumter, was killed by a shell from our batteries. The garrison at Fort Sumter is reported not to have been relieved for a month past, owing to our heavy bombardment. One of our deserters was at Fort Pringle during our late operation on Stono, nd states that the fire of the navy was very destructive. All the heavy guns, with the exception of one smooth-bore, were disabled. A 7-inch rifled Brooke, which they brought there during the action, was no sooner placed in position than it was dismounted by our fire. The bomb-proof of Pringle proved very poor, our alls penetrating to the wood-work. They had heard the loss on James Island estimated at 200 killed and wounded. Another of the deserters, who was at Fort Johnson when we attacked it on the morning of the 3rd, reports that almost all the troops had been taken away from there on the 2nd; that until nearly morning of the 3rd there were not more than 40 or 50 men in Johnson. About 2 a. m. of the 3rd, the two companies of the First South Carolina Artillery, who only had been sent as far away as Legare's Point, were ordered back to Johnson, and arrived in time to repel the attack. Even with these two companies they say there were not more than 200 men, if as many, in Johnson and Simkins, and that if our whole force had landed they might undoubtedly have taken the two forts. These deserters are well fed and clothed but report that the troops have not been paid for the last seven months, and there is much dissatisfaction among them. They heard that our general and field officers confined in Charleston are in a house at the corner of Broad and Rutledge streets, near Chisolm's Mill.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF FLORIDA, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH, Jacksonville, July 28, 1864.
Colonel WILLIAM H. NOBLE,
Commanding U. S. Forces at Baldwin, Fla.:
COLONEL: No order is necessary to put you in command. As senior officer you assume command of all troops serving at the same station. The Eighth Regiment must be sent down by the train at