around Sumter this evening. The following boats were the three, viz: First boat, Captain Allison and Lieutenant Eaton, with ten oars: second boat, Lieutenant Little and Lieutenant Prowley, with five oars; third boat, Captain Long and Ensign C. C. Neil, U. S. Navy, eight oars.
We left Paine's Dock at 7.30 p.m., and Gregg at about 8 p.m., passing between Sumter and Johnson near the second telegraph pole. From this point we could see the left flank and the dock. Upon the docks there was a lantern, also a sentry. On this face there are nine casemates, through which the light could be plainly seen. Drifting with the tide past the left face we could see no signs of life. Passing the right face we could see three casemates, through which the light showed very plainly, also glimmering of light through several others.
There was at the base of this face, where it flanks the right flank, a lantern, rather dim; supposed to be a signal lantern for their boats. While turning the left flank could see the three rams, one of which was moving down showing a bright light. We met with no obstacle during the reconnaissance, owing probably to our getting around the fort before the rams had gained their position and thrown out their boats.
I have the honor to inclose a draft of the fort, showing the outlines of the walls as seen from the boats.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, 127th New York Infantry, Commanding Boat Infantry.