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The garrison of Fort Sumter, under Colonel Alfred Rhett and Major Ormsby Blanding, have stood to the defence of their castle with untiring fortitude and bravery. From the nature of the structure, and the enemy's projectiles, the exposure during the periods when subjected to fire, has been great, and extremely annoying, and yet every duty of repair and details has been carried on without interruption or undue delay. I refer generally to Colonel Rhett's reports for the mention of those subordinate officers who have distinguished themselves by good conduct. But, in this connection, I would mention the services of Lieutenant John Johnson, of the engineer corps, at Fort Sumter, before and during the siege, as evincing high talent and character in his profession, as well as bravery and constancy.

Captains Parleson and Fleming deserve an especial mention for their continued and zealous services

The staff officers attached to district Headquarters have been constantly employed. Captain W. F. Nance, principal A. A. G., who has earned honorable mention on every occasion, under my command, and several times been recommended for promotion, has performed every duty to my satisfaction.

Major J. M. Middleton and Captain Ephraim Seabrook, volunteer A. D. C.; Captain C. C. Pinckney, District Ordnance Officer, and Major Suber, District Quartermaster, have been actively and usefully employed.

Major Motte A. Pringle, Post Quartermaster, and especially in charge of transportation, has been indefatigable night and day, with the small means at his disposal, and which he could obtain, in forwarding stores and supplies, and relieving troops during the whole period.

In this duty he has been assisted greatly by the boats and crews of the Confederate navy, under charge of Lieutenants Ward, Haskell, and Payne.

I shall continue this report from this date. I have the honor to inclose a report of casualties during the period treated of. I also send the reports of Lieutenant John Johnson, Engineer, in charge of Fort Sumter, and a list of prisoners captured.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

R. S. Ripley, Brigadier-General, commanding.

Report of Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley of operations from the Twenty-First to the Thirty-First of July, inclusive.

Heanquarters First Military District, Charleston, August 1st, 1863.
Brigadier-General Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff:
General: Since my report of the twenty-second, detailing the operations of this command up to the twentieth, inclusive, the plan of the enemy, as I then stated, seems to have been changed. There has been no attempt at a further assault upon our works on Morris Island. From the twenty-first to the twenty-fourth there has been occasional firing, both from the enemy's fleet and land batteries; but his time has been chiefly occupied in the erection and completion of three new batteries on that portion of the island in his possession, thus advancing his lines as far as could be done with safety.

On the twenty-first the enemy sent in, by a flag of truce, a communication from General Gilmore, with a request that the officer commanding Battery Wagner would give to General Vogdes, who accompanied it, a personal interview. While Captain Tracy, the staff officer of General Hagood, then in command, was bearing the message brought by the flag, both the fleet and land batteries re-opened their fire, and General Hagood very promptly refused to receive any communication until an apology had been made for this violation of the flag. A satisfactory explanation having been offered and accepted, an interview was had between General Hagood and General Vogdes, which terminated in arrangement to exchange the wounded prisoners on both sides, and ten o'clock on the following Friday was appointed as the hour, when the transports from each party should effect the exchange at the point from which the fleet have usually conducted the attack upon Battery Wagner.

On the morning of the twenty-fifth, the day upon which the exchange was to be effected, the enemy opened fire about day-light both from the fleet and land batteries. This fire was vigorously sustained until the arrival, about ten o'clock, of the flag of truce boat, conveying the prisoners, and for a portion of that time was equal in intensity to the bombardment of the eighteenth. Upon the arrival of the boat in the neighborhood of the place appointed, the firing ceased, and the exchange was regularly effected, we delivering one hundred and five and receiving thirty-nine wounded prisoners. No reference having been made in the agreement to the negro prisoners of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts regiment, none of them were included in the exchange, a report of which by Colonel Anderson and Major Middleton, the officers appointed to conduct it, has already been furnished. The fire of the enemy on this morning, especially from one of the more advanced land batteries, armed with Parrott guns, did serious damage to Battery Wagner. The remaining ten-inch columbiad was dismounted from the sea-face of the battery, and the magazines so much exposed that it became necessary to remove the ammunition; and General Taliaferro, who had previously relieved General Hagood in the command, anticipating a renewal of the bombardment upon the completion of the exchange of prisoners, requested, as a matter of prudent precaution, that all necessary arrangements should be made for the transfer of the troops from the island in case of necessity.

The exchange of prisoners was completed about two o'clock, when the flag of truce boat

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Morris Island (South Carolina, United States) (1)

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