returned. The enemy, however, did not renew his attack, and the time thus allowed was improved to the utmost in repairing the damage which had been done. The condition of the battery, as reported by General Taliaferro, was submitted to the General commanding, and after full deliberation it was determined to hold it, and instructions sent to General Taliaferro not to abandon the works without express orders to that effect. From that date to the present the bombardment has never been renewed, although there has been occasional and brief firing upon the battery from the iron-clads. In the meantime the battery has been thoroughly repaired and placed in a condition even superior to what it was in the beginning. The enemy, meanwhile, are busily at work in improving their present works and erecting new ones, of which our means of observation do not enable me to give a detailed account. On our side new batteries have been erected, and the work of completing them and mounting the necessary armament actively pressed, and every effort made to annoy the enemy by such batteries as bear upon their working parties and lines — an attempt in which, I have reason to think, we have been to a considerable extent successful. The condition of the new batteries is known to the commanding General, and will be mentioned in the succeeding report. The garrisons of Batteries Wagner and Gregg have been relieved as regularly as possible with our means of transportation. On the twenty second Brigadier-General Taliaferro relieved Brigadier-General Hagood. On the twenty-sixth Brigadier-General Colquitt relieved Brigadier-General Taliaferro. Brigadier-General Colquitt was relieved on the twenty-eighth by Brigadier-General Clingman, and the latter officer was relieved on the first of August by Colonel L. M. Keitt. The fire from the land batteries of the enemy upon Batteries Wagner and Gregg has been annoying, especially upon our communication by steamer between Fort Sumter and Cummins' Point. The casualties which have occurred from the twentieth to the thirty-first of July, inclusive, have been thirteen killed and forty-nine wounded. I have the honor to enclose the returns and lists. Very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
R. S. Ripley, Brigadier-General, commanding.
Morris Island into the possession of the enemy to establish a circle of batteries from Legare's Point, on Schooner Creek, James Island, to Battery Beauregard, on Sullivan's Island, so as to concentrate their fire (including Forts Sumter and Moultrie) on Morris Island, from about half its length to Cummins' Point, and render that portion of the island untenable to the enemy, should he succeed in driving us away from it. That defensive system is now being carried out to the extent of our available means in labor and heavy ordnance. Many of the long range guns in Sumter, not absolutely required for its defence, have been removed to arm the new batteries under construction. The remaining guns are being protected with traverses, merlons and embrasures. The officers' quarters on the gorge of the fort (south face) have been filled up with wet cotton bags and sand, and a “chemise” of sand bags is being added to the scarp wall of the same face, to extend, if practicable, from bottom to top. The defective lines on James Island are also to be shortened by the construction of a new line of redans and redoubts from Secessionville to the Stone River, long since contemplated, but not executed for want of labor. Herewith are papers, marked A, B, C, D, E, F, connected with the defence of Morris Island during the present attack.
Gilmore will open fire in the morning, and attempt an assault afterwards. Will be assisted by fleet. Be on watch and prepared. Colonel Rhett, Fort Sumter, and Brigadier-General Taliaferro, Morris Island.
H. H. Rogers, A. D. C.
headquarters First Military District, Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, Charleston, S. C., July 19, 1863.Do the best that you can to get fresh troops on the island. Enemy possibly so punished that he may give no annoyance early to-morrow. Make the best, at least.
Morris Island must be held at all cost, for present. The commanding General directs Keitt's regiment to be thrown there, to push any advantage