Yesterday morning, a monitor was evidently aground near Morris Island; on reporting the fact, Fort Moultrie opened on her, hitting her effectively at least twice. Her deck was six feet above the water-line, leaving her sides exposed. Shell Point battery also fired on her. It is to be regretted that our fire was not more general and continuous. At high water, in the afternoon, she got off. In the engagement of the fleet with Fort Moultrie, the monitors were frequently struck, and the Ironsides had her deck hit twice, one of the shots tearing away a large portion of her upper bulwarks. She lay alongside of a transport all the afternoon, evidently undergoing repairs. Having for several nights expected a boat attack, I had one-third of the garrison under arms on the parapet, and the remainder so posted as to reinforce with promptness. At one A. M., this morning, I saw a fleet of barges approaching from the eastward. I ordered the fire to be reserved until they should arrive within a few yards of the fort. The enemy attempted to land on the south-eastern and southern faces. He was received by a well directed fire of musketry, and by hand-grenades, which were very effective in demoralizing him. Fragments of the epaulement were also thrown down upon him. The crews near the shore sought refuge in the recesses of the foot of the scarp; those farther of, in flight. The repulse was decided, and the assault was not renewed. His force is reported to have been four hundred men, but it is believed to have been much larger. His loss is four men killed; two officers and seventeen men wounded, and ten officers and ninety-two men captured. We secured five stands of colors and five barges; others were disabled, and drifted off. One gunboat, and Fort Johnson, and the Sullivan's Island batteries enfiladed our faces, and contributed to prevent a renewal of the assault. Many of the shots struck the fort. The garrison, consisting of the Charleston battalion, behaved admirably.. All praise is due to Major Blake, his officers and men, for the promptness and gallantry displayed in the defence. Very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
Stephen Elliott, Jr., Major Artillery, P. A. C. S., commanding.