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[546] rifles, and the little fight became general; for Moultrie, Battery Bee and Simkins had all by this time joined in to help us.

The shooting on all hands was good, and must have had considerable effect; but it was dark, and we were unable to tell correctly. There soon appeared considerable confusion. Everybody seemed to be giving command. We heard the command ‘Forward!’ distinctly, but they scon ‘forwarded backwards.’ The fight lasted about twenty-five minutes, and the loss on our side was eight men wounded. About fifty men succeeded in landing, but a few well-directed shots made them take the water again. The truth is the enemy were so surprised that we should have been prepared for them that all their efforts were paralyzed When I first took command of my little squad, I thought it best to have a sword; but when I saw the rascals coming I threw down sword and all, put on my ac coutrements, took a rifle and went to work regularly with the men. I could not miss the chance to take revenge for ‘Sumter,’ and I hope I laid some fellow low.

Last night, as you will have heard, the whole Island was successfully evacuated, but you must not imagine that affairs are in a bad condition in consequence. We are in a stronger position now than we ever have been before. When Sumter fell Morris's Island was of no value, and it was only held to give us time to complete the battery at Fort Johnson, which has now been accomplished. Wagner really was nothing more than an outwork to Sumter, and should have been abandoned as soon as the latter fell, had we been prepared for it. This morning our batteries opened on the Island and scattered the ‘Yanks,’ who were prying around into every nook and corner. Before leaving last night the guns were all rendered unfit for service again and preparations made to blow the works up, but on account of some imperfection in the slow match we failed to do so.

The enemy are now (7 o'clock P. M.) firing on Moultrie and the batteries on Sullivan's Island from monitors and iron-sides, while the batteries are replying with spirit. It is fine fun to stand on the battery here and look on from afar off at the fight. The ‘big gun’ is mounted and ready for action. You will not appreciate a description. Suffice it to say that it is huge. The other gun, mate to this, will be here from Wilmington in a day or two, which is to be placed on the battery also.

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