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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 6, Part 1 (Fort Pulaski - New Orleans)
Page 393 Chapter XV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

and in the vicinity of Charleston and to the north of Grahamville would be one good location for the troops south of Broad River.

In the vicinity of Charleston we have Long, Sullivan, and Morris Islands, besides Folly, and perhaps Kiawah and Summerville, 20 miles up the South Carolina road, for a reserve.

Communication with Savannah could be kept up by the rail until it was cut, and if it should so happen, the rolling stock could be transferred to the South Carolina and Georgia Central for transportation by way of Augusta.

The various arguments on the subject it would be hard to embody in a single letter, but the general idea ist that in the present state of affairs while a considerable portion of our troops are guarding a long line of railroad through a country which we must soon leave and now nearly exhausted, our weakest point is close to, perhaps, our most important city, and that city has not men enough to defend it in case of attack.

If the enemy dashes at General Evans, and the rail is cut, the danger would be imminent, and should either or both Charleston or Savannah fall, we shall be forced to hold unhealthy positions in an exhausted country, or to retire into the interior and give up the seaboard, with its advantages of grain crops and communications. My opinion upon these matters has not been asked, but, charged as I am with the defense of this military district, I have felt it my duty to submit the considerations to the commanding general. I regret that I could not state them more forcibly and in fewer words.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. S. RIPLEY,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

SAVANNAH, GA., February 19, 1862.

His Excellency JOHN MILTON,

Governor of Florida, Tallahassee:

GOVERNOR: I have had the honor to receive the letter of the 9th instant, from Brigadier General R. F. Floyd to your excellency, referred to me. From his statement, the necessity for additional troops at that point is apparent, and as I have none under my command to send, I have to request that your excellency will transfer into the service of the Confederate States a regiment for the war, if possible, and order it to report to Brigadier-General Trapier. I have already written to General Trapier on the subject. Unless troops can be organized in Florida for its defense, I know not whose they can obtain.

I am, &c.,

R. E. LEE,

General, Commanding.

SAVANNAH, GA., February 19, 1862.

General J. H. TRAPIER,

Commanding District Florida, Tallahassee:

GENERAL: In looking at the whole defense of Florida, it becomes important to ascertain what points can probably be held and what points had better be relinquished. The force that the enemy can bring against any position where he can concentrate his floating batteries renders it prudent and proper to withdraw from the islands to the main-land and to prepare to contest his advance into the interior. Where an island offers the best point of defense, and is so connected with the main that


Page 393 Chapter XV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 6, Part 1 (Fort Pulaski - New Orleans)
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