War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0272 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.

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they appear to be animated with the most kindly feelings towards me, and seem highly pleased at the order assigning me to their command.

I have already given the information here that cavalry would not, at present, be called into the service of the Confederate States.

Every one here seems to be gradually becoming aware, through my cautious representations, that we are not yet prepared for the contest, and that the first work in order is to endeavor to keep re-enforcements from getting into Fort Sumter by increasing our channel defenses, which I hope to be able to accomplish in about a week or ten days. In the mean time I will go on organizing everything around me.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Montgomery, March 9, 1861.

Brigadier General P. G. T. BEAUREGARD, Charleston:

GENERAL: Your report of the 6th instant has been received at this Department. What you have done and what you propose to do is approved. Push forward your contemplated works with all possible expedition, especially with the view to prevent the re-enforcement of Fort Sumter. This must be prevented at all hazards, and by the use of every conceivable agency. Fort Sumter is silent now only because of the weakness of the garrison. Should re-enforcements get in, her guns would open fire upon you.

There is information at this Department - not official, it is true, but believed to be reliable - that five or six United States ships are in New York Harbor all ready to start.

The United States steamer Pawnee has left Philadelphia suddenly for Washington, fully provisioned and ready to go to sea, and it is probable that the effort to re-enforce Sumter may be made by sending in men in whale-boats to-night. Should this plan succeed and the garrison be re-enforced sufficiently to stand an assault the attempt may be made to fight their way upu by five or six war vessels.

In his report to this Department Major Whiting suggested the possibility of re-enforcements by land. Upon examining the map it occurs to me that this possibility might be accomplished in two ways: First, at the south of Morris Island there is an inlet which connects with Schooner Creek, and affords a water communication in the rear of all our works directly up to Fort Sumter. The creeks are, however, very winding, and probably if taken in hand at once could easily be obstructed by sinking flats or boats. Second, Stono River affords, I should think, an entrance to vessels of from eight to twelve feet draught, which may land troops on James Island, or go through a cut known as James Island Cut. Neither method, I take it, would be practicable if any troops were on James Island; but in the absence of them a sudden rush might possibly avail.

These suggestions are made without special knowledge, and are submitted for your consideration.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.