by an additional regiment, and guns are being put in position bearing on Fort Pulaski, the garrison in that place is about 2,000.
I think before long we shall have accounts of the burning of Savannah. I do nit think, however, that we can advance upon either it or Charleston without re-enforcement.
With great respect, I am, general, your, sincerely,
PORT ROYAL, S. C., December 21, 1861.
Honorable SIMON CAMERON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: You will pardon me for writing to you in this direct manner, but the newspapers of the country appear in some degree dissatisfied that we have not moved ahead, and it may be that the Government shares in this feeling.
I have for a long time been ready to move to Fernandina, but the Navy is not, even now; after the commodore had waited for his ammunition from the North a new job fell upon his hands: the convoying and sinking the stone fleets. And it is now so uncertain when the Navy will be ready, that my attention has been turned off from that expedition to objects which the development of circumstances is bringing about, and hope kept the Department duly advised of my acts and my views.
The operations on the main and towards Savannah were not anticipated in preparing the expedition. We have no cavalry yet, and are not sufficiently supplied with field artillery. We came prepared to take possession of certain harbors and fortify them; that is all. All the boats furnished were prepared by Commodore DuPont, only sufficient, or what were thought to be, for landing purposes. If must therefore be easily seen that any move of our troops into the interior of South Carolina, under the circumstances, was a sheer impossibility. I could long ago have landed and established part of my force on the main, but I have particularly avoided doing anything of the kind until I can ascertain what means are to be furnished me for moving onwards. There are several points to be chosen, and it would not answer to reveal that point to the enemy before I am ready to immediately follow up the movement. NO one is more anxious than myself to push on and crush out this rebellion, but there is some judgement and proper produce to be exercised in this matter. I do not desire to initiate a failure.
Our base is now well, very well, established, and am ready to move as soon as I can got some cavalry and proper re-enforcement to insure and follow up success.
The point of Savannah is now the point, but to say nothing of the public interest, my own professional reputation would not permit me to make dashes object and without lasting result. The work before us is a great one. It requires thought, system, and prudence.
I have presumed to write you thus, as I am pained to believe that there is a growing distrust among a portion of the people as to the actively and usefulness of this portion of the Army.
The amount of labor and activity here I would gladly submit to the judgment of the most enlightened men. We have done all that men can properly do under the circumstances.
With the highest respect, your most obedient servant,
T. W. SHERMAN,
14 R R-VOL VI