if troops could be landed above Elba Island they could march to a point directly opposite the city.
In reply to that part of your order requiring my judgement of the means wanted "to produce a successful and speedy result," I have the honor to state:
1st. That in my opinion the most essential requisite in an intelligent, vigorous, energetic general, in whom the Army would have entire confidence, who would counsel with his principal officers, and act promptly upon any decision he might form, and who, having orders, would concentrate his efforts on some particular object and accomplish it.
2nd. That there should be harmonious action between the land and naval forces.
3rd. The forces should either be greatly augmented or concentrated, instead of being scattered up and down the coast from North Edisto to Fernandina, a distance of 130 or 140 miles.
4th. That fire should not be opened upon Pulaski until at least all the mortars now landed on Tybee are in position, and then that the Navy would co-operate as well as they may, while, by having four or five reliefs of men at the mortars, shell should be poured into the fort day and night incessantly, without allowing any time for the rebels to eat, drink, or sleep in security until they surrendered. This will require of the land forces 1,400 or 1,500 men.
5th. That there should be two more ordnance officers sent there immediately, as there is now only one thoroughly efficient officer of that corps on the ground.
6th. That rafts os light pine and palmetto should be made to transport the siege train on the creeks and up the Savannah River, and that while this is being done the Navy should engage the batteries at Skidaway, and, if possible,silence and capture them, the siege of Pulaski being at the same time continued.
7th. Rafts and boats can be taken into the Savannah River above Jones Island, and might with proper management be force up the river to Saint Augustine Creek, where there is firm ground. The siege train can be carried in the same way, and opposition at landing met at the point of the bayonet. One hundred additional ship boats would greatly facilitate such a movement. Having reached the firm ground anywhere near the Thunderbolt road, either through the Savannah or Tybee Rivers, the way is open to the city in the rear of Fort Jackson.
It might be well, if forces could be spared, to destroy the railroad bridge at Coosawhatchie, to cut off supplies from Charleston, but this is not worth much, as other channels are by the Augusta and Savannah and South Carolina Railroads. The only materials required, in my judgement, are a few more boats and one or two more light-draught steamers.
Sufficient intelligence and energy to use what is now in that army can produce whatever else may be required.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDWARD W. SERRELL,
Colonel, Volunteer Engineers.
HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY CORPS,
Port Royal, S. C., March 15, 1862.
Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Army.
GENERAL: From information just received from our forces at North Edisto it is probable that gunboats, except such very small ones as would