War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0261 Chapter XV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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Savannah River, April 3, 1862

General H. W. BENHAM,

Commanding First Division Department of the South;

DEAR GENERAL: Your dispatch is just received, and as I have also just received the reports of the two officers whom I requested to make reconnaissances, I hasten to forward them, merely adding my own rapid conclusions that two flat-boats, properly arranged, one with two mortars and another with two rifled guns and one 8-inch howitzer, can be made very effective at the lower end of Long Island. I agree with Lieutenant Wilson in regard to Turtle Beach, more especially as the time that it would require to place columbiads in position (a week or ten days at least) would render our efforts at that point inoperative under the circumstances.

If you will let me know your views by the courier in the morning I will at once arrange to put them into immediate execution.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.



April 2, 1862

Brigadier General EGBERT L. VIELE,

Commanding, Savannah River:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, as directed by you, I this day and night made a reconnaissance of Long Island, and I sketch the result on the next page.

The lower end of the island is detached at high tide. But, as I have viewed, it I cannot make the form of detachment and the maps agree. I sketch it as it looks to me. This afternoon, after examining the McQueen side of Long Island, I passed around its had and went to a point marked B, being in sight of Pulaski all the time. At this point, I was honored with a very wild shot. I then returned, and to-night proceeded as far as the point marked A.

A is the best point for a battery, but guns cannot be landed there unobserved. At B guns can be landed in the night without attracting notice. A clump of tall cane, covering an area 600 feet in length and about 150 feet in width, would cover work. The ground is sufficiently firm, and sand can be procured from the shore of the island 300 or 400 feet from the spot. But any battery placed anywhere on the lower end of Long Island except at A must necessarily be small, the ground capable of sustaining a battery being a strip parallel with the river and not over 30 yards wide at any point. This would be the maximum battery face procurable. At A both shore and soil are favorable, if observation could be avoided in landing guns. I do not think, however, that it would be possible to erect a battery anywhere below the point marked B, doing to the fact that there is scarce any growth of either weed, brush or cane below that point. I should judge B to be about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 miles from the fort.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major, Commanding.