rebels, by scouts, or other means, of acquiring and transmitting to him all information with sketch, plans, and descriptions, when practicable, of the best routes of approaching Charleston or James Island, either by land or water. If the rebels come down in force to occupy or remain at Jehossee Island, and you feel sure that you have strength enough, with the aid from Otter Island, to make a dash at them and to rout them from there, you are authorized to do this; or, on learning from you that more force would be requisite, would if such force were available from this vicinity either send or take it to you for this purpose.
It does not appear desirable to occupy the island farther inland, than Edisto, except such small portions of adjacent shores as may be necessary for the security of our pickets on that island,and the main body of your troops will habitually be kept in such position that they can easily be concentrated for resistance to an attack. An especial vigilance is urged upon you at this time, when other important efforts are being made here, as there may be attempts at diversion in your direction, and a full security for your forces would be preferable to attacks upon the enemy, if they even appear to be open to it, at this juncture.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. B. ELY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., April 8, 1862.
Flag-Officer SAMUEL F. DUPONT,
Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron,
On Board U. S. S. Wabash:
COMMODORE: I contemplate opening the attack on Fort Pulaski by sunrise to-morrow morning, and have to ask of you all the co-operation and assistance in your power. A few days' further delay would place our batteries on Tybee Island in a perfect condition perhaps, but I am satisfied that such delay would be of more service to the enemy than to ourselves.
I have the honor to be, commodore, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
North Edisto, S. C., April 9, 1862
Lieutenant A. B. ELY,
A. A. A. G., Hdqrs. Northern Dist. Dept. of the South:
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 8th instant. I will make every endeavor, through spies, intelligent contrabands, &c., to get the required information as regards the best approaches to Charleston, and will forward immediately to the commanding general whatever information I may get.
I visited the outposts of my command yesterday and find everything in an admirable condition; the pickets are well posted, and the whole force, consisting of two regiments of infantry and four pieces of artillery, can be quickly concentrated at any point. I do not think the rebels