War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0282 COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND MIDDLE AND EAST FLA. Chapter XV.

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large flats always at hand is required for this most important service. Let us roughly estimate the value of the succor brought in this way at the beginning or in the progress of an engagement at North Edisto:

Guns from the beach..................................... 3

Guns from Charleston.................................... 12

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Total................................................... 15

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Artillerists from the beach, say........................ 50

Cavalry from the beach, say............................. 60

Artillerists from Charleston, say....................... 190

Cavalry from Charleston................................. 240

Regiment of rifles...................................... 700

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Total...................................................1,240

Fifteen pieces of formidable ordnance and 1,240 men, which, added to the force of even so small a post as it is at present, would give us 21 guns and 1,500 men.

Of course this infantry support from Charleston is what should at all times be ready to leave at a moment's warning. Other regiments could immediately follow-at any rate, within twelve hours. With suitable bomb-proofs at the fort and proper discretion on the part of the commanding officer the enemy could be held in check until the arrival of re-enforcements sufficient to discomfit them. Depots for ammunition for these guns should be kept at each post expressly for them, and all ammunition for them should be uniform.

Supposing Georgia to have a similar provision made for her defense, and Savannah to possess, too, her central battery and flying column in the same time-in somewhat more time than it would take to dispatch the Charleston flying column if Edisto is the point attacked,but in much less time if it be the important port of Port Royal Harbor-24 rifled guns can at once be sent to the scene of action from both cities, and together with them over 2,000 men. In a few hours more 5,000 men from the two States, uniting at Savannah by means of the railroad, would at Hilton Head fort defy the power of any assailant. The first point is to prevent surprise. This the sea-shore guns will do. The second is to prevent the enemy from seizing any inlet in less than a day's fight. This the flying column and central battery should do. The third is that he shall not move inland, and this the succors which can and should be sent in support of the flying column should be able to do. With more guns and of heavier metal at every inlet and strong garrisons at our isolated posts our coast would be secure, and the necessity of a large force up the country, where it can do no service except in re-enforcing Charleston, would not exist. Because the coast is weak, its support should not be more than a few hours removed; because Charleston is strong, its support might be at Aiken or Columbia. Much can be done in uniting the means of Georgia and South Carolina, and even of North Carolina, in defense of either of the three States against an invasion of the enemy.

At all the centers of operations, as, for instance, Wilmington, Charleston, and Savannah for our Atlantic coast, there should be one regiment assigned to the special duty of forming part of the flying column at a moment's warning during the said week. Everything needful for the transportation and for the subsistence of this column for one week should be stored up and kept in readiness to be carried off at a moment's warning. The quartermaster and the commissary of each regiment would upon their regiment entering on duty every week look into the quality and quantity of provisions, equipments, &c., designed for their regiment