subject, to act according to his discretion; and, if deemed advisable by him, to withdraw to the main-land, and take there a defensible position for the protection of the country. Should he adopt this course, the heavy guns at those batteries will be sent here for the defense of Savannah River, where they are much needed and cannot otherwise be obtained. The channel between Saint Simon's and Jekyl Islands leads into Brunswick Harbor.
Brunswick is a summer resort for certain planters, and is the terminus of a railroad extending about 60 miles into the interior, where it intersects the Savannah, Albany and Gulf Railroad. There are no inhabitants now in Brunswick, and the planters on the islands have removed their property to the interior; nor is there any population in the vicinity of Brunswick that would seem to warrant jeopardizing the men and guns necessary elsewhere. I would not, therefore, originally have occupied Saint Simon's or Jekyl, but the batteries, though small, are well placed, and the guns well placed, and the guns well distributed, and I think would defend the channel against ordinary attacks, and I exceedingly dislike to yield an inch of territory to our enemies. They are, however, able to bring such large and powerful batteries to whatever point they please, that it becomes necessary for us to concentrate our strength. As this point may be selected by some of our forward-bound vessels to run the blockade, I think proper to give you the earliest information of its probable relinquishment.
I am, &c.,
R. E. LEE,
RICHMOND, VA., February 13, 1862.
General R. E. LEE,
The order of Colonel Myers was only meant to hurry on the cannon powder without waiting for anything else. Twenty thousand pounds of it are to be retained by you, and remainder sent here as quickly as possible.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH CAROLINA, &C.,
Savannah, Ga., February 14, 1862.
Brigadier General J. H. TRAPIER,
Commanding, &c., Tallahassee, Fla.:
GENERAL: In reply to your letter of the 5th instant, in relation to the defenses of Saint John's River, I am directed by the commanding general to say that he has directed four 32-pounders to be sent to you at Fernandina, if practicable, to strengthen that point, unless you think it more advisable to place them elsewhere. He has been obliged to withdraw the troops from Saint Simon's and Jekyl Island to obtain means for defense of this city, and he deems it advisable to strengthen Fernandina as far as in his power. He also desires you to relieve as soon as possible Captain Blain's company at Cumberland Island, and to order it to rejoin its regiment.
As regards the defense of the Saint John's, he suggests to you, if possible, to place the guns that may be available for that purpose at one point rather that at two, distant or out of support of each other,