sity of putting more traverses in Fort Moultrie if that place is to be bombarded. Not wishing to lose the fire of the guns and having no place for them on the forts, it seemed to me that if it can be done in time it will be a strong additional defense to the city. Before removing the guns, however, will se that it is not going to take too long.
I inclose copy of the pass given by Captain Ammen, of the Seneca gunboat, to Black, the party alluded to in a former paragraph.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. S. RIPLEY,
Statement of Thomas Black.
Black left Charleston on the 16th December, with a flat and two hands, for Edisto Island, to obtain his own and Major Whaley's furniture, having first obtained a pass from the mayor. Arrived on Edisto on the 19th. On the night of his arrival his flat was stolen by negroes. Whilst hunting for his flat the next day he was taken by negroes, who were armed with guns and pistols and bayonets on sticks; there were between 30 and 50 negroes; drew their weapons and threatened to shoot him if he offered resistance. Black was carried on board gunboat Penguin, where he was kept two weeks, and then transferred to the Seneca, and sent to Hilton Head, and then transferred to the Wabash.
He was kept on board for a week, and sent back by the Seneca to North Edisto. Flag-Officer Du Pont, upon reading the letter of the captain of the Penguin, said he did not consider Black a prisoner of war, as he was taken by negroes, and was sorry the captain gave him the trouble of being sent to Hilton Head. Whilst on Hilton Head he heard that there were about 8,000 troops on the island. Heard them speak of attacking Savannah and Charleston, but most of attacking Charleston. From what he heard, thought they were going to attack Charleston by way of Wadmalaw Island and Simon's Bluff. They spoke of burning Rockville yesterday.
He heard the steward of the Ben DeFord say that he had heard the officers say that a portion of the Burnside fleet would be in North Edisto soon. Heard the provost-marshal of Hilton Head say that he had been in Savannah about two weeks since.
Was sent back, after first having been returned to North Edisto by Flag-Officer DuPont to Hilton Head, and at the instance of Mr. Boutelle was sent back again to North Edisto in the Ben DeFord
One regiment of troops, about 600 strong, landed at Edisto; they had two transportation wagons and mules; had commenced to remove everything that was valuable in the way of furniture from the island.
Heard Boutelle say that he had received a Charleston paper of the 10th on the 11th. Was landed at White Point by Mr. Boutelle, under a flag of truce. The flag was not received by any one, and Black walked on until he met the pickets.
The negroes go up from Ediston to White Point continually and Blackthinks they get information by communicating with the negroes on the main.
Thinks they have given up the attack on Savannah, as we have too many troops there. They have a machine for cutting off pile obstructions close to the bottom, &c.
P. S.-Captain Rogers, of General Evans' staff, saw the boat with the flag when it was coming ashore.