road and battery materials to venus Point. An examination of the upper end of Bird Island will ne made to-night. It is directly opposite Venus Point, while the upper end of long Island is somewhat below. I do not objects to long for a battery simply because it is lower down the river than Venus Point, but am inclined to favor it on that account, as we can keep boats attempting to pass through the river longer fire than if the batteries were directly opposite each other. I have just returned from Venus Point. I propose to put the guns there about 40 feet apart, with traversed between them. A lodger development would unduly increase the labor of constructing the levee around the battery to keep out the water. The fatigue parties here will be mostly engaged in carrying over to Venus Point such portion of the battery material as will forward the construction of the work while the Navy are awaiting their orders. I prefer to apply the force in this way than to work exclusively on the causeway, as it is not excepted that the guns will be carried across Jones Island. I propose to place each gun on a grillage of poles 20 feet square. The weight per square foot will be less than 15 pounds. It will be advisable to inclose the battery, so that it can resist an assault, and after we get time each gun can be covered over to secure the men against the fragments of shells exploding over the battery. It will be necessary to inclose the battery with a parapet, at any rate, in order to keep out high tides, and it will be easy to convert this parapet into an obstacle that will require some time to surmount.
A rebel boat passed down Saint Augustine Creek and back to-day. The two towers near the mouth of Saint Augustine Creek are for the telegraph wires to pass on, as I am informed by contrabands who worked upon them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Q. A. GILLMORE,
Brigadier-General Volunteers and Chief Engineer.
P. S.- If the two engineer companies for Wassaw are to be retained long on the Star of the South had they not better be sent up here (or at least one of them) to help in the work temporarily?
[Inclosure Numbers 12.]
CHIEF ENGINEER'S OFFICE EXPEDITIONARY CORPS,
Daufuskie Island, S. C., February 9, 1862.
Brigadier General THOMAS W. SHERMAN,
Commanding U. S. Forces, Hilton Head, S. C.:
GENERAL: I have report no important change in the position of affairs here, so far as they relate to my department, since my communication of day before yesterday. We are still in condition - as we have been for the last thirteen days - to erect and put in serviceable and efficient readiness for action batteries on Jones and Long Islands that will thoroughly blockade the Savannah River within twenty-four hours after the gunboats enter that stream. My efforts for the last three days have been directed to preparations for attaining this objected without the assistance of the Navy, in case circumstances should arise to deprive us of their co-operation, but our limited means of transportation on this island have so far absorbed the available strength of the fatigue force in carrying poles for the Jones Island causeway that the actual laying of the road has not yet been commenced. I have a very good wheel-barrow track across the island to Venus Point. I have taken as much