addition to this I think some heavy guns-at least three rifled 32-pounders-should be put on White Point Battery, and the largest mortars should be put in position at Fort Johnson, and several should also be put on the high points in the upper part of the city toward the Neck, so as to be used if the gunboats got into the harbor; or, if any landing is attempted, if they get in, these mortars and heavy guns in the city should be used upon them, and let the city stand the shelling. One-third of its is burnt already, right through the lower part of it, and it cannot be extensively burnt except from the burnt district down to the water. Our people are thoroughly prepared for it. At this season of the year they can have no infantry force to land unless they whip us in Tennessee and Virginia. All of our ports are taken now. It is of the last importance we should hold Charleston to the last extremity, as we can have no intercourse in any event with the foreign world if Charleston is taken. If you will send a superior heavy ordnance officer there-and I think on the whole Huger is the man, unless you know of some other-and six heavy rifled cannon, with ten or twelve 10-inch and 13-inch mortars [I let General Beauregard send eight of our large State mortars to Pensacola after the fall of Sumter; can we not get them back now?] and give the orders that Charleston shall be defended, even amid conflagration and blood, it shall be done. If I could have any assurance that the Confederate officers would not withdraw their forces until we have fought it out in the harbor and in the streets I will pledge myself to give all the powers and resources I can command to aid and assist them in any emergency. I speak what I believe is the deliberate feeling of the State when I say that we universally prefer it a city of ashes and the site defended to its being in possession of the enemy.
We can concentrate about 15,000 men with arms to defend it, and this is far more than they can send to take it; but what we want is heavy cannon planted all around our inner harbor, with heavy mortars on the rising land surrounding the city, and orders issued to use all human exertion to defend it. It is due to us and to our cause that we should make it a slaughter-house rather than to retire, even if threatened to be overpowered. Let me entreat you to look at this matter immediately, and let it be known that you take the deepest interest in it, and that you expect every officer to do his duty.
You will pardon me for writing thus freely to you, for you have been amongst us, and your father before you was on every bloody field in our State in our first Revolution. I think as my grandfather was with him so often in battle I have a right to appeal to you now in this confidential manner. There has been so much ill feeling amongst the officers in Charleston that we want a new man of large experience who will talk and act like that the defense is to be desperate. I will go with you in everything and stand by your officers to the last, and if I had command I would stand with them at the guns, let the consequences be what they may. We can afford to lose the city entirely, but not our honor.
Please let me hear from you.
With great esteem, I am, yours, very truly,
F. W. PICKENS.
HEADQUARTERS STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, Columbia, May 23, 1862.
DEAR SIR: I am informed from the highest sources that 5 men re-