and in progress for the defense of this harbor, especially when the obstructions and iron-clad gunboats shall have been completed and are properly army with guns of the heaviest caliber, the enemy's fleet will find it extremely difficult to penetrate sufficiently within the harbor to injure or reduce the city; but until these works are finished, armed as indicated and properly garrisoned, the city cannot be regarded as protected.
Accompanied as on the previous day, on the 19th of September I examined the works at Secessionville, which are irregular and of poor construction. A force of some 200 men was still at work increasing and strengthening them. The position is naturally strong, being surrounded by low marshes and a wide creek, except on one side, where there is a very narrow strip of lever ground, along which the Abolitionists made their attack, which was a surprise, when they were defeated by one-fifth of their numbers. I do not see the necessity or advantage of holding in force this advanced position. A strong picket would be sufficient. The armament of this work consists of two 8-inch naval guns, one 18-pounder howitzer, six 32-pounder, one 32-pounder rifled gun, two 24-pounder rifled guns, and two 10-inch mortars.
All of which is respectfully submitted with the following papers, namely:
Minutes of a conference with Captain Ingraham, commanding Confederate States naval forces, Charleston Station, marked A.
Estimate of the forces regarded by Major-General Pemberton, my predecessor in command, as essential for the effective defense of the most important points in the department, marked B.*
Tabular statement of the troops in the department and their several positions, marked C.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
CHARLESTON, September 29, 1862.
In the office of the general commanding the department, Charleston, September 29, 1862, at a conference to which General Beauregard had invited the following officers: Commodore D. N. Ingraham and Captain J. R. Tucker, C. S. Navy, Brigadier Gens. S. R. Gist and Thomas Jordan, Cols. G. W. Lay, inspector-general, and A. J. Gonzales, chief of artillery, and Captain F. D. Lee, Engineers, Captain W. H. Echols, chief engineers, being absent from the city.
The general commanding proposed for discussion a number of queries prepared by himself in relation to the problem of the defense of the harbor, forts, and city of Charleston against the impeding naval attack by a formidable iron-clad fleet.
It was agreed to separate the consideration of these questions so as to discuss:
1st. The entrance, i.e., all outside of a line drawn from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, thence to Cummings Point, including also outside of this line Battery Beauregard, at the entrance of the Maffit Channel.
2nd. The gorge, i.e., the section included between that line and the line of a floating boom from Fort Sumter to the west end of Sullivan's Island.
*Copy of Pemberton to Beauregard, September 24, see p.609.