3rd. The harbor, comprising all of the bay within the second line.
4th. The city, its flanks and rear.
In the discussion no guns were classed as heavy if not above the caliber of 32 except rifled 32-pounders.
The following conclusions were arrived at:
1st. The existing defenses of the entrance are Beauregard Battery with two heavy guns, Fort Moultrie with nine, the sand batteries on the west end of Sullivan's Island with but four yet mounted, and Fort Sumter with thirty-eight. Of the gorge say nine guns in Fort Moultrie, thirty-two in Fort Sumter (not including seven 10-inch mortars), and as yet but four in the sand batteries. Of the harbor say fourteen guns of Fort Sumter and the four guns in the new sand batteries. Fort Johnson has one rifled 32-pounder, but it is not banded and is unsafe.
For the city defense some batteries have been arranged and commenced, but heavy guns are neither mounted nor disposable.
2nd. The floating boom is incomplete.
3rd. It is no barrier now.
4th. The boom, even if complete on the present plan, might be forced, although it would serve as a check, but it cannot be depended upon if attacked by the enemy on a scale commensurate with his means. It has already been brown in parts by the forces of tides and currents. On account of its having to bear this strain of the depth of water (up to 70 feet) and the difficulties of the anchorage ground, of the limited means at disposal in anchors and chains, the indifferent quality of the iron, and the deficient buoyancy of the whole (the pine being green and sappy and getting heavier with time), a modification of the construction is required.
5th. We have no means or material at hand for the construction of a better boom. It is thought, however, that the one now under construction will be materially improved by discarding the continuous chain of bar and railroad iron and links and by linking together the logs, as they are now arranged, by short chains, so as to make a continuous chain of each section of the spars. There will be a saving of iron and greater buoyancy attained by this.
6th. A rope barrier has been devised and constructed to place in advance of the spar boom, but has not been placed in position, as the rope will rot in the water, and some anchors are still wanting. They are being searched for.
7th. Iron-clads in forcing the harbor must pass the gorge, or throat, everywhere within point-blank range of our batteries, and must consequently be in great danger of damage from the concentration of the metal that can be brought to bear upon them, especially from the elevation of Fort Sumter.
NOTE.-Distance between Sumter and Moultrie 1,775 yards; air line of obstructions 1,550 yards.
8th. The plan of naval attack apparently best for the enemy would be to dash with as many iron-clads as he can command, say fifteen or twenty, past the batteries and forts, without halting to engage or reduce them. Commodore Ingraham thinks they will make an attack in that way by daylight.
9th. Iron-clad vessels cannot approach or pass so close to the walls of Fort Sumter as not to be within the reach of the barbette guns. Those guns may be depressed to strike the water at a distance of 154 yards of the walls. Vessels of the probable draught of gunboats cannot be brought closer than 200 yards.
10th. After forcing the passage of the forts and barriers and reaching