War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0632 COASTS OF S.C., GA., AND MID. AND EAST FLA. Chapter XXVI.

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to have one constructed (with the authority of the War Department) as soon as materials, labor, &c., can be collected for that object. I fear not to put on record now that half a dozen of these torpedo rams, of small comparative cost, would keep this harbor clear of four times the number of the enemy's iron-clad gunboats. With regard to the condition of the garrison of Fort Sumter, referred to by you, after the thorough investigation of the matter lately made by a military board, I can find no cause for fearing the disloyalty or evil designs of the men composing it; they appear to be well disciplined and zealous, but I agree with you in the necessity of having an able and old artillerist in command of the fort at the entrance of this harbor; hence I have made already two applications for the services of Brigadier-General Ripley, which have been promised me.

I have already given instructions for the construction of a battery of five or six pieces (32-pounders and rifled guns) at Mayarant's, for the defense of Winyaw Bay. My very limited forces will, however, permit me to detach for its garrison only a very small number of men, probably not over 350 of all arms.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


General, Commanding.

RICHMOND, VA., October 8, 1862.

General R. E. LEE,

(Care of General George H. Steuart, Winchester, Va.):

General W. D. Smith is dead, and General Beauregard is pressing for General Ripley. Have you any objection to his transfer to Charleston? Answer by telegraph.


Secretary of War.


Charleston, S. C., October 8, 1862.

Colonel W. S. WALKER,

Colonel, Commanding Third Mil. Dist., McPhersonville, S. C.:

COLONEL: Your letter of the 3rd instant, with its inclosures, has been received. Your instructions to the commanding officer at Hardeeville and to our pickets are approved of; none more in detail can be furnished you from here. Our means are so limited at present that it is impossible to guard effectually the whole country and line of railroad from here to Savannah against a determined attack of the enemy; but we must endeavor to make up in zeal and activity what we lack in numbers. I shall, however, send you a light battery of artillery, to be posted by you wherever most advantageous. Being still unacquainted with the district of country under your command, I must rely greatly in this and other corresponding matters on your judgment and thorough knowledge of its topography. My intention is to consolidate the cavalry as soon as practicable.

The two battalions referred to by you will be organized into one regiment, with Major Jeffords as lieutenant-colonel and Lieutenant Colonel S. W. Ferguson, formerly of the U. S. Dragoons, as colonel, if his services can be obtained for that position. I am happy to hear that the troops have