another attack anticipated. We had only four effective guns and one 10-inch mortar against six (11 and 15 inch) guns and several 13-inch mortars of the enemy. Only 2 men slightly wounded on our side.
Fort now in good condition; result brilliant to our arms.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., March 6, 1863.
Brigadier General H. W. MERCER,
Commanding District of Georgia, Savannah:
GENERAL: The letter of N. b. Clinch, adjutant Fourth Georgia Cavalry, to Colonel Clinch, dated February 26, 1863, and forwarded through your headquarters, has been considered by the commanding general, who sanctions the proposed expedition for the capture of the Federal gunboats in the sound south of the Alabama. You are therefore authorized to direct the necessary preparations for the adventure, and to do whatsoever you may regard as essential or calculated to insure success.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS, McLeod's, March 6, 1863.
Brigadier General R. S. RIPLEY,
Commanding First Military District:
GENERAL: I am of opinion that the enemy will not attack Savannah unless successful in their attempt to reduce the outposts and river batteries. If this be so, would we not have time to concentrate? At same time I think the Yankee generals will be loth to remain quiet when so much is evidently expected from them. They must attempt something, and my judgment is that the attack will be upon some accessible and least-guarded point of the railroad. That they find (if they do not know it already) that the city of Charleston is almost without troops they would destroy road and bridges, and before the troops could be sent by way of Augusta or march to us from Savannah we would be in their power, always supposing they come in overwhelming force, which they would of course do. They have certain means of information, exactly what kind we do not know, and if they are aware of our present situation, how easily could they send two-thirds of their forces by way of John's Island and the Stono and force our lines in Saint Andrew's and James Island? An enterprising enemy could do this.
Having some knowledge of railroad transportation, I undertake to say that it will consume at least six days to concentrate our forces at Charleston; hence you perceive my anxiety consequent upon having so small a force of infantry. My suggestion was and is to concentrate troops and transportation at some proper point on the railroad or in Charleston, this latter being the most important point, and be in readiness to move 5,000 men to any point in a few hours. The transportation can be had and held without interfering with mail trains.
In merely give you my ideas hastily, and you are at liberty to communicate them to the general commanding if you think proper.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. R. GIST,