War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0832 COAST OF S. C.,GA.,AND MID. AND EAST FLA. Chapter XXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

approaches toward the interior defenses of James Island at his leisure and with comparative security.

It would be well to increase the works at White Point Battery as fast as the additional guns for that position can be procured. It may be deemed questionable whether, if the deficiency in guns can be provided for the works as far in the harbor as White Point, the whole is not secure; but should it be thought necessary to defend the Ashley River, giving additional security to the communications with James Island, the position at Chisolm's Mill offers more advantages than any other, and a work at that point, if it can be armed, is recommended.

FIFTH POINT.-On the 25th of October, 1862, under orders from the commanding general, reports were made by Brigadier-General Ripley, commanding First Military District, and Brigadier-General Gist, commanding James Island and the main, making estimates of the increase of ordnance and troops for the defense of Charleston against such a sea attack as is now threatened, and a land attack by a force not exceeding 30,000 men. (Copies of these papers are appended, marked C.)*

The present danger is almost precisely what was then anticipated, and it would appear that similar provisions to meet it are desirable. At that time it was thought, to meet such an emergency as now threatens, an increase of the force in this district by 21,561 men of all arms would be required. How much of this force could be drawn from other points with the limits of the department would be for the commanding general to determine. Then the force under Brigadier-General Gist's command, as will appear by reference to the return (herewith appended, marked D),+ was 4,528 enlisted present for duty. In the remainder of the district thee were 1,987, making an effective total present of 6,515. These, with the additional troops estimated for, made a total of troops required 28,076 of all arms, including a movable column of 11,250.

The numerous approaches to the city of Charleston and the absolute necessity of holding certain points requiring strong garrisons will account for the strength of the estimate.

While the board consider the force necessary in case the attack is made by the enemy in the strength estimates, they are of opinion that it would also suffice if it were made in stronger force, for the reason that the advantages which he possesses in his facilities for transportation would not obtain to a great extent in moving a force much exceeding 30,000 men. Since the date of these estimates the strength of the command in and about Charleston has been increased, and is now 10,513 effective total of different arms, as follows: (Copy of return appended, marked E.)+

Heavy artillery....................................... 2,062

Light artillery....................................... 779

Cavalry............................................... 1,101

Infantry.............................................. 6,551

This increase has obtained partially from the increase of certain regiments by recruits and conscripts, by principally by the re-enforcement by Brigadier-General Clingman's command. A portion of the infantry, about 700, is acting as heavy artillery, but this does not affect the numerical strength of a required increase, and the number short of the estimate is now 16,563. The force within the department has been increased within the knowledge of the board by one brigade in addition to that of General Clingman, increasing the means of the commanding


*See pp. 652-656.

+Not found.