CHARLESTON, S. C., April 14, 1863-12.15 p. m.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:
Ironsides still outside. No monitors; two reported yesterday returned to Port Royal. None in Edisto. Many transports still there. Only eighth gunboats and transports in StoNumbers Land forces as heretofore, but strength not known.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
(Duplicate to Messrs. Orr and Barnwell, Confederate States Senators, Richmond, Va.)
CHARLESTON, April 15, 1863.
His Excellency the PRESIDENT, Richmond:
Mr. PRESIDENT: As reported by telegraph, I arrived here last Friday night (10th instant). The next morning I called upon General Beauregard, and afterward sent you a dispatch giving the state of affairs as far as in my power. On Monday I telegraphed you that the monitors had gone south; three to be there, as they are neither in the Stono nor North Edisto.
The condition of affairs here, as far as I know, is about the same as at the date of my last dispatch (Monday). The Ironsides and the other blockading vessels occupy their usual positions outside the bar. Most of the vessels in the Stono have left, but the islands at its mouth (Folly, Cole's, &c.), are still occupied by the enemy, in what force is not known. An expedition is on foot, I am informed to ascertain with what force these islands are held.
I have had so little to tell you that I have refrained from telegraphing since the withdrawal of the monitors, as I could have only repeated General Beauregard's dispatches to the War Department, which are sent off every morning and evening, and I have learned so little upon which to form any judgment as to the enemy's designs and probable movements in the future that even now I have but little object in writing on the subject, except to show you how little I know of it. Much confidence is expressed in the ability to successfully meet any movement by land upon this city, and since the attack on Fort Sumter an equal confidence is felt in the ability to repel an attack by water. It is thought that the enemy's iron-clads were badly used, and that they will not, for at least some time to come, risk another trial with our forts.
Some apprehension has been felt lest the monitors might attempt to retrieve their fortunes upon Savannah, and preparations have been begun to meet them there, but there is now no evidence of any such intention on their part. I will remain a day or two longer, and if everything remains quiet will start from Richmond, where I hope to find you much improved in health.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully and truly, yours,
G. W. C. LEE,
Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., April 15, 1863.
Major J. P. THOMAS,
Commanding Volunteer Battalion, Wappoo Bridge:
DEAR MAJOR: Your favor of this day has just been received. I am