here from North Carolina, and sooner than my command could possibly be re-enforced from any quarter out of the department.
* * * * * * *
A letter to you of May 20 further calls attention to the fact that important charges are reported to be on foot in the armament of the monitors, and urges strenuously that Fort Sumter be armed, conformably to the original plan, with the heaviest guns, rifled or smooth-bore, which could be obtained, in anticipation of a renewal of the attack of April 7. I was informed, however, through your letter of June 10, that -
Northern papers report the reduction of Hunter's forces by sending troops to the Gulf. If this be true, you will, with such force as you can properly withdraw from your defensive line, proceed to Mobile, to resist an attack, if one should be designed at that place; but if the purpose of the enemy be to send his re-enforcements to the Mississippi, you will go on co-operate with General Johnston in that quarter.
This I answered by a telegram on the 13th of same month, as follows:
Enemy's iron-clads and forces still as heretofore reported to department, excepting a gunboat expedition reported in Altamaha and one preparing for Saint John's River, Florida. I will prepare as far as practicable for contingencies referred to in Department letter of the 10th instant. Please send me any positive information relative to movement or intentions of enemy.
But in order that the War Department should be thoroughly cognizant of the state of affairs in my department, I further addressed to you a letter on June 15, in which I pointed out how utterly insufficient were the force at my command to resist those of the enemy, and that on my own responsibility I could not further deplete the force in the department. I drew your attention in this same letter to the danger of an attack by the way of Moris Island -indeed, to the very route on which General Gillmore has since operated. I take the following extract from that letter:
* * * * * * *
Thus it will be seen that the force in the department is already at the minimum necessary to hold the works around Charleston and Savannah, constantly menaced by the proximity of the enemy's iron-clads. The garrison of no work in the harbor can be withdraw or diminished, as they are all necessary links in the chain of defense. Reduce the command on James Island, and the enemy may readily penetrate by such a coup de main as was attempted last year at the weakened point. James Island would then fall, despite our harbor defenses, the city of Charleston would be thrown open to bombardment. It is not safe to have less than a regiment of infantry on Moris Island, which, of once carried by the enemy, would expose Fort Sumter to be taken in reserve and demolished.
* * * * * * *
late Northern papers say Admiral DuPont has been relieved on command of the fleet on this coast by Admiral Foote, and officer whose operations in the west evinced much activity and an enterprising spirit; and even were considerable reductions made in the enemy's forces, the valuable coast district would still be left a prey to much destructive raids as devastate the Combahee some days ago. Thus far, however, I can see no evidence of reduction. General Hunter at Hilton Head on the 8th instant. His troops hold the same positions as heretofore, and apparently in the same force - a brigade on Folly [Island], one on Seabrook's Island, and the balance on the islands about Port Royal. One of the monitors is a Hilton Head, and five are still in the North Edisto. Nor has the number of their gunboats or transports diminished, or at any time recently been increased, as must have been the case had a material removal of troops taken place.
* * * * * * *
On June 25, His Excellency President Davis telegraphed the following:
From causes into which it is needless to enter, the control of the Mississippi connection between the States east west of it will be lost unless Johnston is strongly