Colonel Harris thought enemy would seek to take work by regular approaches, for which ten days would be necessary. The chances of success of an attempt to carry work after a partial approach somewhat nearer them than at present, would, he believed, be unfavorable for enemy. An attempt to carry work by storm or assault at present would scarcely be successful.
2nd. How long can the fort be held with a fair prospect of saving its garrison with the means of transportation at our command and circumstances relative thereto, as heretofore indicated by actual experience?
General Hagood did not think garrison of Battery Wagner can be saved without we steal a march on enemy, and that went enemy approaches nearer he will be certain to get knowledge of any movement toward evacuation.
General Colquitt thought enemy may take the position at his pleasure; may light up the work now with calcium lights; that the chances for saving garrison are diminishing daily; but both thought with proper precautions garrison might be successfully withdrawn.
Colonel Harris did not believe enemy would attempt assault, but would seek to take by regular approaches on salient; hence, garrison might be saved within two days of the time enemy would be able to reach ditch, or the completion of his approaches.
3rd. How long after the loss or evacuation of Wagner could Fort Gregg be held?
General Hagood. If vigorously attacked, Battery Gregg would fall immediately after Wagner was carried.
General Colquitt would evacuate both same night.
Colonel Harris believed, if vigorously followed up, Battery Gregg must fall immediately after the enemy shall get possession of Wagner. In case reduction of Wagner is delayed a week, can, however, throw up intermediate works for infantry to check advance of enemy, and delay fall of Battery Gregg, say, three days.
4th. Can the heavy guns-two in Wagner and three in Gregg-in those two works be removed before their evacuation without endangering the safety of the works and their garrison?
Generals Hagood and Colquitt thought the columbiads could be removed without endangering safety of garrison, especially if precautions were taken to assure the men that these guns were removed because now useless, and to be replaced by others more effective in this stage of defense. The columbiads do not materially enhance strength of works at this time.
Colonel Harris thought, if obstinate resistance is to be made, guns should not be removed.
5th. Can we take the offensive suddenly, with a fair prospect of success, by throwing during the night 3,000 men on north end of Morris Island, making in all 4,000 men available, bearing in mind that no re-enforcements could be sent there until night, and perhaps none for several nights, according to the movements of enemy's ironclads and the fire of his land batteries?
Generals Hagood and Colquitt did not think the offensive can now be undertaken with our present means of transportation, and thought it would certainly fail if attempted.
At 2.30 p.m. Brigadier-Generals Hagood and Colquitt were dismissed to their posts, and at 3 p.m. the conference was adjourned to meet again at 8 p.m.
At 8 p.m. the conference was resumed. Present: General G.