when General Gillmore assumed command, to the 5th of July, when I was relieved of command by General Seymour:
In the early part of April last, I was assigned to command of Folly Island. I immediately set about putting the island in a state of defense, looking to its being the base of operations against Charleston. I found the island covered with a dense and impenetrable forest and tangled underwood, without roads of any description, and impassable, except by the east and west beaches, at low tides.
I immediately caused several roads to be opened, the principal of which traversed the island through its entire length, about 10 miles, and several strong batteries to be constructed at the south end, and about 2 miles from the north end. These have been reported to the proper authorities from time to time, and are alluded to here only to show the state of affairs when General Gillmore assumed command.
Immediately upon assuming command, General Gillmore communicated to me his intention of attacking Morris Island, and, in accordance with his instructions, I immediately commenced operations. The engineering operations were conducted principally under the supervision of Lieutenants Suter and Michie.
A two-fold problem had to be solved; first, to construct formidable batteries within 800 to 1,200 yards of the enemy; second, to conceal them entirely from his notice. This last was exceedingly difficult, as he, the enemy, had a lookout near Secessionville, which overlooked the position, besides having a direct view from Morris Island. However, there being a dense copse wood near the north end, we were afforded the means of solving the second part of the problem.
A few days previous to commencing operations, a steamer, in attempting to run the blockade, had run ashore on a spit of land between Morris and Folly Islands. Having taken measures to secure her cargo, the enemy opened upon me with a heavy fire; but deeming it of more importance to secure the construction of the batteries, I concealed my movements so as to leave the impression that he had driven me from the north end of the island; but, in the meantime, that point was occupied by about 1,000 men, as guards and laborers, who worked day and night, notwithstanding the heavy fire, for several days. At least 2,000 rounds were fired by the enemy without our replying, or in the least regarding it. I regret to state that several men lost their lives, and several were wounded. These operations commenced on the 15th of June, and were essentially completed by the 3rd of July. During this time, twelve 10-inch, four 8-inch mortars, twelve 30-pounder, four 20-pounder, ten 10-pounder Parrotts, and six 12-pounder Wiard guns were put in position in revetted and embrasures batteries; magazines and splinter-proofs were also constructed.
Each piece was supplied with 200 rounds of ammunition. These were carried to their positions during the night, and so effectually were these movements concealed that, up to the time of opening the fire of the batteries, the enemy had not the slightest idea of their existence.
I am greatly indebted to Colonel Dandy, who commanded during the construction of the works, for the efficient discipline and order which he preserved; to Lieutenants Suter and Michie, engineers, for the skill and industry displayed in selecting the position and in the construction of the works.
The mounting of the guns and supplying the ammunition was