line as far as practicable in order to open up the country to command of Fort Pemberton, and to connect that fort by works for infantry with the redoubts to its left, and the redoubts with a line running parallel to the Stono, shortening the line about a fourth of a mile.
Having stated the attention of the brigadier-general commanding the district to the fact of the entirely inadequate force on this island for its defense.
On the eastern lines, I have at Secessionville 218 artillerists, 375 infantry, on the advance lines 571 infantry, including all pickets, and one light battery; at Batteries Haskell and Ryan, 224 artillerists, with a support of 276 infantry, and two companies of siege train, with four 12-pounder rifles; at Fort Johnson, I have 1,229 infantry and 226 artillerists; at Battery Glover, 69 artillerists.
On the interior lines, I have 224 artillerists and in reserve, 152 light artillerists, with ten pieces, 330 infantry and 132 cavalry.
On the western lines, at this time there is no infantry support whatever and those lines are manned by one small battalion of artillery, exclusive of the garrison of Fort Pemberton, and a reserve of two companies of siege train.
The communications between the eastern and western lines are by bridges by New Town Cut; one bridge is entirely without the lines, and the other, by Dill's Bluff, in bad repair, and the distance is some 4 miles by the road to re-enforce from one line to the other. The bridge at Secessionville is badly located, it being thrown across a peninsula, and it will thus require one regiment at least, say 500 men, to hold the work constructed for the defense of the bridge, and by which alone re-enforcements can reach that garrison, in addition to the troops now on the eastern advance lines.
I regard it important to add 2,700 infantry and two companies of cavalry in addition to the troops (all artillery) on the western lines. I think it important to add 300 infantry, and for a general reserve common to both lines. I think it necessary to have (to be held about Dill's Bluff) not less than 3,000 infantry.
In conclusion, I have respectfully to ask the brigadier-general commanding the district will assign me a chief of artillery, a competent and experienced officer and would ask that Captain Ramsey, of the Engineers, be ordered to report tome for permanent duty. And I most particularly ask that he will order to report to me, as immediately necessary for mere picket duty and some show of defense in certain emergency, at least two regiments of infantry for service on western lines.
HDQRS. 1ST MIL. DIST. DEPT., S. C., GA. AND FLA.,
Charleston, August 5, 1863
Respectfully forwarded for information and consideration of the general commanding.
R. S. RIPLEY,
HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., August 7, 1863.
The present defensive lines on James Island are so defective that it would not be judicious to expend much time and labor on them;