next the New Town Cut Bridge, I ordered, as soon as three regiments of Brigadier-General Colquitt's brigade, reported to me, that two of them should be encamped near that angle, and the other near a point equidistant from Fort Pemberton, on the right and the salient. In the event of the reappearance of the enemy on the island, this would be the smallest force that could be relied on to hold them in check, in event of an attack until they were re-enforced and inadequate for a prolonged resistance. One of these regiments has been ordered to, and now is at, Battery Wagner, and your order to me to hold two regiments subject to the purpose of being readily and rapidly moved into Charleston forbids me from using them (now that the enemy has no lodgment on the island) at any other point, as the locality satisfies the condition of your order.
At Secessionville liable to attack by land and by a force in barges, and suddenly, I have thought it prudent to keep at least one infantry regiment as a support, and to support the batteries on the line from Secessionville to Haskell, viz, Redoubt Numbers 1, Ryan, and Haskell; and to picket the marsh and creeks between these points, one battalion of the Twenty-fifth South Carolina (Major Glover) re-enforced each night by four companies from the reserve regiments, is used, and is the least force that can be relied on.
At Fort Johnson, and for the line from Battery Cheves to Battery Glover the troops returned from Morris Island to recruit, generally consisting of two small regiments, have to be relied on for guard and picket duties and to support the batteries.
The artillery force on this part of the line is ample. As a reverse to re-enforce any part of the island, I have but two regiments, located near the road from Fort Johnson to Battery Haskell, and so disposed as to re-enforce, though at some distance from the first nearer point, any menaced point along the line. I have no apprehension of any immediate demonstration of the enemy upon the southern end of the island, and hope time will be afforded us to construct the works of the new line, now in progress; but still it is important to watch and guard against any sudden demonstration, and the troops now employed on that duty cannot well be diminished.
My impression is that the portion of James Island now most to be regarded and upon which a demonstration is most likely to be made is the eastern line, from Secessionville to Fort Johnson. This face of the island is immediately opposite Light-House Inlet. Black and Morris Islands, and the guns of the enemy at long range, command this island as far back as James Island Creek.
It is true that this face is separated from these positions of the enemy by marshes, but these marshes are penetrated by creeks navigable by steamers, and easily approached by barges.
The works at Secessionville and the intermediate batteries command these creeks, and I have little apprehension of attempts to land in the day; but after a heavy bombardment designed for the purpose of driving our troops back from the margin of the creeks and marshes a bold attempt might be made to land in barges at points from Secessionville to Fort Johnson and if not successfully repelled, the whole system of works would be turned, including all our harbor defenses along the Ashley River.
In view of these facts, I have the honor to suggest that Light-House Inlet Creek, and the creek leading from our works toward Black and Morris Islands, be obstructed by torpedoes; that traverses be thrown up to protect infantry, as well as artillerists at the batteries,