Colonel RHETT. In action it would be impracticable to use but one gun, the 11-inch, and that would soon be disabled.
Colonel Gilmer of the same opinion as Lieutenant Johnson.
Second proposition: Can offensive power still be given to these guns by additional cover and change of location?
Lieutenant JOHNSON. Yes; by sand-bag epaulement and timber platforms, in rear of and between present platforms.
Captain HARLESTON. Consider it impracticable on account of present shattered condition of the fort, and that sufficient time will not be allowed.
Major BLANDING. Agree with Captain Harleston.
Colonel HARRIS. It can be done in present condition of fort, if time is allowed.
Colonel RHETT. Would like to see it carried out, but consider it impracticable.
Colonel GILMER. It is entirely within the capacity of the engineer to accomplish the work in the manner suggested by Lieutenant Johnson, if not under fire, at night when the fire ceases.
Third proposition: Capacity of the fort as a defensive position, in its present condition, against a barge attack and the number of men needed.
Lieutenant JOHNSON. I think the capacity of the fort sufficient, and that it needs 300 muskets.
Captain HARLESTON. I think the capacity of the fort sufficient, and that it needs from 250 to 300 muskets.
Major BLANDING. Without outside assistance, in its present condition, 500 muskets will be needed.
Colonel HARRIS. Agree with Lieutenant Johnson.
Colonel RHETT. The navy will not be able to assist in an attack from barges; the fort can be held in its present condition with no less force than 400 effective men, an a large part of those should be kept under arms during the night, as barges can come within 50 yards without being seen.
Colonel GILMER. The defensive capacity of the fort is sufficient if garrisoned with 300 effective men, giving them the assistance of splinter-proof cover and sand-bag epaulements.
Fourth proposition: Power of the fort to preserve its present defensive condition against probable attacks.
Lieutenant JOHNSON. Against the possible combined attacks of the fleet, Parrott guns, and mortars, thirty-six hours.
Captain HARLESTON. Agree with Lieutenant Johnson.
Major BLANDING. Against a combined vigorous attack, twelve hours.
Colonel HARRIS. Cannot undertake to answer as regards time.
Colonel RHETT. The eastern wall is much shattered by the fire of 7th of April, and has never been repaired, excepting two casemates, which have been rebuilt with new masonry; the wall has been re-enforced int eh casemates with sand-bags; it has also been seriously damaged by fire from the land batteries on Morris Island. My opinion is that a fire from the iron-clad fleet for from two to three hours would destroy the integrity of the wall, if it did not bring it down. A combined fire from land batteries on Morris Island, with a monitor attack, would most probably bring down a large part of the wall. The inner corner wall of eastern magazine is now cracked. The fort wall adjoining the pier of the upper magazine has been completely shot away, and I think a concentrated fire of two hours