War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0654 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

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question of its abandonment, whenever it may arise, we respectfully suggest should be determined by the commanding general, and not left to the discretion of the commander of the fort.

We have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, yours,

J. F. GILMER,

Colonel, and Chief of Engineer Bureau.

D. B. HARRIS,

Lieutenant-Colonel, and Chief Engineer of Department.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD,

Commanding, &c.

[Indorsement.]

HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,

Charleston, S. C., August 26, 1863.

The opinion of Colonel Gilmer and Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, of the Engineers, is approved. Fort Sumter must be held to the last extremity, i. e., not surrendered until it becomes impossible to hold it longer without an unnecessary sacrifice of human life. Evacuation of the fort must not be contemplated one instant without positive orders from these headquarters.

G. T. BEAUREGARD,

General, Commanding.

ADDENDA.

HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,

Charleston, September 23, 1863.

GENERAL: In compliance with your wishes, I visited Fort Sumter last evening, accompanied by Colonel Harris, chief engineer of this department, and made a special examination into the condition of the casemates of the northeast front of the fort.

I found three of the lower casemates to be in such condition as to justify the effort to mount guns in them, and to protect them from above and in rear from the enemy's shot. For this purpose the broken materials of the adjacent parts can be used. A mass of mortar and broken bricks, to the depth of 7 or 8 feet, can be piled in the casemates in the second tier and thus give comparative safety to guns int he lower tier against all vertical shot. A heavy mass of the same materials can be erected to form a parados against reverse shot. To give shape to this structure, it will be necessary to use sand-bag revetments, but the quantity required can probably be furnished from the supplies on hand and from others that we may hope to collect. It may be practicable, also, to mount a fourth gun int he pan coupe between the east and northeast faces, and give it protection from direct, reverse, and vertical fires. On this point the engineer officer on the station was directed to make full examinations and report as early as practicable. Directions were given to the commanding officer to ascertain what guns now at the fort are serviceable and best suited for remounting.

The engineer officer was also instructed by Colonel Harris to employ a part of his laboring force at once in removing all rubbish from the three casemates, which it is proposed to strengthen, and to commence the work of protecting the arches above and building the cover in rear.

It was stated that at least one 10-inch columbiad was now available