War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0656 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

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paratively helpless, and attempting to land upon an unknown and defended work of superior position; which advantage we ought not to forego unless upon the moral certainty of success.

8. That in the event of the commanding general determining upon the adoption of the plan proposed, which plan might confuse and paralyze the enemy from its daring and novelty, everything would depend upon the skill of the engineers in the preparation and laying of mines and torpedoes, in the blowing down of walls and casemates that might afford protection to an enemy from our shell, and the arrangement of our bomb-proofs for offensive operations against an enemy establishing himself in the work.

9. In conclusion, although success by the plan proposed would be a most brilliant exploit, we take the great risk of not being able again to dislodge an enemy, who, from his devices and resources is ore to be dreaded when he has once gained a foothold than in a hand-to-hand conflict.

Respectfully submitted.


Colonel, Commanding.

Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,

Chief of Staff.



Charleston, S. C., November 13, 1863.

Respectfully referred to Major General J. F. Gilmer and Colonel D. B. Harris, for their views. Colonel Harris will submit to General Gilmer the plan explained by me to Colonel Rhett and himself.


General, Commanding.


Charleston, S. C., November 15, 1863.

GENERAL: In compliance with instructions contained in your indorsement on Colonel Rhett's letter of the 13th instant, Colonel Harris has explained to me the plan for the future defense at Fort Sumter, as described by you verbally to himself and Colonel Rhett, and I have the honor to submit the following views thereon:

The plan as described by Colonel Harris is as follows: Prepare the bomb-proofs in the fort so as to command all points within the works by musketry fire; place mines and torpedoes in the parade; demolish all cover not needed by the garrison, or else place mines within such cover; prepare batteries on Sullivan's Island and other points to fire shell into the fort, and shot to protect the approaches; then reduce the garrison and withdraw it entirely from the broken walls to the bomb-proof shelter prepared as first described.

1. By withdrawing the reduced garrison from the walls of the fort to the bomb-proof for offensive defense, the amount of supplies required would be less than at present, and could with more certainty be delivered at the fort under the enemy's fire.

2. The exposure of the troops in this method of defense, under the heavy bombardments of the enemy, would be much less than under the present system.