X. The Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers will proceed to Fernandina and relieve the Eleventh Maine Volunteers, now occupying that post. The Eleventh Maine Volunteers, upon being relieved, will proceed to Morris Island and report for duty to Brigadier-General Terry, commanding that post.
* * * * *
By command of Major General Q. A. Gillmore:
ED. W. SMITH,
FLAG-STEAMER PHILADELPHIA, Off Morris Island, September 29, 1863.
DEAR SIR: Yours of the 27th, in answer to mine of the 26th, was received about 10 o'clock at night on the 27th.
The reply contained in the first paragraph, that you "will open on Sumter at any time I am ready to move, even to-morrow, if I desire it," is entirely satisfactory, and meets the sole purpose of my letter, if you refer to the batteries from Wagner to Gregg.
And here I should, therefore, have concluded this communication, were it not for the strange misapprehension that pervades four subsequent pages of remarks, and which justice to myself requires me to notice.
Whether one cannon is mounted on Sumter or more, and whether it be a 32-pounder or looks one way or the other, was not in my mind when I wrote the letter of the 26th. I do not know that the fort is capable of a severe musketry fire, which will prevent me from using boats to cut away rope obstructions and compel me to risk the fouling of the propeller. If this fire did not exist, it might be possible to cover the boats from Moultrie.
Now, if Sumter can be rendered incapable of this musketry fire by the fire of Cumming's Point, it will relieve the monitors of the work; and this is very desirable to do, because they have already expended nearly two-thirds of the endurance of their cannon and sustained a loss of six weeks in repairing, in consequence of a co-operation of sixty days in the reduction of Wagner.
This is the whole story; and surely there is nothing in a request so plain that would lead to the construction which forms an argument of four pages, no consequences so momentous as need make my first request for a co-operation so serious.
No assault is in question. If the cannon will not do it, the remainder will be on my hands, though I may say that even an assault was not so remote from your calculations at one time.
I have not the slightest idea of "imposing any new condition" on you whatever, but merely to ask the only co-operation that you can afford me, after having for sixty days yielded cheerfully to every request made of me. I do not ask you to put up batteries expressly for my convenience, but, as you are so engaged, only to use them, when ready, for a certain probable advantage.
Nor do I ask you for assistance in removing the obstructions in the channel. There is nothing in my letter to warrant the idea, and your offer to do this-my proper work-sounds to me very much as