reported by the most recent and reliable information, yet, as the commanding general is aware, there is a well-constructed fort (Marion) there, in which the enemy is stationed; and on which there are mounted seven or eight heavy guns, and a battery of light artillery, commanding the approaches to the town. That this work could be reduced, there is no doubt; but to do so without a considerable loss of life would require heavy guns, which are not at my command. I also beg leave to suggest that the possession of Saint Augustine would be entirely useless to us so long as the enemy holds the Saint John's River, by which he is able to cut off all communication with that town, except from a point so far south as to render the supplying of a garrison there next to impracticable. I think that Saint Augustine may properly be regarded as coming within the ninth maxim of war, as arranged by the commanding general.
Fernandina is at present garrisoned by Eleventh New Hampshire [Maine] Regiment and one company of engineers, the latter having been engaged in strengthening the land side of Fort Clinch. The situation of that place is too well known to need a description, but I may remark that while it is accessible from the sea by two inlets, the least of which (Nassau) affords 12 feet of water, the railroad bridge, constituting the only approach from the mainland, over a wide marsh, with an intervening stream, was burned at the time of the evacuation by our forces. The necessity for the reduction of Fort Clinch would attend any operations at Fernandina; and the want of heavy guns applies here as well as to a movement against Saint Augustine.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, Numbers 261.
July 28, 1863.
I. The following are announced as the habitual commands of general officers in this military district, excepting when specially ordered upon other duty:
First. Brigadier-General Taliaferro, First Sub-Division, embracing Saint Andrew's Parish and James Island.
Brigadier-General Hagood, East Lines, James Island.
Brigadier-General Colquitt, West Lines, James Island.
Second. Brigadier-General Clingman, Second Sub-Division, embracing Sullivan's Island and Christ Church Parish.
* * * * * * *
By command of Brigadier-General Ripley:
WM. F. NANCE,
IN THE CONFEDERATE COURT, SOUTH CAROLINA DISTRICT.
At Chambers, in Charleston, July 28, 1863.
The commanding general of this military department having declared that the presence of all citizens capable of assisting in the
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