Charleston would still be attacked. We now see the consequences of that ill-fated order. Neither would the inhabitants furnish any labor or the fortifications of that island and other points, when called upon, several months before.
OFFICE OF CHIEF ENGINEER,
Charleston, S. C., August 17, 1863.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: As soon as the new defensive line from Secessionville to Dill's, on the Stono, is constructed, Fort Pemberton will only be important as a river battery, and should have its heavy armament arranged accordingly, and the flank, to which the colonel objects, retained, as that flank affords an important fire on the river.
Should it, in the course of events, fall into the hands of the enemy, he could not use it in the manner described, as the redoubt of the western lines, next to Fort Pemberton, looks into the rear of it. Orders had been given for the felling of the timber referred to, but in consequence of the adoption of the new line above mentioned, they were revoked, and the labor concentrated upon that line.
I do not think the enemy will attempt an attack on Fort Pemberton with barges, but should he do so, by the exercise of due vigilance on our part, it could be better repelled from the land than by the floating arrangement recommended.
Additional obstructions in the Stono would be advisable, but they should be placed below our new works and under their guns.
It would be inexpedient to put any work on John's Island, excepting strong, self-sustaining one, which we cannot now undertake.
I have the honor to be, yours, very respectfully,
D. B. HARRIS,
Lieutenant-Colonel, and Chief Engineer.
HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
August 18, 1863.
The commanding general approves of the views of Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, which are referred for the information of Colonel Gonzales, who will return them to this office.
By command of General Beauregard:
JOHN F. O'BRIEN,
Major, and Assistant Adjutant-General.
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 195.
Richmond, August 17, 1863.
* * * * * * *
VI. By direction of the President, Colonel J. F. Gilmer, Chief of the Engineer Bureau, when, in his opinion the business of the bureau shall permit, will proceed to Charleston, S. C., and inspect the defenses of the place, and, in consultation with General Beauregard,
19 R R-VOL XXVIII, PT II