the lower end of the island, known long to be the extrenal gate of the city, and the establishment by the enemy, without the knowledge of the military authorities, of powerful land batteries on Folly Island, screened and concealed, until fully prepared to open upon us with all the effect of surprise, by the woods which had been allowed to remain unfilled on that island. That these, and not the want of men, were the true causes of the possession effected by the enemy, is shown by their inability to improve their success by the capture of Forts Wagner and Gregg.
It is no please for me to refer to these causes of disaster, but, under the implication of your letter, I could not says less. You can scarcely have greater anxiety yourself for the successful defense of Charleston than is felt by me. I would gladly send further re-enforcements if in my power, and I appreciate the natural desire felt by yourself and your fellow-citizens for the presence of General Jenkins' brigade. With the exception of about 2,000 men permanently retained for the defense of the forts on both sides of the James, that gallant brigade constitutes our sole resource for the defense of the extended line from Fredericksburg to North Carolina. How is it possible to dispense with them, even at the urgent call you make?
I regret to see, in connection with this call, the implication in your letter, that South Carolina is now allowed to "have some of here own veteran troops, have been fighting so long outside of her borders, to strike a blow for their own homes upon their own native soil."
In conformity with your own wish, expressed some time since, a brigade has bene returned to the Department of South Carolina, troops (General Evans') whom, it is believed, may justly claim to be characterized as veteran troops that have fought outside of South Carolina. You should recollect, too, that if the exigencies of the service retain a portion of the Carolina troops on other fields, where they have won honor for themselves and their State, there are to be found at this time, in at least equal proportion, gallant contributions from other States to her defense and protection.
In simple truth, we are doing and shall do all that the energy and resources of the Department can effect, without reference, further than strict military exigencies demand, to any State or local consideration, for the defeat of the insolent foe now threatening your city and State.
I rely, with entire confidence, for the just appreciation of the purposes and efforts of the Department on the patriotism, liberality, and justice of yourself and your fellow-citizens.
Very truly, yours,
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
CHARLESTON, S. C., August 21, 1863.
Major General W. H. C. WHITING,
Wilmington, N. C.:
I appeal to you not to keep from General Beauregard, in this hour of Charleston's sore trial, either of the Blakely guns. Let us have both. We need every heavy gun we can get. If Wilmington were pressed as Charleston is, the general would not hesitate to give you every assistance.
WM. PORCHER MILES.