War of the Rebellion: Serial 047 Page 0317 Chapter XL. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

likewise be moored at proper points, at night, to be set on fire and light up the harbor.

All the batteries on either side of the channel should be placed in condition and held ready for immediate service. He further wishes those guns (10-inch and the Brooke piece) for Battery Wampler placed in condition for service with the utmost dispatch, and supplied with the requisite ammunition. Opportunely forewarned, we must be forearmed and prepared at all points.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.

THOMAS JORDAN,

Chief of Staff.

CHARLESTON, August 30, 1863.

General THOMAS JORDAN,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: Yours of the 29th, in relation to attempt on enemy's marsh batteries reached me this afternoon.

The general commanding will remember that when I offered to direct an attacked on the enemy's batteries, it was before the isolated batteries in the marsh had been erected.

At that time Black Island and Thomas Island (a part, it may be considered, of Morris Island) were the points I thought of reaching though the marsh.

The batteries at these points would be on firm ground, which we could, by a severe effort, hope to reach unobserved.

The attack on Thomas Island, I thought, should have been made in connection with a front attack from Wagner, the object being to retake and hold Morris Island to the house known as headquarters, also Thomas Island.

The attempt on Black Island would have been with a view to the greater security of our own front and offensively against their communication at Light-House Inlet.

The reason for expecting success in this was based upon the fact that the soft marsh, in which one would sink deeply, is at some distance from the island, the ground growing more firm as one approaches the high land of the island.

The case is different with these isolated batteries. The enemy would occupy the small of firm, sandy marsh, while the approaching party would be in soft ground until very near them, and the noise of a party making their way through the soft ground would necessarily be great.

Reference to my reports will show that I have regarded these isolated spots as unassailable, and the labor I bestowed in building batteries at points deemed by me important in the marsh, where no firm land existed, shows the opinion I held on the subject.

The difficulties of an attack on Thomas Island, are probably in creased, the enemy occupying more ground to the front of if having rendered more difficult an assault from Wagner, and having, by these isolated batteries and the causeway to them, and, perhaps, to Black Island, occupied the marsh over which I had hoped to have passed to have come out in their rear, for my attempt necessitated a surprise.

I do not know the present condition of things as to Black Island.

If may or may be more difficult to cover a force long enough