War of the Rebellion: Serial 047 Page 0318 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

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to get a gun there bearing on Light-House Inlet, but, if there is yet a possibility of reaching firm ground unobserved, I think the object worthy of all the efforts to be made afterward.

For this purpose, I could try to organize a force (by the general assistance among the military, for there is not a citizen left in the city, that I know of, for such an attempt), using arguments which I believe to be true as to the prospects of success and the importance of the results.

I cannot, in the case of these isolated batteries, use these arguments or hopes either to myself or others, but, feeling that I can do as much in this way as any one, am willing to do to the almost of my power whatever the general requests.

Very respectfully,

LEWIS M. HATCH,

Acting State Engineer.

[P. S.] - I would respectfully suggest that this and the kindred subject of the means necessary to be taken to guard against the surprise of our batteries be made the subject of conversation, Colonel Harris being present he being familiar with the nature of the ground and its bearing on our defenses.

CHARLESTON, August 30, 1863.

Major W. H. ECHOLS,

Chief Engineer South Carolina:

MAJOR: I have the honor to inform you that I left the 7-inch Brooke rifled gun, which was on the southeast corner of Fort Sumter, at Fort Johnson this morning.

A 42-pounder banded rifle is on the berm of the fort, ready to be brought away to-night.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. FRASER MATHEWES.

CHARLESTON, August 30, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have received your letter of the 21st instant, and assure you it has caused me quite as much "surprise and regret" as my own letter, to which it is a reply, could possibly have caused you. I could not have imagined that anything, either in the matter or spirit of my letter, would bear the appearance of fault-finding or complaint. My object was simply to endeavor to procure, if possible, some re-enforcement, in anticipation of a strong concentration of the enemy's forces against Charleston, and to urge that a particular brigade (Jenkins') of South Carolina troops-the commander and men of which were very anxious to come-might at least be sent, if no others could be spared. In support of what seemed to me not an unreasonable request, I urged the consideration that we had been "stripped of troops against the earnest remonstrance of General Beauregard, in order to re-enforce General Johnston," adding, what is indubitably true, "the enemy took advantage of our weakness to