War of the Rebellion: Serial 047 Page 0336 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

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I should like to be informed whether the commanding general approves the reduction of the garrison of Fort Sumter, as that at present there should be relieved to-night or to-morrow.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. S. RIPLEY,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,

Charleston, S. C., September 3, 1863.

GENERAL: In reply to your letter of this date, suggesting the reduction of the garrison in occupation of Fort Sumter, I am instructed to say that the artillery, for the reasons stated by you, will now be withdrawn, and an infantry force substituted of 200 rifles or muskets. This will make it proper to relieve Colonel Rhett, and to place him in his proper position with his regiment and command, to which you will please assign him.

Major Stephen Elliott, jr., will be directed to report to you for assignment to the command of Fort Sumter. Inasmuch as he is at present ignorant of the localities of the fort, it will be proper to request Colonel Rhett to remain for a least twelve hours, or until he can make Major Elliot properly acquainted with the means of shelter and defense left, and with all other details, the knowledge of which (with Colonel Rhett's experience) he may deem it essential that Major Elliot know.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS JORDAN,

Chief of Staff.

HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,

Charleston, S. C., September 4, 1863.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

It is clearly important to hold Morris Island to last extremity. To do so must secure means of withdrawing garrison-flower of my force-in emergency, which can only be done with row-boats, which I have, but no oarsmen; the latter, if island is to be held, must be sent me within four days. I beg Department to send me 200 oarsmen or sailors, with proper offers, from Savannah, Wilmington, and Richmond, and enable me to hold the island without too great risk.

Please answer immediately.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.