At this important point, near to and within easy range of Batteries Gregg and Wagner, and approachable from them in boats, in addition to the heavy artillery under Major Blanding, I hold always a battery of light pieces, and have there an infantry force of 65o men.
As most of the batteries are for harbor defense, and are traversed against Morris Island, they cannot be considered in any estimate of strength against a boat attack upon the Shell Point Beach, and the force recited, notwithstanding the excellent works which have been erected, is the smallest garrison, which could or should be relieved.
With a picket of 50 men at Shell Point, and 200 men along the line of entrenchments, each night, leaving out of the estimate the ordinary details for working parties, camp and other guards, it will be perceived that picket duty falls upon these men nearly every other night.
Between Fort Johnson and Battery Cheves, separated from Morris Island by the marsh, which is penetrated by creeks, leading, however, past Shell Point on one side and Haskell on the other, owing to an intervening creek, the distance is fully three-fourths of a mile. This battery is manned by artillerists, who also do the necessary picket and guard duty.
From Fort Johnson to Battery Haskell is a distance of about 3 miles by the road, which has to head the creeks, although the distance in a direct line does not exceed a mile, and from Battery Haskell, by the shore line passing Batteries Tatom and Ryan to Redoubt Numbers 1, is a mile and a half.
This line, from Haskell to Redoubt Numbers 1, is immediately opposite to Morris and Black Islands, and is at every point approachable in boats from these islands. This necessitates a heavy picket force along the entire line, with good reserves; and two regiments are located at Legare house for this service, amounting together to an effective total of 710. The picket duty requires these troops to be on every other night.
On the Fort Johnson road, intermediate between Johnson and Legare, the small battalion of Major Abney, 108 effective total, has been placed as a small reserve.
From Redoubt Numbers 1 to Secessionville is a distance of 1 1/4 miles, and the creek margins have to be picketed; and, to prevent this work-the right of eastern lines, and the left of the system of defensive works on the south-from being surprised, and to hold it if assaulted, the least force that could be employed is one regiment of infantry. This, consisting of an effective total of 376, with a light battery, is added to the heavy artillery garrison of 228 men.
Intermediate between Legare and Secessionville, at Clark's, there is established a reserve of one regiment, to re-enforce either the line from Haskell to Redoubt Numbers 1, or Secessionville or the new lines, by crossing the first bridge and moving to the left of the new lines.
From Secessionville to Battery Pringle, on the Stono, the length of the line is 4,060 yards.
To occupy this line, allowing 1 man to the yard, the usual estimate, would require over 4,000 men, and a force of at least one-third that number should constitute a reserve; but allowing only for 1 man, and not one file, to every 2 yards, there would be required over 2,000 men, with a reserve of, say, 1,000, making 3,000.
For the occupation of this line, and for the heavy picket duty in front and along the Stono, the force consists of Colquitt's brigade,