HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EAST FLORIDA,
Lake City, November 17, 1863.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,
Chief of Staff, Charleston, S. C.:
GENERAL: In reply to the circular of the 11th instant from department headquarters, requiring information as to the existence in this district of ports favorable for the resort of a small class of sea-going steamers, I very respectfully beg leave to report that the Suwannee River, admitting vessels of about 5 1/2 draught, and Bay Port, with about 5 feet of water, are the most eligible pints in East Florida, and have been frequently resorted to by vessels running the blockade.
The Suwannee River, in which there are now four steamers, recently arrived, is the more desirable, as the land transportation (about 25 miles to the railroad) is much shorter than for good landed at Bay Port. I have at Clay Landing, on the Suwannee, two light rifled pieces, with a small supporting force, for the protection of vessels harboring there. These two ports are sheltered by a reef to the westward, making it dangerous for the approach of large vessels.
Indian River, on the Atlantic side, may afford more water, but is more remote; and the great difficulty of subsisting troops on the east side of the Saint John's River, where there are no provisions, renders it less desirable for purposes which might require military protection.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
CHARLESTON, S. C.,
November 18, 1863 - 8.30 a. m.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
Bombardment of Sumter continued as usual since last report. Enemy fired yesterday on city from Battery Gregg 23 100-pounder shells. Three fell in by, 2 exploded in air, and 18 struck vicinity of Saint Michael's Church - range, 4 1/2 miles. Nearly all exploded on striking. No casualty and little damage done. Enemy's Creek-fire is a humbug.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
(Similar telegram to the Governor of South Carolina, at 2.30 p. m., this date.)
CHARLESTON, S. C.,
November 18, 1863.
Major WILLIAM NORRIS,
In Charge of Signal Corps, Richmond, Va.:
DEAR MAJOR: I thank you for the spy-glass you have sent us by Lieutenant Markoe. I will have it marked with your name, and proper care taken of it. I hope its magnifying powers will enable us to discover what our foes are doing ne hind the sand-hills of the seashore. By the enemy's movements they appear to be at a loss what to undertake now; when sorely puzzled, they fire a few shells