CHARLESTON, S. C.,
November 20, 1863 - 10 p. m.
General S. Cooper,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
Enemy in six launches made a demonstration against Sumter this morning at 3 but were repulsed in a few minutes by garrison, batteries, and one gunboat. Enemy's loss unknown; our none. During the day, the bombardment of Sumter was renewed with great vigor, and 10 shells were thrown into city, with little damage and no casualties.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
(Copy to Governor M. L. Bonham.)
HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, November 20, 1863.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD,
GENERAL: We have the honor to state, in reply to your indorsement on Colonel Gonzales' communication of the 16th instant, that the engineer department has been engaged for some time with a small force, and for several days past with as large a force of hands as could be spared for the purpose, in increasing the defenses on the water fronts of Secessionville, by the construction of rifle-pits, the strengthening of the old batteries on the east end of the peninsula, the erection of new ones, and the preparations of platforms for field, siege, and barbette guns.
Orders have also been given for the erection of bomb-proofs, magazines, and traverses; the construction of bridges of communication with the new lines in short, everything that in the judgment of the department is necessary to prevent the capture of this important post by a barge attack, and to guard it and its garrison, as far as practicable, from the fire of the enemy's gunboats and such distant batteries as he may bring to bear on it.
Rifle-pits have also been constructed to guard the approaches to the bridges in the rear of Secessionville, and positions are being prepared in them for field guns and one barbetter 24-pounder, to bear on the same. These and the rifle-pits across the Neck in front of Redoubt Numbers 1, and Battery Ryan, are sufficient to prevent a landing at Upper Mellichamp's and the passage of the enemy's boats up the creeks leading to the bridges.
The old foot-bridge is in a very bad condition, and, being in front of the defensive arrangements above mention, should not be repaired or sand-bagged as recommended. Such portions of it as are suitable for the purpose can be used in the construction of the new foot-bridge, and the piles left as an obstruction to the stealthy approach of the enemy's small boats at night up the creeks leading to the bridges.
The new bridges ordered to be constructed will do away with the necessity of covering the road on the Long Island side, leading out of Fort Lamar in front of it and the new lines. The barge approaches to the south of Secessionville can be sufficiently by the fire
33 R R - VOL XXVIII, PT II