Only 3 bodies of killed have been recovered. The casemates of west face and southwest pan-coupe are still burning. Have ambulances at southern wharf for the wounded. Send Colonel Thett's and my horses to southern wharf at once.
CHARLESTON, S. C.,
December 12, 1863 - 1 p. m.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
A small-arms ammunition depot in Sumter caught fire accidentally yesterday, killing 9 persons, Captain E. D. Frost included, and slightly wounding 31. Colonel Elliott was slightly wounded be enemy's fire. Part of bomb-proof was consumed. Damages will be repaired as soon as possible.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., December 12, 1863.
Honorable R. B. RHETT,
Charleston, S. C.:
DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 9th instant is received. I and fully aware of the disadvantage due to removing the mounted troops between the Ashepoo and Combahee, but they will be replaced by about four times their number of the best cavalry in this department, under Colonel Anderson, one of my gallant officers. Brigadier-General Robertson, who was seen much service in Virginia, will command the district. Holding him responsible for its defense, I must leave him the responsibility of posting his troops to the best advantage. he would, no doubt, be pleased to receive from you any suggestions which might assist him in the proper and efficient discharge of his duties.
Of Fields Point could be properly fortified and garrisoned, I have no doubt it would add materially to the safety of that part of the country. But we have neither the heavy guns nor artillerists to send there. I am informed, moreover, that the enemy's monitors could readily get in cannon range of that point. With my very limited resources, which have lately been reduced still more by the withdrawal of Clingman's brigade, I find it extremely difficult to guard properly even the immediate approaches to Charleston. My force of laborers is gradually being reduced by the discharge of all those who have been here over sixty days; and ere long the defensive works will have to be stopped once more, as was done immediately before the fall of Morris island. The system of impressment is a complete failure, and if the State authorities will not furnish the negroes called for, we must be prepared for the worst consequences here as well as elsewhere.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD.