War of the Rebellion: Serial 047 Page 0556 S. C. AND GA. COASTS AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

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ROYAL'S, December 16, 1863-2.30 p. m.

Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN:

The enemy have offered to send a flag of truce over to the cavalry pickets, and have announced their reason to be the sending of two boxes to some ladies in Savannah, Mrs. Colonel Anderson and Mrs. Gordon. Shall I receive it or not?


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, Mount Pleasant, S. C., December 16, 1863.


Assistant Inspector-General, &c.:

COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 12th of December.

The commanding general, you inform me, does not clearly see the relevancy of part of my answer to the sixth interrogatory propounded by you on the 25th of November. This I regret, but, having been in the dark, as to the exact purpose of the inquiry which you conduct, it seemed t o me that answers to interrogations so propounded should be full, and especially where opinions are asked or the expression of them suggested, directly or otherwise. I shall proceed to answer those contained in your last letter, and should more be expressed than is deemed relevant by the commanding general, those portions of the answers which are, can be made use of by whoever draws conclusions. I can hardly think that the remainder can do harm to the completeness of your investigation, as they are given to avoid the necessity of interrogations likely to arise if the answers are absolutely categorical (not often expected in examinations of this nature), or the expression of my convictions germane to the conjectured general subject.

In answer to your first interrogatory: The natural advantages offered by each of the two islands-Sullivan's and Morris Islands-for a combined attack by land and sea are about equal. Both are of nearly the same length and the same character; both are separated from the main by creeks and marshes, and from adjacent islands by similar inlets. The water permits a nearer approach ot Morris than Sullivan's Island for most of the length, and the creek separating it form Folly Island is not so deep as Breach Inlet. In these respects Morris Island is the weaker. Any one can see these natural features by a simply reference to the chart of Charleston Harbor, or a casual observation. A question might be asked as to which of the islands required particular attention or fortification at any period. The consideration of such a question would involve the intentions of the enemy, probable or understood, and the relative importance, and ease of his approach to either, and his attitude at the time.

To your second interrogatory: The force of each arm requisite at any time to have secured the safety of each island depends entirely upon the attack made or anticipated. Twenty-five hundred infantry, with the artillerymen on the island, would probably have repulsed the attack on Morris Island on the 10th of July; probably fewer would have sufficed, but that number, or any other, would have failed to give security without proper works. The greater the