defend the sand-hills and works, and being the only strong defense to the outer harbor, the importance of Sullivan's Island has risen with its liability to attack.
To your fifth interrogatory: One hundred soldiers per diem were directed to be at the disposal of the engineers on Morris Island for most of the time the detached batteries were ordered, about March 10, 1863, if they had been called for and the works were to be pressed with energy. About 160 were employed for a short time, under my directions, in the early part of June, until the further work under artillery officers was forbidden.
Your sixth interrogatory is a suppositions one, and proposes a comparison. If confined to your suppositions, the answer must be confined also; and I think that, with the control of the available forces and the 10 hired men, as strong for all practical purposes as Battery Marshall now is, in about six or eight weeks.
But I may, i concluding my answer, be allowed to suggest tat had the matter been under the control of the district commander, he would probably have availed himself of other means than such as are supposed in your inquiry, and employed such as were employed. Moreover, I do not consider that Battery Marshall is by any means the model of a work at present, nor that very energetic measures have been taken to strengthen it by the engineers for the past three or four months.
To your seventh interrogatory: Such works as were ordered, were ordered about the 10th of March, 1863, and commenced a few days after.
Your eighth interrogatory, like the sixth, contains suppositions, and must be answered in a similar manner. Good works, completed before the 10th of July, would probably have enabled the garrison which was on Morris Island to have repelled the attack on that day, and have given time for the accumulation of forces to its support. The safety of the island could only have been insured by defending it, fortified or unfortified, with a force proportionate to the attack. The probabilities are that had the south end of Morris Island been properly fortified, it would not have been attacked. In which case the strength of the garrison which was on the island would have sufficed. Had the attack been made and persisted in, the position would have required support, accordingly, by a greater or less number. With regard to the assumption in the latter part of the question, it does not alter the case, in my opinion, at all; and I beg to state that I have my doubts as to whether I should, were I called to express an opinion upon the question of available labor, entirely concur in it.
In conclusion I would state, that almost every fact called for by your questions has been heretofore communicated to the headquarters of the department in official reports or correspondence, and that prospective opinions concerning that fortification and preparation of the south end of Morris Island for defense were not often asked form the district commander. When given, and action was taken to carry out in part what was deemed necessary, the action was checked and the opinions neglected.
Retrospective opinions, such as called for by your inquiries, I beg respectfully to suggest, can only be properly compared with those