JANUARY 5, 1864.
SECRETARY OF WAR:
It would seem proper and advisable to call on Governor Brown for the balance of the 15,000 local-defense men in view of the apprehension set forth within.
JANUARY 3, 1864.
Colonel D. B. HARRIS,
COLONEL: The commanding general instructs me to direct your attention to the following points brought to his notice by a recent inspection of Fort Sumter by an office of the general staff:
The explosion and the fierce heat consequent upon the combustion caused the two chambers comprising the magazine to fall in, bringing down the superincumbent rubbish and forming a very large gap in the interior slope which protects the gorge wall. This is closed by the interior brick wall of the fort, a little strengthened at the base by a sand traverse revetted with gabions, but very weak at the top. In addition to this increased danger from artillery fire, the direct footpath from the top of the southwest angle along the gorge wall is temporarily interrupted, so that infantry cannot be deployed there with effect.
The secret gallery on the north and northeast sides of the fort has been completed, except some covering needed on the northeast end. The nearest arch where it termninates, prepared for musketry fire, is so much shattered that it will be partly filled up, leaving room for about 4 men to fire; the next arch will be open.
I would respectfully call attention to the necessity of putting a heavy force on the interior traverse at the southwest angle, as the enemy can interrupt it if they choose to open fire. Captain Johnson has only 90 negroes, who are very much worked down, having been nearly sixty days in the harbor.
Captain Johnson is engaged in constructing a wooden stairway in the southwest angle, which is to wind up the area of the stairs to the second tier of casemates and then make a straight reach upward in the direction of the west wall, ending on that wall some 8 or 10 feet beyond the old exit. This will require a very strong traverse to protect it from the fire of Morris Island and of the monitors. Indeed, the upper work now going on could be seen from Morris Island and stopped or greatly checked by the fire of rifle guns. The commanding general therefore wishes you to ascertain whether or not this arrangement is susceptible of any improvement. He also wishes to know whether a portion of the room of the exploded magazine which was saved, and is now being used as a store-room, cannot be properly ventilated.
Finally, it is the wish of the commanding general that an alarm-bell shall be placed on the western casemates, and so arranged that it could be rung at Colonel Elliott's headquarters; that a similar arrangement be made with the center bomb-proof, and that the sentinel on the south angle be able to ring a bell in Colonel Elliott's room.
Chief of Staff.