War of the Rebellion: Serial 065 Page 0528 S. C., FLA., AND ON THE GA. COAST. Chapter XLVII.

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Is the work too much for our force? Not in its cardinal points if I can get tools and transportation for, say, 500 negroes, if the enemy will let us alone and we can have tolerable weather and good superintendents and strong support from you for sixty days. Thus you see, sir, that, though my project of works may be too grand for my army, I have not been idle in surveying the field of labor. With energy and enterprise there is no telling how many links of this line we may fill in, and every link we make is equal to recruiting forces faster, I fear, than we will get them from the "forced loans" of substitutes and exempts.

I send this outline of outer lines for your glance before we meet, which I hope will be soon. I have not vexed you with the processes by which I have come to conclusions, nor with reasons for them. My object is to prepare your mind for them when I can explain, map in hand. I will cheerfully do the work as you may order it, and I cannot omit to thank you for the confidence in my counsel expressed by allowing me the opportunity of conference with Colonel Harris, with whom I will co-operate with great pleasure, as well as deference.

I am, general, with the highest respect, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[First indorsement.]

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH CAROLINA, &C.,

Charleston, S. C., January 24, 1864.

Respectfully referred to Colonel Harris, for his views.

G. T. BEAUREGARD,

General, Commanding.

[Second indorsement.]

OFFICE CHIEF ENGINEER DEPARTMENT,

Charleston, February 19, 1864.

Respectfully returned, with remarks inclosed.

D. B. HARRIS,

Colonel and Chief Engineer.

[Inclosure.]

OFFICE CHIEF ENGINEER DEPARTMENT,

Charleston, S. C., February 19, 1864.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD,

Commanding Dept. S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to state, in reply to your indorsement on Brigadier-General Wise's communication of the 14th of January, that I examined, between the 15th and 20th of January, in company with General Wise, that portion of the line referred to in his communication from Meggett's to Willstown, and gave such instructions (General Wise concurring) to the engineer in charge as I thought advisable. I have not yet examined the line across John's Island, because, as I verbally informed General Wise at that time, it would be impracticable, if advisable, with the very limited amount of labor at our disposal, to undertake its construction. We have not been able, in consequence of the dispersion of our negro labor from Christ