Church Parish to the Savannah River, to construct the bridge over the Stono near Battery Pringle and the tete-de-pont in advance I ordered on the 12th December last. When that is done it will prevent the enemy from advancing, except in force, on John's Island, and that he is not likely to do unless he elects that mode of approach to Charleston. In that event we had better rely, with the men and means at your disposal, upon our present defensive lines in rear of the Stono and along the inundation, than upon any others we could construct in advance of them.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. B. HARRIS,
Colonel and Chief Engineer of Department.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH CAROLINA, &C.,
Charleston, S. C., February 20, 1864.
I concur in the views of Colonel Harris.
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
ROYALL'S HOUSE, January 14, 1864.
Colonel Simonton informs me that he has learned emphatically that a torpedo expedition will go down the Stono to-night. Please inform me at once if it be so, as the pickets should be notified.
WM. B. TALIAFERRO,
Savannah, Ga., January 14, 1864.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,
Chief of Staff, Charleston, S. C.:
GENERAL: The past two or three days have brought to light a bad state of affairs here. Among the troops stationed at the batteries on Rose Dew Island, mouth of the Little Ogeechee River, there are at least a few men of bad spirit who have been attempting to excite the troops there and at other points around Savannah to acts of insubordination and desertion. It is to be feared even that a spirit of discontent has spread throughout the whole command at Rose Dew, extending possibly to other companies.
As reported by a corporal stationed at Beauleiu, the conspirators proposed to march away from their post on the island yesterday evening, going in a body with their arms to the interior of this State. They expressed themselves tired of the war and said they thought such a step on their part would end it. A secret oath had been exacted of all admitted to their confidence not to divulge their intentions.
Believing these reports might be well founded, I advised Brigadier-General Mercer, commanding the District of Georgia, to send Colonel Olmstead's regiment and a part of Colonel Gordon's command
34 R R-VOL XXXV, PT I