more than 300 men on any one point in less than two days at least, and of these 300 men there would not be a single infantry soldier. They would be cavalrymen and artillerists solely. There need come no "ghost from the grave" to tell us that such a force would stand no chance against two respectable infantry regiments. Defeat, disaster, and censure (howsoever unmerited) would be the inevitable consequence. This whole section of country, abounding in agricultural wealth, would have to be abandoned and another line of defense taken up (in order to guard the Northeaster Railroad), which would be long, and therefore would require five times the number of men to hold it that are needed here. Besides which the navy-yard at Mars Bluff would be exposed to almost certain destruction. For even supposing their boats should not be able to navigate the river so high up, a few hundred cavalry, landed on its banks 20 or 30 miles below, could by a sudden dash complete the work of destruction in a very few hours. Now that the siege of Charleston may be considered virtually raised, my belief is that the enemy's tactics will be to make raids along the coast at all weak points. We see the development of such a plan on John's Island, and in Florida, and I am very apprehensive that we here may soon receive some attentions of the same kind from them.
For my own part I have no reputation to lose, but I feel in a great measure responsible for the defense of the military district, and I would really be very much pleased to be put in a position to make some showing to that end, and not left an easy victim to an insignificant enemy.
Very truly and respectfully, yours,
J. H. TRAPIER.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF S. CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., February 18, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond:
GENERAL: Recent events and the present state of affairs in East Florida induce me to address the Department and invoke attention to the urgent military importance of constructing a railroad connection between the Savannah and Albany (Georgia) Road and the road from Jacksonville to Tallahassee.
The distance of the road to be built and the practicability at this time, as well as all matter involved, will be found fully set fourth in two communications from Major Henry Bryan, with inclosures, forwarded through these headquarters, the one on the 26th February and the other the 19th March, 1863.
Had this road been completed at present as suggested re-enforcements could have been thrown to the aid of General Finegan with such celerity as to lead to signal results.
I need not dwell upon the present importance of the meat and other subsistence resources of Florida, and a glance at W. Alvin Floyd's Southern Railroad Map, recently published, will show the value of such a road in the defense of that region.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD.