HDQRS. NORTHERN DISTRICT, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
Folly Island, S. C., May 8, 1864.
Captain W. L. M. BURGER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Dept. of the South:
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to call your attention to the fact that I made application to Major-General Gillmore some weeks since to have an additional supply of hale's war rockets drawn from the North, a copy of which letter I herewith annex.* I would respectfully inquire whether a requisition for them was forwarded by General Gillmore, and if not, beg that General Hatch would order such requisition to be made as soon as practicable. I consider it of the highest importance, indispensable in my present position here, that I should be supplied with this projectile. In no other way can I drive the enemy's picket-boats off the creek and during the night out of the harbor. I need them further to drive the enemy out of various positions which I cannot approach with artillery. I am convinced that the surest and speediest way of obtaining the rockets, so as to have them here at the time they are needed, will be to send an officer for them. I would respectfully request that order be issued for Captain F. K. Smith, One hundred and twenty-seventh New York Volunteers, one of my aides-de-camp, who is thoroughly acquainted with the different varieties of the projectile, to proceed North without delay for the purpose of obtaining them.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Morris Island, S. C., May 9, 1864.
Commanding Northern District, Department of the South:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that 12 refuges (colored), 8 men and 4 women, landed at Fort Putnam on the night of the 6th instant from Wando River, about 7 miles from Charleston. they report at the present moment there are no troops in the environs of the city,and that the batteries in rear are but few in number and hardly any guns mounted in them. They further state that most of the torpedoes have been removed from the harbor and that apparently there is no fear on the part of the enemy of our making an attack by that route. Much damage in the city is also reported to have taken place from our shells and many buildings destroyed. Within two weeks also two blockade-runners have entered and left by Beach Inlet, by way of the creek on the other side of Sullivan's Island. One of the refugees was a servant of Captain Lesesne, on duty at Castle Pinckney. Having received a pass he seized the opportunity to escape and left Charleston last Thursday. He reports that there are three rams completed with torpedoes on the bow. Two of them are armed with six 32-pounders, rifled, each, named the Chicora and Palmetto State. The other the Charleston, four guns only, same description. At Castle Pinckney he states that there is a 10-inch columbiad and one 9-inch columbiad and a 42-pounder rifled. It is also stated that a number of troops with General Beauregard have gone to Richmond.
*See p. 60.