the weather so stormy that the navy boats did not report for duty at Pine's Dock. My boat brigade was out, but saw nothing unusual. The navy detail have reported this morning, and no exertions will be spared to carry out successfully the objects of the expedition.
I am, very respectfully,
MORRIS ISLAND, September 8, 1864.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Commanding Department of the South:
GENERAL: In accordance with your directions, I have since my arrival here been endeavoring to make myself master of my position. I find there is a great deal of work to be done to place the works here and this command in the condition they should be, even for tolerable defense. When this is accomplished there is, with a little extra work, an excellent opportunity for offensive operations even with a small force. I have passed considerable time each day since my arrival in experimenting with the fire on Charleston, and notwithstanding the poor materials at hand for working the one gun (a 100-pounder Parrott), which is the only one available for operating on the city, I am convinced that Charleston can be destroyed. With a sufficient number of Parrott guns, 30, 100, and 200 pounders, well sighted, with good iron carriages capable of giving an elevation of 40 degrees, with time-fuses of fifty-three seconds, or good percussion shells, with plenty of grease for the projectiles and a careful superintendence of the firing, and Charleston is at your mercy. I would recommend the putting of twenty, or better thirty 100-pounder Parrott guns in position on our most advanced works, providing 600 or 700 rounds of ammunition for each gun, and when the naval battery is ready to operate, let our forces open on Charleston and fire until ordered to cease. If then the navy could be induced to sail in, I am confident the city would be completely destroyed or surrendered to our arms.
I have no faith in the impregnability of Charleston, and I trust that our Government will determine ere the fall campaign is over the headquarters of the Department of the South shall be in Charleston, or where it was.
I am, general, very truly, yours,
P. S.-The enemy fired 2 shots at Fort Putnam from Charleston yesterday. They fell short.
Write letter approving the idea. Instructions just received direct us to remain strictly on the defensive, hence the fire on Sumter and the city cannot be increased at this time. The batteries can be enlarged and more guns mounted, ready for future work.
J. G. F.