yield breadstuffs alone sufficient for the support of 50,000 men. Now, what protection has thus far been afforded to this region of country, co capable of furnishing not only the "sinews of war," but, what perhaps is even more essential, the means of subsistence? Pay an army ever so well, if you don't it, there is no need for the prophet's vision to foresee the length of its service.
The protection against naval expeditions vouchsafed to us up to this time consists of an earth-work, well constructed and of ample dimensions, but so feebly armed that it may be considered but little better than a "scarecrow." It is well situated, too, at the gorge which divides upper from lower Winyah Bay, where the width of the channel does not exceed 1,400 yards. Its site likewise is commanding, having some 20 feet elevation above the ordinary high water, but were it a Gibraltar it would be useless in a conflict with plated vessels, armed as it is at present. This armament consists of three (old rifled 32-pounders and eight other guns of still smaller caliber. Experience has demonstrated that against iron-clads it would simply be a waste of ammunition to contend with such guns as these. It must not be supposed that we are secure against the attack of such vessels by reason of the shallowness of the water at the bar to the entrance. Such is not the fact. It is well known that the enemy has carried his iron-clads into the Stono River, and there is more water on this bar than on that to the StoNumbers Successfully to combat these vessels we require the heaviest guns used in our service; we want the 10-inch columbiad. Give us but three of these, and so far as the water approach is concerned, this section of country will have "adequate protection."
The approaches by land are exceedingly defensible. Nature has done much for us in this respect, and the engineer's art has supplied her deficiencies in great part. One thousand men behind the intrenchments which have been constructed would be more than a match for five times their number. Is not the saving of this district from the hands of the enemy worth three 10-inch guns and one regiment of infantry soldiers? The question is respectfully submitted to the consideration of Your Excellency and your influence in obtaining the desired means and material earnestly invoked.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. TRAPIER,
Columbia, March 29, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded to the Secretary of War, whose attention is earnestly requested to the very important subject-matter of this communication.
M. L. BONHAM.
APRIL 5, 1864.
To Ordnance Bureau, for consideration and remarks.
J. A. S.,