Savannah, June 5, 1864.
Captain H. W. FEILDEN, Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: This morning two gun-boats and one iron-clad appeared in Green Island Sound, and one double-turreted iron-clad and one single, with two gun-boats towing three large barges, were seen in Wassaw River inside of Cabbage Island, all of which leads to the belief that something will be attempted by the enemy in retaliation for the loss of their steamer, the Water Witch. These demonstrations have induced me to think a reserve force necessary at this place until the plans of the enemy are developed. The prisoners taken on the Water Witch report that Major-General Butler is in command at Fort Pulaski, and Major-General Foster in command of the department. If these reports are true, it is to be presumed that some expedition with negro troops is in contemplation. In comparing the reports of Federal fleet at Port Royal, I notice that sixty transports have arrived there since the 26th of May ultimo. The double-turreted iron-clad reported above is a new feature in these waters, so I am informed. The reserve troops, in the condition they are now, will answer for provost guards, and for the city lines, but would not be reliable elsewhere.
Major Bonaud's battalion had has some experience in service, and distinguished itself, so I am informed, at the battle of Olustee, Fla. As there are no troops in reserve within my command, and those I have are very much scattered, I respectfully suggest that I be allowed to retain Bonaud's battalion, at least until the reserves can be made serviceable by a complete organization and equipment. Fort McAllister has but 84 effective men for its garrison, and at present there is no other force to send there. If Lieutenant Ransone's company could be retained I would send it to Fort McAllister. Bonaud's battalion having and odd company (nine) it would be more easily maneuvered, if that company, say Ransone's, was left out of the organization.
CHARLESTON, S. C., June 6, 1864.
Major General L. McLAWS, Savannah, Ga.:
The Ironsides is under steam this morning and has crossed the bar. From an intercepted dispatch presume she is going to Hilton Head, perhaps afterward to Savannah. Troops left here last night in transports, bound south. The enemy's advanced pickets this morning in our front are artillerists. Please keep General Jones informed of any movement.
H. W. FEILDEN,
CHARLESTON, S. C., June 7, 1864.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,
Commanding Army of Tennessee, near Marietta, Ga.:
There are very decided indications that the enemy is preparing to operate against Savannah, or on the road between here and that city.