the gun-boat must be given up. The major does not seem to think it probable that the boat could be captured and secured; is not even very certain it could be very seriously damaged. The risk, too, of the loss of our guns is greatly increased by the presence of the troops at or near Legareville. I am reluctant to give it up, but it must not be undertaken unless the observations to be made by Major Jenkins disclose a more favorable state of affairs on John's Island. Retain the 30-pounder Parrott until further orders.
Very respectfully and truly,
AUGUST 11, 1864.
Major General SAMUEL JONES,
Commanding Department, Charleston, S. C.:
GENERAL: On 18th July General McLaws' letter of 23rd June to you was referred by the Adjutant and Inspector General to this office, and by me referred to Colonel Gorgas, to know if the columbiads and 32-pounders asked for the works proposed on Skidaway and Wilmington Islands could be supplied. Two 10-inch columbiads were ordered by the Chief of Ordnance to be sent at once to General McLaws, and four more as soon as they could be spared. Instructions were also given to the proper officers to inquire whether Colonel Cuyler, at Macon, Ga., could supply some 8-inch columbiads.
In your indorsement on General McLaws' letter you request my opinion as to the establishment of the more advanced lines at Savannah, and in reply I offer the following:
First. To supply the works of the more advanced lines will be difficult when we consider the deficiency of water transportation at Savannah.
Second. Very recent experience at Mobile demonstrates that the enemy's iron-clads when commanded by daring men can run the gauntlet past our batteries. When this happens our untried garrisons become demoralized, and think of safety only by evacuating the works. Thus your heavy guns are all lost and in the hands of the enemy. This demoralization is the more certain to take place when garrisons are on islands with which the communications are not easy or safe.
Third. As the line of defenses for Savannah is necessarily an extended one the facilities for concentration so as to get promptly our forces at the threatened point should be carefully considered. The new line proposed will place the troops in such a position as to render rapid concentration impossible. The enemy can, therefore, break through at any point before we are prepared to resist.
Fourth. Instead of changing the positions for the heavy guns as now established, I would propose to retain them as they are, adding strength to the batteries, and make the occupation of the more advanced line one of siege and field artillery, say 20-pounder Parrotts and good Napoleons, that can be drawn in when concentration becomes necessary, or moved along the line as circumstances may demand. In anticipation of establishing such batteries good crossings from the Isle of Hope to Skidaway, and from Whitemarsh to Wilmington, should be established by bridges or otherwise. This should be the first step toward the re-occupation of Skidaway or Wilmington, and in my judgment the heavy guns under no circum-