being permanently assigned to duty away from Savannah, and will inform the chief engineer here that he is no longer under his control.
I inclose Colonel Hood's report* of the surprise and capture of the main portion of Company F, Third South Carolina Cavalry.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF S. CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., August 19, 1864.
General BRAXTON BRAGG,
Commanding, &c., Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: You no doubt remember that when you were here I brought to your notice the fact that the city batteries in Charleston were not manned, the outer batteries and lines requiring all my force. I have not heretofore urged the Department to send me re-enforcements because I knew, to some extent at least, the pressing demand for troops in Virginia and North Georgia, and appreciated the importance of successfully resisting the two chief armies of the enemy. But I have constantly felt and still feel the greatest anxiety for the safety of this place and Savannah. By the gallantry and good conduct of the officers, this place, under Providence, was successfully defended in the first ten days of July against an attack much more formidable than is generally supposed. The enemy's plans were good, and if they had been carried out with more spirit and determination might well have resulted in serious disaster to us. The facilities for water transportation enabled the enemy, in a few hours, to concentrate his troops, without my knowledge, either to renew the attack on this place or attempt one on Savannah. I am, therefore, exceedingly anxious to have re-enforcements as soon as any can be sent.
I desire, however, at present to bring to your especial attention the great need for instructed artillerists to man the city batteries here. The recent success of the enemy's navy in Mobile Bay may encourage them to attempt to run past our outer batteries and take position in the Cooper or Ashley River or both. They probably have information of the condition of our city batteries; and, if so, it will of course encourage them to make the attempt. I have, therefore, to ask if Major Basinger's battalion, the Eighteenth Georgia, now I believe stationed at Mattoax, on the Richmond and Danville Railroad, can be sent to this place. That battalion is well instructed in the use of heavy guns, and has had much experience in that service both here and at Savannah. With it here to man the city batteries I do not think the enemy's vessels could pass those batteries. Can you not supply its place at Mattoax by a force capable of using the small guns there and guarding the bridge as well as the Eighteenth Georgia? When we have so few men well instructed in the use of heavy artillery it seems like an injudicious use of good and scarce material to keep that battalion where it is when it is so much needed
*See Part I, p. 440.