War of the Rebellion: Serial 066 Page 0615 Chapter XLVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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Charleston, S. C., August 20, 1864.

Lieutenant Colonel J. GORGAS:

COLONEL: It is extremely probable that the fleet now attacking Mobile under Admiral Farragut may, during the fall, the brought to operate against the fortifications and city of Charleston combined with the fleet now here under the command of Admiral Dahlgren. I am led to this supposition from two reasons: If the enemy fails in his present operations against Mobile, Farragut's fleet would be uselessly employed in the harbor of that place; now that the Tennessee and others of our vessels are destroyed, three of four monitors and a few light-draught gun-boast will effectually blockade the city of Mobile. If, on the other hand, Mobile falls, Farragut's fleet would be set at liberty for operations on the eastern coast, and there can be little doubt that Charleston would be the first place assailed. My conviction is that an iron-clad fleet, as numerous as these combined ones would be, could under resolute commander pass between our batteries on Sullivan's Island and Fort Sumter with more or less loss. If the interior harbor of Charleston was properly armed with guns of heavy caliber I should have no fear of the ultimate result; as it ism, our interior defenses are very inadequately armed. In consequence of the enemy's daily increase of fire on our outworks, I have had from time to time to remove guns from the inner to the outer defenses, and their places have not been refilled. I do sincerely hope you will use every exertion to supply me with more heavy guns. With twenty more 10-inch and rifle guns I believe Charleston could resist any fleet that the Federal Government might send against it; in our present position, I feel deeply apprehensive as to the result of a grand naval attack.


For General Jones.


Charleston, S. C., August 20, 1864.

Major General L. McLAWS,

Commanding, &c.:

Your letter of the 18th has been laid before the major-general commanding, who directs me to say that no troops will be ordered from your command at present. He regrets that he cannot afford you assistance, but the requirements of other districts under it impossible.

I inclose a copy of the letter* you refer to in regard to the militia. The major-general commanding leaves the details of the organization, &c., entirely to you, as he supposes that the laws of Georgia must govern the matter entirely. The navy has been co-operating most cheerfully with us, and been of very material assistance. Can you not, on application to the officer commanding at Savannah, get a detail to assist in guard duties, especially in guarding the Water Witch? The major-general commanding desires you to make the effort, and to let him know its result.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.


*Not found as an inclosure.