War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0717 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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mitted to state here and put on record that my present force of avail able troops is, in my opinion, inadequate to a successful defense. An examination of my last tri-monthly report will prove how weak my available force is for the defense of all the points at which I may be attacked. It must not be overlooked that at the same time that each of my posts has not men enough for its own proper defense, the means of re-enforcing one post by troops from another cannot be counted upon in case of a sudden attack; and you are well aware that sudden attacks, attacks of which we can know nothing till they actually commence, can and will probably be the ones made. The reported sayings of Lieutenant Cushing, U. S. Navy, 1 take at their proper value, only believing portions, but his words come very near the truth when he says what could be done by our enemies. His two entrances into the river and safe exits, besides being a proof of my inability to guard myself, must necessarily have furnished him pretty correct information of our strength as to troops and the position and quality of our works. I am, like yourself, in the belief that something will be attempted by the enemy soon.

Another matter which places me under constant and anxious apprehensions is the fact that I do not believe there can be reliance placed in the loyalty of all the people of this and the adjoining counties. I will go farther and state that I do not place full reliance in all my soldiers. I very much fear that some disloyal sentiments are entertained by some of them; how many must, of course, remain unknown. But I am satisfied that some disloyalty does exist, and, however limited it may be, it is dangerous. Such sentiments are more liable to spread in a weak force (I mean a force which conceives itself weak against the enemy) than in a large and strong force. The remedy would then be to increase the force materially, and it would be better still if the increase was effected by means of troops from another State than this, and who can have no affiliation with our present ones. My men are on guard and picket duty every other day, and during the dark of the moon and on account of blockade-running steamers almost nightly, and sometimes twice in the night, every man is under arms from alarms. Sickness is also now greater than it has been. The accessions of the Junior reserves to my command cannot be said to have added to my strength. They are as yet totally ignorant of all military knowledge, and many are so weakly that they can perform but very little duty. they have besides brought diseases with them, and I particularly mention the measles, of which many are now ill. Their officers are nearly as inexperienced and untaught as themselves. It is impossible for me with my means to picket the waters more effectually than I do. Flag Officer Lynch and myself are in daily consultation and he will do cheerfully all be can. His means are, however, very insufficient also. I have strengthened the garrisons at Fort Anderson and Battery Lamb as much as I could.

I have not written this letter, general, to give an exaggerated expression of my fears. I have no other object than to state facts as they are and to show that I understand the dangers to which I and my command are exposed. Knowing and fully estimating those dangers I will meet them to the best of my ability and with my present means, should it be out of your power to furnish me additional ones. It is right, however, for me to say that I do ask for more troops.

I remain, general, respectfully and truly, your obedient servant, &c.,

LOUIS HEBERT,

Brigadier-General.