in the river from the rice canals and float them down to Savannah. I told the general it was my intention to attack at daylight, but he says the attack is of no importance when compared with that of getting the flats into the river and down to Savannah. He suggested that probably we had not better drawn the attention of the enemy to our position until we get the flats from the canals into the river. I will be with you by 7 a. m., and will be most happy to serve under your command. General Hardee desires that we use every man that we can to getting out these flats.
I am, General, most respectfully, your obedient, very truly,
P. M. B. YOUNG.
CHEVES' PLACE, FOUR MILES FROM SCREVEN'S FERRY,
December 16, 1864. (Via Hardeeville 7 p. m. 17th.)
Major General SAMUEL JONES:
Did not get your dispatch until early this morning, and as I had to attack to-day, could not come. I was at Savannah last night with a council to war. I will come over to have a talk with you to-morrow, if possible. I think there is about a brigade of the enemy on Argyle Island. They moved up this morning opposite Izard's place, and appeared as if they were going to cross. I attacked with artillery and sharpshooters. They retired after a warm little skirmish. They still occupy the island. I will send up Kanapaux' section early to-morrow morning.
P. M. B. YOUNG.
CHARLESTON, December 16, 1864.
Colonel Brown's command, from Second and Third Sub-District, including battery, must return to-day if attack is to take place to-morrow. You will call for them when immediately needed. I will be night you at about 2 p. m. to-day.
G. T. Beauregard,
WILMINGTON, December 17, 1864.
His Excellency the PRESIDENT:
After a conference with General Beauregard, I determined, as he had no duty to assign me, to return, under the authority of your dispatch, and resume the command of this department.
RICHMOND, December 17, 1864.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Charleston, S. C.:
The spirit of your instructions to General Hardee relative to the defense of Savannah is approved. It is hoped Savannah may be successfully defended, but the defense should not be too protracted to the sacrifice of the garrison. The same remarks is applicable to Charleston. We must rely upon your judgment to make the fullest possible defense consistent with the safety of the garrison.
Adjutant and Inspector General.