[JANUARY 18, 1865. - For Hardee to Cooper, reporting operations, see Part I, p. 1068.]
CHARLESTON, January 18, 1865.
His Excellency President JEFFERSON DAVIS:
Telegram of the 15th instant received. I have consulted with General Hardee and commanding officers of the squadron and it is decided impracticable to make the attack as proposed by you. I have but two iron-clads and they are with defective steam power. The enemy has six or seven monitors, besides several wooden vessels and heavy land batteries. In my opinion the attack proposed would result in our capture or make it necessary to destroy the vwssels, with all on board, to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy. This sacrifice I am ready to make if it will advance the public interests.
J. R. TUCKER,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD SOUTH CAROLINA CAVALRY,
Near McTier's, January 18, 1865.
Captain R. W. B. ELLIOTT,
CAPTAIN: Citizens say that Generals Sherman and Howard are at Pocotaligo. Prisoners captured by some of Ceneral Wheeler's men say the Fifteenth Army Corps is in Beaufort. By citizens I mean two boys, who say they saw Sherman and Howard and that Sherman says he is building a railroad from Beaufort to Pocotaligo, and will furnish transportation there to the poor, and rations on their arrival. Our pickets are near the enemy. They have attempted no forward movement from Pocotaligo yet, except scouting and foraging parties.
C. J. COLCOCK,
Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis, First Tennessee Cavalry, reports the enemy advancing in large force, 9 a. m., on McPhersonville. I think, as they are not advancing on this road also, that their object is quarters or to burn the village.
C. J. COLCOCK.
Salkehatchie, January 18, 1865.
GENERAL: Deserters taken by scouts from this side report two corps about Pocotaligo, the Seventeenth and Fifteenth. A lady who came over with a sick husband, under flag of truce, reports the enemy in very heavy force. The President telegraphs that he expects an obstinate resistance along the line of the Combahee until re-enforcements arrive. Fort Fisher has fallen and most of the garrison captured, General Whiting and staff with the rest.