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RICHMOND, December 10, 1861.

General ROBERT E. LEE,

Coosawhatchie, S. C.:

The President has received a telegram from William C. Humphreys, at Norfolk, the substance of which he directs to be sent to you for what it is worth. it is as follows:

Just arrived from Washington, where I have been prisoner since the battle of Bull Run. An expedition has left Annapolis; rendezvous at Port Royal; destination, Fernandina, Fla. B. F. Butler, the commander, leaves Boston, to-day. A re-enforcement of 30,000 men left for Port Royal.


Secretary of War.



Coosawhatchie, December 10, 1861.


Commanding Mounted Regiment, Pocotaligo, S. C.:

COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 9th instant,* in reference to your expedition to Beaufort Island, and in reply I am directed by the general commanding to express his gratificatio at the successful accomplishment of its objects and the ultimate good conduct of your command, and especially of the gallant behavior of Private Vincent F. Martin, whose bearing throughout is deserving of the highest meed of praise for coolness and bravery. The general desires me to add that your own conduct meets with his entire approbation.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, &c.,


Assistant Adjutant-General.



Coosawhatchie, December 10, 1861.

General J. C. PEMBERTON,

Commanding Fourth Military District of South Carolina:

GENERAL: From the report of Captain Ives it appears that the obstruction to the Ashepoo River now in process of execution is not the most advantageous point. If constructed in that part of the river it should be place at the bend below the present site, where the depth and with are about the same, the former thirteen feet and the latter eighty yards. The advantage of the lower position is that the defense could be located in the wood on the right bank of the river, where it would be masked from the enemy during his approach, and thus be secured from attack while opposing the removal of the barrier. The obstruction being below the intrenchment would give a feeling of security to the men and tend toa firmer resistance, whereas if above a contrary effect would be produced. There is another point on the [river] recommended by Captain Ives, below Chapman's Fort and immediately below the mouth of a creek that flows into the Ashepoo from the west. The difficulty of construction would here be greater, as the river is 125 yards wide and 25 feet deep. The defense of this point, however, would be more effective than the former, and would give protection to about fifteen miles more of country along the river,


*See VOL. VI, p. 36.