My answer was:
Telegram is received.
No more troops can be sent away from this Department without losing railroad and country between here and Savannah; Georgetown District would have also to be abandoned.
(See my letter of the 15th instant to General Cooper.)
Thus, on the 10th of July, 1863, I had but 5861 men, of all arms, in the First Military District, guarding the fortifications around Charleston, or more than one-third of the troops in my Department, with an enemy in my Island, sent out a party of one hundred and fifty men under Major Rion of the 7th South Carolina Battalion, who drove the enemy's pickets from his rifle-pits across the island some three-quarters (3/4) (i) of a mile from Battery Wagner.
On the 15th the enemy on Morris Island appeared to be largely reinforced; and during the night of the 14th the frigate Ironsides crossed the bar.
The enemy was busy on his works—our men employed in repairing damages in Battery Wagner and answering the fire
ppi River, where the enemy appeared to be moving his forces towards Memphis and Paducah.
An early attack on Corinth was also to be feared, as was a concentration in Middle Tennessee against General Hood's offensive advance.
From Selma, on the 15th, General Taylor forwarded him the following telegram:
Following just received, dated Jonesboroa, Ga., November 14th: Scouts and prisoners report enemy destroying railroad between Atlanta and Marietta.
Prisoners report Sherman in Atlanta, and army. J. B. Hood, General.
This refusal General Beauregard thought ill-timed, for the army was still motionless at Florence, and its immediate safety could hardly depend upon the presence of Jackson's cavalry.
Sherman had left Atlanta on the 15th, and news of his march, in two columns, one on the Jonesboroa road, the other on the McDonough road, was being received from various quarters— through General Cobb as well as through General Wheeler. General Hood was aware of it, but could not be