On my return to Charleston
in September, 1862, to assume command of the Department of South Carolina and Georgia, I found the defences of those two States in a bad and incomplete condition, including defective location and arrangement of works, even at Charleston
Several points-such as the mouths of the Stono
and Edisto rivers
, and the headwaters of Broad river
at Port Royal
— I found unprotected; though soon after the fall of Fort Sumter
, in 1861, as I was about to be detached, I had designated them to be properly fortified.
A recommendation had even been made by my immediate predecessor that the outer defences of Charleston Harbor
should be given up as untenable against the ironclads and monitors then known to be under construction at the North
, and that the water-line of the immediate city of Charleston
should be made the sole line of defence.
This course, however, not having been authorized by the Richmond
authorities, it was not attempted, except that the fortifications of Cole's Island
— the key to the defence of the Stono river
— was abandoned and the harbor in the mouth of the Stono
left open to the enemy, who made it their base of operations.
Immediately on my arrival I inspected the defences of Charleston
, and made a requisition on the War Department for additional troops and heavy guns deemed necessary; but neither could be furnished, owing, it was stated, to the pressing wants of the Confederacy
at other points.
Shortly afterward Florida
was added to my command, but without any increase of troops or guns, except the few already in that State; and, later, several brigades were withdrawn from me, notwithstanding my protest, to reinforce the armies of Virginia