previous next

[493] were under construction at the southern extremity, and at other points near Morris Island, as counter dispositions to the demonstrations of the enemy on Folly Island.

The force of the enemy may be set down as at least four brigades, of 2500 men each, or a total of some 10,000 men, with ample means of transportation and every appliance of war, supported by the guns of a powerful and numerous fleet.

Making a strong demonstration against James Island, filling the Stono with gunboats and troops, and occupying Battery Island in force, the enemy, at the same time, vigorously attacked the small force available for defence of the south end of Morris Island with his main force, under cover of a powerful battery of long-range guns placed in a battery thrown up on the north end of Little Folly Island. He soon overpowered the small force and weak batteries which alone could be opposed to his offensive movements at the time, and drove our troops out of their works, back to the shelter of Battery Wagner. Nor could any effort be made to dislodge him before the arrival of reinforcements, by which time he had so firmly established his naturally strong position as to make any offensive attempt desperate and impracticable; that is, without the support of a strong naval force.

It may be asked, why was not this catastrophe guarded against? To which I have to say, generally, that stronger works could not be erected, for lack of labor, though every effort was exhausted to secure negroes from the day I took command of the Department up to the 1st of July, 1863.

Further, I have not been able to get the armament essential for such works; and besides, as before said, I did not have a garrison sufficiently strong for Morris, James, and Sullivan's islands at the same time.

The holding of the position was secondary to that of James Island, which must first be secured beyond peril, if possible, of surprise and capture. But my reports to the War Department are full of these details, showing the relative positions and value of these approaches to and defences of Charleston; in fact, all the information necessary for a correct appreciation and comprehension of the state of affairs here.

I shall, of course, allow no opportunity to pass for annoying the enemy, and shall make every effort to anticipate and foil my adversary, and, if practicable, dislodge him from his present position.

Respectfully, your obdt. servt.,

Appendix to chapter XXXII.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., July 22d, 1863.
Major H. C. Guerin, Chief of Subsistence, etc., etc.:
Major,—It is the direction of the Commanding General that rations for ten thousand (10,000) men for two (2) months shall be kept in the city or its immediate

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
H. C. Guerin (1)
Comdg (1)
G. T. Beauregard (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 22nd, 1863 AD (1)
July 1st, 1863 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: