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[623] bridge yet incomplete, and I well remember the anxiety you expressed when I stated the condition of affairs in consequence of this blunder.* * *

The bridge work was done by a company of engineer troops, under the command of Captain Robert M. Stiles; and the causeway by a force under Mr. Daniel Callahan, previously a railroad contractor, then in the service of the Engineer Department of Confederate States. Most efficiently did these gentlemen, and the officers and men acting with them, do their duty.

The bridge and causeway were located by myself in person immediately after my arrival at Savannah, and I received no suggestions from any except yourself as to the manner of construction. My recollection of these suggestions is the same as your own, except that they were made on your first and not on your last visit.

On or about the 13th of December General Hardee thought seriously of evacuation, without awaiting the completion of the bridge; at least such was my impression from our consultations, and this view his note of the 13th, urging the construction of a floating wharf on the north side of Hutchinson's Island, seems to corroborate. We were certainly in a precarious situation, but I urged that the enemy had not yet shown the disposition to act in the direction which it had previously been agreed on must be the signal for our departure, and that we might yet perfect our communications in time. Most gallantly and soldierly did he examine each question, take every responsibility, and make his dispositions for action, when the time came. In making this statement I would not in any manner detract from his noble fame. He may have had information that he did not care to impart to me; and while I communicate my thoughts on the subject to you, I do not desire to put this idea of his (which could only have been executed at such fearful risks) on record.

The memoranda instructing me to prepare orders for the evacuation of Charleston, and notes for the disposition of his force at other times, made in his own hand, which you will doubtless recognize, will show that the clearness of the instructions I had drawn up for him at Savannah was sufficiently satisfactory for him to trust me in the same line of duty again, though previously I had scarcely done more than to put your orders in form, and I believe that I retained his confidence during his life.

Excuse a hastily written letter. I thought it best to write at once; and if any points might suggest themselves to you on which you might wish to compare your recollection of events with mine, I would at all times be ready to write all that I can remember.

The scraps I enclose are the only ones now in my possession, I think, in which General Hardee used his own pen; and as they are of little value to others, and I prize them as relics of the past, I will be obliged to you to return them to me, after making any copy or memoranda from them that you wish.

Very sincerely and respectfully yours, etc.,

Charleston, S. C., Dec. 23d, 1864.
To Genl. S. Cooper, Adjt.-Genl., Richmond, Va.:
Unless Wheeler's cavalry of twelve so-called brigades can be properly organized

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