on June 20 received a letter from the Navy Department, informing him that the enemy was preparing to attack his fleet, inside and outside, to facilitate the shipment of a large amount of cotton from Charleston
He conferred with General Foster
, and it was arranged to engage the enemy in maintaining his own lines by simultaneously attacking several points.
It was hoped that the Charleston and Savannah Railroad might be cut, and a nearer and better position gained in front of the city.
Brig.-Gen. Wm. Birney
, ordered to Port Royal
with a brigade of colored troops, was to ascend the North Edisto
and destroy the railroad at Adam's Run
. General Hatch
with two brigades was to land at Seabrook Island
, cross to John's Island
, and be at the ferry near Rantowle's Bridge the succeeding night, to demonstrate against the city and Fort Pemberton
from across the Stono
's force, landing on James Island
, was to front Secessionville
; and he was also to send troops to John's Island
to open communication with General Hatch
The navy was to assist at all these points, but more strongly in the Stono
Our batteries at Cumming's Point
and on Lighthouse Inlet
were to engage the enemy's attention.
July 1, at 6 P. M., the Fifty-fourth moved to the landing, crossed to Folly Island
on pontoon-boats and scows, and