Today in History:

60 Series I Volume XXVIII-I Serial 46 - Ft. Sumter - Ft. Wagner Part I

Page 60 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

have effected a lodgment on Morris Island. That mode of approach is realized as formidable, and, if persisted in, must entail a protracted struggle. All confidence is felt, however, in your zeal, ability, and engineering skill to use to the best advantage the resources of your department; and I cannot doubt the result will be to add another triumph to those which already give in this contest such historic renown to Charleston.

On the first intelligence of the attack, General Whiting was telegraphed to send to your aid Clingman's brigade, and I was gratified to learn that he had even anticipated the order at to one regiment.

It is a matter of regret that the limited resources of the Department will not allow at this time, when the pressure of the enemy is felt on almost very field of action, to dispatch more troops to your aid; but as you probably have in your department more force than, according to most accredited advices, the enemy have retained there, it is hoped re-enforcement will prove fully adequate.

I need not add the assurance that every disposition is felt to aid and sustain your defense, and that I shall be prompt when informed of any needs in my power to supply to furnish them to the extent of our available resources.

With high esteem, very respectfully, yours,


Secretary of War.

ADDENDA Numbers 2. HDQRS. DEPT. OF R. CAROLINA, GEORGIA AND FLORIDA, Charleston, S. C., July 12, 1863.

This day General R. S. Ripley, commanding First Military District, and Brigadier-Generals Taliaferro and Clingman, also by special invitation His Excellency the Governor of the State, and Honorable William Porcher Miles, Representative from Charleston in Congress, were present in conference with the commanding general, the subject-matter for discussion being the policy of attempting to re-capture and to hold the ground on Morris Island, seized by the enemy on the 10th instant.

The first question submitted for decision was the maximum of force necessary to be employed, accompanied by the statement that the superior officers in command at Battery Wagner regarded 5,000 men as essential for the attempt.

Generals Ripley and Taliaferro, who had just returned from an examination of the ground, estimated the force necessary at 4,000 men. After some discussion, in which it was assumed that the attack could not be made with less than 3,000 men (General Clingman expressing the opinion, however, that, from the nature of the ground and the character of the service, 2,000 men would be as a larger number), it was finally resolved to estimate the necessary force at 4,000.

It was unanimously agreed that only a crushing blow to the enemy would be of any military use or advantage whatsoever.

This was only to be achieved by a sustained and spirited movement of our troops, and the attempt called for the best fighting qualities of the soldier. Irresolution and want of alacrity at the outset would inevitably result in the gravest disaster. It was also said by Generals Ripley and Taliaferro that the officers on Morris Island were of

Page 60 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.