Today in History:

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

Page 98 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

main, he would have selected that route. The opportunity would have been given him had we reduced the small force of infantry on that island. Had I had the troops, I should have thrown 2,500 men on Morris Island to meet this attack. These would have been about as many as could have been advantageously used, and is about the fullest strength the garrison has been increased to at any one time since the 10th of July. James Island, under the circumstances, ought - the enemy having a position upon it - to have been watched by from 3,000 to 5,000 infantry, besides the cavalry and artillery. an estimate for defense must, of course, be made as against certain attacks, and while the enemy has transportation in abundance, with a powerful steam navy, both offensive and transport, while ours is deficient in both respects and not sufficient for current service, he having the option which route to choose, we are compelled to guard all at once, to such an extent as will prevent a complete surprise of some on of them. These remarks will, I think, answer the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th interrogatories. In answer to the 14th, 15th, and 16th, I think had we decreased our force on James Island, by any number sufficient to have given positive strength to any other point, and the enemy had chosen, and acted with as much eclat as he did at the south end of Morris Island, or at either of the two assaults on Battery Wagner, he could have penetrated our long unguarded lines in a day, and obtained possession of the approaches to Charleston, which, if he chose to make use of them, would have at once cut off our communications with Morris Island and Fort Sumter. I consider it fortunate, under all circumstances, that, situated as we were, the enemy chose the Morris Island route.

To the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th questions, I would answer that there has been no time since the 15th of April that the enemy could not have thrown a force, by the Edisto, into Saint Andrew's Parish, cutting our communications with Savannah, and threatening our city in that direction, rendering it necessary to guard that approach, and also necessitating the retention of certain troops in that locality until the last moment, or until the enemy's attack had been fully developed. The forces in the Second, Third, and Fourth Military District have always been small; but, small as they were, they fully employed our means of transport when they had to be removed with rapidity.

To the 21st question. From the Second District, Nelson's battalion of 260 effectives arrived on the morning of the 10th of July, and proceeded to Morris Island in time to re-enforce the garrison after it had retreated to Battery Wagner. The Marion Artillery, four guns and 39 effectives, arrived on the 12th, and was placed on James Island. From the Third Military District, a battalion of the Eleventh South Carolina Regiment, 400 effectives, arrived on the 12th of July, but soon had to return to guard our communications with Savanna.

The 22nd, 23rd, and 24th questions can be answered. According to my information, there were 1,795 effective infantry in Georgia. Of these, 1,430 effectives arrived in detachments on the 10th, 12th, and 13th of July. Colonel Olmstead's command, composed of detachments of the First, Twelfth, eighteenth, and Sixty-third Georgia Regiments, 543 effectives, arrived on the 10th, and proceeded at once to Morris Island, and assisted in the repulse of the attack on the morning of the 11th.

To the 25th question. As soon as it was positively ascertained that the attack was imminent, I believe that every available man was

Page 98 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.