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Alfred Roman. Military Operations of General Beauregard in the war Between the States, 1861 to 1865, vol. II.

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Effort made to obtain a suitable command for General Beauregard. — He is assigned to duty in South Carolina and Georgia. — He reaches Charleston on the 15th of September. — Unpopularity of General Pemberton. — Pleasure of the City and State authorities at General Beauregard's superseding him. — Loss of General Beauregard's papers of this period of the war. — General Beauregard's tour of inspection throughout his Department. — Criticism of the lines of works as constructed by General Pemberton. — General Beauregard's regret at the abandonment of the exterior system of coast defences. — Interior lines most defective. — General Long attributes these lines to General R. E. Lee. — Error of General Long. — General Pemberton's estimates of the minimum forces necessary for the defence of Charleston. — General Beauregard assumes command September 24th. — General Pemberton given command of Department of the Mississippi. — Conference of officers on the 29th. — Matters discussed by them. — General Beauregard begins the armament of forts and the erection of fortifications. — Anchorage of boom in the main channel. — Alteration made by General Beauregard in the position of the heavy guns. — Enemy attack on St. John's River. — Unprepared condition of the Third Military District. — Letter to Colonel Walker. — General Beauregard's system of Signal stations — Its usefulness and success.

When it was learned in Richmond that General Beauregard had reported for duty a strong effort was made to obtain for him a command suitable to his rank. A personal friend of his, the Hon. C. J. Villeré, Member of Congress from Louisiana, and brother-in-law to General Beauregard. on September 1st, telegraphed him as follows: “Would you prefer the Trans-Mississippi to Charleston?” His characteristic reply was: “Have no preference to express. Will go wherever ordered. Do for the best.”

The War Department had already issued orders assigning him to duty in South Carolina and Georgia, with Headquarters at Charleston; but he did not become aware of the fact until the 10th of September.* See General Cooper's despatch, in the Appendix to this chapter. He left the next day for his new field of action, and, in a telegram apprising General Cooper of his departure, asked that copies of his orders and instructions should be sent to meet him in Charleston.

Thus it is shown that the petition to President Davis, spoken of in the preceding chapter, was presented while General Beauregard was on his way to his new command, in obedience to orders from Richmond, and that he knew nothing of the step then being taken in his behalf.

Charleston was a familiar spot to General Beauregard, and one much liked and appreciated by him. With the certainty he now had of not being reinstated in his former command, no other appointment could have given him so much pleasure. He arrived there on the 15th of September, and received a warm and cordial greeting both from the people and from the authorities. It was evident that grave apprehensions were felt for the safety of the city—“that cradle of the rebellion,” as it was called by the Northern press. And all the more was General Beauregard welcomed to Charleston because General Pemberton, whom he was to relieve, did not enjoy the confidence and esteem of the Carolinians. General Pemberton was a brave and zealous officer, but was wanting in polish, and was too positive and domineering in manner to suit the sensitive and polite people among whom he had been thrown. He commenced his administration of affairs there by removing the guns from Cole's Island, and opening the Stono River to the invasion of the Federal fleet and, army; after which there was no quiet for Charleston.

Two unfortunate circumstances had further contributed to the distrust of General Pemberton. Shortly before General Beauregard's arrival he had proclaimed martial law in the city of Charleston without authority, it was alleged, from the President. and contrary to the wishes of the Governor of the State. This added to his unpopularity. He had also officially advised the abandonment of the whole coast-line of defences, and commenced preparations therefore.* See, in Appendix, General Thomas Jordan's letter on the subject. This was done in apprehension of the attack of the new monitors and ironclads, highly extolled at that time by all the Northern newspapers. This act had so exasperated the State and city authorities that Governor Pickens had written to the War Department, demanding the immediate removal of General Pemberton. He had also telegraphed to General Beauregard, requesting him to come again to fight our batteries. His despatch ended thus: “We must now defend Charleston. Please come, as the President is willing—at least for the present. Answer.” And, as has been already shown, General Beauregard, believing that such a transfer would take him permanently from Department No. 2 and his army at Tupelo, declined to accept Governor Pickens's proposal.

Governor Pickens's despatch, here alluded to, and General Beauregard's answer, were given in the Appendix to the preceding chapter.

In writing upon this phase of the war we are met by two serious obstacles: first, the necessity of condensing into a few chapters a narrative of events which of itself would furnish material for a separate work; second, the loss of most of General Beauregard's official papers, from September, 1862, to April, 1864; in other words, all those that referred to the period during which he remained in command of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. It may be of interest to tell how that loss occurred.

When, in the spring of 1864, General Beauregard was ordered to Virginia, to assist General Lee in the defence of Richmond, he sent to General Howell Cobb, at Macon, for safe-keeping, all his official books and papers collected since his departure from the West. After the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston's army at Greensboroa, North Carolina, in April, 1865, he telegraphed General Cobb to forward these important documents to Atlanta, through which city he knew he would have to pass on his way to Louisiana. They never reached that point. General Wilson, commanding the Federal cavalry in Georgia, took possession of them while in transitu to Atlanta, with a portion of General Beauregard's personal baggage. Immediate efforts were made to secure their restoration, but in vain: baggage and papers were sent to Washington by order, it was said, of Mr. Stanton, Secretary of War. At a later date General Beauregard succeeded in recovering his baggage; but, despite his endeavors and the promise of high Federal officials, he could not get his papers. These were finally placed in the War Records office, and through the attention of the gentlemanly officers in charge he has been able to procure such copies of them as were indispensable for the purposes of this work. We are credibly informed that military papers and documents belonging to General A. S. Johnston, and embracing only six or seven months of the beginning of the war, were bought, a few years ago, from his heirs for the sum of ten thousand dollars; while General Beauregard's papers, relating to upwards of twenty months of a most interesting part of our struggle, are kept and used by the Government with no lawful claim to them and in violation, as we hold, of the articles of surrender agreed upon by Generals Johnston and Sherman. We may add that General Beauregard is not only deprived of his property, but is forced to pay for copies of his own papers whenever the necessity arises to make use of them.

General Pemberton was anxious to turn over his command to General Beauregard, but the latter would not accept it until he had examined, in company with that officer, all the important points and defences of the Department as it then stood. Accordingly, on the 16th of September, they began a regular tour of inspection which lasted until the 21st. They were, at that date, in Savannah. On the 24th, having returned to Charleston, General Beauregard went through the usual formality of assuming command.

The result of his inspection is given in his official notes, to be found in the Appendix to the present chapter. He made his report as favorable as possible, and was not over-critical, especially in matters of engineering, as he well knew his predecessor had but a limited knowledge of that branch of the service, and had, besides, no experienced military engineer to assist him. Many changes, it was apparent to General Beauregard, were necessary, and he determined to effect them as soon as circumstances should permit.

It may not be out of place to mention here some of the defensive works constructed under General Pemberton's orders.

He had adopted a line from Secessionville, on the east, guarding the water approaches of Light-House Inlet, to Fort Pemberton, up the Stono River—a distance of fully five miles&mash;thus giving up to the enemy, for his offensive operations, a large extent of James Island. General Beauregard subsequently reduced that long and defective line to two and a quarter miles, from Secessionville to Fort Pringle, on the Stono, four miles below Fort Pemberton. This was not only a much shorter line, but a stronger and more advantageous one, as it greatly reduced the space the enemy could occupy in any hostile movement from the Stono.

In the defensive line originally constructed by General Pemberton the infantry cover had been put in front of his redoubts and redans, and the redans were before the redoubts; so that, when the lines were held by the infantry, the guns of the redoubts and redans could not be used, as the country there was perfectly level on all sides. Again, the redans, being in front of the redoubts, masked the fire of the latter&mash;thus completely reversing Rogniart's system of field-works, which requires that redans should be in rear of and between redoubts, and the infantry cover in rear of both&mash;thus leaving the artillery fire free, and the infantry in supporting distance, unexposed, and ready, if required, to repel any assault made upon the works.

On Morris Island, south of Sumter, an important position, a small open battery was commenced, distant about three-quarters of a mile south of Cummings's Point, and a mile and a half from Fort Sumter. It ran from the sea to Vincent Creek, on a very narrow part of the island, but had no guns bearing on the outer harbor, or ship-channel, as it was called. General Beauregard had that work considerably enlarged, gave it a bastioned front, closed its gorge or rear, added enormous bomb-proofs and traverses to it, and mounted several heavy guns pointing to the sea, or outer harbor. Indeed, he made it so strong that it successfully withstood, during some fifty-eight days, the heaviest land and naval attacks known in history.

On Sullivan's Island, north of Sumter, was old Fort Moultrie, and half a mile east of it Battery Beauregard, planned by General Beauregard and by him ordered to be built, as early as April, 1861. There were also three or four other batteries, west of Moultrie, some of which had taken a part in the attack on Fort Sumter at the opening of the war. A small work had likewise been commenced by General Pemberton on the extreme east of the island, which General Beauregard afterwards increased considerably, building besides four detached batteries between it and Battery Beauregard, to prevent a landing of the enemy's force in that quarter, though the danger of such an occurrence was much less than on Morris Island, in front of which was a good roadstead, where the Federal fleet lay till the end of the war.

See General Beauregard's report of the defence of Morris Island in July, August, and September, 1863.

In his first conference with General Pemberton, General Beauregard learned, with surprise and regret, that the system of coast defences he had devised in April, 1861, had been entirely abandoned, because of the anticipated attack of Federal monitors and ironclads, not yet completed; and that an interior system of defences, requiring much additional labor, armament, and expense, had been adopted, which opened many vulnerable points to an energetic and enterprising enemy. And yet, incredible as it may appear, this is the system which an over-zealous admirer of General Lee, and a former member of his staff, General A. L. Long,

See, in vol.

i., No. 2, February, 1876, Southern Historical Society Papers, General Long's article,

entitled Sea-coast Defences of South Carolina and Georgia, page 103. has been injudicious enough to attribute—no less than the other defences of South Carolina—to that distinguished Confederate general and engineer. If it were not that the utter insignificance of General Long's unsubstantiated statements shuts them out from serious notice, we could easily point out many unpardonable errors into which he has fallen; but the mere recital of what General Beauregard accomplished after his arrival in that Department, and the production of evidence, not drawn from imagination but from facts in its support, will satisfy the reader's mind and amply meet the requirements of history.

General Thomas Jordan, the able chief of staff, who so faithfully served in that capacity under General Beauregard from the first battle of Manassas to the latter part of April, 1864, has forcibly exposed what he very aptly terms “the wholly erroneous and wrongful conclusions” of General Long in regard to the sea-coast and other defences of South Carolina and Georgia.We quote the following passage from his reply to General Long:

“Pemberton, as I have always understood, had materially departed from General Lee's plan of defensive works for the Department. Be that so or not, the system which Beauregard found established upon the approaches to Charleston and Savannah he radically changed with all possible energy. * * * And so comprehensive were these changes that, had General Long chanced to visit those two places and the intermediate lines about the first day of July, 1863, he would have been sorely puzzled to point out, in all the results of engineering skill which must have met and pleased his eyes in the Department, any trace of what he had left there something more than one year before.”*

General Jordan's letter to the Rev. J. W. Jones, in vol. i., No. 6, June, 1876, Southern Historical Society Papers, page 403.

But General Long clung to his error. Instead of acknowledging the injustice he had committed, he wrote and forwarded to the Southern Historical Society Papers a second article, wherein, after declaring his intention not to recede from his former statement, he ventures upon the following extraordinary assertion:

“It is well known that after being battered down during a protracted siege, Fort Sumter was remodelled, and rendered vastly stronger than it had previously been, by the skilful hand of General Gilmer, Chief of the Confederate Engineer Corps, and that various points were powerfully strengthened to resist the formidable forces that threatened them.”

General Long's second article, Southern Historical Society Papers, vol.

II., No. 1, July, 1876, p. 239.

This stress laid upon Fort Sumter shows General Long's narrow appreciation of the subject. But as to Fort Sumter itself, General Gilmer had nothing to do with the remodelling of its battered walls, nor with the preparation and strengthening of the defences in and around Charleston and its harbor; nor has he ever made any such claim. The fact is, that he only reported for duty in that Department about the middle of August, 1863, shortly before the evacuation of Morris Island, which occurred on the 7th of September. At that time the works in South Carolina and Georgia were already planned, and in process of construction, almost all of them being entirely completed. General Gilmer was an educated Engineer, doubtless worthy of the rank he held in the Confederate service; and no one denies that, had General Lee been sent to Charleston, in the fall of 1862, instead of General Beauregard, he would have been equal to the task laid out before him. What is alleged is—and the proof in support is derived from the unvarying testimony of facts—that it was General Beauregard, and not General Lee, who conceived and built the “impenetrable barrier”, which, as General Long truthfully says, defeated the plans of “the combined Federal forces operating on the coast” of South Carolina and Georgia.

General Long had forgotten that General Beauregard was the first Confederate general sent to Charleston, and that he was, in fact, at that time, the only Confederate general in existence; that after he had taken Fort Sumter, and while it was being rehabilitated, he made, as early as 1861, by request of Governor Pickens, a thorough reconnoissance of the South Carolina coast, from Charleston to Port Royal; that he recommended, in a memoir written to that effect, the erection of important works at the mouths of the Stono, the two Edistos, and Georgetown Harbor.* For further details on this subject see Chapter V. of this book. But General Long further fails to remember that the different points he mentions as having particularly fixed General Lee's attention?the “most threatened points”—when he (December, 1861) assumed command of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida (namely, the Stono, the Edisto, the Combahee, Coosawhatchie, the sites opposite Hilton Head, on the Broad, on the Salkahatchie, etc.) were not, after all, the points actually attacked by the united land and naval forces of the enemy—were not the sites of the “impenetrable barrier” against which the combined efforts of Admiral Dahlgren and General Gillmore were fruitlessly made. The real barrier that stopped them, and through which they could never break, consisted in the magnificent works on James, Sullivan's, and Morris Islands, and in different parts of the Charleston Harbor, and in the city proper—all due to the engineering capacity of General Beauregard, who conceived and executed them.

Unreflecting friends are worse at times than avowed enemies. They often belittle instead of elevating the object of their predilection. Groundless and fanciful praise of this kind could only lead to doubt of their subject's claim to merit in other matters, even where it is a just one. General Lee's reputation rests upon a more solid foundation than such formal eulogies, and he needs no borrowed laurels. The attempt of General Long to deprive General Beauregard See General Beauregard's letter to that effect, Appendix to this chapter. of his due in this instance is certainly not justifiable.

Before relieving General Pemberton, General Beauregard called on him for an estimate of the minimum forces, of all arms, in his opinion essential for a successful defence of Charleston and its dependencies, of the District of South Carolina, of Savannah and its dependencies, and of the District of Georgia.

This was the estimate furnished. It bore date September 24th, 1862:

Seven companies of cavalry, three batteries of artillery, and three companies of infantry, for the defence of Georgetown and Winyaw Bay, and to prevent marauding, were also mentioned in General Pemberton's estimate.

See General Pemberton's letter, in Appendix to this chapter.

General Beauregard adopted this estimate as a basis for his future calculations, and on that day assumed command in an order which ran as follows:

“Headquarters, Dept. S. C. & Ga.,

Charleston, Sept. 24th, 1862.

“I assume command of this Department pursuant to Paragraph XV., Special Orders No. 202, Adjutant and Inspector-General's Office, Richmond, August 29th, 1862. All existing orders will remain in force until otherwise directed from the headquarters.

“In entering upon my duties, which may involve at an early day the defence of two of the most important cities in the Confederate States against the most formidable efforts of our powerful enemy, I shall rely on the ardent patriotism, the intelligence, and unconquerable spirit of the officers and men under my command to sustain me successfully. But to maintain our posts with credit to our country and our own honor, and avoid irremediable disaster, it is essential that all shall yield implicit obedience to any orders emanating from superior authority.

“Brigadier-General Thomas Jordan is announced as Adjutant and Inspector-General, and Chief of Staff of the Department.

“G. T. Beauregard, General Commanding.


“Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff, and A. A. G.


“J. J. Stoddard, A. D. C.”

General Pemberton was regularly relieved on the same day, and, in obedience to orders, repaired to Richmond, where, shortly afterwards, he was made a lieutenant-general, and, to the astonishment of all men, even the President's own partisans, sent to take command of the Department of the Mississippi, with headquarters at Vicksburg, one of the most important posts in the South.

General Pemberton, as was well known, had not been engaged in any of the battles or actions of the war. He had not been under fire, and was looked upon not only as a new man but as an officer of little merit. He had accompanied General Lee to the Department of South Carolina and Georgia, with the rank of brigadier-general, and had succeeded him some time in December, 1861, receiving additional promotion soon afterwards, for he was made a major-general in January of the following year. Thus, in scarcely more than a year, and merely because he enjoyed the support of the Administration, General Pemberton, who was only a colonel when he joined the Confederate service, became first a brigadier-general, then a major-general, and then again a lieutenant-general, over the heads of many Confederate officers who had already distinguished themselves, and given unquestioned evidence of capacity, efficiency, and other soldierly qualities.

As soon as he had sufficiently familiarized himself with the condition of his Department, which was divided into four districts? South Carolina having three, and Georgia one?General Beauregard determined to bring the question of the defence of Charleston and its harbor before a council, composed of the principal military and naval officers who had long been stationed there. His object was, not only to gain enlightenment, but to create self-confidence in those officers, and increase their importance in the eyes of their subordinates. He prepared a series of questions, which were officially submitted to them, and thoroughly discussed at his headquarters. The conclusions arrived at were as follows:

“In the Office of the General Commanding the Department, Charleston, Sept. 29th, 1862.

“At a conference to which General Beauregard had invited the following officers; Com. D. N. Ingraham and Capt. J. R. Tucker, C. S. N., Brigadier-Gen'ls S. R. Gist and Thos. Jordan, Cols. G. W. Lay, Inspector-Genl., and A. J. Gonzales, Chief of Artillery, and Capt. F. D. Lee, Engrs., Capt. W. H. Echols, Chief Engineer, being absent from the city:

“The Genl. Commanding proposed for discussion a number of queries, prepared by himself, in relation to the problem of the defence of the Harbor, Forts, and City of Charleston, against the impending naval attacks by a formidable ironclad fleet.

“It was agreed to separate the consideration of these questions, so as to discuss—

“1st. The entrance, i. e., all outside of a line drawn from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter; thence to Cummings's Point, including, also — outside of this line — Battery Beauregard, at the entrance of the Maffit Channel.

“2d. The Gorge, i. e., the section included between that line and the line of a floating boom from Fort Sumter, to the west end of Sullivan's Island.

“3d. The Harbor, comprising all of the bay within the second line.

“4th. The City, its flanks and rear.

“In the discussion no guns were classed as heavy, if not above the calibre of 32, except rifled 32-pounders.

“The following conclusions were arrived at:

“1st. The existing defences of the entrance are: Beauregard battery, with two heavy guns; Fort Moultrie, with nine; the Sand Batteries on the west end of Sullivan's Island, with but four yet mounted; and Fort Sumter, with thirty-eight.

“Of the Gorge, say nine guns in Fort Moultrie, thirty-two in Fort Sumter (not including seven 10-inch mortars), and as yet but four in the Sand batteries.

“Of the Harbor, say fourteen guns of Fort Sumter, and the four guns in the new Sand batteries. Fort Johnson has one rifled 32-pounder, but it is not banded, and is unsafe.

“For the City defence, some batteries have been arranged and commenced, but heavy guns are neither mounted nor disposable.

“2d. The floating boom is incomplete.

“3d. It is no barrier now.

“4th. The boom, even if completed on the present plan, might be forced, although it would serve as a check, but it cannot be depended upon, if attacked by the enemy on a scale commensurate with his means. It has already been broken in parts by the force of the tides and currents. On account of its having to bear the strain of the depth of water (up to 70 feet) and the difficulties of the anchorage ground, of the limited means at disposal in anchors and chains, the indifferent quality of the iron, and the deficient buoyancy of the whole (the pine being green and sappy and getting heavier with time), a modification of the construction is required.

“5th. We have no means or material at hand for the construction of a better boom. It is thought, however, that the one now under construction will be materially improved by discarding the continuous chain of bar and railroad iron and links; and by linking together the logs, as they are now arranged, by short chains, so as to make a continuous chain of each section of the spars, there will be a saving of iron and greater buoyancy attained by this.

“6th. A rope barrier has been devised and constructed to place in advance of the spar-boom, but has not been placed in position, as the rope will rot in the water, and some anchors are still wanting. They are being searched for.


Ironclads in forcing the harbor must pass the gorge or throat everywhere within point-blank range of our batteries, and must consequently be in great danger of damage from the concentration of the metal that can be brought to bear upon them, especially from the elevation of Fort Sumter.

“Note. — Distance between Sumter and Moultrie, 1775 yards; air-line of obstruction, 1550 yards.

“8th. The plan of naval attack apparently best for the enemy would be to dash with as many ironclads as he can command, say fifteen or twenty, pass the batteries and forts, without halting to engage or reduce them. Corn. Ingraham thinks they will make an attack in that way by daylight.

“9th. Ironclad vessels cannot approach or pass so close to the walls of Fort Sumter as not to be within the reach of the barbette guns. Those guns may be depressed to strike the water at a distance of 154 yards of the walls. Vessels of the probable draught of gunboats cannot be brought closer than 200 yards.

“10th. After forcing the passage of the forts and barriers, and reaching the inner harbor, gunboats may lay within 600 yards of the city face of Fort Sumter, exposed to the fire of about fifteen guns.

The magazines would be unsafe as now situated, or until counter-forts shall have been extended sufficiently along the city face.


If ironclads pass the forts and batteries at the gorge or throat of the harbor, then the guns at Forts Ripley and Johnson and Castle Pinckney would be of no avail to check them. In consequence of the exposed condition of the foundations of Fort Ripley, and the general weakness of Castle Pinckney, it would not be advisable to diminish the armament of the exterior works to arm them; and this necessarily decides that Fort Johnson cannot be armed at the expense of the works covering the throat of the harbor. Fort Johnson must be held, however, to prevent the possibility of being carried by the enemy by a land attack, and the establishment there of breaching batteries against Fort Sumter. The batteries at White Point Garden, Halfmoon, Lawton's, and McLeod's, for the same reason, cannot be prudently armed at present with heavy guns.

“12th. The line of pilings near Fort Ripley is of no service, and is rapidly falling to pieces.

“13th. The city could not be saved from bombardment by any number of batteries along the city front, if the enemy reach the interior harbor with ironclads. It can then only be defended by infantry against landing of troops.

“14th. We have no resources at present for the construction of efficient obstructions at the mouth of, or in, the Ashley and Cooper rivers, and we have no guns disposable for the armament of interior harbor defences.

“15th. Should gunboats effect a lodgment in the harbor and in the Stono, the troops and armaments on James Island may be withdrawn, especially after the construction of a bridge and road across James Island Creek, about midway the island, near Holmes house. From the western part they can be withdrawn under cover of Fort Pemberton. McLeod's battery is intended to protect the mouth of Wappoo Creek, and Lawton's battery the mouth of James Island Creek, when armed.

“16th. With the harbor in the hands of the enemy, the city could still be held by an infantry force by the erection of strong barricades, and with an arrangement of traverses in the streets. The line of works on the neck could also be held against a naval and land attack by the construction of frequent and long traverses. The approaches thereto are covered by woods in front; possibly a more advanced position might have been better, though also protected by the woods, but so much has been done that it were best to retain the line, remedying the defects by long and numerous traverses.

“Two ironclad gunboats, carrying four guns each, will be ready for service in two weeks, as an important auxiliary to the works defending all parts of the harbor, and in that connection it will be important to secure for them a harbor of refuge and a general depot up the Cooper River as soon as the guns for its protection can be secured.

“G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

“ D. N. Ingraham,

“Com. Comdg. C. S. Naval Forces, Charleston Harbor.”

That sketch of the situation, together with General Beauregard's Notes of Inspection, dated September 24th, and General Pemberton's minimum estimate of men and guns required for a proper defence of the Department, give so complete and correct a statement of its condition and needs, at that time, that we deem it unnecessary to add anything further.

On the day following this conference of officers General Beauregard began to carry out its conclusions, as to the armament of the different forts and the completion of the modified boom and rope obstructions in the main pass, between Forts Sumter and Moultrie. He determined also to make an extensive use of floating torpedoes for the defence of the harbors of his Department, particularly that of Charleston, which he placed in charge of Captain F. D. Lee, an efficient and energetic young officer, whose former profession had been that of civil engineer. The construction of the boom above alluded to was already under the superintendence of Doctor J. R. Cheves.

General Beauregard soon found that he would have to be his own chief-engineer, as the officers of that branch of the service he then had under him, although intelligent and prompt in the discharge of their duties, did not possess sufficient experience. He hastened, therefore, to apply for Captain D. B. Harris, who had been so useful to him in the construction of the works at Centreville, Va., and on the Mississippi River, from Island No.10 to Vicksburg, and who, he was sure, would greatly relieve him of the close supervision required for the new works to be erected, and the many essential alterations to be made in the old ones. His chiefs of artillery and of ordnance were also wanting in experience, but they soon came up to the requirements of their responsible positions, and eventually proved of great assistance to him. Not so with the officers in charge of the Commissary Department. These, in many instances, were not directly under General Beauregard's orders, but under those of Colonel Northrop, who, despite requests and remonstrances, continued to follow his own bent, which was to mismanage the affairs of his Department and set at naught the authority of generals commanding in the field or elsewhere. The worst feature of the case was that, in doing so, he invariably counted upon — and almost always obtained — the full support of the Administration.

The scarcity of iron just then was very great — so much so, that it became all but impossible to procure what was needed, not only for the construction of the boom across the main channel, but also for the anchors required to maintain it in position. At the suggestion of Governor Pickens, large granite blocks, collected at Columbia for the erection of the State House, were brought to Charleston, and used as substitutes for the anchors.* See, in Appendix, General Jordan's letter to Captain Echols, ChiefEn-gineer. The expedient proved quite a success, for a time, but the stone anchors could not long withstand the force of the tide.

General Beauregard now caused the following instructions to be given to his chief of ordnance:

“Headquarters, Department of S. C. And Ga.,

Charleston, S. C., October 1st, 1862.

“Major J. J. Pope, Chief of Ordnance, etc.:

Major, — The commanding general instructs me to direct that the order of 25th ult. stands thus: That you cause the immediate transfer of the 10-inch, columbiad (old pattern), now in the Water Battery, to the left of Fort Pemberton, to Fort Sumter, with carriage, implements, and ammunition. Also that three 32-pounders, smooth, from Fort Sumter, and on barbette carriages, be moved to the said Water Battery, to the left of Fort Pemberton.

“You will likewise transfer to the new batteries, on Sullivan's Island, the 8-inch columbiad, now at Fort Johnson, with its implements, carriage, and ammunition, and report the execution of the foregoing.

“The 8-inch gun in Fort Ripley, and casemate 32-pounder in Fort Sumter, near Condenser, and the one on the wharf, referred to by you, will be assigned eventually to other positions.

“Very respectfully, your obdt. servt.,

“Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.”

Thus it appears that, immediately after his arrival in Charleston, General Beauregard began to concentrate as many heavy guns as were available in the first line of works, including Fort Sumter, so that they might be used with greater advantage against any naval attack. And the War Department was called upon to allow the transfer to Charleston of other heavy pieces from Ovenbluff, on the Tombigbee River, and Choctaw Bluff, on the Alabama River, where they could be of no use and might be easily dispensed with. The application was granted, provided no objection should be made by the commander of the Department of Alabama and Western Florida. No objection was made.

But General Beauregard's efforts did not stop there. He asked the War Department for additional guns, which he considered indispensable for the safety of Charleston, as he placed no great reliance upon the strength and stability of the boom then being constructed. His letter to Colonel Miles, M. C., Chairman of the Military Committee of the House (extracts from which are given in the Appendix to this chapter), fully explains his views on the subject. So do his communications, dated September 30th and October 2d, to General Cooper.*

See Appendix to this chapter.

The Northern newspapers were filled with indications of an approaching attack upon Charleston. The preparatory measures for such an expedition were represented as very formidable. Without entirely believing those rumors, General Beauregard used every endeavor to put himself in a state of readiness. He advised Governor Pickens, if it were the intention of the people and State to defend the city to the last extremity — as he was disposed to do — to prepare, out of its limits, a place of refuge for non-combatants. He ordered his chief-engineer to obstruct and defend the mouths of the Cooper and Ashley rivers. That officer was also instructed closely to examine both banks of the Stono, from Church Flats to the Wappoo Cut, and place there such obstructions as might impede the progress of the enemy, and prevent him from turning our works in that vicinity.

But the enemy, not being sufficiently prepared to make his projected attack on Charleston or Savannah, determined to strike a blow farther south, on the St. John's River, in the Department of Florida, commanded by Brigadier-General Joseph Finegan. General Finegan had only a small force under him, and, when he realized the extent of his danger, immediately telegraphed the War Department for reinforcements. The Secretary of War ordered General Beauregard to send two regiments of infantry to his assistance. They were to be withdrawn from Georgia, General Mercer's command. Although fears were still entertained of an offensive movement against South Carolina and Georgia, General Beauregard, whose forces were also very limited, complied promptly with the order, but took occasion to call the attention of the War Department to his numerical weakness, and to the fact that the enemy's lodgment in Florida, even if really intended — which was doubtful — would be of less gravity than an assault, at this juncture, upon either Charleston or Savannah. General Beauregard was accordingly authorized to recall his regiments, which he did without delay. They would have arrived too late to be of any assistance to General Finegan, as, upon that officer reaching St. John's Bluff, on the 3d, he found it already abandoned, though, in his opinion, there was a sufficient force to hold it, had Lieutenant-Colonel C. F. Hopkins, commanding the post, shown more spirit and determination.* A court of inquiry, held October 11, at Colonel Hopkins's demand, exonerated him, however, from all blame in regard to this matter. Six days later General Finegan informed the War Department that the enemy had embarked on their transports and gunboats, and were moving down the river.

Being much concerned about the security and efficiency of the boom which was being built in the Charleston Harbor,* A full description of it is given in General Beauregard's Notes of Inspection, to be found in Appendix to this chapter. General Beauregard ordered his chief-engineer to alter its construction so as to increase its floating capacity, and reduce the resistance it offered to the strong flood and ebb tides. He also instructed him to protect the pile foundations of Fort Ripley, which were exposed to view at low-water.

At that time he forwarded to the Adjutant-General's office at Richmond the official report of his inspection of the Department. It is entirely similar to the notes of inspection inserted by us in the Appendix to this chapter, and need not, therefore, be transcribed here. It had been somewhat hurriedly made, however, and did not include all the defensive points of the Department, nor was General Beauregard's criticism of the works visited so comprehensive then as at a later period, when based upon more thorough knowledge. The many and great alterations effected by him show how defective most of the works were, and how wellfounded were the concluding remarks of his report to General Cooper: “Adaptation ‘of means to an end’ has not always been consulted in the works around this city and Savannah. Much unnecessary work has been bestowed upon many of them.”

The Third Military District of South Carolina, with headquarters at McPhersonville, under Colonel (afterwards General) W. S. Walker, was not then in a very promising condition. Reports, considered trustworthy, indicated the enemy's early intention of taking the offensive in that quarter. The lines of defence and the detached works constructed in that district were calculated for the occupation of fully ten thousand men — the number assembled there during the preceding winter, with a proportionate artillery force. General Beauregard had had nothing to do in the establishment of these lines, nor had he either planned or recommended the erection of the works spoken of. The abandonment by the Government of the plan of defending the coast with heavy artillery, and the consequent reduction of the force thus employed to a corps of observation, chiefly of cavalry, rendered the greater part of these works useless. Colonel Walker was alive to the danger of such a state of affairs, and had addressed a communication to General Beauregard asking that reinforcements should be sent him to remedy the evil, and, as far as possible, secure that region of country.

See Colonel Walker's letter, in Appendix to this chapter.

General Beauregard's answer was as follows:

“Headquarters, Dept. S. C. and Ga.,

Charleston, S. C., Oct. 8th, 1862.,

“Col. W. S. Walker, Comdg. Third Mil. Dist., McPhersonville, S. C.:

Colonel, — Your letter of 3d instant, with its enclosures, has been received.

Your instructions to the Commanding Officer at Hardeeville and to your pickets are approved of; hone more in detail can be furnished you from here. Our means are so limited at present, that it is impossible to guard effectually the whole country and line of railroad, from here to Savannah, against a determined attack of the enemy; but we must endeavor to make up in zeal and activity what we lack in numbers. I shall, however, send you a light battery of artillery, to be posted by you wherever most advantageous. Being still unacquainted with the district of country under your command, I must rely greatly, in this and other corresponding matters, on your judgment and thorough knowledge of its topography. * * *

“Respectfully, your obdt. servt.,

“G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.”

The forthcoming chapter will show what occurred in Colonel Walker's district a fortnight after this letter was written. In the mean time it is proper here to remark that on General Beauregard's arrival in Charleston he found no regular system by which news of the movements of the enemy along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia could be ascertained with any degree of certainty, and he determined to correct so great a deficiency in the service, rendered all the more necessary by the fact that his Department, as will soon be seen, had just been enlarged. The system inaugurated may be thus explained: He established signal (flag) stations at the most important points along the coast of South Carolina (from Georgetown), Georgia, and Florida, where the enemy's ships or fleets could be observed. An exact register was kept in his office of all Federal vessels plying along the coast and their precise whereabouts. Whenever any change took place among them it was reported at once to Department Headquarters, and a minute account kept of it. And when an accumulation of the enemy's ships occurred at any point, indicating an attack, the small reserves General Beauregard had at Charleston or Savannah were prepared to move by rail in that direction, with the usual amount of provisions and ammunition, one or more trains being always held in readiness to receive the detachment. Thus was inferiority of number, to a certain extent, remedied by unremitting vigilance. The flag-stations above described communicated with the nearest railroad stations by sub-flag-stations, or by couriers, as circumstances required. The result was that clear and trustworthy information of the enemy's ships, or of his landforces, was given to General Beauregard, once in every twentyfour hours, from all the various quarters of his extensive Department. It is satisfactory to state that, during the twenty months he remained in command there, he was never, on any occasion, taken by surprise. His reinforcements always arrived at the threatened point as soon as our limited means of transportation would permit.

Chapter 27:

Extension of General Beauregard's command. Grave errors in the construction of the fortifications around Charleston. alterations ordered by General Beauregard. his desire for additional torpedo-rams. he foresees the Federal movement in Colonel Walker's District. Sends Captain F. D. Lee to Richmond. Prepares himself for the enemy's attack. bank of Louisiana. effort to save its funds. Secretary of War orders their seizure. instructions to General Ripley. memoranda on the defences of Savannah. minute instructions to General Mercer. suggestion for a conference of Southern Governors. Captain Lee's report of his visit to Richmond. attack of the Federals on Pocotaligo. Colonel Walker repulses them with loss. Federal force engaged in the affair. General Beauregard recommends Colonel Walker for promotion. estimate called for, and given, of men and material needed for a successful defence of Charleston and its Harbor.

From Richmond, on the 7th of October, the following telegram was sent to General Beauregard:

“Your command this day extended, in order to embrace South Carolina, Georgia, and that part of Florida east of the Appalachicola River. The camps of instruction for conscripts, in the several States, are under special control of the Secretary of War.

“S. Cooper, A. & I. G.”

This was not welcome news, for if it implied increase of territorial authority, it indicated no prospect of corresponding numerical strength in the Department. General Beauregard answered in these terms:

“Headquarters, Dept. S. C. And Ga.,

Charleston, S. C., Oct. 8th, 1862.

“General Samuel Cooper, Adjt. and Insp.-Genl., Richmond, Va.:

General, — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt, this day, of your telegram of the 7th instant, communicating information of the extension of the limits of this Department to include all of the State of Georgia, and so much of Florida as is situated east of the Appalachicola River. I beg to say that I trust this extension of the territory of the Department will be followed, at an early day, by a commensurate increase of the forces to guard it. It is proper for me to say, that the more urgent importance of the defence of the ports of Charleston and Savannah must necessarily occupy so much of my time, that I cannot be absent long enough to visit and make myself acquainted personally with the defensive resources and capabilities of Florida, and hence must rely entirely on the local commander.

“Respectfully, your obedient servant,

“G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.”

General Beauregard's solicitude was great for the safety of the approaches to Charleston. In the many works thrown up and directed by Engineers lacking experience grave errors had been committed, not only in their location but in their plans and profiles. Guns were put in position without regard to their range or calibre; traverses seemed to be ignored where most needed; enfilading fires by the enemy, the worst of all, had been almost entirely overlooked; yet one gun, well protected by traverses and merlons, is considered equivalent to five, unprotected. During the defence of Charleston, General Beauregard had all his heavy barbette guns surrounded with merlons and traverses, thus incasing them as if in a chamber. The bomb-proofs and service magazines, which he also placed in the traverses, protected the artillerists and, in doing so, materially increased their confidence, which was “half the battle.”

He had previously ordered the chief-engineer to enlarge the work at Rantowle's Station, on the Savannah Railroad, and to build a tete de pont and battery at the New Bridge, Church Flats. The same engineer had likewise been commanded to prepare a plan for the defence of the streets and squares of Charleston, in case of a successful land attack.

But General Beauregard's greatest efforts were directed towards the harbor. There, he was convinced, the land and naval forces against us would strike their heaviest blows. He wrote to Governor Pickens about his need of additional heavy guns; told him how little he relied on the effectiveness of the original boom; but spoke very encouragingly of Captain F. D. Lee's plan for a torpedo-ram, “which,” General Beauregard thought, “would be equivalent to several gunboats.” He added that “he feared not to put on record, now, that half a dozen of these torpedo-rams, of small comparative cost, would keep this harbor clear of four times the number of the enemy's ironclad gunboats.” *

See, in Appendix to this chapter, letter to Governor Pickens.

On the 10th he ordered a new work to be put up on the left of the “New Bridge, city side of the Ashley River, and to repair the battery at New Bridge,” Church Flats; and the chief-engineer was specially instructed as to the transfer and new location of guns already in position.

On the 12th he addressed this communication to Mr. J. K. Sass, Chairman of the State Gunboat Committee:

“Dear Sir, — In view of the necessity of getting ready, as soon as possible, the proposed torpedo-ram of Capt. F. D. Lee, and the difficulty, if not impossibility, of procuring the materials and machinery for its construction, I have the honor to request that the materials, etc., collected for the State's new gunboat should be applied to the torpedo-ram, which, I am informed, can be got ready sooner (in less than two months), will cost less, and be more efficacious, in my opinion. In other words, I think the State and the country would be the gainers by constructing one of these new engines of destruction, in place of the intended gunboat, now just commencing to be built.

“Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

“G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.”

The next day (13th) there were indications along the coast, especially about Port Royal, that the enemy would soon strike a blow in that vicinity. General Beauregard informed Colonel Walker, at McPhersonville, that every effort would be made to support him in case he was attacked; but that, nevertheless, it would be prudent for him to prepare himself for a retrograde movement, if overpowered. That he must therefore send to the rear all the heavy baggage, and hold his command ready for battle, with three days cooked rations, forty rounds of ammunition in boxes, and sixty in wagons. That his pickets must be on the alert and his spies actively employed. That reinforcements would be sent him as soon as required, but that he must indicate, with precision, the points most needing relief. That two thousand infantry would come from Charleston (General Gist's district), one thousand from the Second District (General Hagood's), and two thousand from Savannah (General Mercer's headquarters). And he was advised, furthermore, not to look upon General Mitchel as a very formidable adversary, but to prepare against his predatory incursions.

General Beauregard was now most anxious to have built a “torpedo-ram,” upon the plan proposed by Captain F. D. Lee. He accordingly sent that officer to Richmond to explain his invention, and urged the necessity of obtaining assistance from the War and Navy Departments. He considered those rams to be far superior to the ironclad gunboats of the enemy; was convinced that their cost would be one-third less, and that they could be constructed in a much shorter time than the crafts then being built in Charleston. General Beauregard informed the Government that the South Carolina authorities were highly in favor of the new ram, and had already appropriated the sum of $50,000 for its construction; but that, should the Navy Department take the matter in hand, the result would be better and sooner attained. If successful in Charleston harbor, General Beauregard thought similar rams could be built for the Mississippi and James rivers, and for Port Royal and Savannah. This point he strongly pressed upon the consideration of the War Department, and earnestly recommended Captain Lee for his zeal, energy, and capacity as a practical engineer.

Full and comprehensive orders were given, on the 13th and 14th, to Colonel Walker, and Generals Gist and Mercer, to hold their troops in readiness, with the usual instructions as to provisions and ammunition; and railroad transportation was prepared to take reinforcements to Colonel Walker at a moment's notice. On the same day General Mercer was also ordered to have made a careful reconnoissance of the Ocmulgee, with a view to its effectual obstruction and protection by a fort.

About this period a remarkable occurrence took place which is worthy of note. When New Orleans was about to be evacuated, in April, 1862, the civil and military authorities advised the banks and insurance companies to put their funds in security beyond the reach of the enemy. They nearly all did so, and, among them, the wealthiest of all, namely, the “Bank of Louisiana,” which sent its assets, mostly of gold and silver, to the extent of some three millions of dollars, via Mobile, to Columbus, Georgia, under the care of its president. These funds were given in charge by him to Mr. W. H. Young, President of the Bank of Columbus, Georgia, with the belief that they would there be perfectly safe. To General Beauregard's surprise, on the 11th of October the following telegram was forwarded to him from Richmond:

“Take possession of the coin of the Bank of Louisiana, in the hands of W. H. Young, President of the Bank of Columbus, Ga., and place it in the bands of John Boston, the depositary of the Government, at Savannah. A written order will be sent immediately, but don't wait for it.

“G. W. Randolph, Secy. of War. ”

Without loss of time, though very reluctantly, General Beauregard sent an officer of his staff, Colonel A. G. Rice, Vol. A. D. C., to execute this disagreeable order. On the 14th, from Columbus, Colonel Rice telegraphed as follows:

“ To Genl. T. Jordan, A. A. G.:

“Mr. Young, under instructions from Mr. Memminger, dated 9th of June, refuses to give up the coin. He has telegraphed to Richmond. No reply yet.

“A. G. Rice, A. D. C.”

Forcible possession, however, was taken of the coin; and the Secretary of War, when applied to for further instructions, ordered that, inasmuch as Mr. Young had been “appointed a depositary” by Mr. Boston, “the money be left in the hands of the former, upon his consenting to receipt for it as the depositary of the Treasury Department.” See telegrams, in Appendix. This Mr. Young declined to do; and thereupon General Beauregard was ordered by the Secretary of War to turn over the coin to Mr. T. S. Metcalf, Government depositary at Augusta, Georgia; which was done, Colonel Rice taking triplicate receipts, one for the Secretary of War, one for General Beauregard's files, and one for himself.

Thus was the property belonging to citizens of Louisiana, who were then despoiled by the enemy, in possession of their State, taken away from them by the Government of the Confederate States, from which they had a right to claim protection. What became of that coin is, we believe, even to this day, a mystery. It was, doubtless, spent for the benefit of the Confederacy; but how, and to what purpose — not having been regularly appropriated by Congress — has never been made known to the South, especially to the stockholders and depositors of the “Bank of Louisiana.” That institution was utterly ruined by the seizure of its most valuable assets, thus arbitrarily taken from it. It would have been more equitable to leave this coin untouched, or, if not, to take no greater proportion of it than of the coin of all the other banks in the Confederacy.

The movements of the Federals along the coast of Florida kept General Finegan in a state of constant perplexity, on account of the inferior force under him. On the 14th he gave a clear statement of the condition of his district, and asked that reinforcements should be sent him without delay. See, in Appendix to this chapter, his official letter to that effect. General Beauregard would gladly have complied with his request, but was unable to do so, as he was apprehensive at that time of an immediate attack at or near Pocotaligo, in Colonel Walker's district. He sent two officers of his staff, Lieutenants Chisolm and Beauregard, to confer with Colonel Walker as to the true condition of his command, and assure him again that he could rely on being reinforced as soon as the enemy further developed his intentions. Colonel Walker reiterated what he had already said about his weakness, and spoke of the want of rifles for his cavalry, which, he said, would have to fight as infantry, owing to the nature of the country in which the contest would probably take place. He designated Pocotaligo, Grahamville, and Hardeeville as points for concentrating his forces and reinforcements, according to circumstances and to the plan of the enemy, detailing his preparatory arrangements for meeting his adversary at any of the three places.

While these events were occurring — to wit, on the 17th of October — General Beauregard received a despatch from the Secretary of War, informing him that news from Baltimore, reported to be trustworthy, spoke of an attack upon Charleston by Commodore Dupont within the ensuing two weeks. General Beauregard communicated the rumor to Commodore Ingraham and to the Mayor of the city, Mr. Charles Macbeth, in order that he and the people of Charleston might be prepared for such an event. General Beauregard also instructed Doctor Cheves, in charge of the harbor obstructions, to hurry the laying of the “rope entanglement” in front of the “boom,” in the efficacy of which he now had but little, if any, faith.

It may be added here that when General Beauregard assumed command of Charleston he found prevalent among a certain class of people the habit of spreading exaggerated reports of the enemy's intended movements against the city. To put a stop to the uneasy state of excitement thus created, he ordered the various officers in command to obtain the names of all persons propagating such rumors, and, after tracing them to their original source, to arrest forthwith whoever was guilty of thus disturbing the public mind. In less than two weeks time, and before three arrests had been made, the habit was broken, and from that time forward no more trouble was experienced on this score.

General Beauregard's attention had already been attracted to the construction, or rather completion, of a railroad from Thomasville, Georgia, to Bainbridge, on Flint River, some thirty-six miles, and a branch from Grovesville to the Tallahassee Railroad — about sixteen miles — which would add greatly to the military facilities for the defence of Middle and Eastern Florida, and for sending troops rapidly from Savannah or the interior of Georgia to any point threatened in Florida. The matter was again referred to him, on the 18th, by Judge Baltzell, and he strongly advised the Government to take immediate action in regard to it; but scarcity of iron, it was alleged, and other reasons, not well explained, prevented the construction of either of the roads until the last year of the war, when, it seems, the project was finally sanctioned, but too late to accomplish any good.

Shortly after his arrival in Charleston, General Beauregard, at the suggestion of some of the leading men of the city, called for and obtained the services of Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley. He was a graduate of West Point, and an officer of merit, though erratic at times, and inclined to an exaggerated estimate of his own importance. He was, however, quick, energetic, and intelligent, and, for several months after his assignment to duty in the Department, materially assisted the general commanding in the execution of his plans.

On the 19th General Beauregard, through his chief of staff, gave General Ripley the following instructions:

“As the enemy has shown a design to interrupt or prevent the erection of any works at Mayrant's Bluff, the Commanding General directs me to suggest that the enemy may be foiled by proper efforts.

“Sham works should be attempted at some point in view of the gunboats, and, meanwhile, the real works should be vigorously prosecuted at night.

“It is likewise the wish of the General Commanding that Sullivan's Creek should be effectively obstructed, without delay, against the possible attempts of mortar-boats.

“Some arrangements must also be made for the disposition of the troops on Sullivan's Island, not needed for the service of the batteries, in case of an attack merely by gunboats. To this matter the Commanding General wishes you to give your immediate attention.

“The houses on Sullivan's Island, on the sea-shore, you will take measures to remove at an early day.”

We now have before us two important and interesting memoranda, giving an elaborate professional criticism of the defences of Savannah and its different approaches, showing the defects of the system adopted by General Beauregard's predecessor, and demonstrating clearly General Long's error of judgment in attributing the construction of these works — or most of them — to General R. E. Lee. The reader will find these memoranda in the Appendix to this chapter. We insert here the instructions given by General Beauregard to General Mercer, after his second tour of inspection of the defensive works at or around Savannah; they form a necessary supplement to the memoranda just spoken of:

“Savannah, Ga., Oct. 28th, 1862.

“Brig.-Genl. H. W. Mercer, Comdg. Dist. of Georgia, etc., etc.:

General, — Before leaving, on my return to Charleston, I think it advisable to leave with you a summary of the additions and changes I have ordered to the works intended for the defence of this city, and which ought to be executed as promptly as practicable, commencing with those on the river and at Caustine's Bluff:

“1. The magazines of several of the river batteries must be thoroughly drained at once, and repaired. They are now unfit for use, on account of their dampness, and the one at Battery Lawton has not yet been commenced. The position selected for it is too far to the rear. It should be closer to the battery, and well drained. Not a moment should be lost in its construction.

“The service magazine should have its entrance enlarged and strengthened at the top. The magazine doors at Fort Jackson do not open freely. This defect must be corrected.

“2. Good and strong traverses must be constructed, as directed, in the Naval Battery, to prevent enfilading.

“3. The two 8-inch columbiads on Fort Jackson must be separated, and one of the barbette 32-pounders (removed, for a traverse to be constructed in its place) must be put in position outside, in rear of the glacis, to fire down the river.

“4. Those river works, when garrisoned, must always be provided with several days' provisions on hand.

“5. The mortar-chamber in Capt. Lamar's battery is too small. The mortars should be mounted as soon as practicable, and the men drilled to it.

“6. It would be important, if possible, to lay a boom obstruction across the river, at or near Hutchinson's Island, under the guns of its battery, and of Fort Boggs, and a three or four gun battery should also be constructed at Screven's Ferry Landing.

“7. Caustine's Bluff must be made an enclosed work, with two mortars and four heavy guns added to its armament. Two of these guns must be placed so as to bear up the Augustine River.

“8. A three-gun battery must be constructed at Greenwich Point, on Augustine River, to cross fire with the two guns just referred to, on Whitmarsh Island, constructed against Caustine's Bluff.

“9. One rifled 32-pounder must be added to the Thunderbolt Battery, and one of its 8-inch shell-guns must be changed in position, as ordered, and the embrazure of its 8-inch columbiad must be reduced in size.

Several traverses must be raised and lengthened. The upper slope of the battery in front of several of its guns must be increased.

“10. A new battery for four 24-pounder howitzers, on siege-carriages, with some rifle-pits, must be constructed to command the Isle of Hope Causeway.

“11. Several of the guns of Fort Boggs and battery at Beaulieu are in want of elevating screws; and some in the latter battery require smaller trunnion-plates, and the upper slope of its parapet must be lowered in several places.

“12. A new battery and rifle-pits must be constructed on Rosedew Island for five or six pieces, of which one or two should be rifled guns, so as to command Little Ogeechee.

“One rifled 24-pounder is already on its way to this city from Atlanta for said work.

“13. Two rifled guns (one 32-pounder and one 24-pounder) must be added to the work on Genesis Point, and one of its 32-pounders must be changed in position, as ordered, to rake the pilings across the river. Its traverses must be raised and lengthened, and a merlon constructed to protect the two 32-pounders, now raking the obstruction, from being enfiladed.

Its magazines must be better protected, and its hot-shot furnace reconstructed as ordered. A more efficient commander than the present one would, I think, be required for this important position, and whoever is sent there should visit, first, the work at Beaulieu, to see its fine condition.

“14. A proper sunken battery should be constructed for the protection of the men and horses of all light batteries intended for the defence of watercourses. This applies especially to the light batteries now on the Little and Great Ogeechees.

“15. No provocation of the enemy's gunboats, to draw the fire of our batteries, should induce officers in command to waste in return their ammunition. They should reserve their fire until the enemy comes within pointblank range of a 32-pounder, placing, meanwhile, all the garrison under close cover. When they fire let them open simultaneously with all their guns upon the foremost vessel, in order to sink it, aiming rather low.

“16. Two mortars have been ordered from Charleston for Fort Jackson and Caustine's Bluff, to fire on river obstructions, and, in respect to the latter battery, to fire also on Whitmarsh Island. They must be placed in position as soon as they shall have arrived, and provided with ammunition, etc., and a detail of men drilled at them regularly.

“17. Ship-yard Creek, in rear of Beaulieu, must be guarded by a light battery, as already indicated for the Little and Great Ogeechees.

“18. Signal-stations must be established forthwith to communicate with each other at Genesis Point, Rosedew Island, Beaulieu, the Isle of Hope Causeway, Thunderbolt, Caustine's Bluff, Fort Jackson, Fort Boggs, and the city.

“19. The two large observatories or spindles towards the mouth of Savannah River must be destroyed forthwith, for fear of their falling into the hands of the enemy uninjured.

“20. Brigade drills must be commenced at once, whenever practicable, and regiments must not be armed with weapons of more than two different calibres, to prevent confusion in providing them with ammunition.

“21. The male residents of this city, not liable to conscription, must be organized at once by the civil authorities, for the defence of their homes and firesides (in case of an attack upon the city), into companies and regiments. They will thus afford material assistance to the Confederate troops in the defence of Savannah.

“22. Ample provision must be made by the civil authorities for the removal of the women and children to a safe locality outside of the city-the farther the better. This removal should take place on the first appearance of real danger.

“23. A sufficient number of switchlock keys should be provided at railroad depots for immediate use in case of necessity.

“24. The Georgia Central Railroad will furnish a reserve train, to be stationed at Ashley River Depot, for the purpose of conveying troops, without delay, from Charleston to the South Carolina lower parishes, or to Georgia. Another one will be held in readiness at the depot of the Central Railroad, in this city, for the purpose of conveying troops towards Charleston when required.

“25. The troops of this district must be vaccinated gradually.

“26. The woods of the island fronting the outworks must be cut down as soon as possible, wherever in too dangerous proximity.

“27. The city must be always provided with at least fifteen days provisions for ten thousand men, and with the same quantity in a convenient depot not nearer than thirty miles from the city, along the Central Railroad, so as to be beyond the reach of the enemy in every contingency.

“28. Ample supply of fuel should be made for the steamboats and for the troops forming the garrison of the city.

“29. The city authorities must see that the supply of water be ample for all emergencies, in case of a bombardment.

“Respectfully, your obedient servant,

“G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.”

“P. S.—It is ordered that all laborers employed on the interior of the city lines of defences, except those employed on the magazines, should be at once concentrated, first on the salient faces of the advanced lunettes and cremailleres, except those from Fort Mercer, inclusive to Fort Brown, then on the salient faces of the retired lunettes or redans, then on the shoulder faces of the first class, and afterwards of the second.

“The banquettes of Fort Brown must be put forthwith in proper condition. No labor must be expended on the finish of the above works, which must be put, with their batteries, magazines, etc., in a fighting condition as soon as possible, even if we should have to work day and night.

“Should you not have laborers enough for such a purpose, you must call on the Governor of the State for additional ones. I earnestly request that the utmost activity should be shown in every department of the service, so as to be ready in time for an intended attack of the enemy. I have called for five 10-inch or 13-inch mortars, and twenty heavy or long-range guns (five 10-inch and five 8-inch columbiads, five 42-pounders, rifled, and five 32-pounders, ditto), which will be distributed to the best advantage, when received, on the river defences and line of outworks.

“G. T. B. ”

During his second tour of inspection in Georgia, General Beauregard had directed his thoughts, despite his preoccupation at the time, to a subject, not immediately concerning his military occupations, but referring to, and closely connected with, the ulterior fate of the Confederacy. Believing that our Government could not again directly open the door to peace negotiations with the Federal Government, and knowing, on the other hand, that our Confederate Commissioners in Europe had never been allowed to offer the semblance even of an inducement in our favor to any of the foreign powers, it occurred to him that what could not appropriately be done by the authorized agents of the Confederacy might perhaps be attempted, with some chance of success, by the governors of the Southern States. Acting upon this impulse, he wrote from Savannah, on the 21st of October, the following message to Governors Pickens, of South Carolina; Brown, of Georgia; and Milton, of Florida; and to Colonel William P. Miles, M. C., formerly a member of his staff:

“Why should not governors of Southern States offer to meet those of Northwest States, at Memphis, under flag of truce, to decide on treaty of peace to be submitted to both governments? ”

The moment, General Beauregard thought, was propitious for such a step; for the Confederacy, notwithstanding many reverses, was holding out with success; but though the suggestion was at first approved of by two of the three governors written to, it was not acted upon. Governor Pickens, upon reflection, decided that the plan was not feasible, and Colonel Miles was of opinion that nothing could be effected now, and that our only course was to “fight it out.”

At about the same time was received Captain F. D. Lee's report of his visit to the War and Navy departments, at Richmond, with reference to his torpedo-ram. He had been much encouraged by these two departments, by the chief-engineer and the chief of ordnance of the navy. All spoke in the highest terms of his invention. Unfortunately, he left Richmond without securing the necessary orders for the construction of his boat, and, as a consequence, many untoward delays ensued. In the Appendix will be found Captain Lee's report of his mission to the Confederate capital, and a letter from General Beauregard to the Hon. S. B. Mallory, in acknowledgment of his prompt and favorable support of the marine torpedo-ram project. In this letter he said:

“I confidently believe that with three of these light-draught torpedo-rams, and as many ironclad gunboat-rams, this harbor [meaning the Charleston Harbor] could be held against any naval force of the enemy ;” and he added: “The same means can also be used (with one less of each class) for Savannah and Mobile.” He disclaimed wishing to take the matter out of the hands of competent naval officers. “All I desired,” he wrote, “was to see it [the ram] afloat and ready, for action as soon as possible.” Time and the progress of naval warfare have only confirmed the opinion he entertained twenty years ago.

At last occurred, on the 22d, the long-expected attack of the Federals against Colonel W. S. Walker, at Pocotaligo and Coosawhatchie. General Beauregard was then in Savannah. So carefully were all his arrangements made in prevision of that occurrence, and so minute his instructions to his chief of staff in Charleston, that he did not forego his inspection of the defensive works in General Mercer's command. Still supervising the movements of the troops, he rapidly sent forward the reinforcements held in readiness for that purpose, and thus materially aided Colonel Walker in securing his brilliant victory.

The enemy, in some thirteen gunboats and transports, came up Bee's Creek, apparently aiming at Coosawhatchie. Effecting a landing at Mackay's Point, and marching thence in the direction of Pocotaligo, they took possession of the railroad at Coosawhatchie and destroyed the telegraphic line at that point, thus compelling us to communicate with Savannah and Hardeeville via Augusta.Colonel Walker now telegraphed for reinforcements, as was agreed, and retired to “Old Pocotaligo,” one mile from the Pocotaligo station, intending, if necessary, to fall back to the Salkahatchie bridge. This, however, he did not do, but took a fixed position at the junction of the Mackay's Point road and the road between Pocotaligo and Coosawhatchie. The engagement was then in full progress, the enemy's force being, at first, relatively small, but constantly increasing with the arrival of reserves. Colonel Walker was resolved to hold his ground at Old Pocotaligo until reinforcements should arrive, which he again telegraphed for, asking that all troops coming from Savannah should be sent to Coosawhatchie, and those from Charleston to Pocotaligo, as both points were being assailed in force.

The first reinforcements that reached the scene of action, at about 4.30 P. M., came up from Adams Run. They double-quicked to where the fight seemed heaviest, their presence giving additional resolution to Colonel Walker's gallant troops, and showing their commander that he could now count upon success. He was not disappointed. The enemy, after a contest that lasted from 11.30 A. M. to 6 P. M., gave way in disorder, leaving his dead and wounded on the field, with quite a number of small-arms, with ammunition, knapsacks, and other accoutrements. Two companies of cavalry were sent in pursuit, but could not be moved nearer than two miles to the Federal gunboats, which opened and kept up a destructive fire upon them.

Our loss was small, though, in proportion, greater than that of the enemy, and amounted to an aggregate of one hundred and sixty-three, killed, wounded, and missing. The loss on the other side was estimated at not less than three hundred.

Uncertain, however, as to the ulterior object of the enemy, other troops were asked for by Colonel Walker; and Generals Hagood and Gist, with forces kept prepared for that purpose, were rapidly sent to reinforce him. They arrived after the action was over, and took no part in it, General Gist, with two strong regiments, only reaching Pocotaligo the next day, October 23d. It was now evident that no further assistance was needed.

The Federal force engaged in this affair consisted of six regiments, one battery of ten 10-pounder rifled guns, and two boat howitzers. Colonel Walker had, when he first went into the fight, about four hundred effective men of all arms, and was subsequently reinforced by the Nelson Battalion, under Captain Sligh, numbering two hundred men, making in all, towards the close of the fight, a total force of not more than six hundred men, against an aggregate of not less than three thousand five hundred on the part of the enemy. In his official report of the engagement Colonel Walker said:

“The force of the enemy was represented by prisoners, and confirmed by the statement of negroes who had crossed Port Royal Ferry to the mainland on that day and been captured, to be seven regiments, one of which, I judge, went to Coosawhatchie. * * * There were abundant evidences that the retreat of the enemy was precipitate and disordered. One hundred small-arms were picked up, and a considerable amount of stores and ammunition. The road was strewn with the debris of the beaten foe. Forty-six of the enemy's dead were found on the battle-field and road-side. Seven fresh graves were discovered at Mackay's Point. I estimate their total killed and wounded at three hundred. * * * We have ample reason to believe that our small force not only fought against great odds, but against fresh troops brought up to replace those first engaged. * * * I beg to express my admiration of the remarkable courage and tenacity with which the troops held their ground. The announcement of my determination to hold my position until reinforcements arrived seemed to fix them to the spot with unconquerable resolution.”

General Beauregard the day following informed the War Department of the defeat of the enemy at Pocotaligo; and, recognizing the coolness, intelligence, and foresight displayed by Colonel Walker on that occasion, strongly recommended him for immediate promotion. The War Department acceded to that request, and when, on November 4th, the official report of the fight at Pocotaligo reached Department Headquarters in Charleston, it was signed “W. S. Walker, Brigadier-General, Commanding.”

Our success at Pocotaligo, although very encouraging, more than ever demonstrated our numerical weakness, and led General Beauregard to reflect with great uneasiness upon the results which might follow a simultaneous attack by the enemy at various points in his Department. Hesitating to trust his judgment alone relative to the deficiency of troops in the First Military District, he called on its commanding officer for an estimate “of the men and material he thought necessary for a prolonged successful resistance to any attack which the resources of the enemy may enable him to make.”

In compliance with this request, Generals Ripley and Gist, the commander and sub-commander of the district referred to, furnished the following report:

“Headquarters, First Military Dist., S. C., Charleston, Oct. 25th, 1862.

“Increase of numerical force called for by Brigadier-General S. R. Gist, commanding:

“Ripley, Brig.-Genl. Comdg.”

As the effective force, of all arms, on James Island amounted at that time to 2910, and that in the City of Charleston and on the main to 1279 (in all, 4189), it followed that, out of the whole number required?to wit, 21,561, as shown above?there was, on the 25th of October, in Generals Ripley's and Gist's opinion, a deficit of not less than 17,372 men, of all arms, for the proper defence of the First Military District, South Carolina; an alarming deficiency, but one which General Beauregard did not think exaggerated.

Chapter 28:

Stopped Here

General Beauregard returns to Charleston.

He informs the War Department of the result of his inspection of the works around Savannah.

dispositions taken with regard to different batteries; for the completion of the boom; for the protection of River obstructions; for negro labor upon works around Charleston.

letter to Governor Pickens.

letter to Colonel Chestnut.

letter to the Hon. W. P. Miles.

promise of Secretary of War to send guns to General Beauregard.

his letter to General Cobb.

instructions to Major Pope.

War Department withdraws the order for guns.

General Beauregard's letter to General S. Cooper, explaining conduct of Major Childs.

telegram from the Secretary of War.

General Beauregard requests a suspension of decision.

refusal of the Secretary of War.

indignation of General Beauregard.

Governor Pickens Dissuades him from demanding to be relieved.

Ordnance Department Refuses to pay for banding of guns.

notice given of probable attack.

canal Cut through the Wappoo.

General Beauregard's minute attention to all details.

instructions to General Cobb.

enemy's fleet directed towards Cape Lookout.

General Beauregard's letter to General Whiting.

enemy Retires to Newbern.

information given of probable naval attack upon Charleston.

General Beauregard recalls his troops from North Carolina.

President Davis Refuses to send 7-inch guns to General Beauregard.

they are sent to Mobile.>

General Beauregard, having accomplished the object of his visit to Savannah, on the 30th of October returned to Charleston, where he found Captain D. B. Harris waiting for him. His pleasure and relief were great indeed, for he knew that this trusted officer would now relieve him of the immediate supervision of the works to be remodelled and constructed in many portions of his extensive command.

It cannot be expected that we shall pass in review and comment upon all the official orders emanating from General Beauregard's headquarters, nor that the reader should be made acquainted with every one of his acts from the time he assumed control of that Department until he left it in the spring of 1864. No more can be looked for than a careful summary, in chronological order, of all events of importance that occurred within his jurisdiction, showing the part he took in each, and giving such explanation as the occasion may call forth.

1. On November 1st he officially informed General Cooper of the result of his inspection of the defences of Savannah, and expressed his views and recommendations more, he said, as an Engineer officer than as the commanding general of the Department. General Beauregard's Report to the War Department, to be found in the War Records Office, Washington, D. C. The preceding chapter and its comprehensive Appendix have already sufficiently apprised the reader of what these views and recommendations were.

2. On November 3d he instructed Major Pope, Chief of Ordnance, to transfer an 18-pounder cannon from White Point Battery, where it was comparatively useless, to one at Church Flats, in the Second Military District, so as to enfilade the John's Island Bridge and Causeway, which were liable to be taken by a sudden coup de main.

On the same day he called on Captain Ingraham, C. S. N., commanding the Naval Department in Charleston, to furnish him three hundred pieces of gunboat plating, to be used in completing the boom across the channel between the two main forts of the harbor. He also suggested that the three merchant ships lying off the wharves should be armed with quaker guns, and anchored near the boom, to deceive the enemy.

3. On November 4th he applied to Governor Pickens for the iron plating which protected the old floating battery used, in April, 1861, during the attack on Fort Sumter. He accepted the four regiments of reserves (infantry) offered him by the governor for the defence of the sea-coast of South Carolina. Two of these he immediately ordered to Pocotaligo, in the Third Military District, and the two others to Georgetown, in the Fourth District (a new one), now being organized, which was afterwards placed under the command of Brigadier-General Trapier.

Governor Pickens answered in his usual earnest way, granting General Beauregard's request about the iron. He suggested a plan for the proper management of negroes, and the care to be bestowed upon them while working on the defences of the city and coast, and thought they could be organized into a corps of spadesmen and axemen, to be permanently attached to the army.

4. On November 6th General Beauregard wrote an important letter to Brigadier-General Gist, commanding James Island and the Main, acknowledging receipt of his communication of that date alluding to the good condition of the battery at Mayrant's, near Georgetown. The proposed battery at Frazer's Bluff, though, most desirable, was, he feared, liable to be cut off and seized by the enemy. He desired the construction of a work for two or three 24-pounders, to command the North Santee, at a bluff near Ladson's, in the direction of Hame's Ferry. He also inquired about the condition of the battery of one 32-pounder, commanding the South Santee, and wished to know whether or not the stream could be so obstructed as to allow the removal of that gun to the battery at Ladson's.

5. On the 7th General Mercer was requested to confer with Commodore Tatnall, C. S. N., commanding the Naval Department in Savannah, concerning the fitting out of a small gunboat (not ironclad) with heavy guns, to be placed in a cut near the river obstructions, where the ground was known to be low and soft. General Beauregard suggested the construction of an iron shield on board, arranged to protect the guns, and the throwing up of a levee around the gunboat further to secure its safety. He thought it would be a great saving, both of time and labor.

6. On the 8th of November he wrote the following letter to Governor Pickens:

Governor, — Your letter of the 5th inst. was received after I had given the orders for Cash's regiment to report to General Walker, who, being nearest to the enemy, will require one of the best colonels with him; but I will endeavor to leave him in the Georgetown District.

“With regard to the labor furnished for the defences of the city, the planters have done nobly, but they must not stop three-fourths of the way. Should Charleston fall for want of proper works, they will be the largest sufferers in the end. Your idea of organizing negro laborers with the troops is one I have already recommended to the Government long ago. I think that one company of one hundred negroes, as pioneers, per two regiments of one thousand men each, would be a good proportion of laborers, and would leave the troops to attend to their legitimate duties of drill and guard, so that each brigade of the four regiments would have two hundred negro pioneers or laborers.

Our Southern soldiers object most strenuously to work with spades and shovels.

They will do it in very pressing emergencies, but, on ordinary occasions, do more grumbling than work.

They prefer, decidedly, to fight.

I find so much difficulty in procuring mechanics and materials here for the construction of Captain Lee's marine torpedo-ram, that I will have to stop building it. Charleston cannot furnish all the labor and material required for the building of three rams at once; one or two of these must be stopped, to enable the other to be completed; otherwise all three will remain unfinished when the enemy will make his appearance here.

I am free to confess that I believe our ordinary gunboats will effect but little against the enemy's new gigantic monitors, provided they can get here in safety from the North.

We must attack them under water, where they are the most vulnerable, if we wish to destroy them, and the torpedo-ram is the only probable way of accomplishing that desirable end. Moreover, one of these can be furnished in at least half the time required for an ordinary-sized gunboat-ram.

With regard to your supposition that the enemy will not make a land attack on our coast before disposing of Lee's army, I believe they will do so as soon as the forces in Virginia shall have gone into winter-quarters, thus enabling them to send reinforcements South for a campaign; and, with their great facilities of transportation, they could get them here before we could ours.

Respectfully, your obdt.

servt., G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

7. Two days after the foregoing letter was penned the following communication was sent to Colonel James Chestnut, Jr., at that time in command of the State Reserves of South Carolina:

Headquarters, Dept. S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Nov. 10th, 1862.

Colonel,?A few days ago I answered your telegram, informing you that I would be able to furnish an artillery officer to make the examination of the Santee River, referred to by you in your telegram, asking you to name when and where he should report, but thus far I have received no answer.

Meanwhile I have read with satisfaction the excellent report of Mr. Niernsee relative to his reconnoissance of the Santee River, from Lownde's Ferry to Nowell's Point, and of the information obtained by him relative to the North and South Santee, from the point of junction to their mouths.

My conclusion is, that Nowell's Point is the proper position to be fortified, and the river ought to be obstructed, not more than four hundred yards below the fort.

This obstruction, I think, can be made of several rows of piles (should the bottom permit it), interlaced with a properly constructed abatis of trees?live-oaks, if possible.

As it is not probable that the enemy's ironclad boats will be able to ascend to that point of the river, the armament of the battery need not consist of heavier guns than 32-pounders, smooth-bore (three or four), and about two rifled 24-pounders.

All of these guns to be separated by heavy traverses, or placed by twos in detached batteries.

Rifle-pits should also be provided (not enfiladed from the river) for the infantry support to the batteries.

The thickness of the parapets of the latter should be about twenty feet, and of the rifle-pits twelve or fifteen feet. The height of the crest of the batteries (which may be half sunk) should be about six feet above the front ground, and about eight feet above the rear terre-plein, for the greater protection of the men.

I have given orders for the construction of a battery of three or four guns at or about Ladson's Bluff, on the North Santee, which, I suppose, is the one called by Mr. Niernsee Bear Hill Bluff.

I am informed that the battery at Mayrant's Bay, towards Georgetown, is armed and completed; and I hope that the new regiment of the State Reserves (Cash's) I have ordered to report to General Trapier, in command of Georgetown District, will be able to support these two batteries until other forces can be sent in that direction.

Respectfully, your obdt.

servt., G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

8. The following letter was addressed to the Hon. William P. Miles:

Charleston, S. C., Nov. 11th, 1862.

Dear Colonel,—* * * I regret much to learn that we are to receive no more additional 10-inch columbiads than the ten referred to by you. Of course I understand the inability of the War Department to furnish more, but it is worth the most serious consideration of the Government to determine which is of most value to us at this moment?the free navigation of the Mississippi, which, from the nature of things, we cannot use; or the port of Charleston, which is now our only means of communication with Europe, especially at this juncture, when we are expecting so many things of vital importance to the country from that quarter.

I sent, yesterday, to the Department a letter of General Ripley's on the subject of having a 15-inch gun cast here.

It seems it can be done?at a high cost, it is true; but I have great faith in the weight of metal (about 500 pounds) which could be thrown from it. Three of such guns?one at Sumter, one at the Enfilade Battery, and one at Fort Ripley?would, I think, supply the place of a good boom across the channel between Sumter and Moultrie.

Should you think favorably of the project, I hope you will support it towards the War Department.

Why could not 10-inch guns be made at Macon, getting the iron from Spartanburg, which, I understand, is about the best in the country, according to General Ripley?

Hoping to see you soon, I remain, yours very truly, G. T. Beauregard.

9. On the 17th the gratifying news was received that the Secretary of War had authorized the immediate casting of the 15-inch gun, and that through him Colonel Miles hoped to be able, erelong, to procure other 10-inch guns for Charleston.

But the concluding part of the despatch spoke of Mr. Randolph's resignation, just sent in, and deplored it as a great loss to us, for he took deep interest in General Beauregard's efforts thoroughly to secure Charleston and its harbor, and would have done his utmost in furtherance of that end.

On the same day the condition of General Trapier's Military District was made known to the War Department, and prompt action solicited for his immediate relief.

The means at his command were alarmingly small.

The battery at Mayrant's Bluff, reported to be in a state of readiness, had no other support than such as could be afforded by mounted troops and field artillery.

The regiments of infantry under him (Colonel Cash in command) were State Reserves, called out for ninety days, and had been sent to their post of duty without arms or ammunition.

10. On the 21st General Beauregard, in reply to General Howell Cobb's inquiries as to the precise nature of his duties in Middle Florida,

General Cobb had been ordered by the War Department (November 1) to report for duty to General Beauregard. wrote the following letter:

Dear General,?Your letter of the 19th inst. has just been delivered to me by Captain Banon, your Adjutant-General.

The order you refer to was not understood at first by me either; but I learn that you are to be in command of one of the Districts (not Departments) in Florida?under my orders?and Brigadier-General Finegan of the other.

Your headquarters are to be at Quincy.

General Finegan is at present in Tallahassee, where you will go to relieve him, and receive whatever instructions he may have in his possession from the War Department.

The means at our command, for the defence of my Department (S. C., Ga., and Fla., to the Chattahoochee) are very limited; so much so, that I am unable to spare one man from South Carolina and Georgia for Florida at present; but I hope, after the fall campaign in Virginia, troops will be sent for the defence of my Department.

Meanwhile, we must do the best we can, by calling on the State authorities for all the assistance they can furnish us. I think, on assuming command of your district, it would be desirable to draw up a concise statement of its exact defensive condition and resources for the files of this Department.

General Finegan will do the same for his own district.

In conclusion, I am most happy that you have been ordered to assist me in the defence of so large and so important a section of our country, and I have no doubt that, with sufficient means, the result can but be honorable to yourself and advantageous to our cause.

I hope, erelong, to have the assistance of your brother in Georgia.

I am happy to hear of his recent promotion.

Yours, very truly, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

11. Major Pope, Chief of Ordnance, received the following special instructions on the 22d:

1. The 8-inch shell (naval) gun, now on the wharf, will be transported and placed on the new battery at John's Island Ferry.

2. The 32-pounder navy gun, being rifled and banded at Eason's shop, must be sent, when ready for service, to White Point Battery, to be placed in position on the Ashley River, adjoining the position at the salient intended for heavier guns.

3. The 10-inch bronze (old pattern) mortar on wharf will be placed in Battery Wagner, Morris Island.

4. New beds and elevating screws will be supplied, as soon as possible, for three 10-inch mortars in Fort Sumter.

5. If not already done, one rifled and banded 32-pounder will be transferred from Battery Means to Beauregard.

6. If not already done, a 12-pounder rifled piece outside of Fort Pemberton will be sent, with the proper supply of ammunition, to Winyaw Bay.

7. Two 24-pounder guns (on siege carriages) now on the eastern cremaillere lines of James Island will be sent to battery at Willtown Bluff, in Second Military District.

8. The 32-pounder recently ordered to be banded to replace a defective piece in Fort Moultrie, when ready for service, will be sent to Battery Glover, to take place of a 32-pounder to be brought here by commanding officer of First District, to be banded and rifled.

9. All guns, when sent or transferred to positions not already sufficiently supplied with ammunition, will be at once furnished with about one hundred rounds of the proper character and proportion.

12. On the same day plans and instructions for placing obstructions, by piling, etc., in the Chattahoochee (Florida) and Flint River (Georgia) were forwarded to Captain F. Moreno, Corps of Provisional Engineers, at Columbus, Ga. And General Finegan, at his own request, was also advised as to obstructing the Appalachicola River below the batteries, with a view to avoiding complication with the State authorities.

13. The effects of the resignation of Mr. Randolph, as Secretary of War, were soon felt in Charleston, as will be seen by the following telegrams:

Richmond, Nov. 25th, 1862. Genl. Beauregard:

The two 7-inch guns are turned over to navy for Mobile. T. S. Rhett, Col. and Insp. of Ord'ce.

Richmond, Nov. 26th, 1862. Genl. G. T. Beauregard:

After all our efforts we lose the two 7-inch guns.

Dispute between Gorgas and Mallory was laid before President yesterday, and he ordered guns to Mobile.

Great disappointment. Wm. Porcher miles.

General Beauregard remonstrated, but without avail.

In a telegram to General Cooper he said:

I learn with regret from Colonel Rhett that the two 7-inch rifled guns have been turned over to the navy for Mobile.

The necessity for a much larger number of the heaviest guns here is increased, as the boom is likely to prove a failure.

14. A very unpleasant misunderstanding now occurred between the Commanding General of the Department and Major Childs, ordnance officer in charge of the Charleston Arsenal.

A clear and comprehensive explanation of it is given in the following letter:

Headquarters, Department of S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Nov. 27th, 1862. Genl. Sam. Cooper, Adjt. and Insp.-Genl., Richmond, Va.:

General?About the 20th inst., having ascertained that a sufficient number of guns of the heaviest calibre could not be procured for the defence of this important harbor, and that the floating boom across its entrance would possibly be a failure, I determined to hasten, by all practicable means in my power, the rifling and banding of as many 42 and 32 pounders, already in position in the works of this harbor, as time and the limited means under my control would permit.

But having ascertained by actual experiment that the rifling and banding of a 32-pounder by the ordnance officer, Major F. L. Childs, in charge of the Arsenal here, had taken more than four weeks to be completed, and having at least twenty other guns of that calibre and of 42-pounders to rifle and band in a similar manner, it became evident to me it would be utterly impossible to complete them in time for the pressing emergencies of our situation.

About the same time Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley, commanding First Military District, having informed me that he felt convinced he could have the alterations desired made in less than half the time taken by the Ordnance Department, if I would place the matter under his control, and being extremely anxious to have the work done as soon as practicable, I issued Special Orders No. 229, of which the following is the section bearing on the case, viz., par. III.: The Commanding General of the First Military District has the authority to direct and order the rifling and banding of such guns as require it within his command, to the extent of the capacity for doing the work effectually, and may make requisitions directly upon the Charleston Arsenal, or other proper source, through his district ordnance officer, for the necessary material for the work.

General Ripley immediately took the matter in hand, caused several heavy guns to be dismounted from the works and brought to Messrs. Eason & Co.'s foundery in this city, and made on Major Childs a requisition, in pursuance of the orders already referred to, for two sets of bands for 42-pounder guns in depot.

Major Childs declined to issue, enclosing me the requisitions endorsed as follows:

Respectfully referred to General Beauregard, to know if it is his desire to devolve any portion of my duties upon General Ripley.

The bands wanted have been waiting at Cameron's establishment for some time for the guns to be sent up. If General Ripley continues to send guns as fast as they are wanted, he will accomplish all he can possibly do, and not violate the reiterated orders and regulations of the Ordnance Bureau.

This paper was returned by me with the following endorsement:

The necessities of the service require that Special Order No. 229, from these headquarters, shall be carried into effect.

But having called on both of said officers for a statement of the shortest time in which the rifling and banding could be done, under the superintendence of each, their answers were as follows:

General Ripley says:

Messrs. Eason & Co. inform me they can band and rifle two guns in nine days from this date, and that they can continue to turn out one or two guns thereafter every five or seven days, if they have the bands.

They can furnish the bands themselves after ten days. I believe them.

Major Childs says:

That full three weeks have heretofore been taken by Messrs. Eason & Brother in rifling and banding 32-pounder and 42-pounder guns, but that by working at night and on Sunday, and distributing the work between Eason and Cameron, I hope to be able to finish one gun per week.

I should state that it is only lately that Cameron & Co. have procured a lathe large enough to hold a 32-pounder.

I therefore determined that the former should direct those important alterations, on which might depend the safety of this harbor and city.

On or about the 23d instant Major Childs called on me to express his objection to Order No. 229, stating that the Ordnance Department would not pay for work done at the founderies of this city not ordered by him. I then remarked that in that event I would procure the money from other sources, intending in that case to call on the City or State authorities to pay for the rifling and banding of the guns intended specially for the defence of this harbor.

On the 26th instant General Ripley again sent the same requisitions to Major Childs, who reiterated positively his refusal until he had seen me. General Ripley then went to the Arsenal in person, accompanied by an armed force, to compel, if necessary, obedience to Order No. 229. Major Childs, having again refused to issue the bands called for, alleging that he wished to see the General commanding the Department before complying with the Orders he had received, General Ripley felt compelled to arrest him; and as he refused to turn over his duties to the next officer in rank, Lieutenant Fraser, General Ripley called on the latter to inform him where the bands were.

They were found in a yard adjoining the Arsenal, and were taken possession of; the necessary invoices and receipts were furnished, and the bands transported to the foundery, where the guns were waiting for them.

In order, however, not to delay at this critical moment the important operations of the Ordnance Department, the limits of Major Childs had been extended to those of the City of Charleston, and he had been authorized to attend to all the current duties of his position.

Charges and specifications have been preferred against Major Childs by General Ripley, as per copy herewith.

Before ordering a court I shall await the instructions of the War Department in this case.

I can but express my regret at the occurrence just referred to, especially at this critical juncture, when so much energy and harmony should prevail in all the departments of the service.

But I must be permitted to state, as my deliberate opinion, that so long as the Arsenal is kept here, in so close proximity to the headquarters of the Department and of the First District, so long will there be a clashing of authority between them; for in the military service an imperium in imperio cannot be permitted without a conflict of authority sooner or later.

Moreover, the Chiefs of Ordnance of this Department and District, relying too much on the supplies of the Arsenal, of which they are not fully informed, often make requisitions at too short notice, thereby causing unnecessary delays and confusion.

Again, the failure of the floating boom across the entrance of this harbor, and the impossibility of obtaining a sufficient quantity of the heaviest ordnance (as already called for), renders the removal of the Arsenal to a safer locality a matter of urgent necessity, leaving here only such stores and supplies as may be absolutely required for the immediate wants of this District and Department.

Several weeks ago I called the attention of Major Childs to the probable necessity of such a change of locality, and he reported to me, a short time after, that he had made the selection of a place in the northwestern part of this State for the Arsenal to be removed to, and that he had given orders for the immediate construction there of the necessary buildings, etc. I therefore respectfully but earnestly request the War Department to give such orders as will insure the immediate translation of the Arsenal from this city to the place already selected by Major Childs.

I remain, Sir, very respectfully, your obt. servt., G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

P. S.-The accompanying papers are enclosed herewith, marked as follows:

A.?R. S. Ripley, Brig.-Genl. Commanding.

Reports circumstances connected with arrest of Major F. L. Childs, and encloses charges and specifications against that officer.

B.?R. S. Ripley, Brig.-Genl. Charges and specifications preferred against Major F. L. Childs, C. S. Art'y.

C.?F. L. Childs, Major, C. S. A. In relation to his arrest by Brig.-Genl. Ripley, for refusing to fill a requisition.

D.?G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Commanding.

Giving reasons for the arrest of Major F. L. Childs, etc.

N. B.?Charleston, S. C., Nov. 30, 1862.

This letter and accompanying papers have been delayed to enable Major-General B. Huger to arrange this whole matter without resorting to a courtmartial; but he has failed to do so, Major Childs not yet understanding the gravity of his offence.

He seems to think that the Ordnance Department was created solely for the special benefit of its officers; and as I will necessarily be compelled to bring charges against him myself, I have the honor respectfully to suggest that the War Department will order, as soon as practicable, the assembling of a court for his immediate trial.

Respectfully, G. T. B.

It is proper here to state that, before the foregoing letter had had time to reach General Cooper?for, as it was shown, circumstances prevented it from being forwarded until several days after it was written?a telegram from Richmond, dated December 1st, was received by General Beauregard.

It read as follows:

The Secretary of War directs that you will release Major Childs, restore him to duty, and report the facts to this office. Jno. Withers, Asst. Adjt.-Genl.

In vain was the War Department asked to suspend its decision until the matter could be further examined into.

The order was reiterated and insisted upon, as appeals by this telegram, dated Richmond, December 2d, 1862:

The Secretary of War directs that commanding officers of arsenals are immediately responsible to the War Department, and not subject to arrest by the commanding generals, unless under extraordinary circumstances.

Unless Major Childs's case be deemed such, he directs that the order of yesterday be executed. S. Cooper, A. and Ins.-Genl.

General Beauregard thought he had been sufficiently clear in his explanation to the War Department.

He would have nothing further to do with the matter; and the order was executed.

Thus was the querulous freak of a subordinate officer openly upheld by the authorities at Richmond, regardless of the pernicious example set by such a precedent, and of the mortification it would bring upon a commanding general, whose only motive was to hurry up his arrangements to meet the threatened assault of the enemy, and who knew what prompt and vigorous action the emergency required.

Governor Pickens happening to be in Charleston at that time, General Beauregard called on him and explained the unwarrantable interference of the Government.

The general's indignation was so great that he declared his intention to apply at once to be relieved from the command of his Department and ordered to the field; and, should this request be denied, then?as the only alternative left him?to resign his commission.

But Governor Pickens, while acknowledging the unfairness of the Administration, vehemently protested against the adoption of such a course.

He appealed to General Beauregard?first as a friend, then as the Governor of South Carolina?and entreated him to remain at his post.

He declared that he had faith in no other commander for the safety of Charleston at this juncture, and that South Carolina would willingly defray the expenses of banding and rifling all the guns needed, should Congress fail to pass a special bill to that effect.

He was so earnest, and spoke so feelingly on the subject, that General Beauregard determined to overlook this new affront, and continue his efforts to save Charleston, despite the annoyances and obstacles thrown in his way.

It may be added, before dismissing this subject, that General Beauregard was hardly through with the work of banding and rifling his heavy guns when, in April, 1863, the attack of the Federal fleet was made.

That event will be discussed hereafter.

It is historically true, however, that the repulse of that attack was due, not only to the intrepidity of the troops in forts Sumter and Moultrie, and in the other defensive works in and around the harbor, but also?and in no small degree?to the heavy banded and rifled guns prepared for, and so effectually used on, that memorable occasion.

And yet when, several months afterwards, the Ordnance Department was called upon to pay for the important work thus performed for the safety of Charleston and of the Confederate cause, it peremptorily declined to do so. The matter was brought before Mr. Seddon, the successor of Mr. Randolph as Secretary of War, but he would have nothing to do with it, because, as he said, the Ordnance regulations had to be obeyed and carried out.

It was only when Colonel William Porcher Miles, Chairman of the Military Committee in the House, expressed his intention to lay the question before Congress, and demand a special appropriation for that purpose, that Mr. Seddon finally issued the order, and had the bill paid by the Ordnance Department.

When General Beauregard left Charleston for Weldon, in 1864, the work had not yet been paid for.

15. On the 29th of November General Beauregard received information from his Signal Corps that the enemy's ordinary fleet had left Hilton Head, either for an expedition to some point on the coast or for the North.

If the latter, the movement related to Burnside's operations; if not, the intention of the enemy was yet to be discovered.

General Beauregard lost no time in apprising the War Department of the facts, and, by special despatches, warned Generals Whiting, at Wilmington; Mercer, at Savannah; and Hagood, Walker, and Trapier, commanders of the Second, Third, and Fourth Military Districts of South Carolina.

He also wrote the following letter to General Ripley:

Charleston, S. C., Nov. 29th, 1862. Brig.-General R. S. Ripley, Comdg. First Mil. Dist., Dept. S. C., Ga., and Fla.:

General,?I am informed the enemy's fleet has left Hilton Head.

We must be prepared to meet him at all points.

You will issue three days provisions to movable troops, and sufficient ammunition.

See that all troops are provided with haversacks.

Collect cars enough to transport two regiments at a time on the Charleston and Savannah Railroad and the Northeastern Railroad.

No trains should be overloaded.

My impression is that the enemy's demonstration is intended against Georgetown.

If so, we may have to march also some troops from here.

Make all necessary preparations.

You will be put in command of all troops moving in that direction.

You will please forward, by express, the enclosed note to General Trapier.

Respectfully, your obdt.

servt., G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

The note referred to as addressed to General Trapier was in these terms:

Charleston, Nov. 29th, 1862. Brigadier-General J. H. Trapier:

General,?The enemy's fleet has left Hilton Head.

Destination unknown, but it may be for your district.

Be prepared for their reception.

See to the provisions, ammunition, and haversacks of your troops.

Reinforcements will be sent to you from here in case of necessity.

Keep your troops well in hand.

Respectfully, your obdt.

servt., G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

On the 30th General Walker telegraphed that he had nothing further to report about the enemy's fleet, and that all was quiet in his locality.

General Mercer, in his despatch of the same day, said: Nothing seen of the enemy's fleet in this district.

Cars collected ordered to be discharged.

16. The idea of utilizing the gunboat-rams in other localities than the Charleston Harbor, without passing outside the bar, had occupied General Beauregard's mind for some time.

On the 2d of December he issued an order to Major Harris, Chief-engineer, to cut a channel, twenty-five feet wide and thirteen feet deep at high water, in the Wappoo Cut, from the Ashley to the Stono, so that the gunboat-rams might operate in either river, and retake and hold Cole's Island, at the mouth of the Stono, which would enable us to reduce the force on James Island to a minimum.

Major Harris's instructions were to do the work as quietly as possible, in order not to awaken the suspicions of the enemy's gunboats in the Stono, and afford us the opportunity of taking them, and of re-opening our inland water communications with Port Royal, or of obtaining stronger engines for our iron gunboats and rams in Charleston.

17. On the following day General Cooper was telegraphed that the enemy's fleet had returned to Port Royal; and Major Pope was ordered to furnish certain guns, implements, and ammunition to Colonel Colcock, at Ocean Landing, and to General Walker, in the Third Military District.

18. The boom across the channel gave no satisfaction.

General Beauregard determined to give up all work on it, and resort only to a rope obstruction, to be placed in its front.

Major Cheves was instructed accordingly, and was also ordered to turn over to Captain Echols all materials collected for the boom, but to remain in charge of the torpedo constructions for the entrance of the harbor.

He was thanked for the zeal and energy displayed by him in the discharge of his duties, in the face of so many difficulties.

19. An important order was also given to Major Harris in relation to General Raines's submarine batteries.

The Engineers' Department was told to locate them below Simon Bluff, in the Wadmalaw; below Grimball's, in the Dawhee; and in the South Edisto, opposite Aiken's Mills; or at some proper place in the Pon Pon River. Major Harris was also instructed to construct a magazine at Summerville for the safe-keeping of ordnance stores in an emergency.

20. General Ripley was directed to attend to the armament of the two redoubts in rear of Fort Pemberton, and to transfer thither as soon as possible one 24-pounder on siege-carriage from the cremaillere line, and one 24-pounder in barbette from Fort Moultrie or Castle Pinckney.

21. The battery at Church Flats was also ordered to be converted at once into a small enclosed work, to hold two 12-pounder smooth-bore guns, an 18-pounder, and two 6-pounder light pieces, to be taken from different works indicated and placed in position on the land-front.

The foregoing synopsis is presented to the reader to show that General Beauregard's attention was turned to the minutest details of the service?details which he knew to be of great importance in all military operations; and it is a fact worthy of note that all orders given and executed in relation to any portion of his vast command emanated, directly or indirectly, from him alone.

The epithet of felix, so often applied to him during the war, and alluded to by Mr. Pollard, in The Lost Cause, can be explained in no other way. It was due, not to his having been in reality more favored by chance?some would say luck?than any other commander, but mainly, if not altogether, because of his incessant toil and vigilance.

Experrectus, it is suggested, would have been more appropriate than felix.

22. The following communication, forwarded to the War Department by General Beauregard, is now submitted.

It shows how well-founded was his complaint of the slowness of Major Childs's work at the Charleston Arsenal:

Charleston, Dec. 10th, 1862. Genl. Samuel Cooper, Richmond, Va.:

Guns are now being rifled and banded here, under my orders, at the rate of one per two and a half days, instead of thirty-five days, as heretofore.

Cannot a rifling and banding establishment be added to foundery at Savannah for guns there? G. T. Beauregard.

23. Turning his thoughts towards the defence of that part of Florida included in his command, General Beauregard caused the following instructions to be written to General Cobb:

Headquarters, Department of S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Dec. 10th, 1862.

General,?Your communication of the 3d instant has been duly received and considered by the Commanding General, who instructs me to answer it as follows:

Captain Moreno was at these headquarters some days ago, and received verbal instructions to this effect: The Chattahoochee is to be obstructed at Fort Gaines, and a battery to be erected, to cover the obstructions, for two 32 and one 24 pounder pieces.

At Rack Bluff, fifty-four miles above the junction with Flint River, another obstruction is to be established, with three batteries commanding it, one for three 32-pounders, one for two 24-pounders, and the third for two 18-pounder guns.

At the Narrows, at Fulton's Bend, on the Appalachicola, sixteen miles below junction with the Flint River, other obstructions and a battery for one 24 and one 18 pounder gun are likewise to be constructed.

In this way will be disposed the twelve pieces which Captain Moreno has available at present.

The positions just named are all regarded as favorable for the end in view.

Captain Moreno will be further instructed to examine Flint River, with a view to finding a good position (on the north bank, if possible) for a battery for three or five guns, and obstructions not to exceed five hundred yards distant from the work.

Heavier guns will be procured, if possible.

In relation to the suggested danger to be apprehended that the enemy may land in force at St. Mark's, march via Tallahassee, or by a more direct route, to the left of that place, on the Appalachicola River, and thus turn the obstructions, it is the opinion of the Commanding General that the distance and character of the country to be traversed will be found highly unfavorable for such an attempt.

To insure success or guard against serious disaster, the enemy would be obliged to move in larger force than he can bring to bear for such an enterprise at present, it is believed. * * *

Any force landing at St. Mark's or Port Leon must necessarily have with it its own means of transportation; for as soon as a descent on the coast should be made in such force as to indicate such an expedition, nothing were easier than for you to cause the timely removal beyond the reach of the enemy of all the means of transportation of the planters in Middle Florida.

In this way a delay would ensue, during which all the defensive resources of Middle Florida and of the adjoining sections of Georgia could be collected for a successful resistance.

Under these circumstances the Commanding General is mainly solicitous that such obstructions should be constructed in the Appalachicola and Chattahoochee rivers, with defensive works to cover them at points which cannot be turned by a force thrown up the Appalachicola by transports supported by gun-boats.

The Commanding General regrets profoundly the utterly inadequate force under your command,

His effective force did not reach eight hundred men, with an extent of territory, from the Suwanee to the Choctawhatchee, of about one hundred and forty miles. but sees at present no way for increasing it. You are authorized, however, in an emergency to call on the Governors of Florida and Georgia for any troops at their disposition.

The General will be pleased for you to communicate your views and wishes freely and fully at all times, and will comply with your requirements to the utmost of his limited powers.

There are certain companies of troops west of the Appalachicola, over which you are to exercise command.

A copy of General Forney's letter on the subject will be transmitted to you.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

P. S.?Since the forgoing was written Captain Moreno has been telegraphed to construct the battery at the Narrows for three guns instead of two, and to substitute two 32-pounders from Fort Gaines for the 18-pounder originally designed for the Narrows work. T. J., C. S.

24. On the 12th of December, General Beauregard informed the War Department, by telegram, that General Banks's fleet had left, suddenly, two days before, with about ten thousand men, diverging from its southern course and making directly for Cape Lookout.

The information, General Beauregard said, could be relied upon.

The enemy had been making preparations for some time past for a descent along the Southern Atlantic coast, and all General Beauregard's disposable troops were held in readiness to move at once to any threatened point of his Department.

To hold his own within its limits was all that he could reasonably hope to do. But, whatever may have been his expectations, he certainly had no idea that troops would be taken from him to reinforce neighboring commands.

Such was the case, however, as will appear by the following telegram:

Richmond, Va., Dec. 13th, 1862. General Beauregard:

General Lee has just telegraphed to General Smith

General G. W. Smith, then commanding in South Virginia and North Carolina. as follows: For Wilmington and the coast of North Carolina, draw reinforcements from North Carolina and General Beauregard.

Other intelligence induces General Smith to conjecture the purpose of the enemy to march, in conjunction with the force from the fleet to be landed at Beaufort (N. C.), on the railroad, and then to assail Wilmington in reverse.

It is recommended to you, in case of a telegram confirmatory of such movements, to act on the suggestion of General Lee, and send reinforcements, if, and to the extent you think it can be done, without too greatly risking your command.

Should communication between Wilmington and this city be broken, you will give to Wilmington special attention and such aid as you can spare.

Of this order General Whiting will be notified. Jas. A. Seddon, Secretary of War.

This telegram was far from explicit, and left upon General Beauregard the responsibility of following or not following its instructions.

He determined, however, to give Generals Whiting and Smith all the assistance in his power, even at the risk of the enemy breaking through his coast-line, by a sudden coup de main ?an eventuality not altogether unlikely, owing to the great resources in men and means of transportation at the disposal of the Federals.

Immediate orders were issued to the district and subdistrict commanders of the Department, and all possible diligence used to hurry on the transfer of the troops.

See telegrams, in Appendix.

On the 14th this letter was written to General Whiting:

General,?I send one of my volunteer aids, Colonel A. G. Rice, with a telegraphic cipher for use between us in cases of importance.

You will please give him all necessary information relative to your present condition, future intentions, and present available means.

I have ordered 5000 men and three light batteries (all excellent troops) to be held in readiness, under Brigadier-General Gist, to be sent to your assistance whenever called for by you, if they can then be spared from here.

Should the contingency contemplated by the War Department occur, and my presence be required by you, I will hasten to join you, although I have little doubt that you will be able to take good care of General Banks and his associates.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard.

On the next day the following despatch was forwarded to the War Department:

Charleston, S. C., Dec. 15th, 1862. General S. Cooper, Richmond, Va.:

I am sending five thousand infantry and three batteries to Wilmington, to be returned as soon as practicable.

All quiet here. G. T. Beauregard.

The force of the enemy was greatly exaggerated, though it might with truth have been put down at twenty thousand men. His object was never well understood, nor was it at any time very well defined.

He certainly failed to accomplish what his movements seemed to indicate as his purpose.

General Beauregard's direct co-operation was desired by Generals Whiting and Smith.

The latter was of opinion that, should Banks's forces unite with Foster's, as reported, more troops would be needed from General Beauregard, and that he could come over with them, as all geographical lines should then be considered as no longer existing.

But General Smith's apprehensions were not realized.

On the 18th, from Goldsboroa, whither he thought the Carolina and Georgia troops should be sent, he forwarded this despatch:

General G. T. Beauregard:

The enemy's army have gone to Newbern, moving in great haste.

And on the same day he also telegraphed as follows:

General G. T. Beauregard:

The enemy burned the railroad bridge yesterday.

They were in force more than twenty thousand.

Retired during the night towards Wilmington, devastating the country as they go. I have not transportation sufficient for ammunition even.

Will move as soon as possible.

They have a large army, and I believe are aiming at Wilmington.

The reason for such great haste on the part of the enemy was not perceptible, as General Smith's forces did not exceed six thousand men, without cavalry, and exclusive of the troops sent by General Beauregard, which, owing to unavoidable delays from Wilmington, had not reached their destination in time.

On the other hand, the danger apparently threatening General Whiting's Department was not a serious one; and this expedition, from which so much was expected at the North, proved to be a complete failure.

Less than three days after these events General Beauregard was informed, through Colonel Clinch, commanding in Southeast Georgia, that the enemy's gunboats had left St. Simon's Bay, on their way to Charleston, which, it was reported, would soon be attacked, by land and water.

This news was in some degree confirmed by the following telegram from the Secretary of War:

Richmond, Dec. 24th, 1862. General Beauregard:

Information from L. Heylinger, a friend to our cause in Nassau?with the assurance that it comes from New York by a trustworthy source?states that the attack on Charleston will be made, about the holidays, by four ironclads.

This news has not got into the papers. Jas. A. Seddon, Secretary of War.

The substance of the foregoing despatch being repeated the next day, General Beauregard began to prepare for the emergency.

As might have been expected, his first step was to recall his troops from North Carolina.

He telegraphed General Whiting to that effect, and at the same time authorized him to select either a 42-pounder rifled gun or a 10-inch columbiad, which would be sent him from Richmond to Charleston, and to use it for the defence of Wilmington.

General Whiting, in a letter dated December 31st, thanked General Beauregard for his readiness to assist him, and took occasion to say, in his characteristic manner, that, having served under him at the opening of the war, he would ask nothing better than to continue doing so until the very end.

Meanwhile, on the 27th, General Beauregard received the following telegram from Colonel William Porcher Miles:

Have appealed to President in vain for the two 7-inch guns.

Says they belong to navy, and must go to Mobile, for floating-battery just finished and waiting for guns.

Secretary of War did all he could for us.

General Beauregard was astonished, for the President knew? or believed, which amounted to the same thing?that Charleston was on the eve of an attack.

On the other hand, he should have been aware that no real danger threatened Mobile at that time; and yet, in spite of repeated entreaties, he preferred acceding to the request of General Forney, as though (even admitting that both cities were equally menaced) Charleston were not of more importance than Mobile to the safety of the Confederacy.

Chapter 29:

Delay of the Federal attack on Charleston.

General Beauregard makes arrangements for concentration of troops by rail.

his letter to General Ripley.

his desire to test the merits of the two ironclad rams.

Commodore Ingraham adopts his suggestion.

the Federal fleet is attacked on the 11th.

the Palmetto State Disables the Mercedita, and gives Chase to two other steamers.

the Chicora sets fire to a propeller, Cripples the Quaker City, and Disables the Keystone State.

the whole blockading fleet Retires.

the blockade of Charleston Harbor undoubtedly raised.

General Pemberton's error in abandoning the defences of the Stono.

Federal gunboats run up the Stono.

General Beauregard plans the capture of the Isaac Smith.

Colonel Yates's report.

attack upon Genesis Point Battery.

Federal monitor crippled and forced to withdraw.

General Beauregard's letter to General Ripley.

his dread of a night attack on Sumter.

second attack on Fort McAllister.

small force in General Beauregard's Department.

he demands additional State troops from Governor Bonham.

preparation made for the impending attack on Charleston.>

Christmas week and the holidays had come, were gone, and the Federal attack on Charleston had not taken place.

The rumors circulated were generally well-founded, but the preparations necessary for the accomplishment of so formidable a project consumed more time than had been anticipated.

The delay was of advantage to General Beauregard, as it gave him additional time for the completion of his various arrangements.

Foreseeing the eventual necessity of a rapid concentration of troops by rail at any threatened points, in or out of his Department, he caused an earnest request to be sent to the President of the Northeastern Railroad, for the adoption of more efficient measures on the line from Charleston to Wilmington; he drew attention to the necessity of accumulating wood at various stations, and of increasing the personnel required for swift and unencumbered running, under any emergency.

The Georgia troops sent back to Savannah were ordered to Charleston, so as to be ready, if necessary, to go again to Wilmington, where, it was reported on the 6th, the enemy might make his first attempt.

General Bonham, who had succeeded the Honorable F. W. Pickens as Governor of South Carolina, was urged to make all timely preparations for the impending Federal expedition, should Charleston, and not Wilmington and Weldon, become the point of attack.

General Beauregard had long studied the problem of how best to deal with the Federal monitors, in the event of their forcing a passage into the harbor of Charleston.

The following letter gives one of the conclusions at which he had arrived:

Headquarters, Department, S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Jan. 15th, 1863. Brig.-Genl. R. S. Ripley, Commanding First Military Dist., etc.:

General,?The Commanding General wishes you to organize and train at least six boarding boat parties, with a view to attacking, at night, any of the enemy's ironclads that may succeed in penetrating the harbor.

The men should be armed with revolvers, if practicable, and provided with blankets, with which to close all apertures; also with iron wedges and sledges, to stop the tower from revolving; with bottles of burning-fluid, to throw into the tower; with leather bags of powder, to throw into the smoke-stack; and with ladders of about ten feet in length, to storm the tower in case of need.

The boats should be provided with muffled oars, with water-tight casks secured under the seats, to give buoyancy, in case of injury to the boats from any cause.

The men should each, likewise, be furnished with a life-preserver.

For such a service it will be best to call for volunteers.

Respectfully, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

The plan proposed and the details given for its execution might not have been successfully carried out, but the object in view was well worth the experiment.

General Beauregard was of opinion that, in besieged places and while awaiting an attack, it is always judicious to keep the troops busy with or interested in some work or project, even should neither be of real importance.

A spirit of cheerfulness is thus maintained, and no uneasiness or disaffection is allowed to grow among the men.

Another project upon which he was very much bent was, to induce Commodore Ingraham to test the efficiency of his two ironclad gunboat-rams, the Palmetto State and the Chicora, the first under Captain Rutledge, the second under Captain Tucker.

There were also three small harbor steamers, the Governor Clinch, the Ettiwan, and the Chesterfield, which could be used as tenders in co-operation with the two former vessels.

General Beauregard advised a night attack by the Confederate rams against the wooden fleet of the enemy, and felt sure that the blockade might be raised, or, at any rate, that considerable damage could thus be effected.

Commodore Ingraham adopted the suggestion, and, having made all necessary preparations, on the 30th of January, at 11.30 P. M., left his anchorage on board the Palmetto State, in company with the Chicora, and steamed down to the bar; both vessels crossing it at about 4.30 A. M. on the 31st.

The sea was smooth, the weather propitious; and the Federal fleet, resting, as usual, in complete security, it realized the danger threatening only when the two Confederate rains were already in its midst.

The Palmetto State boldly gave out her name, and, making for a steamer immediately ahead?the Mercedita?struck and fired into her before she well knew what had befallen her. Disabled, and reported to be in a sinking condition, she called for relief, and instantly surrendered.

A second and a third steamer were successively chased by the Palmetto State, but, taking advantage of their superior speed, steered to the southward, and soon ran out of range.

Meanwhile, the Chicora, after setting fire to a schooner-rigged propeller, and engaging and crippling the Quaker City, ran into and fired a steamer supposed to be the Keystone State, forcing her to strike her flag.

Say what the Federal reports may, it is none the less a fact that, before dawn of that day, the stampede of the blockaders was complete, and that, in the space of less than two hours time, not a sail of the entire Federal fleet was nearer than seven miles from its usual anchorage off the Charleston Harbor.

After thus scattering and driving off their enemy, the two Confederate vessels quietly steamed towards the entrance of Beach Channel, where they finally anchored at 8.45 A. M. They remained there fully seven hours, waiting for the tide;

Commodore Ingraham's report to Mr. Mallory, February 2d, 1863. and it must have been at least 3.30 P. M. when they recrossed the bar on their return to the city.

Up to that time not a blockader?still less the entire fleet?had given sign of an intention to venture back to its former position.

And this continued to be the case during the whole day and night of January 31st.

This easy dispersion of the blockading squadron and the material injury inflicted upon it show how wise was General Beauregard's advice, and what might have been accomplished had a still bolder course and a less generous one been pursued by the flagofficer commanding.

It would not be fair, however, to detract from the merits of an enterprise which, so far as it went, reflected honor on the officers and men engaged in it. It should not be forgotten that Commodore Ingraham had many serious obstacles to contend with: first, the weakness of the machinery of the two boats; second, their very heavy and objectionable draught; and, third, the fact that neither could be looked upon as altogether seaworthy.

But, whatever may have been the causes that prevented a more brilliant result, the official statement, as made by General Beauregard, Commodore Ingraham, and the foreign consuls then on the spot, was true: the blockade of the port of Charleston, for the time being, had been raised, and the hostile fleet guarding its outer harbor had been unquestionably dispersed.

The reader is aware that the outer works planned, commenced, and partially completed, in 1861, by General Beauregard, at the entrance of the Stono, had been abandoned by General Pemberton for inner defences believed by him to afford better protection.

He removed from Cole's Island, at the month of the Stono, eleven guns of large calibre which had protected the entrance.

The river was immediately entered, and a permanent lodgment of Federal troops was made on the southeast end of James Island.

This proved to be a serious error upon General Pemberton's part.

The enemy's gunboats, now unhindered, went up the Stono as near Fort Pemberton as safety permitted, and were thus enabled to fire their long-range rifled guns upon our camps on James and John's islands, thereby causing much annoyance to our troops, and occasionally killing a few men.

It had been ascertained that one of these Federal gunboats? the Isaac Smith, carrying nine heavy guns?was the most enterprising of them all; that she approached nearest to the fort, and, under the shelter of a high bluff, with banked fires, often remained there the whole night, unconcerned as if afloat on Federal waters.

While the naval attack just described was being prepared General Beauregard determined to put a stop to the annoying and, thus far, unimpeded incursions of the Isaac Smith. He called the Commander of the First Military District to a conference at Department Headquarters, and it was there agreed that masked batteries should be immediately erected on the banks of the Stono at points carefully selected, which the Federal gunboat was known to pass, and especially near the spot where she had been often seen to lie at anchor.

She was to be allowed to ascend the river unmolested as far as she might see fit to go, when our batteries were to open upon her suddenly at short range, and, thus cutting off her retreat, compel her to surrender to our forces.

The execution of the plan and its general outlines, with such modifications as circumstances might render necessary, was intrusted to Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph A. Yates, of the 1st South Carolina Artillery, stationed at Fort Sumter.

We submit his official report, and thus acquaint the reader with the details of the engagement:

Headquarters, special expedition, Charleston, S. C., Feb. 1st, 1863. Captain W. F. Nance, A. A. G.:

Captain,?I have the honor to report that, in obedience to instructions from District Headquarters, a secret expedition was organized for the purpose of attacking the enemy's gunboats in Stono River, consisting of the following troops: The siege-train, composed of Captain B. C. Webb's company (A), and Lieutenant S. W. Wilson, Jr., commanding Company B?commanded by Major Charles Allston, Jr.; Captain F. C. Schultz's company (F), Palmetto Light Artillery Battalion; light battery, manned by Captain F. H. Harleston's company (D), 1st South Carolina Artillery (regulars); one Parrott gun, in charge of Lieutenant T. E. Gregg; 3d Howitzers (siege-train). Captain John C. Mitchell's company (I), 1st South Carolina Artillery (regulars); Company H, Captain S. M. Roof; and Company I, Lieutenant M. Gunter commanding (20th Regiment South Carolina Volunteers), acted as sharp-shooters.

On the afternoon of January 30th, at 4.30 o'clock, the enemy's gunboat, Isaac Smith, mounting one 30-pounder Parrott gun and eight 8-inch heavy columbiads, came up the Stono River, passing our batteries (which were masked at Legare's Point Place and at Grimball's, on John's Island), and came to anchor a little above them.

She was immediately fired upon from our guns posted at Grimball's, on John's Island, when she attempted to make good her escape, fighting our batteries (which had then opened) on John's Island as she passed.

She succeeded in getting as far as Legare's Point Place, when she dropped anchor and unconditionally surrendered.

We took prisoners her entire crew, consisting of eleven officers, one hundred and five men, and three negroes.

The enemy's loss was twenty-five killed and wounded; on our side one man wounded (since died).

Major Allston commanded the batteries at Grimball's, on John's Island; Captain Harleston those at Point Place. Captain Mitchell commanded the sharp-shooters.

Lieutenant Charles Inglesby, 1st South Carolina Artillery, acted as Adjutant.

The officers and men under my command behaved with great coolness and bravery, fighting their guns without breastworks, entirely exposed to the enemy's fire within two or three hundred yards.

The Smith has been towed up the Stono and put under the guns of Fort Pemberton.

In closing my report, I will not omit to mention the very signal service rendered by the Stono scouts, and also by Captain John (B. L.) Walpole.

The members of the Signal Corps detailed to accompany the expedition discharged their duties with great efficiency.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Joseph A. Yates, Lieut.-Colonel comdg. expedition.

The Isaac Smith had been but slightly damaged.

She was speedily repaired, and, being now named the Stono, became a guard-boat in Charleston Harbor, under Captain W. J. Hartstein, C. S. N., of whom mention has already been made in one of the early chapters of this work.

The enemy was unfortunate at this time in General Beauregard's Department.

To the precipitate flight of his blockading fleet, and to his loss in the Stono, was added a third and more significant reverse, which we are about briefly to describe.

In the early morning of the 1st of February appeared, opposite the battery at Genesis Point (Fort McAllister), in the Georgia District, a Federal ironclad of the monitor class, accompanied by three gunboats and a mortar-boat.

They steamed up to within about one thousand yards of the work, dropped anchor, and soon began a heavy cannonade.

The armament of the Genesis Point battery consisted of one 8-inch columbiad, one 42-pounder, five 32-pounders, and one 10-inch mortar.

The chief aim of the ironclad (afterwards known to be the single-turreted monitor Montauk) was directed against the 8-inch columbiad, just abreast of which she had purposely taken position.

She fired 11 and 15 inch shells.

The parapet fronting the columbiad was breached, so as to leave the gun exposed; but the cannoneers remained at their post to the last, refusing to be relieved.

The fight continued for more than four hours, and then suddenly ceased.

The monitor slowly and silently retired, it was believed, in a damaged condition.

This was an encouraging result, and showed that ironclads might not be so formidable as they were thought, against sand-batteries.

Very little was known at that time of the capacity of the newly-built and so much talked ? of Federal monitors and ironclads.

Hence the importance of the result secured by this attack.

General Beauregard had drawn his conclusions accordingly, and, in prevision of the danger threatening the works in front of Charleston, wrote the following letter to General Ripley:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Feb. 8th, 1863. Brig.-Genl. R. S. Ripley, Commanding First Mil. Dist., Charleston, S. C.:

General,?The recent attack of the enemy's ironclad monitor Montauk on the battery at Genesis Point (the first day at about one mile, and the second at about eight hundred or one thousand yards) would seem to indicate that the enemy is not so confident of the invulnerability of this kind of naval vessels.

But I consider also that the attack on Sumter, whenever it takes place, will probably be made at long range, with their heaviest guns and mortars.

This being admitted, they will necessarily attack it where it is weakest?i. e., the gorge, southeast angle, and east face?taking their position close along the eastern shore of Morris Island, after silencing Battery Wagner.

By adopting this plan their steamers, gunboats, etc., would be, moreover, farther removed from the batteries of Sullivan's Island.

The enemy may also establish land rifled and mortar batteries on the sandhills along the sea-shore of Morris Island, at the distance of from one to two miles from Sumter, as was done in the reduction of Fort Pulaski last year.

He might possibly send one or more monitors during the night to take a position in the small channel north of Cummings's Point, within close range, to batter down the gorge of Sumter and endeavor to blow up the magazines.

That mode of attack, being the one most to be apprehended, should be guarded against as well as our limited means will permit?first, by transferring as many heavy rifled guns as can be spared from the other faces of the fort to the gorge-angle and face already referred to; and the Brooke's rifled gun now on its way here from Richmond must likewise be put there, substituting in its place at Fort Johnson the 10-inch now expected from that city, so locating it as to fire towards Morris Island when required; secondly, a strong fieldwork should be thrown up as soon as sufficient labor can be procured on Cummings's Point, open in the gorge towards Fort Sumter, to act besides as a kind of traverse to this work from the fire of the batteries located by the enemy along the sea-shore of Morris Island.

The Cummings's Point Battery should be armed with the heaviest and longest ranged guns we may be able to obtain for that purpose.

The introduction of heavy rifled guns and ironclad steamers in the attack of masonry forts has greatly changed the condition of the problem applicable to Fort Sumter when it was built; and we must now use the few and imperfect means at our command to increase its defensive features as far as practicable.

The Chief-Engineers of this Department and of the State will be ordered to report to you at once, to confer with you, so as to carry out the views expressed by me in this letter.

Major Harris, Chief-Engineer, has received my instructions relative to locating some of Rain's torpedoes' about Cummings's Point and within the harbor, independently of the electrical torpedoes under the charge of Mr. Waldron.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

What General Beauregard apprehended most, however, was a night attack by the Federal monitors and ironclads.

During a dark night nothing could prevent them from taking a position sufficiently near Fort Sumter, and there opening fire upon it, with almost certain impunity.

By repeating the manoeuvre several nights in succession they might eventually batter down the walls of the fort and dismount most of its guns, or blow up its magazines.

It was evident that Sumter, being a large object, could be seen well enough to be fired at with approximate precision even at night; while the monitors, being small, and lying low in the water, would hardly be discernible from the fort, and, if made to change their positions after each discharge, might render impossible any accuracy of aim on the part of our gunners, who would be left with nothing else to guide them but the flash of the enemy's pieces.

And General Beauregard was of opinion that, by establishing floating lights of different colors at the entrance of the various channels leading into the inner harbor, and by frequent soundings, rendered easy by most excellent coast-survey maps in the possession of the Federal commanders, the plan of attack just described could have been carried out with no serious difficulty, and to the advantage of the enemy, especially if undertaken while the tides were stationary, or nearly so. Fortunately, however, Admiral Dupont, and the other naval commanders having charge of the hostile fleet, did not adopt this very simple mode of attack, against which the guns of Sumter, and of the works around the harbor, would have been almost powerless.

It was with a view to guard against this danger that the following communication was addressed to Commodore Ingraham:

Charleston, S. C., March 1st, 1863.

Sir,?The movements of the enemy in Port Royal Harbor yesterday looked suspicious, and have the appearance of an early movement of some sort.

Thus forewarned, it will appear assuredly the part of prudence to be on the watch.

I must therefore request that the Confederate steamer Stono should take her position as a guard-boat, in advance of the forts, as far as practicable to-night, and thereafter every night, for the present.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

Thinking also of the reinforcements he might have to order from General Walker's district, he, on the same day, instructed the President of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad to keep in readiness, at Pocotaligo Station, a train of cars capable of carrying a thousand men. On the 2d General Walker was written to, and advised as to the course he should pursue to protect the trestlework across the Savannah River and hold the railroad line to Charleston.

All your movements, he was told, must look to the final defence of Charleston, where I shall concentrate all my troops when required.

The enemy had evidently some design to accomplish up the Ogeechee River, for, on the 28th of February, he again attacked Fort McAllister, with an ironclad, three gunboats, and a mortarboat.

The engagement was another disappointment to the naval officer commanding as, after two hours cannonading, which only resulted in the crippling of the Confederate steamer Rattlesnake, then aground a short distance off, the attacking vessels ceased firing and dropped down the river.

See Captain G. W. Anderson's report, in Appendix. The attempt was renewed on the 3d of March by three of the enemy's monitors?the Montauk being one of them?and was kept up for more than seven hours, but without damaging our battery, which, upon inspection by Major Harris, after the engagement, was found in good condition in every respect.

See also, in Appendix, Major Harris's report. Alluding to this affair, General Beauregard, from Charleston, March 4th, 1863, forwarded the following telegram to General Cooper:

Fort McAllister has again repulsed enemy's attack.

Ironclads retired at 8 P. M. yesterday; mortar-boats shelled until 6 o'clock this morning.

All damages repaired during night; 8-inch columbiads mounted, and fort good as ever.

No casualties reported.

Result is encouraging.

Enemy's vessels still in sight.

Reduced as were General Beauregard's forces at that time, he was nevertheless called upon to reinforce other points of his Department.

His letter of March 4th to Major H. C. Guerin, Chief of Subsistence, through Captain John M. Otey, A. A. G., showed that the aggregate, present and absent, of the troops in the State of South Carolina was 25,000.

Major Guerin was directed to make his estimates accordingly, adding fifty per cent. for emergencies, and 3000 negroes.

See letter, in Appendix. It was to guard against the apprehended result of such numerical weakness that General Beauregard had demanded additional State troops of Governor Bonham, who declined to accede to his request, on the ground that, should he do so, the planting interests of the State might be materially damaged.

In his reply to the Governor, General Beauregard said he was alive to the sacrifices and hardships which a call on the militia would entail, but considered that the occasion justified him in requiring the presence of every arms-bearing man the State could raise.

His letter ended thus:

In other words, my command is much smaller than the force under General Lee, a year ago, in this State, when the hostile force at Port Royal was not more than half the one now concentrated in that vicinity.

With what resources I have I shall make the best battle I can, conscious that I have done all I could to enlarge those resources in all practicable ways.

In order to prevent night reconnoissances on Morris and Sullivan's islands, General Beauregard now ordered the Commander of the First Military District to patrol the beaches of those two islands with cavalry, to be sent for that purpose from the mainland, and to see to it that Morris Island, which he thought was the more exposed to hostile incursions, should be specially guarded in that way.

See Appendix. And, with the fixed determination to give no respite to the enemy, wherever he could be attacked with apparent hope of success, he assigned Lieutenant-Colonel Yates to the command of another expedition against Federal steamers which were attempting to do in Winyaw Bay what the Isaac Smith had previously done in the Stono.

General Beauregard was also very anxious to try there the merit of Captain Lee's torpedo-boats, which he was having prepared for that purpose.

The more threatening the movements of the enemy appeared, the more active were General Beauregard's preparations to meet his attack.

On the 23d he instructed the Commander of the First Military District, first, to confer with Commodore Ingraham in relation to a proposed night-attack on the monitors by the small boat flotilla, now thoroughly manned and ready for effective work; second, to get a sufficient supply of wood and coal for the steamer Stono, should she be returned to the land-forces by the Navy Department; third, vigilantly to guard the New Bridge across the Ashley against accidental or intentional destruction by fire.

On the same day Major Harris was directed to complete at once the obstructions on the Wappoo Cut; to visit Battery Wall, at White Point, and determine whether or not it was strong enough to resist such projectiles as the enemy might be provided with, should he attempt to push into Charleston Harbor.

He was also requested to inspect the bridge over Rantowles Creek, and, if necessary, to repair it without loss of time.

Very shortly afterwards (on the 29th) General Beauregard ordered his Chief Quartermaster to have ready for use whatever rolling-stock might be required to transport rapidly to Charleston, by the Northeastern Railroad, say 6000 men, and, by the Savannah and Charleston Railroad, about 10,000.

He was preparing all the means in his power to give the enemy as warm a reception as circumstances would allow.

And, as usual with him, no detail, however insignificant in appearance, was neglected.

He really saw to everything, and gave, himself, verbally or otherwise, all the instructions necessary to the full execution of his orders.

On the 31st the following instructions were forwarded to Brigadier-Generals Hagood and Walker:

All heavy baggage must be removed to some secure place for storage.

The troops must be held in light marching order, ready for any emergency and movements of the utmost celerity.

The planters must be warned of the impendency of invasion, and advised to remove their negroes to some more secure localities.

And on the same day the following letter was addressed to General Mercer, commanding the District of Georgia:

I am instructed to direct you to organize and hold ready, in light marching order, a command of at least 2500 men, including three light batteries, to move on this place (Charleston), via Augusta, if necessary, at a moment's notice.

The cars need not be held in depot at present, but the presidents of railroads interested must be duly advised of the possible exigency. Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

Chapter 30:

General Beauregard orders the Cummings's Point Battery to be strengthened.

Citadel Cadets assigned to the New Bridge defences.

the ironclads cross the bar on the 5th.

Admiral Dupont makes his attack on the 7th.

order in which the ships came up.

their armament.

Admiral Dupont's plan of battle.

Fort Sumter the Chief object of attack.

its reduction supposed to be inevitable.

commanders of Forts Sumter and Moultrie, and the various batteries engaged.

how they were armed.

number of guns employed by the Confederates.

cautious approach of the monitors.

Fort Moultrie opens fire on them.

Fort Sumter does likewise.

description of the fight.

Fort Sumter Cripples the New Ironsides.

the Passaic Withdraws from the fight.

two more ironclads forced to retire.

the Keokuk engages Fort Sumter.

she is badly damaged.

importance of the defeat inflicted on the enemy.

the Keokuk sinks near Morris Island on the 8th.

on the 12th the monitors steam, and are towed southward.

condition of Sumter after the attack.

exhibit of shots fired on both sides.

fleet keeps outside of line of torpedoes and rope obstructions.

General Beauregard's efforts to organize an attack on the monitors with torpedo-boats.

his letter to Lieutenant Webb, C. S. N.

his plan foiled by the withdrawal of the fleet.

letter to General Cooper.

failure to complete torpedo-rams and gunboats.>

Being still apprehensive that the enemy's monitors might take a position in main ship channel, as near the shore as prudence would admit, and attempt to batter down the southeast angle and gorge-wall of Fort Sumter?for that was its most vulnerable part ?General Beauregard, on the 4th of April, ordered the Commander of the First Military District to add a 10-inch columbiad, or a 42-pounder rifled gun, to the Cummings's Point Battery, the object being to keep the Federal ironclads as far off as possible and, at the same time, increase the efficiency of that important work.

The sequel proved the wisdom of this precaution.

The day following, the Commanders of the First District and of James Island were given specific instructions as to the reinforcements, and guns and mortars were called for and received from Georgia.

The Citadel Cadets, of Charleston, were anxious to take part in their country's defence, and their services having been accepted, they were assigned to the works protecting the New Bridge, on the Ashley River.

The 2500 men from Savannah had arrived, and the Chief of Subsistence was ordered to make proper provision for them.

The storm was evidently approaching.

Its premonitory signs, as reported by the Signal Corps, were?first, the increase of the enemy's force in the Stono and the North Edisto; second, the unusual activity visible among the vessels composing the fleet.

In fact, during the evening of the 5th, the ironclads, including the frigate New Ironsides and eight monitors, had actually crossed the bar, and anchored in the main ship channel.

Though out of range as yet, they had not before approached so near.

There was but one conclusion to draw: the long-delayed and anxiously expected attack was now about to take place.

At last, on the 7th of April, a little after 2 P M., the monitors advanced for action.

It was with a feeling akin to relief that officers and men stepped into their positions, at the different batteries and pieces assigned them.

The long roll was beaten.

There would have been loud cheering, had not discipline and strict orders prevented.

By order of the Commandant at Sumter three flags, the garrison, regimental, and Palmetto flags, were hoisted; the band played Dixie, and thirteen guns were fired, to salute the ensigns that floated high in the air, as if to say, We are ready!

Admiral Dupont's ships came up in the following order: four monitors?the Weehawken, the Passaic, the Montauk, the Pa-tapsco; then the New Ironsides, as flag-ship; then the Catskill, the Nantucket, the Nahant, and, bringing up the rear, the doubleturreted monitor Keokuk.

They were commanded by experienced and gallant officers of the United States Navy.

Their armament, including that of the New Ironsides, consisted of thirtythree guns of the heaviest calibre ever used in war, to wit, 15 and 11 inch Dahlgren guns, and 8-inch rifled pieces.

The steam-ers Canandaigua, Housatonic, Unadilla, Wissahickon, and Huron constituted the reserve, and were kept outside the bar.

It may be of interest to submit an extract from the plan of attack and order of battle, adopted by the Admiral and distributed to the various commandants who took part in the engagement:

* * * The squadron will pass up the main ship channel without returning the fire of the batteries on Morris Island, unless signal should be made to commence action.

The ships will open fire on Fort Sumter when within easy range, and will take up a position to the northward and westward of that fortification, engaging its left or northeast face at a distance of from one thousand to eight hundred yards, firing low, and aiming at the centre embrasures.

The commanding officers will instruct their officers and men to carefully avoid wasting a shot, and will enjoin upon them the necessity of precision rather than rapidity of fire.

Each ship will be prepared to render every assistance possible to vessels that may require it.

The special code of signals prepared for the ironclad vessels will be used in action.

After the reduction of Fort Sumter

The italics are ours. it is probable the next point of attack will be the batteries on Morris Island. * * * F. S. Dupont, Rear-Admiral, Comdg. South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

From the order given above it is manifest that there was not only hope, but a feeling of certainty, on the part of Admiral Dupont that the fleet would succeed in reducing Port Sumter, and against that work alone was to be hurled the combined fury of his attacking squadron.

This Confederate stronghold was doomed.

The Admiral was to attack it, necessarily reduce it, and then destroy or capture the other works around the harbor.

How his turreted monitors went about the accomplishment of their object will be farther shown, as we proceed with the narrative of the engagement of the 7th, characterized at the time by a Northern correspondent who witnessed the scene as sublimely terrific.

Let us flow see what works we had with which to confront the formidable armada, so carefully and expensively prepared by the North, for the capture of Charleston.

We mention only those that were engaged against the fleet.

First among them was Fort Sumter, under Colonel Alfred Rhett, with Lieutenant-Colonel J. A. Yates, commanding the parapet guns, and Major Ormsby Blanding, in charge of the casemate batteries.

The garrison consisted of seven companies of the First South Carolina Artillery (Regulars), under Captains D. G. Fleming, F. H. Harleston, J. C. King, J. C. Mitchel, J. R. Macbeth, W. H. Peronneau, and C. W. Parker.

The guns brought into action were: two 7-inch Brookes, four 10-inch columbiads, two 9-inch Dahlgrens, four 8-inch columbiads, four 8-inch navy guns, seven banded and rifled 42-pounders, one banded and rifled 32-pounder, thirteen smooth-bore 32-pounders, and seven 10-inch sea-coast mortars?in all, forty-four guns and mortars.

Next in importance was Fort Moultrie, under Colonel William Butler, assisted by Major T. M. Baker, with five companies of the 1st South Carolina Infantry (Regulars), commanded by Captains T. A. Huguenin, R. Press Smith, B. S. Burnett, C. H. Rivers, and Lieutenant E. A. Erwin.

The guns engaged were: nine 8-inch columbiads, five rifled and banded 32-pounders, five smooth-bore 32-pounders, and two 10-inch mortars?in all, twenty-one guns and mortars.

Battery Bee, on Sullivan's Island, was under Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Simkins, with three companies of the 1st South Carolina Infantry (Regulars), Captains R. de Treville, Warren Adams, and W. Tabourn.

The guns it used against the fleet were five 10-inch and one 8-inch columbiad?six guns.

Battery Beauregard was under Captain J. A. Sitgreaves, 1st South Carolina Artillery (Regulars), with two companies, one from Fort Sumter, the other from Fort Moultrie.

The first was commanded by Lieutenant W. E. Erwin, the second by Captain J. H. Warley.

The guns engaged were one 8-inch columbiad and two 32-pounders, rifled.

Battery Wagner was under Major C. K. Huger, with two companies belonging to the 1st South Carolina Artillery (Regulars). One gun was engaged?a 32-pounder, rifled.

At Cummings's Point Battery, Lieutenant H. R. Lesesne commanded, with a detachment of the 1st South Carolina Artillery (Regulars). The guns engaged were one 10-inch columbiad and one 8-inch Dahlgren?two guns.

Thus, it will appear that sixty-seven guns were actually used in the engagement, and not more than nine mortars, making an aggregate of seventy-six, instead of the three hundred, three hundred and fifty, or four hundred, erroneously reported by Northern correspondents and other writers concerning the events now occupying our attention.

There were not three hundred guns mounted in all the defences of Charleston, and the guns of the second and third circles of fire were not engaged.

So states an ex-member of Admiral Dahlgren's staff in a work, well written and, as a whole, remarkably fair, entitled Leaves from a Lawyer's Life, Afloat and Ashore.

Charles Cowley, late Judge-Advocate of the South Atlantic blockading squadron. A And it is but fair to add that this statement is entirely correct.

Captain P. A. Mitchell, with a few companies from the 20th South Carolina Infantry, had been placed on Sullivan's Island, to prevent an assault by land, should any be attempted; and Lieutenant-Colonel Dargan, of the 21st South Carolina, had been charged with the same duty on Morris Island.

General Beauregard had also requested Commodore Ingraham to join in the movement, with the two gunboat-rams Palmetto State and Chicora, should circumstances allow it. The Commodore and Commanders Tucker and Rutledge readily prepared to do so, and took up their position accordingly.

Neither vessel, however, participated in the engagement.

Sullivan's Island, constituting the second subdivision of the First Military District of South Carolina, was, at that time, under Brigadier-General J. H. Trapier, lately withdrawn from Georgetown for that purpose by order of General Beauregard. Colonel Lawrence M. Keitt was the Commandant of the post, and had stationed himself at Battery Bee, where he remained during the fight.

Morris Island, the third subdivision, was under Colonel R. F. Graham. Brigadier-General Gist had charge of the first subdivision, composed of James Island and St. Andrew's Parish.

He was at Fort Johnson, with his staff, in order to be as near as possible to the scene of action, and take part in it, if necessary.

Brigadier-General Ripley, whose command included the three subdivisions just referred to, had selected the recognized post of danger ?Fort Sumter?for his headquarters during the engagement.

He was in Charleston, however, at the beginning of the attack; and when, a few minutes later, he hurried off, with the declared intention of going to the fort, the concentration of fire against it was already such as to induce him to change his course and land at Battery Bee, on Sullivan's Island, where he remained until the fight was over.

Steadily, but slowly and cautiously, did the monitors advance.

Their commanders had been warned that rope obstructions, connected with torpedoes containing heavy charges of powder, were thrown across the channel into which they must steer their way. It was said by Northern correspondents, and officially repeated by Mr. Seward, that the Weehawken, their leading vessel, at the outset fell into these entanglements, and that the others, fearing a like mishap, sheered off at once, and did not occupy the position they had been originally ordered to take.

This report is erroneous and needs correction, for, as will be seen, none of the ironclads ever reached the Confederate line of obstructions.

Another cause must, therefore, be assigned for the slow advance of the Weehawken, and for the new and safer position selected on that day by the attacking fleet.

The following communication, forwarded, six months later, by General Beauregard to General Cooper, relative to the reasons alleged at; Washington for the failure of this grand expedition against Charleston, confirms the foregoing statement.

The reader will, no doubt, read it with interest, as a part of the history of this period of the war:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Oct. 15th, 1863. General Samuel Cooper, Adjt. and Insp.-Genl., Richmond, Va.:

General,?In a published circular (No. 39) of the State Department at Washington, signed by Mr. William H. Seward, and addressed to the diplomatic agents of this Government abroad, I notice a statement relative to the defeat of the enemy's ironclad fleet in the attack on Fort Sumter, on the 7th of April last, so contrary to the facts of the case, that I feel called upon, as Commander of this Military Department, most emphatically to deny the truth of that version, which is as follows: An attack by the fleet, on the 7th of April last, upon the forts and batteries which defend the harbor (of Charleston) failed because the rope obstructions in the channel fouled the screws of the ironclads, and compelled them to return, after passing through the fire of the batteries.

These vessels bore the fire of the forts, although some defects of construction were revealed by the injuries they received.

The crews passed through an unexampled cannonade with singular impunity.

Not a life was lost on board a monitor.

From the enclosed reports of Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley, Colonel William Butler, and Colonel Alfred Rhett, who commanded at that period respectively this Military District, the batteries on Sullivan's Island and Fort Sumter, it will be seen that?


No ironclad came nearer than about six hundred yards of the rope obstructions except the disabled Keokuk, which dropped in, to about three hundred yards, before it could get again under way, but in a sinking condition; consequently, the propellers of the ironclads never could have become entangled in the rope obstructions.


The ironclads never passed through the fire of the batteries, for they never approached nearer than from eleven hundred to thirteen hundred yards of the outer batteries, except the Keokuk, which came up to about nine hundred yards, and was sunk.

None of the ironclads came within range of the heaviest batteries in Fort Sumter and on Sullivan's Island, which they would have been compelled to do in entering the harbor.


The fleet did not escape without material injury, for one of the number, the Keokuk, was sunk, and its armament is now in position for the defence of Charleston in our own batteries.

Another monitor had to be sent to New York for extensive repairs, and several others were sent to Port Royal, also for repairs.


Not a life may have been lost in the ironclads, but, on examination of the wreck of the Keokuk, its hull was found penetrated, and the 11-inch round-shots and 7-inch rifled bolts had made clean holes through its turrets.

Several U. S. flags, three officer's swords, pistols, etc., a quantity of bloody clothes and blankets, were found on board.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

At three o'clock P. M., and as soon as the leading ironclad had apparently come within range, the Commander at Moultrie, believing that the enemy's object was to run by Sumter, ordered fire to be opened.

This explains how the first shot on the assaulting squadron came from Fort Moultrie.

The vessel fired at kept on her course until she approached to within about fourteen hundred yards of Sumter, when she opened upon it with two guns, but without any result.

Colonel Rhett, on the parapet, waited some two or three minutes, and then replied, firing by battery.

Fort Moultrie and batteries Bee and Beauregard did likewise.

The other monitors steamed up to their respective positions, and the action soon became general.

Sumter was evidently the chief object of the attack.

Five turreted ironclads, formed in line of battle, were now pouring a continuous fire upon it, and only sending an occasional shot at Fort Moultrie and batteries Bee and Beauregard.

It was a grand, an impressive, and at the same time a terrible spectacle.

There seemed to be a hail-storm of shot and shell, ploughing up the waters of the bay, apparently submerging each monitor of the fleet, and shattering the massive walls of the grim fortress that stood sentry over the old city.

About three-quarters of an hour after the report of the first gun was heard the New Ironsides advanced to within some sevteen hundred yards of Fort Sumter and opened upon it. This immediately drew on that frigate (Admiral Dupont's flag-ship) the concentrated fire of Forts Sumter and Moultrie and of all the batteries.

It was more than she could stand, as became evident by the hurried manner in which she withdrew out of effective range.

The Passaic had already left the contest, visibly crippled; and the other monitors, which had slowly passed in front of the fort in an ellipse, one of them at a distance of a thousand yards, found themselves exposed to the crushing missiles aimed with deliberate accuracy by our well-trained and intrepid artillerists.

Two of these vessels were now compelled to retire, as the Passaic and the Ironsides had previously done.

At five minutes past four o'clock P. M. the double-turreted monitor Keokuk gallantly advanced, alone, within nine hundred yards of the batteries of Sumter, and one thousand of those of Moultrie.

The fate of her consorts had not deterred her from this attempt, but she soon repented her defiant act; for the guns of our first circle of fire were now directed against her, and she soon abandoned the fight, worsted, and unable to endure the ordeal to which she had been subjected.

Colonel Rhett thus refers to this incident in his official report:

She received our undivided attention, and the effect of our fire was soon apparent.

The wrought-iron bolts from a 7-inch Brooke gun were plainly seen to penetrate her turret and hull, and she retired in forty minutes, riddled and apparently almost disabled.

After being under the fire of our forts and batteries for two hours and twenty-five minutes, at distances varying from nine hundred to seventeen hundred yards, the whole ironclad fleet finally withdrew, and anchored beyond the range of our guns.

The battle was fought.

The day was ours.

In his report, already referred to, Colonel Rhett says:

The enemy's fire was mostly ricochet, and not very accurate; most of their shot passed over the fort, and several to the right and left.

The greater portion of their shots were from thirteen to fourteen hundred yards distant, which appeared to be the extent of their effective range; some shots were from a greater distance, and did not reach the fort at all. * * * With regard to the conduct of the garrison, it is impossible for me to draw any distinction.

Officers and men were alike animated with the same spirit, and I cannot speak in too high terms of their coolness and gallantry throughout the action.

All acted as though they were engaged in practice, and the minutest particulars of drill and military etiquette were preserved.

General Trapier, in his report, says:

It is due to the garrison of Fort Moultrie and their soldierly and accomplished commander, Colonel Butler, that I should not close this report without bearing testimony to the admirable skill, coolness, and deliberation with which they served their guns.

They went?all, men as well as officers?to their work cheerfully and with alacrity, showing that their hearts were in it. There was enthusiasm, but no excitement.

They lost no time in loading their guns, but never fired hastily or without aim.

Of the other works on Sullivan's Island engaged with the enemy on that memorable day he says:

The reports of Colonel Keitt, Lieutenant-Colonel Simkins, and Captain Sitgreaves give me every reason to believe the garrisons of batteries Bee and Beauregard acquitted themselves equally well, and are equally entitled to the thanks and gratitude of their commander and their country.

General Ripley confirmed the above in the following words:

The action was purely of artillery?forts and batteries against the ironclad vessels of the enemy?other means of defence, obstructions and torpedoes, not having come into play.

Fort Sumter was the principal object of the attack, and to that garrison, under its gallant commander, Colonel Alfred Rhett, ably seconded by Lieutenant-Colonel J. A. Yates and Major Ormsby Blanding, and all the officers and men, special credit is due for sustaining the shock, and, with their powerful armament, contributing principally to the repulse.

The garrison of Fort Moultrie, under Colonel William Butler, seconded by Major Baker and the other officers and soldiers, upheld the historic reputation of that fort, and contributed their full share to the result.

The powerful batteries of Battery Bee were commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Simkins, and were served with great effect.

Battery Wagner, under Major C. K. Huger; Cummings's Point Battery, under Lieutenant Lesesne; and Battery Beauregard, under Captain Sitgreaves, all did their duty with devotion and zeal.

From Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley's official report, dated April 13th, 1863, to be found in Record of the Rebellion, vol.

x. (Doc.), pp. 520-522.

General Beauregard, in his official communication to the War Department, dated Charleston, May 24th, 1863, recapitulates as follows the salient features of Admiral Dupont's attack:

The action lasted two hours and twenty-five minutes; but the chief damage is reported by the enemy to have been done in thirty minutes. The Keokuk did not come nearer than nine hundred yards of Fort Sumter.

She was destroyed.

The New Ironsides could not stand the fire at the range of a mile.

Four of her consorts, monitors, were disabled at the distance of not less than thirteen hundred yards. They had only reached the gorge of the harbor, never within it, and were baffled and driven back before reaching our lines of torpedoes and obstructions, which had been constructed as an ultimate defensive resort, as far as they could be provided.

The heaviest batteries had not been employed; therefore it may be accepted, as shown, that these vaunted monitor batteries, though formidable engines of war, after all, are not invulnerable or invincible, and may be destroyed or defeated by heavy ordnance, properly placed and skilfully handled; in reality they have not materially altered the military relations of forts and ships.

On this occasion the monitors operated under the most favorable circumstances.

The day was calm; and the water, consequently, was as stable as that of a river.

Their guns were fired with deliberation, doubtless by trained artillerists.

According to the enemy's statements the fleet fired one hundred and fifty-one shots, eight of which were ascribed to the New Ironsides, three to the Keokuk, and but nine to the Passaic, which was so badly damaged.

Not more than thirty-four shots took effect on the walls of Fort Sumter?a broad mark?which, with the number of discharges, suggests that the monitor arrangement, as yet, is not convenient for accuracy or celerity of fire.

Fort Moultrie and other batteries were not touched in a way to be considered, while in return they threw one thousand three hundred and ninetynine shots.

At the same time Fort Sumter discharged eight hundred and ten shots; making the total number of shots fired two thousand two hundred and nine, of which the enemy reports that five hundred and twenty struck the different vessels?a most satisfactory accuracy, when the smallness of the target is considered.

This precision was due, not only to the discipline and practice of the garrisons engaged, but in no slight degree to an invention of Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph A. Yates, 1st Regiment South Carolina Artillery, which had been applied to many of our best guns, and which shall, as fast as possible, be arranged for all the heavy ordnance in the Department.

By this felicitous device our guns were easily held trained upon the monitors, although the latter were constantly in movement, and this with but five men at the heaviest pieces.

The reports of the Engineers (herewith) will show the precise extent of the damage inflicted on Fort Sumter.

It is sufficient for me to say, that at the time the enemy quit these waters the work was capable of resisting as formidable an attack as the one we had just foiled.

For the casualties of the day (so slight) I must refer you to the reports herewith.

Too much praise cannot be given to the officers and men, in all the works engaged, for their spirit, gallantry, and discipline, which, indeed, I had a right to expect, from the high soldierly condition into which those garrisons had been brought by their officers.

My expectations were fully realized; and the country, as well as the State of South Carolina, may well be proud of the men who first met and vanquished the iron-mailed, terriblyarmed armada, so confidently prepared, and sent forth by the enemy to certain and easy victory.

This was not the first defeat the enemy had suffered since the opening of the war, but it was undoubtedly one of the most significant, and produced a feeling of most profound depression at the North.

The preparations for this naval attack, by means of supposed invulnerable and invincible engines of war, such as the hands of man had never yet put afloat, had been made with no less prodigality than care, and upon them centred the anxious attention of both sections of the country.

It was the conviction of the North that no opposing force could resist such an expedition.

Fort Sumter must inevitably fall, and Charleston likewise.

Sharing in this belief, the Federal Government was convinced that the fears of Mr. Adams, United States Minister to England, to the effect that the current of opinion, in both Houses of Parliament, was then leaning towards recognition of the insurgents, would be quieted by such a victory, and the power, authority, and resources of the United States clearly demonstrated to the world.

Hence the disappointment at the repulse of Admiral Dupont's fleet.

The Northern press was extremely bitter on the subject; so much so that efforts were made to conceal the extent of the defeat, by speaking of the movement in front of Charleston as having been a simple reconnoissance, not an attack.

But the facts of the case were soon spread abroad.

It was known that, thirty minutes after the action commenced, Admiral Dupont became convinced of the utter impracticability of taking the city of Charleston with the force under his command, and that all his officers were of a like opinion.

He had even declared that a renewal of the attack on Charleston would be attended with disastrous results, involving the loss of this (the South Carolina) coast.

The reports of Admiral Dupont and of his officers accompanying Secretary Welles's Report for the year 1863, appear, in substance, in the second volume of Boynton The revulsion of feeling in the North was complete, and exaggerated hope was changed into despondency, openly expressed.

The New York Herald characterized the repulse of the monitors, though almost bloodless, as one of our most discouraging disasters.

The Baltimore American, denounced it as a shameful abandonment of the siege.

When day dawned on the morning of the 8th, says General Ripley, in his report, the enemy's fleet was discovered in the same position as noticed on the previous evening.

About nine o'clock the Keokuk, which had been evidently the most damaged in the action, went down, about three and onehalf miles from Fort Sumter and three-fourths of a mile from Morris Island.

The remainder of the fleet were repairing damages.

Preparations for repulsing a renewed attack were progressed with, in accordance with the instructions of the Commanding General, who visited Fort Sumter on that day. * * * Towards evening of the 9th a raft, apparently for removing torpedoes or obstructions, was towed inside of the bar. Nothing of importance occurred during the 10th.

On the 11th there were indications that the attacking fleet was about to withdraw; and on the 12th, at high-water, the Ironsides crossed the bar and took up her position with the blockading fleet; and the monitors steamed and were towed to the southward, leaving only the sunken Keokuk as a monument of their attack and discomfiture.

It appeared, on a close examination of Fort Sumter after the engagement, that the injuries inflicted on it were not of a character to impair its efficiency, though fifty-five missiles?shot, shell, and fragments

Major Echols's report.

See Appendix.?as shown by the Engineers' reports, struck, at divers places, the walls and parapets of the work.

The effect of impact of the heavy shot sent by the enemy against the fort * * * was found to have been much less than had been anticipated.

General Ripley's report, Rebellion Record, vol.

x., p. 520 (Doc.).

The following is an exhibit of the number of rounds fired by the enemy on the 7th of April, and the number of shots received by each ironclad, as copied from United States journals:

This was the real cause?there existed no other?of Admiral Dupont's failure to carry out his programme against Fort Sumter and the other defensive works in Charleston Harbor.

The torpedoes and the rope obstructions, so much spoken of, had nothing whatever to do with it; though we readily admit that the enemy's evident and just dread of torpedoes, as evinced in his preparations for their explosion by the Devil, or torpedo-searcher,

Report of Major Harris, Chief-Engineer.

See Appendix. was no insignificant factor in his unwillingness to engage the Confederate batteries at closer quarters.

It only remains to be said, however, that, had all the ironclad vessels of Admiral Dupont's attacking fleet adopted the course followed by the Keokuk, and steered nearer to the walls of Sumter, in all probability they would have shared the ill fate of Commander Rhinds's double-turreted monitor.

All would have been not merely crippled but destroyed.

The presence of the monitors in the outer harbor after the action, without even a timber guard or fender around them, led General Beauregard to believe that a fine opportunity was now offered him to test the efficiency of the spar torpedo-boats he had held in readiness for some such purpose.

On the 10th he had a conference on the subject with two of the naval officers then in Charleston.

He found them perfectly willing, and even anxious, to carry out his plan.

Accordingly, on the following day he addressed the subjoined letter to Lieutenant Webb?one of the two officers above referred to?whose gallantry and daring were already established:

Dear Sir,?Upon further reflection, after the discussion yesterday with Captain Tucker and yourself, I think it would be preferable to attack each of the enemy's seven ironclads (six monitors and the Ironsides), now inside of the outer bar, with at least two of your spar-torpedo row-boats, instead of the number (six in all) already agreed upon.

I believe it to be as easy to surprise, at the same time, all the ironclads as a part of them.

If you permit me I will give you here my general views upon the expedition.

About dark, on the first calm night (the sooner the better), I would rendezvous all my boats at the mouth of the creek, in rear of Cummings's Point, Morris Island.

There I would await the proper hours of the night, which should not be too late, in order to take advantage of the present condition of the moon.

I would then coast quietly along the beach of Morris Island to a point nearest the enemy's present position, where General Ripley shall station a picket, to communicate with you, and to show proper lights immediately after your attack, to guide the return of your boats.

Having arrived at the point of the beach designated, I would form line of attack, putting also my torpedoes in position, and would give orders that my boats should attack, by twos, any monitor or the Ironsides they should encounter on their way out, answering to the enemy's hail, Boats on secret expedition, or merely Contrabands.

After the attack each boat should make for the nearest point of the shore, where, if necessary, to save itself from pursuit, it can be stranded; otherwise, it will return to the rendezvous at Cummings's Point.

Care should be taken to have a proper understanding with commanding officers of the batteries in that vicinity, so as not to be fired into.

I feel convinced that, with nerve and proper precautions on the part of your boats' crews, and with he protection of a kind Providence, not one of the enemy's monitors, so much boasted of by them, would live to see the next morning's sun.

Please submit this letter to Captain Tucker, and assure him that whatever assistance I can give for this expedition, the success of which must contribute so materially to the safety of this city, will be freely and heartily furnished.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

But, as ill-luck would have it, says General Beauregard, the very night (April 12th) on which the attack was to have been made some of the monitors were sent to Port Royal for repairs, and the others to the North Edisto.

The Ironsides was still with the blockaders, however, and, as General Beauregard looked upon her as our most dangerous antagonist, he determined to strike her a blow?destroy her, if possible?and so raise the blockade, on that occasion, as to forbid all denial of the fact.

Captain Tucker was again ready to execute General Beauregard's plan, which had assumed much larger proportions than heretofore, when, at the eleventh hour, as it were, a telegram was received from the Navy Department, at Richmond, ordering back to that city the officers and men of the special expedition who had been sent to aid in the defence of Charleston, and under whose charge?our own ironclad boats joining in?was to lave been placed that hazardous but, at the same time, very tempting enterprise.

General Beauregard did all he could to retain their services, but without success.

He had also, and for the third or fourth time, appealed to the War Department for the completion of the marine torpedoram so often referred to in a preceding chapter.

To General Cooper, on the 22d of April, he wrote as follows:

* * * It will be remembered that the work was undertaken with the understanding that the sum of fifty thousand dollars would be supplied by the State of South Carolina, and such material as the Navy Department had available.

The money has been received, and is exhausted.

Some materials have been furnished by the Navy Department, but, thus far, the substantial assistance of iron-plating has been denied, and hence the progress in the work has been incommensurate with its importance, and very far behind what I was led to expect when I was induced to undertake the construction.

Meantime the great value of the invention has been demonstrated so as to secure general conviction; and Captain Tucker, commanding Confederate States naval forces afloat on this station, declares, unhesitatingly, that this one machine of war, if finished, would be more effective as a means of defence and offence than nearly all the ironclads here afloat and building?fact of which I am and have been fully assured.

Had it been finished and afloat when the enemy's ironclads entered this outer harbor several weeks ago, but few of them, probably, would have escaped.

Be that as it may, I trust the Department will have the matter inquired into?at is, the relative value, as war engines, of the Lee torpedo-ram, and of the ironclad rams Chicora and Palmetto State, and others of the same class now building in this harbor, to the absorption of all the material and mechanical resources of this section of the country.

I cannot express to the War Department in too strong terms my sense of the importance of the question involved, and of its intimate connection with the most effective defence of this position.

I do not desire to impose my views, but feel it my duty to urge an immediate investigation, by a mixed board of competent officers, to determine whether it be best for the ends in view to continue to appropriate all the material, and employ all the mechanical labor of the country, in the construction of vessels that are forced to play so unimportant and passive a part as that which Captain Tucker, C. S. N., their commander, officially declares to me must be theirs in the future, as in the past. * * *

The Engineer in charge estimates that it will take twenty thousand dollars to pay off existing obligations for workmanship and material, and to complete the vessel, with the exception of floating her.

The plating can only be furnished by the naval authorities, who have control of the rolling-mills and all suitable iron; and unless they will agree to divert from the vessels of the class they are building enough plating for the completion of the ram, I may as well give up further hope.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

But all efforts were unavailing.

The War Department, no less than the Navy Department, remained, in appearance, as incredulous as ever.

No reasoning, no inducement, could awaken sufficient interest in either to disturb the masterly inactivity which was proverbially the bent of both, from the beginning to the end of the war.

Chapter 31:

Troops withdrawn from General Beauregard and sent to North Carolina and to General Johnston.

the Secretary of War orders 5000 more to Vicksburg.

General Beauregard's letter to Mr. Seddon.

plan of the campaign to redeem Tennessee and Kentucky submitted to General Johnston, after the battle of Chancellorsville, and after Richmond's safety is assured.

enemy makes a demonstration in third military district.

General Gillmore assumes command of Federal forces.

General Beauregard instructed by the War Department to repair to Mobile with part of his troops.

his letter to General Cooper.

Colonel Simonton recommends a battery at Grimball's.

General Beauregard's reasons for objecting to it.

call for additional heavy guns.

remonstrance to General Gillmore as to depredations of his troops.

General Beauregard's letter to the mayor of Charleston.

the enemy's movements on Folly Island.

preparations for the attack.

orders to that effect.

the assault takes place on the 10th of July: is renewed on the 11th and 18th.

repulse of the enemy.

General Beauregard strengthens his inner circle of fortifications.

his letter to Governor Bonham.

instructions to General Ripley and other officers.

letter to Captain Tucker.

additional orders issued.

Mr. Seddon's request for information concerning the enemy's descent on Morris Island.

General Beauregard's reply.>

No sooner had the enemy been foiled in his naval attack on Fort Sumter (April 7th) than the depletion of General Beauregard's active forces was begun.

Cooke's and Clingman's commands were returned to North Carolina; and, early in May, two brigades of infantry, numbering more than 5000 men, with two batteries of light artillery, were sent, by order of the War Department, to reinforce General Joseph E. Johnston at Jackson, Mississippi.

Again, on the 10th of May, a telegram was received from the Secretary of War, directing that 5000 more men should be hurried to the assistance of General Pemberton, at Vicksburg.

This injudicious measure, the execution of which would have left General Beauregard with hardly any troops in his Department, stung him to an earnest remonstrance, as is shown by the following letter:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., May 11th, 1863. Hon. J. A. Seddon, Secretary of War, Richmond:

Sir,?This morning, as clearly as it could be done in the space of a telegram, I sought to lay before you the military condition in which this Department would be left, after the execution of your orders of yesterday, directing me to send another division of 5000 men out of it to Lieutenant-General Pemberton.

In view, however, of the grave consequences that may follow, I deem it not only in place, but my duty, to lay before the War Department, in precise terms, my views touching the removal, at this juncture, of so large a force.

As soon as the enemy had withdrawn his ironclad ships from before this harbor, and materially reduced his land-forces in this immediate vicinity, on the requisition of the Commanding General in North Carolina, I returned Cooke's brigade of North Carolina troops to Wilmington, and sent Clingman's brigade there, in exchange for Evans's.

A week ago, under your orders, I put in motion for Jackson, Miss., two brigades, under Brigadier-Generals Gist and W. H. T. Walker, the former commanding South Carolina, and the latter Georgia, regiments-somewhat over 5000 infantry in all, and two light batteries of the best class in the Department.

Your orders have been based, apparently, on the conviction that the troops of the enemy, assembled in this Department for operations against Charleston, have been mainly withdrawn and diverted to other expeditions in North Carolina and the Valley of the Mississippi.

This conviction I regret that I cannot share, as I am satisfied, from the reports of District Commanders, and from other reasons, that there has been really but little reduction of the command of Major-General Hunter.

General Walker, commanding at Pocotaligo, reports that, on yesterday, the outposts of the enemy in his front had been much increased in strength.

General Hagood reports them to be occupying Seabrook's Island, with at least 2500 infantry.

They are erecting fortifications at that point, as also on Folly Island, which is likewise still occupied in force.

Five of the monitors remain in the North Edisto, with some twenty gunboats and transports.

With these and the transports still in the waters of Port Royal, and the forces which I am unable to doubt are still at the disposition of the enemy, he may renew the attack by land and water on Charleston at any moment.

Acting on the offensive, and commanding the time of attack, he could simultaneously call troops here from North Carolina, and sooner than my command could possibly be reinforced from any quarter out of the Department.

To meet or resist any land attack there would be available, in the First Military District:

That is?

Total of infantry3,929




Total effectives15,023

This force, if concentrated at either Charleston or Savannah for a certain period, could, doubtless, make a stout defence; but if kept distributed in occupation of the important points, districts, and positions now held from Georgetown, S. C., to Florida, would offer but feeble resistance to any serious attack of the enemy.

If it be the irrevocable determination of the War Department that this command shall be thus reduced, I can but make such disposition of the remnant of my forces as may appear best calculated to conceal my weakness.

With my cavalry I shall make a show of occupation of the Second and Third Military Districts, and the line of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad; but it must not be lost sight of that my communications with Savannah can be cut by the enemy, without the use of a large force, whenever he may choose to attempt it; and when that is done he will get possession of a large extent of rich rice lands and large stores of rice, not yet brought to market, which would be a heavy loss.

Furthermore, it were then but a simple and easy military operation for a column?not a large one?to penetrate to Branchville, not more than thirty-five miles distant from Pocotaligo, and thus entirely interrupt my communications with the interior, as a glance at the map will show.

The sickly season on this coast will begin in about six weeks; then a small reduction of the infantry might take place.

It was so late as the 16th of June last year that the enemy made his attack at Secessionville, on James Island? so nearly successful?and which, with success, would have placed Charleston at his mercy, despite the harbor defences.

It is proper to add here that the day before your order to detach the last division was received I had organized and put in motion an expedition against the enemy, on Seabrook Island, in support of a naval operation, the object of which is to destroy the ironclads, with the torpedo-boat contrivance of Captain Lee.

The naval expedition, under Lieutenant Parker, supported by some troops, will nevertheless be attempted; but I was reluctantly obliged to recall the infantry with which I hoped to effect the surprise and capture of the enemy on land, in the confusion which, it was hoped, would result from the attack with torpedoes.

I must respectfully ask your attention to the paper herewith, marked A, exhibiting the force, of all arms, that will be left me after the execution of your orders, and that in the Department this time last year.

You will perceive that I shall be left with 12,664 men, of all arms less than at the same period last year, when the force of the enemy was less threatening in his positions than now; that my infantry force for the same duty was 6462, leaving the lines on James Island virtually without infantry support, and open to seizure, and resulting in the inevitable fall of Charleston.

In conclusion, I must observe that the troops in the works cannot be withdrawn from their guns and concentrated for defence of any threatened point.

They are already at a minimum force for the proper service of the batteries, and to withdraw them, here or at Savannah, involves the surrender of the work so abandoned, and, in ultimate effect, the failure of the whole defence.

Finally, it may as well be considered that the enemy will be speedily acquainted with the extent of these reductions, and that he will act accordingly.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

The War Department was thus fortunately checked in the suicidal course it was then about to follow; and the reduced force under General Beauregard, so evidently inadequate in view of the menacing attitude of the enemy at and around Charleston, was left to him.

General Beauregard's incessant labors did not prevent him from turning his attention to the military operations in other parts of the Confederacy, and notably in the West, where he thought that General Joseph E. Johnston, then at Jackson, Mississippi, by concentrating his own and other forces not actively engaged at the time, could inaugurate a vigorous and successful campaign into Tennessee and Kentucky.

His views to that effect are contained in the following letter, which will, doubtless, be read with interest.

The strategy preferred by the President was to send General Lee on his ruinous invasion of Pennsylvania:

At a Lee memorial meeting, held at Richmond, November 3d, 1870, Mr. Davis assumed the responsibility for that campaign and relieved General Lee.

Headquarters, Department S. C. And Fla., Charleston, S. C., May 15th, 1863. General Jos. E. Johnston, Comdg., etc., Jackson, Miss.:

Dear General,?I am sure you will appreciate the motives which induce me to offer for your consideration the following general views on the coming summer campaign, which, if they coincide with your own, might be, if not already done, submitted by you to the War Department.

Certainly the surest way to relieve the State of Mississippi and the Valley of the Mississippi from the presence of the enemy's army is suddenly and boldly to take the offensive in Tennessee and Kentucky, for which purpose all available forces (from other commands held strictly on the defensive) should be concentrated under you, and the forces now in Tennessee, being reinforced by 25,000 or 30,000 men, at the most favorable strategic point for the offensive, Rosecrans could be suddenly attacked, and would be either totally destroyed or the remnant of his forces would be speedily driven beyond the Ohio.

A force of at least 10,000 men in Tennessee, and 20,000 in Kentucky, would, doubtless, then be raised, and, with about 20,000 of the reinforcements received from Virginia and elsewhere, could be left to hold those two States.

The rest of the army, say about 60,000 or 70,000 men, should cross the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, to Columbus or Fort Pillow, so as to command the Mississippi River, and thus cut off Grant's communications with the North.

The latter officer (should he have delayed thus long his retreat north of these two points) would then find himself in a very critical condition?that is, compelled to fight his way through a victorious army equal to his own in strength, on its own selected battle-field, in position to be reinforced for the occasion from the forces left in Kentucky?and the result could not be doubtful for an instant.

As a matter of course, advantage would be taken of the low stage of water in the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers to obstruct thoroughly their navigation and fortify their banks strongly, at the point where they come close together, known as the Neck.

Immediately after the destruction of Grant's army, sufficient forces could be thrown from the army in Mississippi into Louisiana, in aid of Kirby Smith, and into Missouri to the assistance of Price, or from Kentucky into Virginia, to reinforce the troops left there, should they be hard-pressed; but that is not to be dreaded, considering the terrible lesson the enemy has just had at Chancellorsville, and that a large portion of his army is to be disbanded during the present month, to be replaced, if at all, by new Yankee recruits.

Meanwhile a sufficient number of Captain F. D. Lee's torpedo-rams could be constructed in England, and the navigation of the Mississippi River resumed, thereby enabling us to retake New Orleans and capture Banks's army.

Wishing you success in your Department, I remain, Yours very truly, G. T. Beauregard.

Let this plan be contrasted with the disastrous strategy of the campaign into Pennsylvania, terminating in the fatal battle of Gettysburg.

The battle of Chancellorsville had secured for some time the safety of Richmond.

The people of the North were tired of the war and, until this invasion, the Northern army could not be recruited.

The Governors of some States, notably Governor Seymour, of New York, had refused more troops.

Longstreet, with thirty thousand men of the Army of Northern Virginia, sent to the West, might have successfully aided in recovering Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Mississippi River, and in saving the Confederacy.

On the 1st of June the Chief Quartermaster was informed that all the troops in South Carolina for whom estimates of provisions should be made?that is to say, all troops present, effectives and non-effectives?amounted to ten thousand.

Thus was General Beauregard stripped of all his movable forces, and he had henceforth to strengthen one point by uncovering another, whenever he wished to reinforce any position in his Department.

At that time the enemy, no doubt aware of the weakened condition of General Beauregard's command, began making demonstrations in the Third Military District (General Walker's), towards Green Pond.

Immediate steps were taken to foil his purpose, as may be seen by the various orders and telegrams sent to General Ripley and to the Chief Quartermaster of the Department.

See Appendix. The timely and judicious dispositions made for the emergency, and the rapid transfer of troops from different parts of the First Military District to the endangered point, showed conclusively that, notwithstanding the many difficulties in his way, General Beauregard maintained serenity of mind.

He knew he could count, not only upon the energy and efficiency of his subordinate commanders, but upon the discipline and indomitable spirit of the men under them; and they, too, knew how worthy he was of the confidence reposed in him.

The enemy advanced as far as the Combahee Ferry, burnt the pontoon bridge at that place and the houses on the river-side, and moved up, as if determined to march into the interior.

The Federal forces employed on this expedition were mostly colored troops, drawn from General Saxton's command at Beaufort.

After pillaging and burning, as they were wont to do, they carried off with them numbers of negro slaves from the adjoining plantations, but went no farther, and withdrew precipitately, without committing additional damage on their way back; nor did they interfere with or cut the line of communication between Charleston and Savannah, a little farther on.

A few days later, on the 12th of June, General Gillmore superseded General Hunter, and assumed command of the Department of the South.

The Federal forces were then in possession of Folly Island, north of the Stono; Seabrook Island, on the North Edisto; St. Helena Island, Port Royal Island, Hilton Head Island, Tybee Islands, Fort Pulaski, Ossabaw Island, Fort Clinch, and Amelia Island, and the city of St. Augustine.

Engineer and Artillery Preparations against Charleston, by General Q. A. Gillmore, p. 18. It was fortunate that, shortly afterwards, the new Commanding General, in whose daring and engineering ability the North greatly relied, preferred making his attack by Morris Island, instead of on the broad and weak front of James Island, where he might have penetrated our long, attenuated lines, and taken Charleston in flank and rear.

Nothing, then, could have prevented Sumter from falling, for there can be no doubt that General Gillmore would have immediately increased the armament at and around Fort Johnson, and have thus completely commanded the interior harbor.

The possession of Charleston and of all the South Carolina sea-coast would have followed as a necessary sequence.

About the middle of June a full and comprehensive letter was forwarded to the War Department by General Beauregard, in answer to a communication from Richmond, dated the 10th, advising him that Northern papers reported the reduction of General Hunter's forces by sending part of them to the Gulf, in which event he was instructed to proceed to Mobile, with such troops as he could spare from his lines, and use his best endeavors to avert the threatened danger at that point.

This was an additional cause of anxiety to General Beauregard, for there seemed to be no end to the determination of the Government to withdraw troops from his Department.

Nay, more: just at that time General D. H. Hill, commanding in Southeastern Virginia and North Carolina, had also applied for assistance, to guard against an attack which he thought was then threatening him, via Newbern?assistance which, under the circumstances, it was necessary to deny him. We here give General Beauregard's letter.

It presented the matter in so strong a light, that the War Department refrained from issuing any order to carry out its first intention:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., June 15th, 1863. General Samuel Cooper, A. and I. Genl., Richmond, Va.:

General,?Your letter of the 10th was duly received and partially answered by my telegram of the 13th instant.

It is now my place to reply by mail at some length.

I am advised in the letter in question that Northern papers report the reduction of Hunter's forces by sending troops to the Gulf ?in which event I am instructed to proceed to Mobile, with such force as I can properly withdraw from my defensive line, to resist an attack, if one should be designed on that place; but if the purpose of the enemy be to send his reinforcements to the Mississippi, I am to go on and co-operate with General Johnston in that quarter.

While I shall be glad to contribute my mite to the defence of any part of the Confederate States, and assuredly must be solicitous for the defence of Mobile and the Mississippi Valley, yet, with my view of the situation in this quarter, repeatedly expressed, I cannot now properly withdraw, without a direct order, more than a regiment of cavalry from this Department.

The troops left in this Department at this time (see Field Return of 13th inst.) are 19,863?that is, 6488 nominal infantry, 7329 heavy and light artillery, and 6046 cavalry.

This force is stationed as follows: for the garrisons of the works in Charleston Harbor and the defensive lines commanding the immediate approaches to the city, 2606 infantry?of which some four or six companies are actually necessarily doing heavy artillery service in batteries on Sullivan's Island and elsewhere?3767 heavy and light artillery, and 1171 cavalry.

In the works and lines around Savannah are 1888 nominal infantry, 2295 heavy and light artillery, and 1738 cavalry, leaving 984 infantry, 847 light artillery, and 2244 cavalry to hold the line of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad; and 1010 infantry, 420 light artillery, and 893 cavalry in Florida? now so important for its supplies of subsistence.

Thus, it will be seen, the force in the Department is already at the minimum necessary to hold the works around Charleston and Savannah, constantly menaced by the proximity of the enemy's ironclads.

The garrison of no work in the harbor can be withdrawn or diminished, as they are all necessary links in the chain of defence.

Reduce the command on James Island, and the enemy may readily penetrate, by such a coup de main as was attempted last year, at the weakened point.

James Island would then fall, and, despite our harbor defenses, the City of Charleston would be thrown open to bombardment.

It is not safe to leave less than a regiment of infantry on Morris Island, which, if once carried by the enemy, would expose Fort Sumter to be taken in reverse and demolished.

The defective lines of defence adopted and constructed on James Island, after the unfortunate abandonment, last year, of Cole's Island, have made a force of about 11,000 men essential to guard and hold that island against a serious land attack; whereas, had Cole's Island (at the mouth of the Stono) been held, 2500 men would not only have defended James Island, but the enemy would have been excluded from the Stono, and unable to occupy and fortify Folly Island and threaten Morris Island, as is now the case.

Late Northern papers say Admiral Dupont has been relieved in command of the fleet on this coast by Admiral Foote, an officer whose operations in the West evinced much activity and an enterprising spirit.

And, even were considerable reductions made in the enemy's forces, the valuable coast districts would still be left a prey to such destructive raids as devastated the Combahee some days ago. Thus far, however, I can see no evidences of reduction.

General Hunter was at Hilton Head on the 8th instant; his troops hold the same positions as heretofore, and apparently in the same force?a brigade on Folly, one on Seabrook's Island, and the balance on the islands about Port Royal. One of the monitors is at Hilton Head, and five are still in the North Edisto.

Nor has the number of their gunboats or transports diminished, or at any time recently been increased, as must have been the case had a material removal of troops taken place.

While, therefore, I would not on my own responsibility further deplete the force in this Department, of course I shall promptly carry out any orders which the War Department may deem proper to give.

As for myself, my earnest desire is to be useful to the utmost extent of my capacities, in any position or command to which it may please the President to assign me; but if left to my own personal preferences, I would desire service in the field, for which I consider myself best fitted by my taste and studies.

I shall observe closely the movements of the enemy at Hilton Head, with a view to ascertaining whether any material reduction of his force has taken or is taking place, which will be promptly reported for the information of the War Department.

I shall also ask General Maury (at Mobile) to keep me advised of the movements of the enemy in his front, and of the means of defence at his disposition, and shall communicate with General Johnston.

I beg to inquire whether, if I go to Mobile, it will form a part of my present Department, or will I be relieved from this command and fall under the orders of General Johnston?

I repeat it, my chief desire is to be useful, and if desired by the War Department, I will cheerfully repair at once, temporarily, to Mobile, examine the works and means of defence there, and advise with General Maury touching them.

I have the honor to be, General, your obdt.

servt., G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

To this no reply cane from Richmond; but General Beauregard was not sent to Mobile, nor were additional troops withdrawn just then from his lines, to reinforce other parts of the Confederacy.

The fact is, the apprehension of the Government as to a threatened movement on Mobile or on the Mississippi River (we refer to June 10th, 1863) was justified by no trustworthy information, and only exemplified once more the injudicious interference of the Administration with generals in the field or at the head of Departments upon matters about which it could have no positive knowledge.

General Maury, who had been written to by General Beauregard concerning the fears entertained about his command, in his answer of the 20th said:

I have taken the best means in my power to procure early information of the enemy's movements, with reinforcements, up the Mississippi.

I cannot hear of any. I am satisfied none have gone in that river, unless within the past two or three days. I can perceive no indications of an attack from any forces near here.

I believe that for two weeks New Orleans has been left entirely without means of defence, and is so now.

The defective lines of James Island had always been a matter of great concern to General Beauregard; especially was this the case now that his forces were so much reduced by the drafts made on him for the assistance of Generals Johnston and Pemberton, in Mississippi.

It was about this time (June 23d) that a communication from Colonel Simonton, commanding part of the lines on James Island, recommending a ten-gun battery at Dr. Thomas Grimball's, on the Stono, was received at Department Headquarters.

It had been approved and forwarded by the Commander of the First Military District. General Beauregard felt compelled, nevertheless, to decline acceding to the suggestion made, as will be shown by the official answer sent to General Ripley, and through him to Colonel Simonton:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., June 23d, 1863. General R. S. Ripley, Comdg. First Mil. Dist., etc., etc.:

General,?I am instructed to communicate for your information the following indorsement of the Commanding General on the communication of Colonel Simonton of the 9th, and of Captain F. D. Blake of the 6th instant:

The project of a small battery, armed with ten guns, at Grimball's, on the Stono, cannot be approved for these reasons:


It would not prevent the passage up the river of monitors by day, and of gunboats and even transports by night.


It would not prevent the landing of troops at Battery Island and at Legare's, via Folly River Creek, which could then take in rear the isolated battery at Grimball's.


It could then be silenced in a few hours by batteries on the opposite shore of the Stono, assisted by monitors and gunboats in the river.

I have had for some time in contemplation a dispersive line from Legare's to Grimball's, with a strong work at the latter, a battery at the former, and a system of lines in rear of Battery Island.

I would have, also, at the latter point an outwork for infantry, to prevent its occupation by the enemy; but the want of labor and the hope of regaining possession of Coles Island have delayed the execution of that project.

When Coles Island was abandoned the work at Battery Island should have been strengthened, and its armament increased in quantity and quality; obstructions should also have been put in the river under the guns of the work, and a battery at Legare's should have been located to guard the approach via Folly River Creek.

This short line of works would have dispensed entirely with the long, weak, and expensive system adopted for the defence of James Island.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

On the 27th General Beauregard again called on the War Department for heavy guns, and asked leave to borrow two Brooke 32-pounders, intended for Vicksburg, and lying idle on the wharf at Mobile.

From the fact that General Gillmore was then in command of the Federal troops around Charleston he inferred that another and a more serious attack would soon be made.

A force of some six regiments, he stated, was in possession of Folly Island, under Brigadier-General Vogdes, an officer of the old service, of known ability, who had been stationed at Fort; Moultrie before the war, and had already figured against General Bragg at Pensacola in its beginning.

On the 4th of July a long and elaborate communication, relative to the laws of civilized warfare, was addressed by General Beauregard to General Gillmore, with a view to prevent the useless destruction of the property of non-combatants, which had seemed to be the practice of his predecessor.

The paper we here refer to

See Appendix. produced very little effect on General Gillmore.

He continued the system of depredations denounced by his adversary, which subsequently called from the latter a telegram to Colonel William Porcher Miles, Chairman of the Military Committee in the Lower House of Congress, suggesting that henceforth no quarter should be given to such depredators, erroneously called prisoners of war.

This telegram created a sensation when first published, after the war. Its real purport was evidently misunderstood.

It contained no explanation of the reasons governing General Beauregard, nor did it show that, on more than one occasion previously, the subject had been thoroughly discussed between himself and Colonel Miles.

And it is but just to remark, that General Beauregard's treatment of prisoners throughout the war showed how kindly disposed he was towards them, especially as regards surgeons and ministers of the Gospel, whom he refused, both at Manassas and Shiloh, to keep as prisoners.

We must say, however, that his views in that respect were never reciprocated by the Federal commanders opposed to him, and he was therefore compelled, though reluctantly, to treat Federal surgeons and Federal ministers as ours were treated by the enemy?in other words, to look upon them in the light of ordinary prisoners of war.

The following incidents corroborate what is here alleged of General Beauregard's feelings in regard to prisoners:

1. After the capture of part of the Federal naval party which attacked Fort Sumter on the night of September 8th, the officers and men who fell into our hands on that occasion?one hundred and seventeen?made petition to the Commanding General for clothing, blankets, and shoes.

Their application was sent, under flag of truce,

See, in Appendix, extract from Major Elliott's journal at Fort Sumter. to Admiral Dahlgren, with a message informing him and likewise General Gillmore (for some few of the latter's troops were also held as prisoners) that General Beauregard would gladly distribute to all of them any supplies that might be forwarded from the enemy's lines.

Admiral Dahlgren took advantage at once of the privilege thus afforded him to help his men; but not so with General Gillmore, who abstained from even acknowledging the courtesy extended to him.

2. The other incident referred to is explained by the following letter of General Beauregard to Colonel Branch, dated Charleston, July 18th, 1863:

Colonel,?I have to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 16th inst., proposing that the portion of Morris Island now occupied by the enemy, after it shall have been retaken, might be held and fortified by exposing our prisoners to the enemy's fire.

In reply the Commanding General directs me to say, that it is not considered in accordance with the usages of war to use prisoners as a means of defence or protection.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

We now submit a letter to the Hon. Charles Macbeth, the Mayor of Charleston, dated July 9th, which needs no comment:

Sir,?The papers herewith will show you that an attack is impending on the Morris Island outworks, so necessary to the defence of the city.

An indispensable battery, in case of an attack by land on that island, remains unfinished, adequate labor not having been supplied by the State authorities.

Cannot labor be furnished in the emergency from the class of free negroes in this city, as on occasion in Virginia, and also from the slaves of the vicinage?

Material results may be achieved, even at this late hour, by the application of a sufficient labor force, energetically handled.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

On the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th of July considerable activity prevailed among the Federal forces on Folly Island.

The foregoing letter shows that General Beauregard was aware of it. Captain Charles Haskell, on the night of the 8th, had gone over to the island with a party of scouts, and had ascertained the presence, near the creeks leading to it, of a number of the enemy's barges which had been collected there.

During that same night the chopping of wood on Folly Island had been distinctly heard by our men, and the next morning revealed to them the existence of several light works, heretofore screened by the trees and underbrush just cut in their immediate front.

General Beauregard had full knowledge of the erection of these works.

As early as May the 10th, in a telegram forwarded to the War Department, he said:

Enemy in force on Folly Island, actively erecting batteries yesterday.

See General Beauregard's Report of the Defence of Morris Island, which forms the subject of the next chapter.

These evidences of an immediate attack induced General Beauregard to have all the infantry forces on the south end of Morris Island kept under arms during the whole night of the 9th.

He also caused the following orders to be issued:


Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., July 9th, 1863. Lieut.-Colonel D. B. Harris, Chief-Engineer, etc., etc.:

Colonel,? The Commanding General directs me to call your attention to the urgent necessity for immediately obstructing this harbor, to every possible extent, with rope contrivances for that purpose, as already directed, both verbally and in writing.

He wishes Major Echols and yourself to give your special attention to this work, and to the multiplication of this style of obstructions by every possible means.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.


Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., June 9th, 1863. Major Hutson Lee, Chief Quartermaster, etc., etc.:

Major,?The Commanding General directs that you have held in readiness, at Pocotaligo and Adams Run, transportation to bring six hundred men from the former and five hundred from the latter place to this city at once.

The trains will be furnished the Commanding Officers of the Second and Third Districts with as little delay as possible.

I have the honor to be, Major, very respectfully, your obdt.

servant, Jno. F. O'Brien, A. A. G.


Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., July 9th, 1863. Colonel A. J. Gonzales, Chief of Artillery, etc., etc.:

Colonel,?The Commanding General directs that you hold the siege-train in readiness to move at a moment's notice.

I have the honor to be, Colonel, very respectfully, your obdt.

servant, Clifton H. Smith, A. A. G.


Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., July 10th, 1863. Colonel A. J. Gonzales, Chief of Artillery, etc., etc.:

Colonel,?You will repair forthwith to inspect the heavy batteries on James Island, commencing with Fort Pemberton, to determine, on consultation with their Commanding Officers, what are their most pressing wants; and if they can be supplied, you will inform these Headquarters by courier.

You will determine, also, whether in any conflict of the enemy's gunboats with the works on James Island the siege-train, or any part thereof, can be used to advantage.

Meanwhile, the siege-train should be sent to the most available position on James Island.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.


Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., July 10th, 1863. Major Hutson Lee, Chief Quartermaster, etc., etc.:

Major,?A brigade (Clingman's) is to be sent here from Wilmington.

Make every possible exertion to provide for its rapid transportation.

Leave nothing undone in your power to accelerate the movement, both from Wilmington to Florence, and thence here.

Time is incalculably precious.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.


Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., July 11th, 1863. Brig.-General R. S. Ripley, Commanding First Military Dist., etc., etc.:

General,?I am instructed to inform you of the expected arrival of ten companies from Savannah and one brigade from Wilmington, N. C., and to direct that the necessary arrangements shall be made for their reception and disposition.

A despatch from General Mercer, just received, states that seventy-five artillerists and one 10-inch mortar, complete, left Savannah last night.

The other four mortars, will soon follow.

These five mortars should be distributed between Sumter, Batteries Gregg (Cummings's Point) and Wagner, as you may think best, informing these Headquarters of the disposition you may make of them.

The Commanding General further directs the obstruction of the little creek on the flank of Battery Wagner, about one hundred yards above, to prevent boat expeditions from turning that point at night.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

The foregoing orders and instructions, and others of a similar nature, which it is unnecessary to mention here, show General Beauregard's continued preparations for the attack of the enemy, which took place on the 10th of July, on the south end of Morris Island.

It was renewed the next day on Battery Wagner, and was signally repulsed, with a heavy loss to the Federals.

They again advanced on the 18th, with ample preparations and a much greater force, but were once more terribly defeated, as will appear hereafter in General Beauregard's official report.

Colonel Rhett, in accordance with instructions, had opened fire with all the available guns of Sumter, the shot and shell passing over Battery Wagner, and falling into the attacking column, especially the reserves; thus harassing their advance and preventing them from rendering any material assistance.

Encouraged by the failure of these repeated assaults upon Wagner, but fearing the eventual reduction of that work and the result which must ensue for Battery Gregg and Fort Sumter, General Beauregard determined to modify and increase his inner circle of fire on Sullivan's and James Islands, and to erect a work on Shell Point?James Island?wherewith to sweep the front of Battery Wagner, and assist in checking the further progress of the enemy on Morris Island.

To this end he gave specific instructions to General Ripley and to Colonel Harris, his Chief-Engineer,

See Appendix. and again applied to Governor Bonham for slave-labor to carry out his plans.

His letter on the subject read as follows:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., July 13th, 1863. To his Excellency M. L. Bonham, etc., etc.:

Sir,?You are aware of the inability of the State authorities, under the operation of the law, to meet my requisitions for slave-labor, and you can readily trace some of the consequences in the events of the past week.

However, is there no course by which the defects of the law can, to some extent, be repaired, even at this late day?

Believing that there must be a remedy in the patriotism and intelligence of the planters of South Carolina, I shall invoke your executive proclamation to them, in this exigent hour, to send their negroes, with spades and shovels, to this city, without an instant of delay or hesitation, to the extent of three thousand effective laborers.

This can be but an inappreciable subtraction from the labor resources of the people at this or any time.

Each negro should be provided with at least three days subsistence.

The people of each district or neighborhood should select some overseer or manager for their negroes, who shall go and remain with them while they are employed.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

On the 14th General Ripley received the following instructions, which were carried out without delay.

They show the extreme vigilance exercised by the General Commanding, and how careful he was to prepare against any new movement of the enemy:

The General Commanding is of the belief that some of the mortars now in Fort Sumter may be transferred with advantage to Sullivan's Island, and wishes you to consider and give your views upon the matter.

A covered way should be made between Fort Moultrie and Battery Bee, carefully secured from enfilade from the sand-hills on east end of Sullivan's Island.

The gate-way in gorge of Fort Sumter must be closed, and an outlet arranged through one of the casemates in the southwest face.

It should be determined whether the gorge-wall of Fort Sumter may not be materially strengthened, by means of bales of cotton, with sand packed in the intervals, and all kept wet and incombustible by means of tubes and hose from the terre-plein.

Two 10-inch columbiads have been ordered here from Savannah.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

The reader is referred to the Appendix for other orders and instructions relating to this period of the defence of Charleston, which must be omitted from the text, notwithstanding their importance.

Among them are?

1. The order reducing the force on Morris Island to one strictly sufficient for the defence, so as not to expose, needlessly, too many of our men to the enemy's batteries, then in process of construction on the island; and also as to relieving the command at least once in forty-eight hours by fresh troops.

2. The order that rice-casks and other casks should be furnished the troops on Morris Island, for the construction of rat-holes; and that hulks, as well as other obstructions, should be sunk in the creeks west of the same island, and north of Sullivan's.

3. The order increasing the batteries on James Island and bearing on Black Island, by at least twenty guns, on siege-carriages.

The work to be pushed forward, night and day, as also the work at Shell Point, so soon as the force of negro labor may be sufficient.

4. The order requiring Colonel Rhett, at Sumter, to keep several of his guns loaded and carefully trained at night, so as to command the creeks near Battery Wagner, and Marsh and Shell Point Batteries.

A part of this order was the following command addressed to the Commanders of Fort Sumter and Batteries Gregg and Wagner: Should events oblige us to abandon these works, not one heavy gun must be left in serviceable condition, to be turned against our own works.

5. The order increasing the garrison on Sullivan's Island, to prevent the possibility of a night attack; relieving the troops at Battery Wagner every three days, instead of every forty-eight hours, as heretofore; sending an 8-inch columbiad or a rifled 32-pounder, to replace the gun exploded at Wagner; the injunction being to mount it that very night, on account of its moral effect on the garrison.

We now ask attention to a communication sent by General Beauregard to Captain Tucker, commanding Confederate States naval forces afloat, at Charleston, and asking his active coopera-tion in the defence of Fort Sumter and Morris Island.

It bore date July 18th, and was in these terms:

Captain,?I believe it my duty to acquaint you with the fact that I consider it of the utmost importance to the defence of the works at the entrance of the harbor that some effort should be made to sink either the Ironsides or one of the monitors now attacking the works on Morris Island, not only because of the diminution thus effected in the enemy's means of offence, but because of the great moral effect that would inevitably result from such an occurrence.

The stake is manifestly a great one, worthy of a small risk.

For its accomplishment, one vessel, such as the Juno, provided with the spar-torpedo, with two or three officers and a few men, it is believed, would be as effective, at night, for the end in view as a flotilla of vessels, so arranged, of the same class.

If, however, the results of your experiments are sufficiently adverse to the prospect of success with the contrivance, I must beg to be advised of the fact, to the end that I may not permit the expectation of assistance to enter further into my plans of defence; but if, on the other hand, the experiments remain satisfactory, permit me to say, the time is rapidly passing away when that assistance can be of any avail or value.

One monitor destroyed now will have greater moral and material effect, I believe, than two sunk at a later stage in our defence.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

This urgent appeal would have met with a ready response from the commander to whom it was made, for he was not only willing but anxious to take an active part in the contest about to be renewed with increased vigor by the two opposing forces.

He was compelled to remain passive, however, and to admit his impotency to be of any assistance, owing to the excessive draught of his ironclads, their want of motive power, and consequently of speed, and the short range of their guns, which could not be sufficiently elevated, on account of the small size of the portholes.

This was the substance of Commander Tucker's answer.

It left General Beauregard entirely powerless to contend against the enemy's turreted fleet, and led him to consider the possible necessity, erelong, of withdrawing our forces from Morris Island.

He therefore instructed General Ripley to prepare suitable means of transportation, by boats, barges, and flats, to be collected with as little delay as possible, and held in readiness in the immediate vicinity of Fort Johnson.

The following orders to the Commander of the First Military District, and many others already produced, show the minuteness of the instructions given him by the Commanding General, who planned and caused to be erected most if not all the works adopted for the protection of the city and harbor of Charleston:


Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., July 18th, 1863. Brig.-General R. S. Ripley, etc., etc., etc.:

General,?The General Commanding desires that the Shell Point Battery shall be occupied to-night, and placed, as far as practicable, in condition for work, with the exact range of Battery Wagner established for the emergency of an assault to-night, for which you must be prepared.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.


Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., July 19th, 1863. Brig.-General R. S. Ripley, etc., etc., etc.:

General,?The Commanding General desires the following re-arrangement of certain guns on James Island, to provide for the armament of the new batteries in the direction of Secessionville from Legare's Point.

Transfer to Legare's Point, with all their implements and ammunition, one 12-pounder rifled gun, and one 8-inch sea-coast howitzer, now at Royal's; one 20 and one 10 pounder Parrott gun of the Georgia Siege Train; one 12-pounder rifled bronze gun of Company A, S. C. Siege Train; one 24-pounder smooth-bore, now on eastern lines, and mounted on a siege-carriage; and one 24-pounder rifled siege gun, and one 4-inch Blakely, both of which are at present in the hands of the Chief of Ordnance.

Captain Gregory, Corps of Engineers, after consultation with the Chief of Artillery, will designate the location of these guns.

The 12-pounder rifle and 8-inch sea-coast howitzer at Royal's will be replaced by two 24-pounders (smooth-bore) siege guns, now in charge of Colonel Waddy.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.


Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., July 20th, 1863. Brig.-General R. S. Ripley, etc., etc., etc.:

General,?The Commanding General has been advised that the enemy opened fire to-day from behind Black Island on the workmen engaged on the Legare Point batteries, and succeeded in interrupting the labor thereon.

In view of this, it is his wish that the guns intended for those works should be placed in position immediately, and fire opened from the batteries as soon as practicable.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.


Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., July 20th, 1863. Brig.-General R. S. Ripley, etc., etc., etc.:

General,?The batteries from Shell Point to Fort Johnson being nearly completed, and some of the guns in position, it becomes necessary to guard them strongly at night with infantry.

The same must be done with regard to the new line of batteries from Legare's Point towards the extremity of the eastern lines on James Island.

Everything must be put in readiness for all those batteries to open at a moment's notice.

The accumulation last night of the enemy's barges, with armed men, among the fleet would seem to indicate one of two things: either to reinforce his troops on Morris Island, for another attack, by landing a strong party between Battery Wagner and Gregg, or to make an attempt on Sullivan's Island.

The renewal of the shelling to-day with such vigor would incline me to believe that the first will be attempted; but prudence commands that we should guard against both; hence, I beg that you should adopt all the necessary measures to further these designs.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of War, the Hon. Mr. Seddon, through whose agency chiefly the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida had been so materially weakened by successive transfers of its troops to other points of the Confederacy, was now apparently in a state of great trepidation about the enemy's lodgment on the southern end of Morris Island.

A letter of searching inquiry was forwarded by him to General Beauregard, about that time, requesting immediate information on the subject.

Its tone was unfriendly.

It exhibited a determination on the part of its author to blame, and even to condemn, before being officially informed of the facts of the case.

General Beauregard was too much absorbed by the occupations of the moment to write out a full statement of these stirring events; and, furthermore, none of his subordinate commanders had had time to send in their respective reports.

He merely gave a brief account of the descent of the Federal forces on Morris Island, and of the reasons of its success.

From his answer we quote the following passage:

A full report will be made as soon as subordinate officers shall have placed these Headquarters in official possession of the facts connected with their operations, and until then I must ask the patience of the Department, especially since the service and thoughts of all here are really necessary for the effectual discharge of the momentous duties intrusted to us.

See Appendix.

We close the present chapter with General Beauregard's instructions to Colonel Harris, dated July 20th, 1863:

Colonel,?The Commanding General directs me to inform you that he wishes the rope obstructions to go on, and desires that they be laid between Castle Pinckney and Fort Ripley.

He also wishes you to make an inspection of Fort Moultrie, to see if the glacis does not require to be raised, for the better protection of the brick scarp-wall.

You will likewise see if Shell Point Battery does not require to be embrasured, and if it is necessary to make a covered way thence to Fort Johnson.

The General wishes to know if mining wires cannot be established from Battery Gregg to Fort Sumter, and from the latter to Fort Moultrie, or if safety-fuses may not be prepared.

Finally, he directs that you make a report on the Raine's torpedoes, which have been placed in front of Battery Wagner.

I am, Colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Jno. F. O'Brien, Major and A. A. G.

The nature of the subject, and the desire to do full justice to it, have induced repetitions of orders and telegrams in this and the following chapter.

The interest of the narrative will not be impaired, however, by such a course.

For those who are desirous of obtaining a correct knowledge of these events details of evidence are essential

Chapter 32:

General Beauregard's report of the operations on Morris Island in July, August, and September.

number of effective troops in the Department on the 7th of April, 1863.

troops in the First Military District on the 10th of July.

War Department advised of the threatening nature of the enemy's preparations.

withdrawal of troops from the Department.

Protest of General Beauregard.

Mr. Seddon's telegram of the 9th of May.

he is informed on the 10th of the erection of the enemy's batteries on Folly Island.

General Beauregard's letter of the 11th of May.

Insufficiency of his forces to resist the enemy's movements.

President Davis asks reinforcements for General Johnston.

General Beauregard's answer.

different routes of approach for attacking Charleston.

route by Morris Island the least injurious.

want of labor and transportation a serious drawback to the defence.

inadequate number of negroes furnished.

attack on the south end of Morris Island.

the enemy carries the position.

want of labor to fortify, and of infantry support, the cause of lodgment.

strong demonstration against James Island by way of the Stono.

the enemy assaults Battery Wagner on the 11th.

is repulsed with loss.

General Beauregard again appeals for negro labor.

on the morning of the 16th General Hagood attacks the enemy on James Island, and drives him back.?the enemy's concentration on Little Folly and Morris islands.

nine hundred shot and shell fired at Wagner on the 18th.

the enemy again assaults that night.

his repulse disastrous.

number of his dead buried in front of Wagner.

heroic conduct of the garrison.

General Beauregard orders Morris Island to be held at any cost.

gorge-wall of Sumter strengthened.

flag of truce from General Gillmore.

James Island batteries not to open fire until their completion.

no material damage done to Wagner up to the 24th.

General Beauregard anxiously waiting for heavy guns from Richmond.

Partial disarmament of Sumter carried on at night.

five hundred and ninety-nine shot fired at our different batteries, on the 30th, in less than three hours.?works not seriously harmed.

interior harbor defences advancing rapidly.

enemy advances his trenches.

is annoyed by fire from Sumter, Gregg, Wagner, and James Island batteries.

General Beauregard on Morris Island.

sand-bags in Sumter; covered way between batteries Wagner and Gregg.

effective force on Morris Island.

the enemy's advanced works on the 10th of August at six hundred yards from Wagner.

the armament of Sumter reduced to thirty-eight guns and two mortars.

terrific bombardment.

weight of projectiles thrown against the fort from thirty to three hundred pounds.

all its guns rendered unserviceable.

gorge-wall and northwest face greatly damaged.

the First bombardment over.

the fire on Sumter Slackens on the 24th.

removal of ammunition and ordnance stores.

not a gun in working order at Sumter.

the enemy's flag abreast of south angle of Wagner.

preparations for evacuation.

General Beauregard's orders to that effect.

troops withdrawn on the night of the 6th of September.

Colonel Keitt in command at the time.

success of the movement.

correspondence between Generals Beauregard and Gillmore concerning the exchange of prisoners and the demand of surrender.

defence of Sumter and Wagner.>

General Beauregard's official report of the defence of Morris Island, from July 10th to September 7th, 1863, contains so full a narrative of this memorable event that it is deemed advisable to insert it here, without alteration or curtailment.

This remarkable paper will thus become the chief, if not the exclusive, subject of the present chapter.

No pen could more truthfully describe the momentous incidents of that part of the siege of Charleston, and no authority could be of greater weight, in the eyes of the public, than General Beauregard's. All the more will this be the case, inasmuch as not one of his main averments will fail to be substantiated by undeniable proof:

Headquarters, Department of N. C. And So. Va., in the field, near Petersburg, Va., September 18th, 1864. To General Samuel Cooper, Adjt. and Insp.-Genl., Richmond, Va.:

General,?I have the honor to enclose herewith my report of operations on Morris Island, S. C., during the months of July, August, and September, 1863, which was commenced soon after the events referred to, but could not be finished, revised, and corrected until the present moment.

The report has been made more in detail than otherwise would have been done in order to refute certain charges contained in a letter of the lion.

James A. Seddon, Secretary of War, of August, 1863, to the Hon. Wm. Porcher Miles, M. C., from South Carolina, and volunteer aid on my staff.

I doubt not that, after the perusal of this report, the Hon. the Secretary of War will admit that he did me unintentional injustice in the following paragraph of his letter, containing the charges alluded to; to wit:

* * * I have no disposition to criticise military operations or point out errors or omissions which cannot longer be avoided or remedied, but you compel me, in selfdefence, to advert to the true cause of the lodgment made by the enemy on Morris Island.

According to my conception, it was not the want of infantry force at the command of that Department, but, as I have before supposed was universally admitted, the want of adequate defence at the lower end of the island, known long to be the external gate of the city, and the establishment by the enemy, without the knowledge of the military authorities, of powerful land batteries on Folly Island, screened and concealed, until fully prepared to open upon us with all the effect of surprise, by the woods which had been allowed to remain unfelled on that island.

that these, and not the want of men, were the true causes of the possession effected by the enemy, is shown by their inability to improve their success by the capture of Forts Wagner and Gregg.

It is no pleasure to me to refer to these causes of disaster, but, under the implications of your letter, I could not say less.

I remain, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, General. The report reads as follows:

General,?I arrived in Charleston on the 13th of September, 1862, and assumed command on the 24th of that month.

In the interval I was engaged in ascertaining the plans and measures taken by Major-General Pemberton, my predecessor, for the defence, particularly, of Charleston and Savannah, and in rapid inspections of the condition and defensive resources of the Department, the results of which were communicated to the War Department in two papers, dated, the one relative to Charleston, on the 3d, and the other, chiefly concerning Savannah, on the 10th of October, 1862.

At the time the troops in that Department (as then arranged) consisted of?

Of this force, 1787 artillery in position, 727 light artillerists, 4139 infantry, and 410 cavalry, were assembled in the First Military District, for the defence of Charleston; and 1330 artillery in position, 445 light artillerists, 3834 infantry, and 1580 cavalry, for defence of Savannah.

My predecessor, before being relieved, furnished me with his estimate of the smallest number of troops which he regarded as essential for the defence of Charleston and Savannah; to wit:

Total of all arms required for defence of Charleston and Savannah Railroad and land approaches11,000

Hence, the following additional troops were needed at the following points respectively, to meet the requirements of this estimate:

On the 7th of April, 1863, the day of the attack by the ironclad fleet, the troops at my disposal, in South Carolina and Georgia, gave an effective total of 30,040, distributed as follows:

But the withdrawal of Cook's brigade to North Carolina immediately after the repulse of the ironclad fleet on the 7th of April, of BrigadierGen-erals S. R. Gist's and W. H. T. Walker's brigades and light batteries, about the 4th of May, reduced my force materially.

The Department is aware of the circumstances under which this reduction of the troops took place, and, in this connection, I beg to refer to my letters to the Hon. Secretary of War of the 10th of May, and to General Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector-General, of June 15th and 20th of July, 1863.

The forces in the First Military District on the 10th of July, 1863, were as follows:

Being 28,000 less than the estimate of troops required in September, 1862.

Meanwhile, as in duty bound, by numerous telegrams and letters during the months of April, May, June, and July, I kept the War Department advised, both through yourself and directly, of the threatening nature of the enemy's preparations upon the coast of my Department, and of my own fears concerning the imminence of an attack.

On the 25th of April, however, in answer to my telegrams of the preceding day, asking for heavy guns for Morris Island and other points, the Secretary of War telegraphs:

I regret to be unable to spare the guns now for the object mentioned; the claims of Wilmington and the Mississippi are now regarded as paramount.

On the 1st of May I was directed to send a full brigade to North Carolina, to report to General Hill, and in compliance General Clingman's brigade was despatched.

The following day the Secretary of War telegraphs:

Advices show the enemy, abandoning the attack on the eastern coast, are concentrating great forces in the Mississippi River.

Send, with the utmost despatch, eight or ten thousand men, including those ordered heretofore to Tullahoma, to General Pemberton's relief.

My answer was:

No orders sending troops to Tullahoma have reached here.

Cook's and Clingman's brigades have been returned to North Carolina.

Have ordered 5000 infantry and 2 batteries to report forthwith to General Pemberton, leaving only 10,000 infantry available for the whole of South Carolina and Georgia.

Cannot send more without abandoning Savannah Railroad.

Shall await further orders.

Enemy still occupies in force Folly and Seabrook's islands, also Port Royal.

To reduce this command further might become disastrous.

On the 4th of May I sent this despatch to the Hon. the Secretary of War:

Enemy's fleet, reported at Hilton Head and Port Royal yesterday, is 4 steam frigates, 5 wooden gunboats, 6 ships, 4 barks, 3 brigs, 87 transports, and 58 schooners: 183 in all. A very remarkable increase since last report.

Hon. James A. Seddon, Secretary of War, telegraphs, on the 9th of May, 1863:

Foster, with his own and part of Hunter's forces, is believed to have returned to North Carolina.

More reinforcements to General Pemberton are indispensable.

If General Evans's brigade has returned to you, send 5000 men; if not with you, a number which, with that, would make 5000 men.

On the following day I telegraphed, in reply to the Secretary of War:

The order sending additional troops to General Pemberton will be executed, Evans's brigade included; leaving but 1000 infantry to support extensive lines and batteries at Savannah, but 750 infantry to hold line of railroad to Savannah, virtually yielding up that country and large stores of rice to the enemy, as well as opening even Charleston and Augusta and Columbia Railroad to attack at Branchville, leaving here 1500 infantry at most, all of which will be known to the enemy in a few days.

Meantime, General W. S. Walker reports increased strength yesterday of enemy's outposts in his vicinity.

Hagood reports 2500 infantry on Seabrook's Island fortifying; five monitors still there.

Enemy in force on Folly Island, actively erecting batteries yesterday.

Season favorable for enemy's operations for quite a month. On the 12th I telegraphed as follows to the Hon. the Secretary of War:

Have ordered to General Pemberton (contrary to my opinion) Evans's brigade and one regiment, amounting to 2700 men, leaving only 6000 infantry available in whole South Carolina and Georgia; the other 1000 will await further orders of Department.

General Evans reports two brigades of enemy on Folly Island yesterday.

Please answer.

A letter to the same address, on the 11th of May, exhibited certain conditions and explained more fully my views on the subject of an attack, with the object of showing to the War Department the actual menacing aspect of the enemy on the coast of my Department.

I transcribe an extract from that letter:

* * * A week ago, under your orders, I put in motion for Jackson, Mississippi, two brigades, under Brigadier-Generals Gist and W. H. T. Walker, the former commanding South Carolina and the latter Georgia regiments?somewhat over 5000 infantry in all, and two light batteries of the best class in the Department.

Your orders have been based, apparently, on the conviction that the troops of the enemy assembled in this Department for operations against Charleston have been mainly withdrawn and directed to other expeditions in North Carolina and the Valley of the Mississippi.

This conviction I regret that I cannot share, as I am satisfied, from the reports of district commanders and from other reasons, that there has been really but little reduction of the command of Major-General Hunter.

General Walker, commanding at Pocotaligo, reports that on yesterday the outposts of the enemy in his front had been much increased in strength.

General Hagood reports them to be occupying Seabrook's Island with at least 2500 infantry.

They are erecting fortifications at that point, as also on Folly Island, which is likewise still occupied in force.

Five of the monitors remain in the North Edisto, with some twenty gunboats and transports.

With these and the transports still in the waters of Port Royal, and the forces which, I am unable to doubt, are still at the disposition of the enemy, he may renew the attack by land and water on Charleston at any moment.

Acting on the offensive, and commanding the time of attack, he could simultaneously call troops here from North Carolina, and sooner than my command could possibly be reinforced from any quarter out of the Department.

A letter to you of the 20th of May further calls attention to the fact that important changes are reported to be on foot in the armament of the monitors, and urges strenuously that Fort Sumter be armed, conformably to the original plan, with the heaviest guns, rifled or smooth-bore, which could be obtained, in anticipation of a renewal of the attack of the 7th of April.

I was informed, however, through your letter of the 10th of June that?

Northern papers report the reduction of Hunter's forces by sending troops to the Gulf.

If this be true, you will, with such force as you can properly withdraw from your defensive line, proceed to Mobile to resist an attack, if one should be designated at that place; but if the purpose of the enemy be to send his reinforcements to the Mississippi, you will go on and co-operate with General Johnston in that quarter.

This I answered by a telegram, on the 13th of same month, as follows:

Enemy's ironclads and forces still as heretofore reported to Department, excepting a gunboat expedition reported in Altamaha, and one preparing for St. John's River, Florida.

I will prepare as far as practicable for contingencies referred to in Department's letter, 10th inst. Please send me any positive information relative to movements or intentions of enemy.

But, in order that the War Department should be thoroughly cognizant of the state of affairs in my Department, I further addressed to you a letter, on the 15th June, in which I pointed out how utterly insufficient were the forces at my command to resist those of the enemy, and that on my own responsibility I could not further deplete the force in the Department.

I drew your attention, in this same letter, to the danger of an attack by the way of Morris Island?indeed, to the very route on which General Gillmore has since operated.

I take the following extract from that letter:

* * * Thus it will be seen that the force in the Department is already at the minimum necessary to hold the works around Charleston and Savannah, constantly menaced by the proximity of the enemy's ironclads.

The garrison of no work in the harbor can be withdrawn or diminished, as they are all necessary links in the chain of defences.

Reduce the command on James Island, and the enemy may readily penetrate by such a coup de main as was attempted last year at the weakened point.

James Island would then fall, and, despite our harbor defences, the City of Charleston would be thrown open to bombardment.

It is not safe to have less than a regiment of infantry on Morris Island, which, if once carried by the enemy, would expose Fort Sumter to be taken in reverse and demolished. * * *

Late Northern papers say Admiral Dupont has been relieved in command of the fleet on this coast by Admiral Foote, an officer whose operations in the West evinced much activity and an enterprising spirit.

And even were considerable reductions made in the enemy's forces, the valuable coast districts would still be left a prey to such destructive raids as devastated the Combahee some days ago. Thus far, however, I can see no evidence of reduction.

General Hunter was at Hilton Head on the 8th instant; his troops hold the same positions as heretofore, and apparently in the same force?a brigade on Folly, one on Seabrook's Island, and the balance on the islands about Port Royal. One of the monitors is at Hilton Head, and five are still in the North Edisto.

Nor has the number of their gunboats or transports diminished, or at any time recently been increased, as must have been the case had a material removal of troops taken place.

On the 25th of June his Excellency President Davis telegraphed the following:

From causes into which it is needless to enter the control of the Mississippi connection between the States east and west of it will be lost, unless Johnston is strongly and promptly reinforced within the next sixty days. Can you give him further aid without the probable loss of Charleston and Savannah?

I need not state to you that the issue is vital to the Confederacy.

My answer was:

Telegram is received.

No more troops can be sent away from this Department without losing railroad and country between here and Savannah; Georgetown District would have also to be abandoned.

(See my letter of the 15th instant to General Cooper.)

Thus, on the 10th of July, 1863, I had but 5861 men, of all arms, in the First Military District, guarding the fortifications around Charleston, or more than one-third of the troops in my Department, with an enemy in my front whose base of operations threatened Savannah, the line of coast, and important railroad connecting the former city and Charleston, and the latter city as well, with such immense transportation resources as to be able to concentrate and strike at will at any selected point before I could gather my troops to oppose.

In attacking Charleston itself five different routes of approach present themselves to an enemy: first, by landing a large force to the northward, say at Bull's Bay, marching across the country, and seizing Mount Pleasant and the northern shores of the inner harbor.

Secondly, by landing a large force to the southward, cutting the line of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad, and taking the city of Charleston in the rear.

Neither of these routes did I consider practicable, or likely to be adopted by the enemy, as his numerical force would not have allowed him to cope with us, unless under the shelter of his ironclads and gunboats, a fact which General Gillmore has always carefully recognized.

Before he adopts the overland approaches he will require a large addition to his land-forces.

The third, fourth, and fifth approaches, by James, Sullivan, and Morris Islands respectively, permitted, however, the co-operation of the navy; and I always believed, as experience has demonstrated, that of the three immediate routes to Charleston, the one by James Island was most dangerous to us, and the one which should be defended at all hazards?that by Sullivan's Island ranking next, and the one by Morris Island last, in point of importance ?for the following reasons:

An enemy who could gain a firm foothold on James Island and overpower its garrison, at that time having to defend a long, defective, and irregular line of works, could have erected batteries commanding the inner harbor at once, taking in rear our outer line of defences, and by a direct fire on the city compelled its evacuation in a short period; because in such a case it would become of no value as a strategic position, and prudence and humanity would alike revolt at the sacrifice of life necessary to enable us to retain possession of its ruins.

The route by Sullivan's Island was also of great importance, for its occupation would not only have enabled the enemy to reduce Fort Sumter as an artillery fortress, but would also have given entire control of the entrance to the inner harbor to his ironclad fleet.

At that time, owing to the want of labor and of heavy guns, the important works which now line the shores of the inner harbor had not been erected and armed, and the enemy's fleet would have been able to shell the city comparatively unmolested; and, by controlling and cutting off our communications with Fort Sumter and Morris Island, would soon have necessitated their surrender or evacuation.

The remaining route by Morris Island was certainly the least injurious to us, for the occupation of the island by the enemy neither involved the evacuation of Fort Sumter, the destruction of the city by a direct fire, as from James Island, nor the command of movements in our inner harbor by the ironclad fleet.

The Morris Island route I had long thought most likely to be attempted by the enemy, as its proximity to Folly Island, for many months back in their possession, gave them facilities for the execution of a coup de main; while the neighboring harbor of the Edisto gave their fleet convenient shelter from bad weather, which they could not have enjoyed on the Long Island coast, had their attack been via Sullivan's Island.

Moreover, the seizure of the island would afford the Federal Government opportunity for making capital with its people and with foreign powers.

To counteract these very apparent advantages of the enemy, as soon as suitable guns could be procured I had ordered to be erected on the south end of Morris Island proper batteries.

On Black Island, which lies between James and Morris islands, and from its position enfilades Light-house Inlet, between Folly and Morris islands, I had ordered to be built, several months previously, two batteries for two guns each.

This island was, further, to have been connected with the mainland by a branch from the bridge planned to connect James and Morris islands, and nearly completed when the enemy made their attack in July.

At Vincent's Creek a battery was commenced, and had it been completed would have played effectively upon the sand-hills on the south end of Morris Island.

Battery Wagner was substantially strengthened and arranged for four heavy guns in the sea-face, but, owing to the scarcity of labor and the want of the necessary ordnance to put into the works at the south end of the island when completed, they were not, on the 10th of July, 1863, in that condition which would have characterized them had I had sufficient labor, transportation, and ordnance at my disposal.

Want of labor and transportation has always been a serious drawback, not only to the defence of Charleston, but of the whole Department.

In reference to labor, I may here state that no subject connected with the defence of this Department has engrossed more of my attention.

Constant appeals were made to the Governors and Legislature of South Carolina, and to eminent citizens, since my first arrival.

Few seemed to appreciate the vital necessity of securing a proper amount of slave labor for the fortifications around Charleston; and instead of the State providing 2500 negroes monthly, as desired by me, for Charleston, I received for the first six months of 1863 the following number of negroes from the State's authority: January, 196; February, 261; March, 864; April, 491; May, 107; June, 60?total, 1979; or an average of 330 monthly, when I ought to have received 2500.

Hence it became a necessity that I should detain these hands longer than the thirty days, which was the original term of service required from each negro.

This step caused considerable discontent among the owners of slaves; and in the month of July, 1863, the number of negro hands in the employ of the Engineer Department, provided under my call on the State, amounted to only 299, including a number of hired negroes.

In the mean time the troops of the command, in addition to their regular duties, were employed in erecting fortifications, the whole of the works in the south end of Morris Island having been thrown up by its garrison.

The Engineer Department used every exertion to hire labor, but their efforts were not crowned with any appreciable success.

In the middle of June the batteries on the south end of Morris Island were engaged with the enemy on Little Folly Island, and undoubtedly retarded considerably the progress of their operations, as the following extracts of reports from Brigadier-General Ripley will show:

June 12th, 1863.

* * * The enemy having advanced light guns to Little Folly Island yesterday, to shell the wreck of the steamer Ruby, now ashore at Light-house Inlet, in accordance with directions Captain Mitchell, commanding the batteries on the south of Morris Island, opened fire, silencing them at the second shot.

This morning I gave directions for him to open fire in case he observed any indications of work on Little Folly on the part of the enemy; and this afternoon, about five o'clock, seeing parties apparently at work, he commenced shelling.

About fifty men left Little Folly for the main island.

The enemy replied from his batteries on Big Folly and his light guns.

Again, on the 14th of June, the same officer reports:

* * * The enemy having appeared to be at work on Little Folly Island, Lieutenant-Colonel Yates opened fire upon them, shelling them for about three-quarters of an hour, putting a stop to their operations, which appeared to be erecting a shelter or batteries near the inlet.

A close watch has been directed to be kept up, and their work to be stopped whenever attempted.

At the time of the attack on Charleston, in the beginning of April, the enemy occupied Big Folly and Seabrook's islands in force, estimated at one or two brigades, before the 10th of July a considerable number of troops landing on Cole's and James islands.

During the latter part of June, and up to the first week in July, 1863, no extraordinary activity was manifested by the enemy.

On Big Folly Island they were occupied, as usual, in fortifying the neck, strongly picketing Little Folly Island, and interfering with the wrecking-parties on the steamer Ruby.

On the morning of the 7th of July four monitors appeared off the bar, but no other increase of the fleet in that direction was discernible.

On the night of the 8th of July a scouting party, under the command of Captain Charles Haskell, visited Little Folly Island, and discovered the enemy's barges collected in the creeks approaching the island.

Commencing on the 7th of July, and for the three succeeding days, working parties of the enemy were seen engaged at labor on Little Folly Island, supposed to be light works for guns.

The wood on the island, but more especially the peculiar configuration of the ground, which consists of sand-hills, gave the enemy every facility for the concealment of his designs.

On the night of the 8th of July considerable noise from chopping with axes was heard, and in the morning some works were discernible, the wood and brush having been cleared away from their front.

On the night of the 9th of July an immediate attack being anticipated, the whole infantry force on the island was kept under arms at the south end.

At five o'clock on the morning of the 10th of July the enemy's attack commenced by a heavy fire on our position, from a great number of light guns apparently placed during the preceding forty-eight hours in the works lately thrown up on Little Folly Island. Three monitors about the same time crossed the bar, and brought their formidable armaments to bear on the left flank of our position, while several barges with howitzers in Light-house inlet flanked our right.

For two hours the enemy kept up the fire from these three different points, our batteries replying vigorously.

The barges of the enemy, filled with troops, having been seen in Lighthouse Inlet in the direction of Black Island, and Oyster Point being the nearest and most accessible spot for debarkation from them, it was justly considered the one most necessary to protect, and therefore the infantry, consisting of the 21st South Carolina Volunteers, about 350 effective men, were stationed by Colonel R. F. Graham, the immediate commander of the island, on the peninsula leading to that point.

In this position the infantry were unavoidably exposed to the fire of the boat howitzers, but sheltered by the nature of the ground from that of the guns on Little Folly Island.

About seven o'clock the enemy advanced on Oyster Point in a flotilla of boats containing between two and three thousand men, a considerable portion of whom endeavored to effect and hold a landing, in which they were opposed by the infantry until about eight o'clock, when another force of two or three regiments made good a landing in front of our batteries on the south end of Morris Island proper.

These formed in line of battle on the beach, and advanced directly upon our works, throwing out on each flank numerous skirmishers, who very soon succeeded in flanking and taking the batteries in reverse.

After an obstinate resistance our artillery had to abandon their pieces?three 8-inch navy shell guns, two 8-inch sea-coast howitzers, one rifled 24-pounder, one 30-pounder Parrott, one 12-pounder Whitworth, three 10-inch sea-coast mortars?eleven in all?and fall back.

Two companies of the 7th South Carolina Battalion, which arrived about this time, were ordered to the support of the batteries; but they could not make head against the overwhelming numbers of the enemy.

This success of the enemy threatened to cut off our infantry engaged at Oyster Point from their line of retreat; and consequently, about nine o'clock, Colonel Graham gave the order to fall back to Battery Wagner, which was accomplished under a severe flanking fire from the monitors.

The enemy thus gained possession of the south end of Morris Island, by rapidly throwing a large number of troops across the inlet, which it was impossible for the available infantry on the spot, about 400 effective men, to resist.

It was not the erection of works on Little Folly Island that caused the abandonment of our position; it was clearly the want on our side of infantry support, and the enemy's superior weight and number of guns, and the heavy supporting brigade of infantry, that swept away our feeble, stinted means of resistance.

The woods that remained unfelled on Little Folly Island were of no material advantage to the enemy; for even had there been labor to remove them (which I never had), the formation of the island, covered with ridges of sandhills, formed a screen which hid the enemy's movements completely from us, and afforded all the concealment he could desire.

The attack was not a surprise, neither was the erection of the enemy's works on Little Folly Island unknown to the local commanders or to these Headquarters.

The enemy, indeed, made little effort to conceal them.

With a sufficient infantry force on Morris Island, the result of the attack of the 10th of July, I am confident, would have been different; but, as I have already explained, the threatening position of the enemy on James Island entirely precluded the withdrawal of a single soldier from its defence until the point of attack had been fully developed; and the only reinforcements that could be sent to Morris Island, some 300 men of the 7th South Carolina Battalion, arrived too late to render material assistance on the morning of the 10th of July.

The long-protracted defence of Battery Wagner must not be compared with the evacuation of the south end of Morris Island, by way of throwing discredit on the latter movement.

The two defences are not analogous.

In the one a large extent of exposed ground had to be guarded with an entirely inadequate force; in the other a strong earthwork, with a narrow line of approach, could be held successfully against any attack by a body of men numerically quite insufficient to have opposed the landing of an enemy on the south end of Morris Island.

While the enemy, on the 9th of July, was threatening Morris Island, he also made a strong demonstration against James Island by the Stono River.

At 12 M. on that day Colonel Simonton, commanding at Secessionville, telegraphed:

The enemy are landing on Battery Island; their advance pickets and ours arc firing.

Pickets from Grimball's (on the Stono) report the enemy landing at that place.

Three gunboats and a monitor proceeded up the Stono as far as the obstructions.

On the morning of the 10th of July, while the attack was progressing on Morris Island, Colonel Simonton telegraphed that the main body of the enemy were moving in force from Battery Island to Legare's house, having a line of pickets extending from a point at Legare's in an oblique line up the Stono, cutting the Grimball causeway about midway.

Later in the day, however, the same officer telegraphed that the reported advance of the enemy was premature: They are in force on Battery Island.

Though the demonstration of the enemy in the Stono and on James Island was instituted to distract our attention from Morris Island, yet it was made in such strength that at any moment it could have been converted into a real attack of the most disastrous kind to us, had the garrison been weakened to support Morris Island.

On the afternoon of the 10th of July detachments of 1st, 12th, 18th, and 63d Georgia (534 effectives) arrived from the District of Georgia, under the command of Colonel Olmstead, with the 21st South Carolina Volunteers; and Nelson's Battalion became the garrison of Battery Wagner.

At daylight on the morning of the 11th of July the enemy assaulted Battery Wagner, and was repulsed with much loss; two (2) officers and ninetyfive (95) rank and file being left dead in front of our works, and six (6) officers and one hundred and thirteen (113) rank and file taken prisoners; about forty of the latter being wounded.

Our loss was one (1) officer and five (5) privates killed, and one (1) officer and five (5) privates wounded.

During the day three (3) monitors and three (3) wooden gunboats shelled Battery Wagner, and in the evening a fifth monitor crossed the bar.

Colonel Simonton, on James Island, at 7 A. M. reported no forward movement in his front; two gunboats and several transports off Battery Island.

At 9 P. M. he telegraphed that the enemy was advancing in force from Legare's house to Grimball's, our pickets falling back on the reserves.

On the 12th of July the Marion Artillery, four guns and 39 effectives, arrived from the Second Military District, and was placed on James Island, as well as the 11th South Carolina Regiment, from the Third Military District (400 effectives); but these last soon had to be returned, to guard our communications with Savannah.

A portion of Brigadier-General Clingman's brigade, 550 men of the 51st North Carolina Volunteers, and 50 men of the 31st North Carolina Volunteers, arrived from Wilmington about the same time, in consequence of my urgent call for reinforcements.

The enemy was occupied during the day in erecting works on the middle of Morris Island, while five monitors and three wooden gunboats shelled Batteries Wagner and Gregg.

The armament of Battery Wagner was increased by four 12-pounder howitzers and two 32-pounder carronades, on siege-carriages.

On the 13th of July the enemy was actively engaged in throwing up works on the middle of Morris Island, but were interrupted by our fire from Battery Gregg and Fort Sumter.

During the day four monitors, three gunboats, and two mortar-vessels shelled Batteries Wagner and Gregg, but with little effect and slight casualties.

Four monitors only were with the fleet; the fifth was seen going to the south, without a smoke-stack, on the evening of the 12th.

Orders were issued on this day for the construction, at once, of a new battery on Shell Point?Battery Simkins?in advance of Fort Johnson, for one 10-inch columbiad, one 6.40 Brooke gun, and three 10-inch mortars.

The armament of Fort Moultrie was ordered to be increased by guns taken from Fort Sumter.

An appeal was made to his Excellency Governor Bonham for slave-labor for work on the fortifications.

The arrival of Clingman's brigade and reinforcements from other quarters having increased to some extent my available force, the consideration arose whether or not the expulsion of the enemy from Morris Island yet was feasible.

The number of men required for such an attempt would have been 4000, the surface of Morris Island not permitting the manoeuvring of a large number.

The only hope of the attempt being successful lay in the possibility of our troops carrying the enemy's works and position before daylight; otherwise the advance and attack would necessarily have been made under the fire of the enemy's fleet, in which case it must have ended disastrously for us.

After a consultation with my general officers, the idea of this attack was abandoned when it became apparent that our means of transportation were so limited as to render it impossible to throw sufficient reinforcements on Morris Island in one night, and in time to allow the advance of our troops to the south end before daylight.

Two regiments under Brigadier-General Colquitt arrived on the 14th, and were sent to James Island.

During the day the enemy's wooden gunboats and mortar-vessels shelled Battery Wagner at long range, doing, however, little damage.

The enemy worked hard on his Morris Island batteries, making considerable progress.

The fire, however, from Fort Sumter and Batteries Wagner and Gregg appeared to harass him considerably.

The impossibility of expelling the enemy from Morris Island being fully recognized, I was obliged, reluctantly, to adopt the defensive.

Orders were issued for closing the gate-way in the gorge of Fort Sumter, and removing a portion of the guns, also for the construction of a covered way from Fort Moultrie to Battery Bee.

During the night Brigadier-General Taliaferro, commanding at Morris Island, sent out a party of one hundred and fifty men under Major Rion of the 7th South Carolina Battalion, who drove the enemy's pickets from his rifle-pits across the island some three-quarters (3/4) (i) of a mile from Battery Wagner.

On the 15th the enemy on Morris Island appeared to be largely reinforced; and during the night of the 14th the frigate Ironsides crossed the bar.

The enemy was busy on his works?our men employed in repairing damages in Battery Wagner and answering the fire of the monitors and gunboats.

The following instructions were given to the Engineer Department: To have Shell Point Battery constructed for three instead of two guns, the mortar-batteries at Fort Johnson to be converted into gun-batteries for one heavy rifled gun or 10-inch columbiad each.

To strengthen the gorge-wall of Fort Sumter by means of wet cotton-bales, filled in between with sand, and kept moist by means of tubes or hose from the upper terre-plein.

General Ripley was also instructed to reduce the forces on Morris Island to a command simply competent to hold the works against a coup de main, also to furnish the troops on that island with several hundred rice-casks for the construction of rat holes in the sand-hills in rear of Battery Wagner.

Instructions were given to the Chief of Subsistence to keep rations on Morris Island for 5000 men for thirty days, and on James Island rations for 5000 men for fifteen days, with a reserve supply in the city.

On the same day the enemy's pickets along the Stono on John's Island were observed to be increased by the addition of negro troops.

Brigadier-General Hagood made a reconnaissance of the enemy in his front on James Island.

At daybreak, on the morning of the 16th of July, Brigadier-General Hagood, in accordance with instructions, attacked the enemy on James Island, driving them to the shelter of their gunboats and to Battery Island.

The loss was small on both sides: 3 men killed, 12 wounded, and 3 missing on our side.

The enemy lost 40 negroes killed, and 14 prisoners left in our hands.

This retreat of the enemy was followed by the advance of our troops, who have occupied the ground ever since.

In the engagement the gunboat Pawnee was forced to retire down the Stono River, under fire from our light artillery.

During the day the monitors, gunboats, and mortar-vessels shelled Battery Wagner.

The enemy worked diligently on their batteries.

In the evening large bodies of infantry were landed on the south end of Morris Island.

Colonel Harris, Chief-Engineer, was directed to increase the batteries on James Island bearing on Morris Island by at least twenty guns, on siegecar-riages, so as to envelop the enemy with a circular fire whenever he might gain possession of the northeast end of Morris Island, all works to be pushed on day and night.

On the morning of the 17th the enemy's fleet left the Stono River, after embarking his forces at Battery Island, and appeared to concentrate them on Little Folly and Morris islands.

Both the fleet and land batteries of the enemy shelled Wagner throughout the day, answered vigorously by our guns.

The construction of batteries on Morris Island by the enemy proceeded rapidly.

In a telegraphic despatch forwarded on this date I pointed out that the contest had lapsed into one of engineering skill, where, with sufficient time, labor, and long-range guns, our success was very probable, owing to the plan of defence adopted; otherwise it was doubtful in proportion to the lack of these three elements of success.

The fire from the enemy's batteries from this date prevented communication with Cummings's Point during daylight, and henceforth it had to be effected at night.

The very limited transportation at my command added considerably to the difficulties of relieving the garrisons on Morris Island as frequently as I could have wished.

The time of service was at first limited to forty-eight hours, but, owing to the difficulties in the way of transportation, I had to lengthen the period of duty on Morris Island to three days.

On the morning of the 18th of July it became evident that the enemy was about to attempt serious operations against Wagner.

The south end of Morris Island was crowded with troops, and in their batteries and advanced works great activity was apparent, large bodies of men being engaged in pushing them rapidly to completion.

Troops were continually being landed on Morris from Folly Island.

These advanced and took up position in line of battle behind their breastworks.

At 8.10 A. M. Battery Wagner opened, five minutes afterwards Battery Gregg joined.

At 10 A. M. four of the enemy's vessels were in action.

At 11.30 A. M. Fort Sumter opened on the enemy's rifle-pits on Morris Island.

The guns of Battery Wagner about this time got the range of the enemy's working parties, and seemed to harass them extremely.

At 12.10 P. M. the frigate Ironsides and one monitor moved up abreast of Battery Wagner, and at 12.30 were joined by two other monitors, when they opened fire on the work.

At 1 P. M. the Ironsides, five monitors, a large wooden frigate, six mortar-boats?these latter could get the range without exposing themselves?and the land batteries, mounting five guns, concentrated their fire on Battery Wagner, and continued it until dark.

The enemy's firing throughout the day was very rapid, averaging fourteen shots per minute, and unparalleled until this epoch of the siege in the weight of projectiles thrown.

Brigadier-General Taliaferro, commanding, at Battery Wagner, estimated that nine hundred shot and shell were thrown in and against the battery during the eleven and a half (11 1/2) hours that the bombardment lasted.

During that time our casualties in the work were four killed and fourteen wounded. Throughout the day the garrison replied slowly to the terrific fire to which it was exposed, while Fort Sumter and Battery Gregg fired rapidly.

The main body of the enemy, after vainly endeavoring to gain a position upon the parapet, retreated in disorder under a destructive fire from our guns, including those of Fort Sumter.

The ditch and slope of the southeastern angle of the battery were then swept by a fire of grape and musketry, in order to prevent the escape of the enemy lodged there, who, after a brief resistance, surrendered themselves prisoners.

The garrison of Battery Wagner consisted of the Charleston Battalion, the 51st North Carolina, and the 31st North Carolina; two companies of the 63d Georgia Heavy Artillery and two companies of the 1st South Carolina Infantry acting as artillery.

During the bombardment the garrison were kept under the shelter of the bomb-proofs, with the exception of the Charleston Battalion, which was stationed along the parapet of the work, a position which they gallantly maintained throughout the day, exposed to a feu d'enfer. Providentially, the casualties did not exceed eight killed and twenty wounded.

At a quarter to eight o'clock in the evening the assaulting lines of the enemy were seen advancing from their works, and the bombardment from the fleet and land batteries subsided.

The garrison were quietly called to their allotted positions, and, with the exception of one regiment, responded manfully to the summons.

The Charleston Battalion guarded the right of the work, and the 51st North Carolina Volunteers the centre.

These two regiments drove back the enemy opposed to them with terrible slaughter, while our guns, discharging grape and canister into their shattered ranks, completed their discomfiture.

On the left of the work, however, the 31st North Carolina disgracefully abandoned their position; and, no resistance being offered at this point, a portion of the enemy succeeded in crossing the ditch and in gaining a foothold upon the rampart.

Brigadier-General Hagood, who, in anticipation of an assault, was relieved from the command of James Island, and, with Colonel Harrison's regiment? the 32d Georgia Volunteers?was ordered to the reinforcement of Morris Island, arrived in time to assist in the dislodgment of that portion of the enemy who had gained a footing in the southeastern salient, but not before the attack was made and the enemy repulsed.

The assault was terribly disastrous to the enemy.

His loss, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, must have been three thousand, as eight hundred bodies were interred in front of Battery Wagner on the following morning.

The enemy's forces on this occasion consisted of troops from Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and New York, and the 54th Massachusetts Negro Regiment, the whole said to be under the command of BrigadierGen-eral Strong, who died afterwards from the effects of wounds received on this, occasion.

Brigadier-General Taliaferro reported that the garrison, with the exception of the 31st North Carolina Volunteers, behaved throughout with the utmost gallantry.

The heroic conduct of the 51st North Carolina Volunteers counterbalanced the unworthy behavior of the 31st and retrieved the honor of the State.

Our own loss during the bombardment and assault was 174 killed and wounded.

At 1 A. M. on the morning of the 19th of July, during the engagement, I telegraphed to Brigadier-General Ripley that Morris Island must be held at all cost for the present, and, with the reinforcements thrown there, to push every advantage possible before daylight.

The day passed in comparative quiet.

The enemy sent in a flag of truce in the morning to arrange for the burial of the dead.

Brigadier-General Hagood reported that six hundred (600) of the enemy's dead in and around our works were buried by our troops, and at least two hundred (200) more by the enemy.

The strengthening of the gorge-wall of Sumter by cotton-bales and sand proceeded rapidly.

On the 20th the enemy opened fire from two new batteries.

Throughout the day the fleet joined in the bombardment, and were answered by Fort Sumter and Batteries Gregg and Wagner.

At 3 P. M. information was received that the 10-inch gun at Battery Wagner was dismounted.

I impressed upon General Hagood, commanding the work, that I did not consider 10-inch columbiads essential to the defence of the position, for which siege-guns, musketry, stout arms and hearts, and the strength of sand parapets must be relied on. Orders were issued, however, for the remounting of the 10-inch gun, if practicable.

The enemy's fleet this morning consisted of four monitors, the Ironsides, and seventeen vessels inside the bar, fourteen vessels outside, and thirty vessels in Folly River. One gunboat and four vessels in North Edisto, and one steam-frigate, one sloop-of-war, one gunboat, and thirty-four transports at Hilton Head.

Brigadier-General Ripley was instructed this day to have the guns intended for the Legare Point Battery mounted immediately, and to open fire with them as soon as possible.

Brigadier-General Mercer was telegraphed to send on, if practicable, another 10-inch columbiad from the Savannah works.

At 2 P. M. a shell from the enemy's batteries struck Fort Sumter, and some eight or ten 30-pounder Parrott shots were fired at; the fort from a distance of 3500 yards.

Five casualties occurred in Battery Wagner on this (late, and one in Fort Sumter.

On the 21st the enemy sent in a flag of truce, with a communication from General Gillmore, requesting an interview between General Vogdes and the officer commanding Battery Wagner.

The proposal was agreed to, and the flag of truce was met by an officer from that work.

While the conference was proceeding the fleet opened a bombardment on Wagner.

This gross violation of the usages of war was responded to on the part of General Hagood by an abrupt termination of the interview.

During the day the enemy's gunboats and land batteries shelled Battery Wagner.

The enemy had apparently mounted eight new guns in their batteries.

Colonel Rhett reported that from the want of proper appliances he had been unable to dismount the guns in Fort Sumter which I had ordered to be removed.

The bombardment continued throughout the 22d from fleet and land batteries, with an interval, when General Vogdes, U. S. A., requested, under a flag of truce, another interview with Brigadier-General Hagood.

This was refused until an apology should be made for the breach of truce the day before.

This having been given and deemed satisfactory, General Vogdes verbally proposed an exchange of prisoners, mentioning that they had but few of ours, all except those recently captured having been sent North; that as we had the excess, of course we could select whom to exchange.

He abstained from any reference to negroes, while intimating that a mutual parole of prisoners without regard to excess would be agreeable.

The following instructions were given to Brigadier-General Ripley:

Not to open fire from the new James Island batteries until their completion; then to carry on a vigorous fire with guns and mortars on the enemy's works.

Sorties to be made at night whenever practicable.

In my telegraph to you [General Cooper] of this date I mentioned the continual reinforcement of the enemy, that I had to guard three important lines of approach?James, Morris, and Sullivan's islands?and requested the balance of General Colquitt's brigade, with more troops, as soon as possible.

No gun was fired on either side during the 23d.

Our men were engaged in repairing damages.

The enemy was busy erecting batteries and throwing up traverses, to protect them from the fire of the James Island batteries.

On the morning of the 24th a heavy bombardment was opened upon Battery Wagner from five monitors, two gunboats, two mortar-vessels, the Ironsides, and land batteries, which continued until 9.30 A. M., when the steamer with the prisoners on board proceeded to the fleet, and the exchange was effected, as previously agreed on.

Colonel Harris, Chief-Engineer, having inspected Battery Wagner, reported no material damage to the work.

The guns on the sea face unserviceable, on the land front in good order.

The enemy's stockade within seven hundred (700) yards of the fort.

1 Brigadier-General Taliaferro, who had relieved Brigadier-General Hagood in the command of Battery Wagner, on the night of the 22d came to the city to confer personally with me regarding the condition of the garrison of Battery Wagner, the officers having reported their men as considerably dispirited.

After a conference with him I communicated my views as follows:

The position must be held if possible until the guns en route from Richmond shall be received and placed in position.

No idea of evacuation must be entertained, if there is a chance at night to repair the damages of the day.

Every night preparations will be on hand for removing troops from Morris Island in case of need.

Battery Wagner must be held and fought to the last extremity.

The garrison might rest assured that every preparation will be made for their withdrawal in case the work should become untenable.

My telegram to you of this date was:

The enemy's fleet and land batteries shelled Battery Wagner heavily this morning.

Garrison lost only one killed and seven wounded-hope to repair damages during the night.

Am anxiously waiting for heavy guns promised from Richmond.

On the 25th the enemy's fleet remained quiet, owing to the high sea, and his land batteries fired but little; Fort Sumter, Battery Gregg, and the James Island batteries answering.

A 30-pounder Parrott was again brought to bear on Fort Sumter from the same battery as on the 20th.

During the day I informed you by telegraph that several of my new batteries were ready for their armament.

The strengthening of Fort Sumter proceeded day and night, and in anticipation of the damaging effect which the enemy's heavy rifled guns from stationary batteries would have on this work, a partial disarmament was carried on nightly.

On Sunday, the 26th, the bombardment of the enemy slackened.

During the night shelling of the enemy's works was carried on from Fort Sumter.

Reinforcements were seen throughout the day disembarking on Morris Island.

I telegraphed on that day:

Have nine positions ready.

Not one gun promised from Richmond has yet arrived.

Cannot their transportation be expedited?

The weather on the 27th was too windy for the co-operation of the fleet, which had been increased by the addition of another monitor.

During the day the bombardment from the land batteries slackened.

Our defenses were pushed on vigorously, while the strengthening of Fort Sumter and the withdrawal of guns from that work proceeded.

The enemy showed great activity in advancing their work, though harassed from the fire of our batteries.

On the 28th Battery Wagner sustained another very severe bombardment from the enemy's land and naval batteries, but no great damage was done.

Two men were killed and five wounded.

My telegraphic despatch on the evening of the 28th was:

Many transports of the enemy are arriving with troops.

At least 2500 more men are required at present for James Island; cannot they be ordered here immediately?

Enemy's land and naval batteries are now playing on Wagner, which replies bravely with Gregg and Sumter.

On the 29th Battery Wagner was heavily bombarded throughout the day by the fleet and land batteries.

In a telegram to you of this date I notified the arrival of some of the promised guns from Richmond:

Have received four 10-inch columbiads and four 10-inch mortars.

Regret to say, by order of Secretary of Navy, two Brooke guns have been taken from me, to be shut up in a new gunboat, so pierced as only to give a range of a mile and a half at most.

Throughout the 30th Batteries Wagner and Gregg were subjected to a furious fire from both land batteries and fleet.

As an example of the rapid fire of the enemy, I may mention that between the hours of 10.30 A. M. and 1 P. M. five hundred and ninety-nine (599) shot were fired at our different batteries, principally Gregg and Wagner.

During the same time one hundred and ten (110) shots were fired from our works.

Our loss to-day was two killed and seven wounded in Battery Wagner; no damage of consequence done to the works.

Brigadier-General Ripley was instructed to transport as early as possible one of the 10-inch columbiads lately arrived from Richmond to Battery Wagner, which was accomplished on the night of the 30th.

The enemy fired heavily on Battery Wagner throughout the 31st.

Our loss was seven wounded. Our new works progressed very satisfactorily, and the strengthening of Fort Sumter and removal of its guns went on rapidly.

The enemy's fire on the 1st of August was slack, and did but little execution, save a slight injury to the front traverse of the 8-inch shell-gun in Battery Wagner, which did not, however, disable it. The casualties to-day were only two wounded. The enemy was industriously engaged in throwing up new batteries and advancing his trenches; every endeavor was made by firing from Sumter, Gregg, Wagner, and the James Island batteries to annoy and delay his approach.

Throughout the morning of the 2d of August the enemy did not answer our fire, but about two o'clock they opened with vigor on Wagner.

The damage done to the work was, however, comparatively small.

In my telegram of that date I mentioned that?

Transports filled with troops arc reported going south from Stono, probably intended to operate against Savannah.

Cannot some of my troops sent to General Johnston be ordered back immediately for defence of this city?

Orders were given to the Chief Quartermaster to have trains in waiting sufficient to transport two regiments of infantry to Savannah.

The difficulties attending the defence of Charleston were greatly increased by the celerity with which the enemy could remove his operations from one point to another, and, from the paucity of troops in my command, Savannah and the coast line were nearly denuded.

Instructions were given for increasing the armament of Fort Johnson by two 6.40 Brooke guns turned over by the Navy Department, and to place floating torpedoes in certain localities.

Brigadier-General Mercer was directed to forward a detachment of artillerists to relieve those of the 63d Georgia Volunteers who had become reduced by casualties and sickness, and had been ordered to return to Savannah.

The Ordnance Department in Richmond was applied to for Coehorn mortars.

The fire of the enemy on the 3d was not heavy, but his sharp-shooters annoyed the garrison of Wagner considerably.

No casualties occurred during the day.

Brigadier-General Mercer, at Savannah, was informed that transports were reported moving south from here, and that two regiments were held in readiness to move at a moment's notice.

I was informed that Evans's brigade was ordered to Savannah from Mississippi.

In a personal visit paid to Morris Island that evening I found Battery Wagner in very serviceable condition.

The work was more solidly constructed than when the first attack took place.

The garrison appeared to be in fine spirits and ready to defend the work to the last.

At Fort Sumter the filling of the officers' quarters and the casemates was rapidly approaching completion.

An exterior sand-bag revetement to the gorge-wall was ordered, as well as a series of traverses in barbette on the east, south, and northeast faces, and many changes and removals in the armament.

During the 4th of August but little firing occurred on either side.

Orders were given to re-arrange certain guns in the batteries and lines on James Island.

Major Trezevant, Commandant of the Charleston Arsenal, was requested to collect all the old iron in the burnt districts of the city, to be cast into projectiles.

Orders were given to Brigadier-General Ripley to arrange with Captain Tucker of the navy for an attempt to capture the enemy's pickets in the Marsh Battery, near Vincent's Creek.

On the 5th the guns in Battery Wagner were all in fighting order.

Our sharp-shooters, armed with Whitworth rifles, seemed to annoy the enemy greatly, who endeavored to silence their fire with Coehorn mortars.

About nine o'clock on that night a picket of the enemy which had taken possession of our unfinished battery in Vincent's Creek, and, by signalling the arrival at night of our steamers at Cummings's Point, interfered materially with our operations, was attacked by a party from the navy and from the 25th South Carolina Volunteers.

The result was satisfactory.

One captain and ten enlisted men of the enemy were captured; our loss was one man killed.

Our defensive works at Fort Sumter and other points progressed rapidly.

The telegram of this day's date was:

Enemy still being largely reinforced from northward.

Cannot General Colquitt's other regiment be ordered here at once?

More troops are absolutely required.

Throughout the 6th the enemy fired occasional shots from his land batteries and fleet, but without material result.

One casualty occurred.

Our batteries fired at intervals throughout the day. Brigadier-General Cobb was ordered by telegraph to send 500 infantry and one light battery to report to Brigadier-General Mercer, in Savannah.

The enemy on Morris Island worked laboriously on his batteries and trenches, while strong reinforcements of troops were daily seen arriving.

On the 7th I received a telegram from you informing me that the balance of Colquitt's brigade was ordered to Charleston.

There was little firing throughout the day. Only two casualties occurred on Morris Island.

On the 8th Brigadier-General Evans reported his arrival in Savannah.

A large increase was visible in the enemy's fleet in the Stono.

During the day firing at intervals was carried on from our batteries, but the enemy remained quiet till the evening, when he opened on Battery Wagner, and continued the fire throughout the night.

Instructions were given to the Chief-Engineer to expedite the putting up in Fort Sumter of the sand-bag chemise to the gorge-wall, the interior traverses, merlons, embrasures, and a covered way to be erected between Batteries Wagner and Gregg.

The fire of the enemy during the morning of the 9th was heavy and rapid from his land batteries.

The officer in command of the advanced pickets reported that the enemy worked industriously in his trenches until 2 A. M.

The fire of our sharp-shooters evidently seemed to annoy the enemy, as he occasionally fired with great spirit to dislodge them, but ineffectually.

One casualty in Battery Wagner during the day.

The effective force on Morris Island was 663 infantry, 248 artillery, and 11 cavalry?total, 922.

During the day I received the following telegram from Brigadier-General M. Jenkins, dated Petersburg, Virginia:

My scouts report shipment of troops, both infantry and cavalry, from Norfolk, supposed for Charleston.

Large quantities of forage shipped.

Cavalry left 6th inst.

The Chief-Engineer was instructed to lay out and erect a line of works on James Island from Secessionville to Dill's house, in lieu of the present defensive lines, to consist of lunettes with closed gorges disposed at one-half to three-quarters of a mile apart, and connected with cremaillere lines.

Captain Tucker, C. S. N., was informed of the practice on the part of the enemy of putting out boat pickets at night to observe the movements of our transportation to Morris Island, and it was suggested to Captain Tucker that steps should be taken by the navy to break up these pickets.

Upon the approach of one of our transportation steamers signals could be exchanged between the enemy's boats and their land batteries, and these latter opening immediately a heavy fire upon Cummings's Point, rendered our communications extremely difficult and hazardous.

At times, also,--the enemy illuminated the landing with a powerful calcium light, so as to prevent the approach of our steamers, forcing us to transport our supplies of men and munitions by means of small boats.

During the 10th the enemy remained comparatively quiet, until about 8 P. M., when he opened briskly on Battery Wagner.

On our side firing was kept up from Battery Simkins with columbiads, from 11 A. M. to 11 P. M., when mortar firing was resumed and continued until morning.

The enemy on Morris Island were busy during the past night, and his advanced works were then about six hundred yards from Battery Wagner, though no guns were yet in position.

My telegram to you of that date was:

Nothing of importance has occurred since yesterday.

Evans's brigade is arriving in Savannah, and Colquitt's regiments arriving here.

About seven o'clock on the morning of the 11th, the fleet and land batteries opened heavily on Battery Wagner, and were replied to by Fort Sumter and Batteries Simkins and Gregg.

One casualty occurred during the day, the enemy as well as ourselves working persistently, in spite of the excessive heat.

Our garrison on Morris Island consisted of 1245, of all arms.

At 5.45 A. M., on the morning of the 12th, the enemy opened on Fort Sumter with an 8-inch Parrott gun, firing from a battery north and west of Craig's Hill, Morris Island?distance estimated to be at least forty-four hundred yards. Eleven shots, in all, were fired at the fort; four missed, three struck outside, and four within the fort.

Again, at 5.30 P. M., the enemy opened on Fort Sumter from the same battery, firing at intervals of ten minutes till dark.

Eleven 8-inch rifled shot struck the fort.

Heavy firing was carried on throughout the day against Battery Wagner and Fort Sumter, and Batteries Gregg and Simkins directed their fire against the enemy's working parties on the left of his approach, and dispersed them, stopping the work they were throwing up.

At dark Battery Wagner opened with eight guns on the enemy's advanced trenches, and, in conjunction with Fort Sumter and Battery Simkins, prevented any progress on the part of the enemy.

His batteries in rear replied to the fire of Wagner, and interrupted our communications with Cummings's Point.

On the 13th the enemy endeavored several times to repair the damages done to his advanced works during the preceding night, but well-directed shots from Battery Wagner as often drove him back.

The batteries in rear and the fleet then opened fire on Wagner and Gregg, and were answered by Fort Sumter and Battery Simkins.

At 5.30 A. M. the enemy opened with 8-inch Parrotts from the same battery as the day before, firing two or three times only.

At 11 A. M. three or four wooden gunboats, armed with heavy rifled guns, approached within four and five thousand yards of Fort Sumter, and opened a slow fire; some fifteen shots were fired with great range; three only struck the fort.

One shot passed over the fort at great elevation, and dropped a mile to the westward.

At 5 P. M. the enemy opened again on the fort with the 8-inch Parrotts.

No great damage was done; the farthest penetration into the brickwork was about four feet.

On the 14th the land batteries opened on Fort Sumter, firing three shots; two struck about 11 A. M. The wooden gunboats shelled the fort at long range, and at 5.15 P. M. the land batteries again opened on the fort.

Throughout the day the enemy remained quiet, firing occasionally, and replied to by our batteries.

The sharp-shooters on both sides kept up a constant fire.

During the night the fire from Battery Wagner put a stop to the enemy's operations in its front.

The strengthening of Fort Sumter advanced rapidly, day and night.

Brigadier-General Ripley was instructed as to the armament of certain portions of the new lines on James Island, and of a new battery thrown up near Fort Johnson.

During the greater part of the 15th the enemy, both on land and sea, were unusually quiet, occasionally firing at Battery Wagner; later in the day they opened with some vigor on Battery Gregg.

The enemy's fleet consisted this morning of the Ironsides, six monitors, eight gunboats, three mortar-hulks, and thirteen vessels inside the bar?outside, seven; at Hilton Head, fifty-two vessels, including gunboats and ironclads.

My telegram of this date was:

No change worth recording since yesterday.

Sand-bag revetement of gorge-wall of Sumter and traverses inside of fort progressing as rapidly as means of transportation will permit.

On the 16th the enemy's batteries fired but little on Batteries Wagner and Gregg, but during the afternoon the two 8-inch Parrotts opened on Fort Sumter, throwing forty-eight shells.

Four passed over, four fell short, ten struck inside the parade, and thirty hit in various places, exterior and interior.

At this date the armament of the fort consisted of thirty-eight guns and two mortars, at least twenty guns having been withdrawn since the landing of the enemy on Morris Island.

Orders were given to Brigadier-General Ripley to remove to Battery Gregg the two mortars in Fort Sumter as soon as it should become impossible to use them with advantage in the latter work, and to transport to other points every gun in Sumter not actually required for its defence and by the new relations of that work to the defence of the harbor.

The Chief-Engineer was instructed to strengthen Castle Pinckney with sand-bags.

Fort Johnson to be arranged for two additional 10-inch guns, and positions to be prepared for three 10-inch guns, to be placed on the James Island shore of the harbor.

Battery Wagner was bombarded heavily by the enemy about daylight on the 17th; at about 9 o'clock A. M. the Ironsides and six monitors joined in the action.

Their guns were turned also on Battery Gregg and Fort Sumter, a heavy cannonade being directed against those three works, but principally against Wagner, which, having only two 10-inch columbiads and one 382-pounder, rifled, to reply to the enemy's fleet, maintained the unequal contest more than one hour, when Colonel Keitt, commanding on Morris Island, ordered the brave artillerists and their gallant officers to the cover of the bomb-proofs.

During this terrible fire the Engineer Department lost the valuable services of a most promising officer, Captain J. M. Wampler, of Virginia, who was killed by the explosion of a 15-inch shell.

During the engagement Captain Rodgers, commanding the monitor Weehawken, was killed in the pilot-house of his ship.

In the twenty-four hours 948 shots were fired against Fort Sumter; 448 struck outside, 233 inside, and 270 passed over.

The casualties in the fort amounted to fourteen.

On the 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22d, and 23d of August the fierce bombardment of Fort Sumter was continued by the enemy, both from his land batteries and, at intervals, from his fleet.

From the 17th to the 23d inclusive he fired against the fort a total of 5643 shots, of which number 5643 struck inside, 1699 outside, and 1301 missed.

These projectiles varied in weight from thirty to three hundred pounds, and were fired from Parrott and 15-inch smoothbore guns.

An average of one hundred and fifty pounds per shot would give a weight of nearly 385 tons discharged against the wall of Fort Sumter during this period of seven days. At the end of this time nearly all the guns remaining in the fort were unserviceable, and the damage to the gorge-wall and the northwest face by the reverse fire was great; but the sand that had been placed on the outside of the gorge-wall, in conjunction with the filling up of the barracks and casemates with cotton-bales, and, above all, the crumbling of the masonry under the enemy's fire, converted this portion of Fort Sumter into a mass of debris and rubbish, on which the enemy's powerful artillery could make but little impression.

Throughout the siege the unremitting exertions of the Engineer Corps hourly increased the defensive power of the work.

The following extract from the journal of the Engineer officer at Fort Sumter, from August 23d, will show the condition of the work on that date:

The northwest front has now five arches with ramparts fallen in; northeast barbette battery unserviceable; east front scarp much scaled by slant fire, with large craters under traverses; principal injury at level of arches and terre-plein; two-thirds of southern wall of east magazine damaged, stone revetement unhurt and protected by rubbish, gorge not damaged since yesterday; another shot penetrated above sand filling of second-story rooms, making three since the attack began; east barbette battery parapet much loosened and undermined, though not displaced; one 10-inch and one 11-inch gun untouched; Brooke gun-carriage shattered, but can easily be mounted on 10-inch columbiad carriage.

* * * During the seven days that the enemy so vigorously bombarded Fort Sumter his approaches to Battery Wagner were slowly pushed forward under the fire of our guns and sharp-shooters.

On the 21st he made an unsuccessful attack on our rifle-pits directly in front of Battery Wagner.

The same day, at 12 M., under flag of truce, General Gillmore sent a demand for the surrender of Fort Sumter and Morris Island, with the threat that in case of non-compliance he would open fire on the city.

Four hours were allowed for a reply.

This despatch was received at the Headquarters of the Department at 10 3/4 P. M. The enemy carried his threat into execution by throwing several shells into the city about 1.30 A. M. on the morning of the 22d.

On the 24th the fire on Fort Sumter lessened considerably; not more than one hundred and fifty shots were thrown against it in the course of the day.

Every endeavor was made to retard the approach of the besiegers to Battery Wagner; his working parties were fired on from the battery, but this had to be discontinued and the embrasures closed, in order to prevent our pieces from being dismounted.

Until three o'clock in the afternoon of the 25th the enemy's fire was principally directed against Fort Sumter; after that time Battery Wagner was fiercely bombarded, as well as the space between our rifle-pits and the works; at dusk the enemy endeavored to carry the position held by our pickets, but were repulsed.

Our loss was five killed and nineteen wounded.

A very large amount of ammunition and ordnance-stores were removed from Fort Sumter during the night.

On the 26th one hundred and thirty shots were fired at Sumter, Batteries Wagner and Gregg receiving the bulk of the fire.

At five o'clock in the evening the enemy concentrated his fire on our rifle-pits in front of Battery Wagner.

Betwen 7 and 8 P. M. the rifle-pits were carried by an overwhelming force, which also succeeded in capturing seventy-six out of eighty-nine men of the 61st North Carolina Volunteers, who formed the picket.

The fire against Fort Sumter was limited, on the 27th, to four shots.

In front of Battery Wagner the enemy had advanced his trenches to within three hundred yards of the work, while the number of the enemy's guns and the accuracy of his fire prevented the opening of the embrasures in Battery Wagner, except at night.

The Hon. Secretary of War informed me by telegraph, in answer to a request that I had made for the services, as boatmen, of some of the sailors stationed in Savannah, that the Secretary of the Navy declined sending them, and urged detail of men. I replied by letter, setting forth the fact that the army in this Department was already depleted by details for the navy, and that no more men could be spared.

The importance of keeping our water transportation to Morris Island in an efficient condition was represented, and that, without an additional force of boatmen, it could not be preserved; further, that the ironclads at Savannah are safely sheltered behind obstructions, and, were a portion of their crews sent to Charleston, they could be returned in the event of an emergency there.

On the 28th the enemy was extremely quiet, firing only six shots at Sumter; but his approaches towards Battery Wagner advanced rapidly, notwithstanding the fire directed upon him from Gregg, the James Island batteries, and the sharp-shooters in Battery Wagner.

The enemy did not fire at Fort Sumter during the 29th, but worked industriously at his fortifications on Morris Island.

His advanced works were shelled throughout the day by Battery Wagner, Fort Moultrie, and the James Island batteries.

During the night the enemy's guns were silent in front of Battery Wagner, but they renewed the bombardment of Fort Sumter before daylight on the morning of the 30th, and during the day threw six hundred and thirtyfour shot against it. They were also busily engaged in completing their advanced works, though greatly disturbed by the fire from Wagner and our James Island batteries, which compelled them to desist from the work of advancing a sap on the left of Battery Wagner.

In the evening the enemy opened a brisk fire on Wagner with both mortars and Parrott guns; no serious damage was done to the work, but several casualties occurred.

During the night Battery Wagner kept up a steady and effective fire on the enemy's advanced works.

Early on the morning of the 31st, as the steamer Sumter was returning from Morris Island with troops on board, she was unfortunately fired into from the Sullivan Island batteries and sunk.

The officer in charge had failed to show the signal light. Four men were killed or drowned, and the greater portion of the arms were lost.

Between 11 and 12 M. one of the monitors approached Fort Moultrie, and when within range was opened on by the fort.

The enemy replied with shrapnel, all of which fell short.

After about an hour's engagement the monitor withdrew.

One 8-inch columbiad was opened, and struck the vessel eight times in succession before it got out of range. About 2 P. M. the enemy again approached with four monitors and engaged the fort for four hours; a steady fire was kept up on them from Fort Moultrie and other Sullivan's Island batteries.

During the engagement the enemy fired about sixty shots, striking Fort Moultrie fifteen times, but doing no damage.

The fort fired one hundred and thirty-two shots.

The enemy's fire on Fort Sumter was slack throughout the day. Captain Leroy Hammond, 25th South Carolina Volunteers, reported during the day that, in obedience to instructions, he had made a reconnoissance of Light-house Inlet and the south side of Black Island; on the island he saw pickets and bivouac fires, but discovered no earthworks.

During the night the enemy succeeded in advancing their sap a short distance towards Battery Wagner, notwithstanding the heavy fire that was kept up on them from that work.

At daylight, on the 1st of September, the enemy opened on Wagner with mortars, and continued at intervals during the entire day. The two 8-inch howitzers on the salient and curtain of the work were disabled, and the two 6-inch shell-guns on the land face were also partially disabled.

From early morning the Morris Island batteries kept up a heavy fire on Fort Sumter, firing throughout the day 382 shots, 166 striking outside, 95 inside, and 121 missing. The fire was very destructive, disabling the remaining guns in barbette, and damaging the fort considerably.

An extract from the report of the Engineer in charge gave the following account of its condition:

Towards noon the effect of the fire was to carry away at one fall four rampart arches on northeast front, with terre-plein platforms and guns, thus leaving on this front only one arch and a half, which are adjacent to the cast spiral stair.

Some of the lower casemate piers of same front have been seriously damaged, rendering unsafe the service of two guns hitherto available in that quarter.

On the exterior, the chief injury done is to be noticed at southeast pass coupe and two next upper casemates on east front.

From these localities the scarp has fallen away completely, and left the arches exposed, as well as the sand filling half down to the floor of the second tier.

At 11.40 P. M. six monitors opened on Fort Sumter from distances of eight hundred to one thousand yards. They were joined, at 1 A. M., on the 2d, by the Ironsides, and together fired 185 shots, of which 116 struck outside, 35 inside, and 34 passed over.

The projectiles used were 8-inch Parrotts, rifleshell, and 11 and 15 inch smooth-bore shot and shell.

Fort Sumter was unable to answer, not having a gun in working order, but a heavy fire was kept up on the fleet from Fort Moultrie with good effect, two of the monitors being apparently injured, and requiring assistance when they retired.

The effect of this fire on Fort Sumter was thus described by the Engineer officer:

The chief external injury has been done upon the east scarp, which now has lost its integrity, and hangs upon the arches apparently in blocks and detached masses.

The remainder of the day was passed in comparative quiet.

The fleet was occupied in placing sand-bags on the decks of the monitors, the enemy's land batteries firing but 148 shots; 38 of these were directed against Sumter.

In the same period our batteries fired 66 times.

During the night the enemy in front of Wagner was engaged in strengthening his advanced position, which was then within eighty or one hundred yards of the salient.

Owing to the difficulty of transporting ammunition to Battery Wagner the fire from that work was slack.

Early on the morning of the 3d the enemy opened on Battery Wagner with mortars, and continued it throughout the day. Fort Sumter was not fired at. In that work all hands were busily engaged in repairing damages.

During the past night, as usual, large quantities of ordnance-stores and several guns were removed by that gallant and zealous Acting Engineer officer, Mr. J. Frazer Mathews, of Charleston, who persistently worked at this dangerous and laborious undertaking until every disabled gun which could be recovered from the debris had been transferred to its new position.

The condition of the fort at this date was as follows:

The northeast and northwest terre-pleins had fallen in, and the western wall had a crack entirely through from parapet to berme.

The greater portion of the southern wall was down, the upper east magazine penetrated, and lower east magazine wall cracked; the eastern wall itself nearly shot away, and large portions down; ramparts gone, and nearly every casemate breached.

The casemates on the eastern face were still filled with sand, and gave some protection to the garrison from shells.

Not a single gun remained in barbette, and but a single smooth-bore 32-pounder in the west face that could be fired as the morning and evening gun.

During the night of the 3d Battery Wagner fired steadily, and the James Island batteries occasionally.

Throughout the 4th the enemy did not fire on Fort Sumter, but confined themselves to shelling Battery Wagner, and were answered by the James Island guns.

During the night of the 4th the enemy's approach was pushed close to Battery Wagner.

At 12 M., on the 5th, the Federal flag, which had been one hundred yards south of Wagner, was abreast of the south angle of the work.

Throughout the day a very heavy fire was concentrated on Battery Wagner from the New Ironsides, monitors, and land batteries, which severely injured the work.

Our casualties were also greatly increased, some forty occurring during the day.

Large bodies of troops were transferred from Folly to Morris Island, and other indications pointed to an early assault.

There is good reason to believe that the enemy's plan was to carry Battery Gregg by a boat attack on the night of the 5th, or early on the morning of the 6th; that the fleet should prevent the landing of reinforcements at Cummings's Point; that Battery Wagner should be shelled fiercely by the ironclads; and on the morning of the 6th, on a given signal, the assault on Battery Wagner was to take place.

This plan was frustrated, however, by the repulse of the attacking party on Battery Gregg.

About 1.30 A. M.; on the morning of the 6th, they were seen approaching, in from fifteen to twenty barges, by the passages leading from Vincent and Schooner creeks that lie between James and Morris islands. The garrison at Cummings's Point was on the alert, and received them with a brisk fire of grape and musketry.

The enemy was evidently greatly disconcerted, and, after discharging their boat howitzers, retired.

On the 4th of September, 1863, I had convened a meeting of General Officers and the Chief-Engineer of the Department to assist me in determining how much longer the Confederate forces should attempt to hold batteries Wagner and Gregg and the north end of Morris Island.

The rapid advance of the enemy's trenches to Battery Wagner having made it evident that before many days that work must become untenable, the following questions were propounded at the council:


How long do you think Fort Wagner can be held, without regard to safety of garrison?


How long can the fort be held, with a fair prospect of saving its garrison, with the means of transportation at our command and circumstances relative thereto, as heretofore indicated by actual experience?


How long, after the loss or evacuation of Wagner, could Fort Gregg be held?


Can the heavy guns (two in Wagner and three in Gregg) in these two works be removed before their evacuation without endangering the safety of the works and their garrisons?


Can we take the offensive suddenly with a fair prospect of success by throwing, during the night, 3000 men on north end of Morris Island, making in all 4000 men available; bearing in mind that no reinforcements could be sent there until night, and perhaps none for several nights, according to the movements of the enemy's ironclads and the fire of the land batteries?

These questions were thoroughly discussed, as well as the probable plan of attack by the enemy, our means of defence, of transportation, and reasons for prolonging our possession of the north end of Morris Island.

It was agreed that the holding of Morris Island as long as possible was most important to the safety and free use of the harbor of Charleston, and our ability to keep up easy communication with the works on Sullivan's and James islands, in view of which I deemed it proper to renew application by telegraph to the Secretaries of War and Naval Department for some two hundred sailors for oarsmen.

It was further decided that the five heavy guns on Morris Island were necessary, morally and physically, for the defence of the positions to the last extremity; and such were the difficulties, if not, indeed, the insurmountable obstacles, in the way of their removal at this time, that no effort should be made to save them, and consequently that they should be ultimately destroyed, with as much of the works as practicable, when further defence was abandoned.

The result was, my determination to hold Morris Island as long as communication with it could be maintained at night, by means of row-boats, but for which purpose sailors or men able to handle boats and oars with efficiency were essential.

On the 5th inst. Brigadier-General Ripley, commanding the First Military District, prepared, by my order, as per my instructions, a confidential letter which was forwarded to the officer commanding Battery Wagner, pointing out that it might be necessary to evacuate Morris Island.

The Brigadier-General in the letter gave full instructions, as directed by me, for destroying the magazine and rendering the guns useless in the event of abandoning the island.

Early on the morning of the 6th of September a despatch was received from Colonel L. M. Keitt, commanding Battery Wagner, to the following effect:

* * * The parapet of salient is badly breached; the whole fort is much weakened; a repetition to-morrow of to-day's fire (alluding to the 5th inst.) will make the work almost a ruin.

The mortar fire is still very heavy and fatal, and no important work can be done.

Is it desirable to sacrifice the garrison?

To continue to hold it is to do so. Captain Lee, the Engineer, has read this, and agrees.

The casualties in Battery Wagner on the 5th of September were about 100 out of 900.

Another despatch was received from Colonel Keitt, dated 8.45 A. M.

Incessant fire from Yankee mortars and Parrott battery; can't work negroes; better look after them promptly.

Had thirty or forty soldiers wounded in an attempt to work.

Will do all I can, but fear the garrison will be destroyed, without injuring the enemy.

The fleet is opening, but I hope that we may stand till to-night.

Again, at 10.30 A. M., Colonel Keitt signalled, Boats must be at Cummings's Point early to-night without fail.

During the day a letter was received from the same officer as follows:

The enemy will to-night advance their parallel to the moat of this battery (Wagner). The garrison must be taken away immediately after dark, or it will be destroyed or captured.

It is idle to deny that the heavy Parrott shells have breached the walls and are knocking away the bomb-proofs.

Pray have boats immediately after dark at Cummings's Point to take away the men. I say deliberately that this must be done, or the garrison will be sacrificed.

I am sending the wounded and sick now to Cummings's Point, and will continue to do so, if possible, until all are gone.

I have not in the garrison 400 effective men, excluding artillery.

The Engineers agree in opinion with me, or rather shape my opinion.

I shall say no more.* * *

Colonel Keitt's last telegram was as follows:

The enemy's sap has reached the moat, and his bombardment has shattered large parts of the parapet.

The retention of the post after to-night involves the sacrifice of the garrison.

If the necessities of the service make this advisable the men will cheerfully make it, and I will cheerfully lead them.

I prefer to assault the enemy to awaiting an assault, and I will at four o'clock in the morning assail his works.

Things being in this condition, it became evident that an attempt still to retain possession of Batteries Wagner and Gregg must of necessity involve the loss of their garrisons.

But before giving the final orders for the evacuation I directed Colonel D. B. Harris, my Chief-Engineer, to proceed to Morris Island and examine into and report on the condition of affairs.

His opinion was as follows:

* * * I visited our works on Morris Island to-day, and, in consideration of their condition, of our inability to repair damages at Battery Wagner, as heretofore, of the dispirited state of the garrison, and of the progress of the enemy's sap, am reluctantly constrained to recommend an immediate evacuation of both Batteries Wagner and Gregg. * * *

In consequence of the accuracy of fire from his (enemy's) land batteries, which are now in close proximity to Battery Wagner, say from five to eight hundred yards, aided by reverse fire from his fleet, it is impossible, in the opinion of the officer of the fort, to keep up a fire of either artillery or small-arms, and the enemy is thus left free to work in the trenches, which he is pushing rapidly forward, the head of the sap being within forty yards of the salient, which is so severely damaged by a battery of Parrott guns kept constantly playing upon it as to render it untenable.

The coverings to the bomb-proof and magazine also need repair.

We have been thus far able, not only to repair damages at night, but to add from day to day to the strength of the battery; but now that the enemy's sap is in such close proximity to the battery, and he has contrived to throw a calcium-light upon the parapets at night, it is impossible to do so without a heavy loss of men. In the efforts last night to repair damages the Commanding Officer of the fort reports a loss, in killed and wounded, of sixty to eighty men of the working party alone.

Without our ability to repair damage at night the battery would become, under the incessant fire of the enemy's land batteries and fleet, untenable, say in two days. It is in view of these facts that I have thought it my duty to make the recommendation at the commencement of this report.

The gradual approaches of the enemy (I quote now from Colonel Keitt's report), had passed the front of the battery, and the termination of their sap was not over fifty yards from the parapet of the sea-face, enabling them to throw a mass of troops upon this flank when our men were mostly in the bomb-proofs, where I was forced to keep them by the increasing fire of mortars and rifle guns on land, with an enfilading fire from the fleet during most of the day.

The salient on the left of the battery had been swept by such a terrible cross-fire as to breach the parapet and throw it into irregular shapes, rendering the ascent from the moat easy, and, moreover, men could not be kept there during this cross-fire without the certainty of most of them being wounded or stunned.

Under these circumstances I concluded that the period had arrived when it would be judicious to evacuate Morris Island, and in the following special order detailed the manner in which I desired the movements to be accomplished* * *

Battery Wagner, Morris Island, being no longer tenable without undue loss of life, and the risk of final capture of its garrison, the position and Battery Gregg will be evacuated as soon as practicable, to which end the following arrangements will be made by the District Commander:

1. Two of the Confederate States ironclads should take up positions near Fort Sumter, with their guns bearing on Cummings's Point, and to the eastward of it. At the same time all our land batteries will be held prepared to sweep all the water faces of Battery Gregg.

Transport steamers will take positions within the harbor, but as near as practicable to Cummings's Point, to receive the men from the row-boats, by which the embarkation will be effected from Morris Island.

As many row-boats as necessary, or which can be manned by efficient oarsmen, will be provided and kept in readiness at once to proceed to and reach Cummings's Point or that vicinity, as soon after dark as may be prudent.

Having reached the beach of Morris Island, a courier or relay of foot men will be despatched by the naval officer in charge with notice of the fact to the officer in command of Battery Wagner, and of the exact transport capacity of the boats.

A naval officer, with proper assistants, will have exclusive charge of the boats and of their movements.

2. The Commanding Officer of Battery Wagner having made during the day all arrangements for the evacuation and destruction of the work and armament, when informed of the arrival of the boats will direct, first, the removal and embarkation of all wounded men, and thereafter, according to the capacity of the boats at hand, will withdraw his command by companies with soldierly silence and deliberation.

Two companies will remain, in any event, to preserve a show of occupation, and repair and defend from assault during the embarkation; and it is strictly enjoined that no more men shall be permitted to quit the work and go to the landing than can be safely embarked.

The embarkation will be superintended by the field-officers or regimental and battalion commanders, who will halt and keep their respective commands about one hundred (100) yards from the boats, divide them into suitable squads for assignment to the boats, in exact conformity with the direction of the naval officers in charge of embarkation, and then superintend the disposition of the men accordingly, impressing on all the vital necessity of silence, obedience to orders, and the utmost coolness.

3. The companies left to occupy Battery Wagner to the last will be under the charge of a firm and intelligent field-officer, who will not withdraw his command until assured there is sufficient transportation for the remaining garrison of the island, including that of Battery Gregg.

4. The final evacuation will depend for success on the utmost coolness and quiet on the part of every man. At least two officers, previously selected, will be left to light the fuses, already arranged and timed to about fifteen minutes, to blow up the magazine and bomb-proof, and to destroy the armament, in the manner already indicated in special instructions from District Headquarters.

But the fuses must not be set on fire until it is certain that there is transportation for the removal of all the garrison, or except the enemy become aware of the evacuation, and are evidently about to storm and enter the work.

The men must be embarked with arms loaded, ready to repel an attack by the boat-parties of the enemy.

5. The garrison of Battery Gregg will stand staunch and at their post until the last company from Battery Wagner shall be embarked; it will then take to the boats with silence and deliberation, provision having been duly made, as at Battery Wagner, for the destruction of the work and its ordnance.

Both explosions shall be as nearly simultaneous as possible, and the complete success of the evacuation will probably be in the hands of those whose high duty will be to apply the fire to the fuses at Battery Wagner.

The garrison of Battery Gregg will be embarked with the same precaution and regulations as prescribed for Battery Wagner.

In case the enemy should carry Battery Wagner immediately after the garrison shall have evacuated, or in any way the explosion of the magazine should be prevented, a signal of three (3) rockets, discharged in rapid succession, should be made from Battery Gregg, when the naval vessels in position and our land batteries bearing on Battery Wagner will be opened with a steady fire on the site of that work, as will be done likewise immediately after an explosion shall take place; and this fire will be maintained slowly during the night.

Brigadier-General Ripley will give such additional orders as will be calculated to secure the successful evacuation of Morris Island or to meet emergencies.

He will confer with Flag-officer Tucker, and procure all necessary assistance.

The operation is one of the most delicate ever attempted in war. Coolness, resolute courage, and judgment and inflexibility on the part of officers, obedience to orders and a constant sense of the necessity for silence on the part of the men, are essential for complete success, and the credit which must attach to those who achieve it. * * *

The evacuation began at 9 h. P. M. on the night of the 6th of September.

According to instructions, a guard of 35 men, under command of Captain T. A. Huguenin, had been left to bring up the extreme rear, and to fire the only magazine which contained powder.

The necessary arrangements being completed, and Colonel Keitt having been informed that the transportation was ready, the embarkation commenced, and was continued with the utmost quietness and despatch.

The wounded were first embarked, and were followed by the remnants of the infantry garrison.

Captain Kanapaux, commanding light artillery, was then ordered to spike his three howitzers and embark his command.

Captain Lesesne, commanding at Battery Gregg, spiked the guns of that battery and followed with his command; and the rear-guard from Wagner, coming up at this time, in pursuance of orders from Colonel Keitt, the safety-fuses communicating with the magazines were lighted?that at Wagner by Captain Huguenin, and that at Gregg by Major Holcombe, C. S.? and the remainder of the command was safely and expeditiously embarked.

Owing to defects in the fuses themselves, they failed of accomplishing the purpose designed, though their lighting was superintended by careful and reliable officers.

The magazines, therefore, were not destroyed.

The guns in the batteries were spiked as far as their condition allowed, and the implements generally destroyed, and equipments carried off.

The evacuation was concluded at about 1 1/2 h. A. M. of the 7th inst. The boats containing the portion of the garrison last embarked were fired upon by the enemy's barges, but without effect.

Only two of our boats, containing crews of about 19 men and 27 soldiers?or some 46 in all?were captured by the enemy's armed barges between Cummings's Point and Fort Sumter.

Thus Morris Island was abandoned to the enemy on the morning of the 7th of September, 1863, with but little loss on the part of its garrison, either in men or material.

The total loss in killed and wounded on Morris Island, from July 10th to September 7th, 1863, was only six hundred and forty-one men; and, deducting the killed and wounded due to the landing on the 10th of July, and to the assaults of the 11th and 18th of July, the killed and wounded by the terrible bombardment, which lasted almost uninterruptedly, night and day, during fifty-eight days, only amounted to two hundred and ninety-six men, many of whom were only slightly wounded.

It is still more remarkable that, during the same period of time, when the enemy fired 6202 shots and shells at Fort Sumter, varying in weight from thirty to three hundred pounds, only three men were killed and forty-nine wounded.

It is difficult to arrive at the loss of the enemy during these operations, but, judging from the slaughter made in their ranks on the 11th and 18th of July, it will be within the mark to say that his casualties were in a ratio of ten to one of ours.

It may be well to remark that the capture of Morris Island resulted in but a barren victory to the enemy, if his only object was to gain a position from which he might hurl his missiles and Greek fire into the city of Charleston.

A reference to the map will show that the possession of Cummings's Point placed him no nearer the city than when he held part of James Island, prior to the battle of Secessionville, in June, 1862, and again in July, 1863, from whence he was driven on the morning of the 16th of the same month.

In conclusion, I cannot express in too strong terms my admiration of the bravery, endurance, and patriotism displayed by the officers and men engaged in these operations, who, during so many days and nights, withstood unflinchingly the extraordinary fire from the enemy's land and naval batteries, and repulsed with heroic gallantry every attempt to surprise or carry the works by storm.

I have particularly to commend the gallantry, coolness, and zeal of Brigadier-General W. B. Taliaferro, Brigadier-General Johnson Hagood, Brigadier-General A. H. Colquitt, Colonel L. M. Keitt, and Colonel G. P. Harrison, who, at different periods, had immediate command of the defence of Morris Island.

To particularize would be invidious?they, one and all, on every occasion, did their duty nobly.

I have to express my acknowledgments of the valuable services rendered by Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley, in command of the First Military District, which included the City of Charleston and its outworks; he was invariably active, industrious, and intelligent, and carried out his important duties to my entire satisfaction.

Although Major-General J. F. Gilmer arrived at Charleston only a few days before the evacuation of Morris Island, he was, nevertheless, active, zealous, and of assistance to me in holding the island to the last moment.

To Colonel D. B. Harris, Chief-Engineer of the Department, I have to return my most sincere thanks; he was ever cool, gallant, and indefatigable in the performance of his arduous duties during the whole period of the operations on Morris Island; always present in the hour of need, he exposed himself, when necessary, to the hottest fire and to the greatest dangers in the most reckless manner.

I also take pleasure in recording the services of Colonel Alfred Rhett, who, during the siege of Battery Wagner, had command of Fort Sumter, and with his brave garrison endured a long and terrific bombardment from the enemy's batteries by land and sea. His conduct throughout gained my approval and satisfaction.

I commend, also, to the attention of the War Department the indefatigable zeal of my personal and general staff, who, on all occasions, were found equal to the calls made on their energy, activity, and devotion to the service.

The foregoing report and careful narrative carries us through many of the most important incidents of the defence of Charleston, and not only presents with careful fidelity letters, orders, and telegrams of those high in authority at the time, but lays bare the causes that produced the events which so materially shaped that period of the war. It is corroborated, furthermore, in every respect, by the reports

Reports of Generals Ripley, Taliaferro, Hagood, and Colonel Keitt, Rebellion Record, vol.

x., p. 535, et seq. of all the subordinate commanders who, in turn, from July 10th to September 7th, had charge of Battery Wagner.

Such facts only as are not mentioned by General Beauregard in his communication to the War Department, and some matters to which he could merely make incidental reference, will now be specially noticed.

Arrangements for the exchange of prisoners taken on both sides during the recent engagements were entered into in the early part of August, but certain points in their execution gave rise to much reproach from General Gillmore, who even charged General Beauregard with a breach of faith.

The Federal Commander wrote as follows:

Department of the South, Headquarters in the field, Morris Island, S. C., August 5th, 1863. Genl. G. T. Beauregard, Comdg. Confederate Forces, Charleston, S. C.:

General,?Your two letters of the 22d ultimo, one of them being in reply to mine of the 18th, have been received.

You express yourself at a loss to perceive the necessity for my statement that I should expect full compliance on your part with the usages of war among civilized nations in their unrestricted application to all the forces under my command.

At that time I considered my remarks as pertinent and proper.

Events that have since transpired show them to have been eminently so, for after having entered into a solemn agreement with me for mutually paroling and returning to their respective commanders the wounded prisoners in our hands, you declined to return the wounded officers and men belonging to my colored regiments, and your subordinate in charge of the exchange asserted that that question had been left for after-consideration.

I can but regard this transaction as a palpable breach of faith on your part, and a flagrant violation of your pledges as an officer.

In your second letter of the 22d ultimo you request me to return to you Private Thomas Green, of Company H, 1st Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, for the alleged reason that he left your lines on the 19th, during the suspension of hostilities under a flag of truce.

1 beg leave to state that you are laboring under a misapprehension.

Private Green did not enter my lines during the existence of a flag of truce.

It is true that under a flag of truce on the day referred to I requested permission of the officer in command of Fort Wagner to receive and bury my own dead, a request that was refused me, and there the truce ended.

I refrained from opening my batteries on that day, because some of my own wounded were seen lying just outside the fort, in plain view, exposed to a burning sun throughout the entire day.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, Q. A. Gillmore, Brig.-Genl. Comdg.

This necessitated the following letter, which further explains the point at issue between the two commanders, and reverses the imputation of double-dealing thrown upon the officers who had acted under General Beauregard's instructions:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., August 18th, 1863. Brig.-General Q. A. Gillmore, Commanding U. S. Forces, etc., etc.:

General,?Your letter of the 5th was not received at these Headquarters until the 8th instant.

I cannot bandy allegations with you, and much less shall I emulate the temper and spirit in which your communication was conceived; but will simply confine myself to showing how groundless is your imputation of bad faith on my part, in connection with the return of wounded prisoners of war.

You knew that there existed an order of the President of my Government, and, possibly, were aware of an Act of the Congress of the Confederate States, which expressly excluded armed negroes from recognition by Confederate States officers as legitimate means of war. You knew, moreover, that, in accordance with this position of the constituted authorities of my people, as in duty bound, I had uniformly refused to receive or communicate in this Department with flags of truce borne by officers or escorted by men of negro regiments of your service.

You had thus due notice of my views and of my practice, and could have no right to expect me to deviate from either on such an occasion.

Indeed, you must have felt assured of the fact that I could not assent to any course which, in effect, places negroes taken in arms in the State of South Carolina on the same footing with recognized soldiers.

Therefore, if not prepared to yield your consent, or obliged to exact an acquiescence on your side in the pretension of the United States, but recently set up, after two years of war, to employ negro soldiers, you were surely bound to demand definitely that negroes should be included in the proposed arrangement; but you did not demand it. The fact is, you were well satisfied of what would be my course had you attempted to make such conditions; and bearing in mind that I had many more of your wounded than you had of mine, you chose, Sir, to ignore your negro ally, after having given him the right or head of your storming column on the 18th of July.

This, Sir, will be the record of history, I dare to say, even as made up by your own countrymen.

Certain papers herewith, I trust, will satisfy you that I had no idea of leading you to expect me to disregard the orders of my Government, and my usage in respect to armed negroes.

Brigadier-General Hagood's report, marked B, shows, I submit, the understanding of the officer who bore the flag on your part; to wit, Brigadier-General Vogdes, of your service.

From General Hagood's narrative of the defence of Morris Island, from July 10th to September 7th, 1863, we copy the following: * * * General Vogdes stated his mission to be to ask for Colonel Putnam's body, and to return to us Lieutenant Bee's, with the sword of the latter. * * * His request was complied with; and he then verbally proposed an exchange of prisoners, mentioning that they had but few of ours, all except those recently captured having been sent North; that, as we had the excess, of course we could select whom to exchange ; while intimating that a general exchange, without regard to excess, would be acceptable.

Pending the interview, General Hagood received a despatch from General Ripley's headquarters, in Charleston, where the interview and its object were known, directing him to agree to an exchange of wounded prisoners without regard to excess on our side, except the negro prisoners; not to introduce them into the negotiation; but if introduced by General Vogdes, to refuse, as they would not be given up; and that it was desirable, on the score of humanity, to get rid of the numerous white prisoners wounded in our lands, and for whom no adequate accommodation existed in our hospitals.

The contents of the despatch are given in substance, and were not communicated to General Vogdes.

He carefully avoided any direct mention of negro prisoners, and his remark quoted above, that having the excess we could choose whom to exchange, etc., was in allusion to them, and all that was made.

The Confederate proclamation outlawing negro troops and white officers commanding them was well known to the enemy; and, anxious to effect the exchange, it was apparent that the Federal party did not desire to complicate matters.

It was observed that neither General Vogdes, or either of the three or four officers accompanying him, inquired after Shaw, the colonel of the negro regiment engaged in the recent assault, although they asked after everybody else. * * * The negotiation was arranged, all in parol, by accepting the basis proposed by General Vogdes, the time to be the following Friday, at 10 A. M. * * * The exchange took place; and General Gillmore afterwards accused General Beauregard of bad faith in not sending the negro prisoners for delivery.

While I may not descend to recriminations, I must submit for your consideration whether your course was legitimate in permitting men of my command to be retained and not returned under the cartel, on the grounds that they had declined to return, and had taken the oath of allegiance to the United States.

I apprehend that, under no usage of war, were you warranted in permitting such an act, the aspect of which is by no means improved by, the fact that, in this way, you increased the inequalities of the transaction to your own advantage, and were enabled to return but thirty-nine Confederate non-commissioned officers and privates in exchange for one hundred and four officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates of your own service.

You are, of course, aware that the men whom you have thus retained, on their taking the oath of allegiance, according to the laws of war are incontestably deserters, subject to the punishment set by law for that crime.

In connection with the deserter Green, I am led to infer that you rest your refusal to surrender him on a denial of the fact that a truce existed on the 19th of July, at such times as our respective subordinates (Generals Hagood and Vogdes) were not in direct communication, under flags of truce, between the two forces.

Of course I cannot hope to change your views by argument, and shall not attempt it, but will refer you to the report of Brigadier-General Hagood, herewith, marked C, which, I believe, will show that there was a truce, de facto, and substantial, between the belligerent forces on Morris Island during the whole of the 19th of July, pending which my men were chiefly engaged in giving burial to six hundred officers and men of your troops, and removing the wounded of both forces.

Further, it is confidently believed that, at the time Green entered your lines, Generals Hagood and Vogdes were in conference, and a white flag was actually flying.

Be that as it may, there was an absolute truce or suspension of hostilities, which all soldiers observant of the usages of civilized war would acknowledge, without reference to any lack of a mere symbol, such as a white flag.

In conclusion, I have further to say that no wounded officer of the 54th Massachusetts negro regiment was retained.

If any of the officers of that regiment were captured, they have assumed false names and regiments.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

General Gillmore made no reply to the foregoing letter.

On the 21st he wrote again, however, but, as already appears from General Beauregard's report, it was to forward the following demand:

Headquarters, Department of the South, Morris Island, S. C., August 21st, 1863. Genl. G. T. Beauregard, Comdg. Confed. Forces about Charleston, S. C.:

General,?I have the honor to demand of you the immediate evacuation of Morris Island and Fort Sumter by the Confederate forces.

The present condition of Fort Sumter, and the rapid and progressive destruction which it is undergoing from my batteries, seem to render its complete demolition within a few hours a matter of certainty.

All my heaviest guns have not yet opened.

Should you refuse compliance with this demand, or should I receive no reply thereto within four hours after it is delivered into the hands of your subordinate at Fort Wagner for transmission, I shall open fire on the City of Charleston from batteries already established within easy and effective range of the heart of the city.

I am, General, your obedient servant, Q. A. Gillmore,

By a strange oversight no signature was attached to this letter when first received at Department Headquarters. Brig.-Genl. Comdg.

General Beauregard's refusal to comply with the foregoing request was in these words:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., August 22d, 1863. Brig.-General Q. A. Gillmore, Comdg. U. S. Forces, Morris Island, etc.:

Sir,?Last night, at fifteen minutes before eleven o'clock, during my absence on a reconnaissance of my fortifications, a communication was received at these Headquarters, dated Headquarters, Department of the South, Morris Island, South Carolina, August 21st, 1863, demanding the immediate evacuation of Morris Island and Fort Sumter by the Confederate forces, on the alleged grounds that the present condition of Fort Sumter, and the rapid and progressive destruction which it is undergoing from my (your) batteries, seem to indicate complete demolition within a few hours a matter of certainty ; and that if this demand were not complied with, or no reply thereto received within four hours after it is delivered into the hands of your (my) subordinate commander at Fort Wagner, for transmission, a fire would be opened on the City of Charleston from batteries already established within easy and effective [range] of the heart of the city.

This communication, to my address, was without signature, and was, of course, returned.

About half-past 1 this morning one of your batteries did actually open fire and throw a number of heavy rifle-shells into the city, the inhabitants of which, of course, were asleep and unwarned.

About nine o'clock this morning the communication alluded to above was returned to these Headquarters bearing your recognized official signature, and it can now be noticed as your deliberate official act.

Among nations not barbarous the usages of war prescribe that when a city is about to be attacked timely notice shall be given by the attacking commander, in order that non-combatants may have an opportunity for withdrawing beyond its limits.

Generally the time allowed is from one to three days?that is, time for a withdrawal in good faith of at least the women and children.

You, Sir, give only four hours, knowing that your notice, under existing circumstances, could not reach me in less than two hours, and that not less than the same time would be required for an answer to be conveyed from this city to Battery Wagner.

With this knowledge you threaten to open fire on the city, not to oblige its surrender, but to force me to evacuate these works, which you, assisted by a great naval force, have been attacking in vain for more than forty days.

Batteries Wagner and Gregg are nearly due north from your batteries on Morris Island, and in distance therefrom varying from half a mile to two and a quarter miles. This city, on the other hand, is to the northwest, and quite five miles distant from the battery opened against it this morning.

It would appear, Sir, that, despairing of reducing these works, you now resort to the novel measure of turning your guns against the old men, the women and children, and the hospitals of a sleeping city?an act of inexcusable barbarity, from your own confessed point of sight, inasmuch as you allege that the complete demolition of Fort Sumter within a few hours by your guns seems to you a matter of certainty.

Your omission to attach your signature to such a grave paper must show the recklessness of the course upon which you have adventured, while the facts that you knowingly fixed a limit for receiving an answer to your demand which it made almost beyond the possibility of receiving any reply within that time, and that you actually did open fire and throw a number of the most destructive missiles ever used in war into the midst of a city taken unawares, and filled with sleeping women and children, will give you a bad eminence in history?even in the history of this war.

I am only surprised, Sir, at the limits you have set to your demand.

If, in order to obtain the abandonment of Morris Island and Fort Sumter, you felt authorized to fire on this city, why did you not also include the works on Sullivan's and James islands?nay, even the City of Charleston?in the same demand?

Since you have felt warranted in inaugurating this method of reducing batteries in your immediate front, which were found otherwise impregnable, and a mode of warfare which I confidently declare to be atrocious and unworthy of any soldier, I now solemnly warn you that if you fire again on this city from your Morris Island batteries, without granting a somewhat more reasonable time to remove non-combatants, I shall feel impelled to employ such stringent means of retaliation as may be available during the continuance of this attack.

Finally, I reply that neither the works on Morris Island or Fort Sumter will be evacuated on the demand you have been pleased to make.

Already, however, I am taking measures to remove, with the utmost possible celerity, all non-combatants, who are now fully aware and alive to what they may expect at your hands.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

There was a rejoinder to General Beauregard's remonstrance, and an attempt was made by the Federal Commander to justify the course he had followed.

He must have been doubtful of the correctness of his position, however, for we find the following concluding passage in his letter: * * * But, upon your assurance that the city is still full of them (meaning women and children), I shall suspend the bombardment until eleven o'clock P. M. tomor-row, thus giving you two days from the time you acknowledge to have received my communication of the 21st instant.

General Gillmore's rejoinder is given in full in the Appendix. General Gillmore did accordingly, but must have been disappointed at the result of his experiment.

The 8-inch Parrott rifle with which he shelled the city of Charleston, from the work called The Swamp Angel, fortunately burst at the thirty-sixth round.

No other gun was placed in the Marsh Battery after this.

General Gillmore's book, Engineer and Artillery Operations against Charleston, p. 62

From the 16th to the 23d of August, Sumter had been subjected to the most terrific bombardment on record.

This renowned fortress was doomed to inevitable destruction.

The journal kept at the time by its Commander

See Appendix corroborates the Engineers' reports quoted by General Beauregard.

But though its walls, riddled by shot and shattered by shell, had crumbled into a mass of ruins; and though its enemies could now approach it, no longer fearing the thunder of its artillery, it still stood invincible, with its battle-flag floating to the breeze, defiant as ever.

The battered inner faces of its magazines had ceased to afford security, and a single well-directed missile might at any moment, before the removal of the powder, have launched the entire garrison into eternity.

That this was the enemy's object was known to every officer and man in the fort.

Truly, it required fortitude and cool daring, as well as admirable spirit and discipline, to endure, undaunted, such an ordeal.

And it is undoubted that the example thus given by Sumter, from the first attack of the turreted fleet, on the 7th of April, to the 23d of August, and later, contributed no little to the unparalleled resistance of Wagner, and of the other batteries around the harbor.

So well had that example served to kindle the fire of emulation among the troops defending Charleston, that the same heroism prevailed everywhere; and it is matter of history to-day that the defence of Fort Sumter and that of Battery Wagner are looked upon as two of the most skilful, desperate, and glorious achievements of the war. They stand unsurpassed in ancient or modern times.

Chapter 33:

General Beauregard desires the Engineers' reports of the condition of Fort Sumter.

conference between Colonel Rhett, the Engineer officers, and Captain Harleston on the 24th of August.

additional report of Colonels Gilmer and Harris.

General Beauregard resolves not to evacuate the Fort, but to withdraw the Artillery from it, and make it, for the time being, an infantry post.

his instructions to General Ripley.-he Recommends Colonel Rhett for promotion.

work done by the garrison of Sumter.

Gradual transformation of the Fort.

Colonel Rhett withdrawn, with the Artillery Regulars, and Major Elliott placed in command, with infantry guard.

instructions given to General Ripley.

knowledge of the enemy's purpose to attack Cummings's Point.

how the Key to his signals was procured.

enemy foiled.

history of the two heavy guns at Battery Wagner.

Admiral Dahlgren demands the surrender of Sumter.

General Beauregard's answer.

combined Federal attack on Sumter.

its failure.

Major Elliott's journal.

important letters and instructions of General Beauregard.

President Davis visits Savannah and Charleston.

cordial reception tendered him in Charleston.-his address.

his omission to mention or praise the officers in command of the works, of the Military Districts and of the Department.

slight reference made in his book to the defence of Charleston.

errors in his account of the evacuation of Sumter.

Partial After?correction.>

In order to form a correct opinion of the precise condition of Fort Sumter after the bombardment (of which a description was given in the preceding chapter), based on Colonel Rhett's and the Engineers' reports, the following order, on the 24th of August, was forwarded to Colonel Harris:

Colonel,?General Beauregard directs that you proceed immediately to Fort Sumter (together with Colonel Gilmer, if agreeable to him), to confer with Colonel Rhett, his Chief of Artillery, and Lieutenant Johnson, Engineers, to report upon the defences of the place and the advisability of abandoning the work.

In attempting to reach the fort the General desires that a proper regard should be had to your own safety.

You must not undertake the trip, if too dangerous.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, A. N. Toutant Beauregard, A. D. C.

Colonels Gilmer and Harris complied with these instructions, and, the next day, presented the following report to Department Headquarters:

In compliance with the above letter, a council of officers, consisting of Colonel Gilmer, C. S. Corps of Engineers; Colonel Rhett, 1st S. C. Artillery; Colonel Harris, C. S. Corps of Engineers; Captain F. H. Harleston, 1st S. C. Artillery; and Lieutenant Johnson, Corps of Engineers, met at Fort Sumter on the afternoon of the 24th of August, 1863.

Captain Harleston acted as recorder.

The first proposition proposed for consideration was? The present offensive condition of the fort.

Lieutenant Johnson, Engineer Corps: The present offensive condition of the fort is very limited: one very fine gun (11-inch), capable of being fired with advantage, two others (10-inch) at disadvantage, in consequence of shattered condition of parapet.

Captain Harleston: Of same opinion as Lieutenant Johnson.

Major Blanding: The offensive condition of the fort is very nearly destroyed; only one gun (11-inch) that can be used with any advantage.

Colonel Harris: Endorses Lieutenant Johnson's opinion.

Colonel Rhett: In action would be impracticable to use but one gun? the 11-inch?and that would soon be disabled.

Colonel Gilmer: Of the same opinion as Lieutenant Johnson.

Second proposition.

Can offensive power still be given to these guns by additional cover and change of location?

Lieutenant Johnson: Yes, by sand-bag epaulements and timber platforms.

Captain Harleston: Considers it impracticable, on account of present shattered condition of the fort, and that sufficient time will not be allowed.

Major Blanding: Agrees with Captain Harleston.

Colonel Harris: It can be done in present condition of fort, if time is allowed.

Colonel Rhett: Would like to see it carried out, but considers it impracticable.

Colonel Gilmer: It is entirely within the capacity of the Engineer to accomplish the work in the manner suggested by Lieutenant Johnson, if not under fire, at night, when the fire ceases.

Third proposition.

Capacity of the fort as a defensive position, in its present condition, against a barge attack, and the number of men needed.

Lieutenant Johnson: I think the capacity of the fort sufficient, and that it needs three hundred muskets.

Captain Harleston: I think the capacity of the fort sufficient, and that it needs from two hundred and fifty to three hundred muskets.

Major Blanding: Without outside assistance, in its present condition, five hundred muskets will be needed.

Colonel Harris: Agrees with Lieutenant Johnson.

Colonel Rhett: The navy will not be able to assist in attack from barges; the fort can be held, in its present condition, with no less force than four hundred effective men; and a large part of these should be kept under arms during the night, as barges can come within fifty yards without being seen.

Colonel Gilmer: The defensive capacity of the fort is sufficient, if garrisoned with three hundred effective men, giving them the assistance of splinter-proof cover and sand-bag epaulements.

Fourth proposition.

Power of the fort to preserve its present defensive condition against probable attacks.

Lieutenant Johnson: Against the probable combined attacks of the fleet Parrott guns and mortars?thirty-six hours.

Captain Harleston: Agrees with Lieutenant Johnson.

Major Blanding: Against a combined vigorous attack?twelve hours.

Colonel Harris: Cannot undertake to answer as regards time.

Colonel Rhett:

The eastern wall is much shattered by fire of the 7th of April, and has never been repaired, except two casemates which have been rebuilt with new masonry; the wall has been reinforced in the casemates with sand-bags; it has also been seriously damaged by the fire from the land batteries on Morris Island.

My opinion is that a fire from the iron fleet, from two to three hours, would destroy the integrity of the wall, if it did not bring it down.

A combined fire from land batteries on Morris Island, with a monitor attack, would most probably bring down a large part of the wall.

The inner corner wall of eastern magazine is now cracked.

The fort wall adjoining the pier of the upper magazine has been completely shot away; and I think a concentrated fire of two hours on the junction of the upper and lower magazines would render the magazines unsafe.

The north wall of the upper western magazine is unprotected, and is exposed to a reverse fire from the fleet, firing one or two points north of perpendicular to east face of fort.

A few shots upon this wall, striking about the junction of upper and lower magazines, would render the magazines unsafe.

This place is now being reinforced with eight feet of sand.

The roof of the hospital is now only protected by brick arches that would be crushed through by a few shells.

Colonel Gilmer: From the examination I have been able to make, as to the effect of the bombardment up to this time, I think the fort will remain tenable against any probable attack for many days, if the Engineer officer be supplied with the labor and material necessary to reinforce points comparatively weak.

Alfred Rhett, Col. Comdg. Ormsby Blandino, Major, 1st S. C. Art'y. F. H. Harleston, Capt., 1st S. C. Art'y. John Johnson, 1st Lieut., Engr. Corps, P. A. C. S.

The foregoing is a correct report of what occurred at the consultation of the officers named; but we do not consider it as embodying our opinion in full as to the advisability of abandoning the work, as called for by the Commanding General, in a letter a copy of which is embraced in the foregoing proceedings. J. F. Gilmer, Col. and Chief-Engr. of Bureau, D. B. Harris, Lieut.-Col. and Chief-Engr. of Dept. Accompanying the foregoing report was this additional paper:

Office of Chief-Engineer, Charleston, S. C., August 25th, 1863. General G. T. Beauregard, etc., etc.:

General,?We have the honor to report that in compliance with your instructions we visited Fort Sumter yesterday afternoon, made a careful examination of its condition, and held a consultation with a portion of its officers.

In addition to our answers to certain questions propounded at that consultation we beg leave to state that, in our opinion, it is not advisable to abandon the fort at this time.

On the contrary, we think it should be held to the last extremity.

How long it may hold out is now only a matter of conjecture; but there are many elements of defence within the fort, in its present shattered condition, which, if properly used, may enable a resolute garrison to hold it for many days.

The question of its abandonment, whenever it may arise, we respectfully suggest should be determined by the Commanding General, and not left to the discretion of the Commander of the fort.

We have the honor to be, General, very respectfully yours, J. F. Gilmer, Col. and Chief-Engr. of Bureau. D. B. Harris, Lieut.-Col. and Chief-Engr. of Dept.

Incomplete, though sufficient in many respects, as was this hurried examination of Sumter, it confirmed General Beauregard in his determination already taken, that the fort should not be evacuated.

He therefore approved the conclusions arrived at by Colonels Gilmer and Harris, and began his arrangements accordingly.

The Artillery Department, he considered, had accomplished its task in the defence of that post?the entrance-gate of Charleston Harbor?and it now devolved upon the infantry arm of the service, aided by labor, the pick, spade, and shovel, to perform the part required of them, until, if possible, other heavy guns could be mounted, under cover, amid the ruins that still bade defiance to the combined attacks of the land and naval forces of the enemy.

It was a grave responsibility to assume, but General Beauregard resolutely took it upon himself; and thus, through him and those who defended Sumter, does its record remain, from Rhett to Elliott, from Elliott to Mitchel and Huguenin, and the men who fought under them, a grand story of engineering skill, soldierly daring, fortitude, and endurance.

Thus, also, as was eloquently said by General B. H-. Rutledge, in an address delivered in Charleston,

November 30th, 1882, on the occasion of the unveiling of the Confederate monument in Charleston. While Greece has her Thermopylae, England her Waterloo, the United States her Yorktown, South Carolina has her Fort Sumter.

As soon, therefore, as most of its heavy guns, including those which the enemy's land-batteries on Morris Island had disabled and those which were previously removed, to prevent further loss, had been transferred to the inner circle of fortifications, the following order was given to the Commander of the First Military District:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., August 27th, 1863. Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley, etc., etc.:

General,?The Commanding General instructs me to direct the reduction of the garrison of Fort Sumter to a force of one company of artillery and two full companies of infantry?that is, the command not to exceed three hundred or fall below two hundred men.

One hundred and fifty men and four officers of Colquitt's brigade, of Georgians, were the first detail of infantry introduced into Sumter, under Captain Worthen.

Of course you will select the companies, which must be of the best in your command of both arms; but it has been suggested that Captain Harleston's company of the First Regiment of Artillery would be suitable.

The infantry should be carefully selected, and might be relieved once a week.

As the garrison will thus be so much reduced, it may be that Colonel Rhett will prefer to remove the headquarters of his regiment; in which event he will be assigned to the important command of Fort Johnson and adjacent batteries.

He has the option to do this, or retain the command of Fort Sumter.

In the former event, Major Stephen Elliott will be assigned to the command of Fort Sumter.

The Commanding General has witnessed with genuine pride and gratification the defence made of Fort Sumter by Colonel Rhett, his officers and .men, of the 1st Regiment of South Carolina Regular Artillery?noble fruits of the discipline, the application to their duty, and the soldierly bearing of the officers and men, and of the organization of the regiment.

In the annals of war no stouter defence was ever made, and no work ever before encountered as formidable a bombardment as that under which Fort Sumter has been successfully held.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

This deserved tribute was read to the regiment at dress parade, amid the roar of shot and shell, and, coming as it did from one who could judge so well of true soldierly merit, produced a gratifying effect upon these valiant men, who had unflinchingly performed their duty.

As further evidence of the estimation in which he held Colonel Rhett, General Beauregard, shortly after this occurrence, strongly recommended him for promotion; but, as was so often the case with applications of this kind, no action was taken in the matter by the Administration.

Colonel Rhett remained in command of Sumter as late as the 4th of September.

When the last detachment of his artillery regiment was removed he retired, with his disciplined Regulars.

From August 17th to that date his journal shows what havoc, both interior and exterior, the Federal breaching batteries and naval forces had made on the fort.

See Appendix. The following details, taken from his report of September 4th, forwarded, through General Ripley, to Department Headquarters, show the work which was done at the fort and its condition at that time:

* * * Engineers engaged in preparing bomb-proofs and in opening embrasures in second tier of casemates, for the purpose of throwing out two 42-pounder rifled guns.

During the night the 11-inch gun and the 32-pounder rifled gun were thrown over the parapet without injury, both guns having been previously disabled.

There is now not a single gun en barbette; and there is but one (smooth-bore 32-pounder, next the sally-port on western face) that can be fired.

Mr. F. Mathews,

General Beauregard refers to this patriotic citizen in his Morris Island report.

See preceding chapter. assisted by an officer and men of the Confederate States Navy, has done good service in removing disabled guns from the fort, having dismounted and removed one 10-inch gun and one 9-inch Dahlgren.

He has also removed from the berme of the fort the Brooke gun, another 10-inch, an 8-inch, and one 32-pounder rifled gun. Lieutenant Rhett, with Company B, has dismounted the Brooke gun, two 10-inch, one 8-inch, one 42-pounder, rifled, the 11-inch, and one 32-pounder rifled gun, in the last fortnight.

The northeast and northwest terre-pleins have fallen in. The western wall has a crack in it, extending entirely through from parapet to berme.

The greater portion of southern wall is down; the upper eastern magazine is penetrated; the lower eastern magazine wall is cracked.

The east wall is very nearly shot away; a large portion of the wall is down, the ramparts gone, and nearly every casemate breached, and the remaining wall very thin.

The casemates, however, on eastern face are filled with sand, sufficient to protect the garrison from shells.

I consider it impossible to either mount or use guns on any part of the parapet; and I deem the fort in its present condition unserviceable for offensive purposes.

What the Engineers may effect by rebuilding or remodelling I am unable to say. Lot of ordnance stores shipped by Etiwan last night.

Lieutenant Grimball, Company E, assigned to ordnance duty, has rendered efficient service in the collection and shipping of ordnance stores.

Captain J. T. Champney's Engineer Corps has reported for duty at this post.

Major-General Gilmer and Lieutenant-Colonel Harris visited the fort about half-past 11 o'clock last night.

Brigadier-General Ripley also came over about ten o'clock this morning.

The enemy opened fire from battery on Black Island last evening. Alfred Rhett, Colonel Commanding.

Now began that singular metamorphosis?that undertaking unheard of before?by which, out of the crumbling walls of what had once been Fort Sumter, a new and powerful earthwork was slowly but unremittingly constructed.

This was done often under fire.

The debris, consisting of brick, mortar, shot, and shell, was supplemented by boat-loads of sand painfully brought, by night, from the adjoining islands, after the parade-ground of the fort had furnished all the earth that could be obtained from that source.

The appendices to this and the preceding chapter show at whose main suggestion and under whose special guidance this novel work was carried out and, step by step, perfected.

General Beauregard's orders and instructions, which are there given, exhibit once more his forethought and unequalled method of grouping together the details of his plans and neglecting nothing.

I-e was now in his favorite sphere of action, with a problem almost exclusively of engineering skill to solve; fighting his enemy with sand, pick, spade, and shovel, and showing, as Mr. Davis himself had said, about a year before, how his qualifications peculiarly fitted him for such a defence.

Words used by Mr. Davis, September 13, 1862, in his interview with a committee of Congressmen, on the subject of General Beauregard's transfer to the Army of the West.

See Chapter XXV.

But his attention was not confined to Fort Sumter. Battery Wagner, Fort Ripley, and Castle Pinckney, the provisioning and ammunitioning of Morris, James, and Sullivan's islands, and of Christ Church Parish, also engrossed much of his time and thought.

He again recurred, at this time, to the urgent necessity of increasing the limited number of negro laborers furnished by the planters of the State.

He ordered torpedoes to be placed between Forts Sumter and Moultrie, in Hog Island Channel, towards Sullivan's Island Point, in Folly Island Channel, and in the Middle Channel, east of Pinckney.

He likewise gave most stringent orders to battery commanders to put a stop to all useless waste of ammunition.

These measures were taken in anticipation of a renewed naval attempt by Admiral Dahlgren to remove the obstructions in the Main Channel and, afterwards, to pass into the harbor.

At about that time General Beauregard had occasion to propound to Brigadier-General Ripley a number of important interrogatories, relative to the capture of the southern end of Morris Island, and as to the causes which brought about that result.

He was preparing to write his report of that untoward event, which had given rise to criticism and censure on the part of the Secretary of War.

These interrogatories, and General Ripley's answers thereto, will be found in full in the appendix to this chapter.

They confirm what we have already said upon the subject.

On the 3d of September, Fort Sumter being ready for the transformation it was about to undergo, and the guns of James and Sullivan's islands being trained to protect it from assault by water, General Beauregard caused the following instructions to be forwarded to Brigadier-General Ripley:

General,? In reply to your letter of this date, suggesting the reduction of the garrison in occupation of Fort Sumter, I am instructed to say that the artillery, for the reasons stated by you, will now be withdrawn and an infantry force substituted, of two hundred rifles or muskets.

This will make it proper to relieve Colonel Rhett, and to place him in his proper position with his regiment and command, to which you will please assign him.

Major Stephen Elliott will be directed to report to you for assignment to the command of Fort Sumter.

Inasmuch as he is at present ignorant of the localities in the fort, it will be proper to request Colonel Rhett to remain for at least twelve hours, or until he can make Major Elliott properly acquainted with the means of shelter and defence left, and with all other details the knowledge of which (with Colonel Rhett's experience) he may deem it essential that Major Elliott should know.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

General Beauregard had taken more than ordinary pains in the selection of Colonel Rhett's successor.

He was solicitous that none but an officer of undoubted coolness and courage should take the place of the gallant commander, whose sphere of duty, now changed, called him and his artillerists to the land batteries, whither most of Sumter's heavy guns had already been transferred and mounted.

Fifty days elapsed before the second bombardment of Fort Sumter commenced.

Major Stephen Elliott, from Beaufort, South Carolina, was a relative of the Hon. R. W. Barnwell, of Bishop Stephen Elliott, and of Colonel Alfred Rhett.

He was a young officer of well-earned esteem, modest, thoroughly self-possessed, and dauntless, and his family connections were influential in the State.

He was, therefore, worthy of the confidence reposed in him by the Commanding General.

The incident of his interview with the latter, previous to his assignment to the command of Sumter, is worthy of record.

You are to be sent to a fort, said General Beauregard, deprived of all offensive capacity, and having now but one gun ?a 32-pounder?with which to salute its flag, morning and evening.

But that fort is Fort Sumter, the key to the entrance of this harbor.

It must be held to the bitter end: not with artillery, as heretofore, but with infantry alone; and there can be no hope of reinforcements.

Are you willing to take the command upon such terms?

And, without giving Major Elliott time to formulate an answer, General Beauregard added, I desire that you shall take twenty-four hours to reflect, and that meanwhile you shall examine the fort, before taking a final decision.

A few hours later Major Elliott returned to Department Headquarters, and, being once more in the presence of the Commanding General, in his own simple, earnest manner, said,

I visited Sumter, and conferred with Colonel Rhett.

Issue the order, General; I will obey it.

The order was issued, and on the evening of the 4th of September Major Elliott assumed command of the ruins of Fort Sumter.

On the next day the following important communication was forwarded to the Commander of the First Military District:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Sept. 5th, 1863. Brig.-General R. S. Ripley, Comdg. First Mil. Dist., etc., etc.:

General,?Forewarned of the enemy's purpose to attack the battery at Cummings's Point, the Commanding General hopes we may be able to foil and convert it into a signal disaster, to which end he wishes you to acquaint Flag-officer Tucker of the project, and request him to take such a position with his ships as may enable him to sweep with his fire the interior face of Morris Island and the mouth of Vincent's Creek. Battery Simpkins will fire likewise so as to sweep in front of the mouth of the same creek, and, later, to the left of Cummings's Point. Battery Bee will be specially enjoined to direct her fire between Fort Sumter and Cummings's Point, so as to assist the gunboats in sweeping the interior water face of Morris Island.

Some of the guns of Fort Moultrie must also be brought to bear on the same face of the island, the rest of her armament giving attention to the monitors, but being employed in strict conformity with the views of the Commanding General, hitherto expressed, on the subject of the fire of the Sullivan's Island batteries at the monitors, at ranges which can promise no material results.

This, of course, is not to be construed to prevent a fire when the monitors are seeking to run past, which it is believed may be determined in time by the exercise of judgment when such an effort is really being made.

Should the attempt on Battery Gregg be discovered in time at that point, rockets should be used there to give warning to our batteries and the navy, and small fires on Cummings's Point might be carefully located so as to assist to indicate it to our batteries without giving material advantage to the enemy.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

The knowledge of the enemy's purpose had been obtained by reading a signal despatch from General Gillmore to Admiral Dahlgren, which ran thus:

Morris Island, Sept. 5th, 1863:1.50 P. M.

I shall try Cummings's Point to-night, and want the sailors again early.

Will you please send in two or three monitors just before dark, to open on Moultrie as a diversion?

The last time they were in they stopped reinforcements, and may do so to-night.

I don't want any fire in the rear.

Please answer immediately.

The key by which we were enabled to decipher the enemy's messages had been in our possession for several weeks.

It had been obtained as follows: General Beauregard, in his anxiety to understand the enemy's movements, requested his chief signal officer, Captain Manigault, to endeavor to make out the meaning of the signals exchanged between the Federal land and naval forces.

This, however, Captain Manigault was unable to do; then, at the suggestion of General Beauregard, another expedient was resorted to?namely, the capture of one of the enemy's advanced signal-pickets, in the Third Military District.

This picket was brought to Charleston, and from him, through the devices of Captain Pliny Bryan,

Captain Pliny Bryan, of Maryland, was a member of the Legislature of that State at the beginning of the war. He reported to General Beauregard, at Manassas, and was, shortly afterwards, appointed in the Adjutant-General's Department.

He was active, intelligent, zealous, and did good service during the siege of Charleston.

He died in the summer of 1864, from exposure to the sun while in the performance of his duties. A. A. G., the much-desired key was finally secured.

This important discovery was of incalculable advantage, and enabled the Commanding General to be ever prepared against a surprise.

The next morning (September 6th) Admiral Dahlgren asked, Did you succeed last night?

and General Gillmore answered, We found the enemy prepared at Cummings's Point, and failed.

Engineer and Artillery Operations against Charleston, by General Gillmore, p. 335. See also p. 337.

Being apprised in the same manner of the day and hour fixed for the final assault on Wagner (September 6th, at 9 P. M.), General Beauregard was able to perfect his plans for the prearranged evacuation of that work, and not only saved the garrison, but deprived the enemy of nearly?if not quite?all the fruits of his victory, as appears by the following signal despatch:

Morris Island, Sept. 7th, 1863:5.10 A. M. Admiral Dahlgren:

The whole island is ours, but the enemy have escaped us. General Gillmore.

While, in the course of this narrative, we have been led to refer again to Battery Wagner, whose illustrious record so fully appears in General Beauregard's report of the defence of Morris Island,

T See preceding chapter. it is also appropriate, we think, to give here the remarkable history of the only two heavy guns of that work (10-inch columbiads) bearing on the outer harbor of Charleston.

They had been cast at the Tredegar Works, in Richmond.

Both were surrounded with massive traverses and merlons, forming a perfect well, or chamber, for each, and an open embrasure, which was filled up with sand-bags (always kept close at hand) whenever? and this was of frequent occurrence?the fire of the fleet was concentrated on these guns.

These two guns were repeatedly dismounted by the enemy's heavy shells falling into their chambers.

One of them was soon disabled, but the other remained uninjured to the last, though its chassis and carriage had, more than once, to be renewed.

It had become necessary also to rebush it, or, in other words, change and repair its vent, which had been much enlarged by the heavy charges used in firing it, a fact which materially affected its accuracy and range.

The artillerists serving at the two pieces were occasionally compelled to take shelter in the bomb-proofs, after temporarily filling up the embrasures with sand-bags, as already explained.

Hence the smallness of our loss.

In the history of no siege, except that of Fort Sumter, writes General Beauregard, do we find such coolness, perseverance, and bravery as shown by these gallant officers and men, who belonged to the 1st South Carolina Regulars, forming the garrison of Fort Sumter.

All honor to that regiment, whose heroism will forever stand pre-eminent in the annals of this war.

It was the opinion of General Beauregard?and he had so expressed himself on the night of the evacuation of Morris Island ?that Admiral Dahlgren would soon attempt some movement of his own, if only to keep pace with the success of the land-forces under General Gillmore; and that in such an event Fort Sumter, now apparently harmless, would probably be the object of his attack.

This had become much the more likely because the Admiral?emboldened, no doubt, by his coadjutor's recent achievement?had, as early as 6.35 A. M., on the morning of the 7th, demanded, by flag of truce, the surrender of Fort Sumter. If not complied with, he telegraphed to General Gillmore, I will move up with all the ironclads and engage it.

General Gillmore's book, p. 335. Major Elliott had declined the request; and having referred the matter to Department Headquarters, immediately received this significant reply: Tell Admiral Dahlgren to come and take it.

General Hagood's narrative of the defence of Morris Island.

Previous to this, and in view of a probable assault on the ruins of Sumter, General Beauregard had ordered the nearest harbor batteries bearing on the fort to practise daily on the foot of its outside debris, to obtain the exact range and length of fuses required, marking the carriages, chassis, and traverse circles, so that the firing of each piece might be almost as accurate at night as in the daytime.

He had also arranged a system of signals for opening fire, in case of need, and for its cessation at the proper moment.

The Commander of Fort Sumter had been specially enjoined to be vigilant, and the commanders of the batteries to have detachments all night at each trained gun, so as to be able, instantly, to open fire on the water approach, whenever the signal to do so should be given from Fort Sumter.

Admiral Dahlgren did not carry out his threat of attacking with all his ironclads, but fixed upon the night of the 8th to make an assault on Sumter, and so informed General Gillmore, who, by a singular coincidence, had also organized an assaulting party for the same night, composed of two small regiments, while the Admiral, it seems, had assembled five hundred men for the purpose.

See, in General Gillmore's book, pp. 338, 339, signal despatches between Admiral Dahlgren and General Gillmore. But there was, evidently, no concert of action between them.

Both claimed the right of conducting the expedition, and neither would yield to the wish of the other.

General Gillmore thought that an operation of this kind should be under command of the senior officer?meaning the officer to be sent with the land forces?and Admiral Dahlgren would not consent to let the commander be other than a naval officer.

Ibid., p. 339.

The result was the complete failure of the assault, as appears by the following extract from Major Elliott's journal, dated Sumter, September 9th:

* * * At 1 A. M. this morning I saw a fleet of barges approaching from the eastward.

I ordered the fire to be reserved until they should arrive within a few yards of the fort.

The enemy attempted to land on the southeastern and southern faces; he was received by a well-directed fire of musketry and by hand-grenades, which were very effective in demoralizing him; fragments of the epaulement were also thrown down upon him. The crews near the shore sought refuge in the recesses of the foot of scarp, those further off in flight.

The repulse was decided, and the assault was not renewed.

His force is reported to have been four hundred men, but it is believed to have been much larger.

In his despatch of September 8th to General Gillmore, Admiral Dahlgren spoke of his assaulting party as being composed of 500 men. In a subsequent paper, referred to by Mr. Charles Cowley in Leaves from a Lawyer's Life, Afloat and Ashore, p. 108, Admiral Dahlgren alludes to the same party as being a fine naval column of 450 picked men. His loss is four men killed, two officers and ninety-two men captured.

We secured five stand of colors and five barges; others were disabled and drifted off. One gunboat and Fort Johnson and the Sullivan's Island batteries enfiladed our faces, and contributed to prevent the renewal of the assault.

Many of the shots struck the fort.

The garrison, consisting of the Charleston Battalion, behaved admirably; all praise is due to Major Blake, his officers and men, for the promptness and gallantry displayed in the defence.

September 9th, 4.20 A. M.?Additional two officers captured are First Lieutenant Charles H. Bradford, U. S. Marines, wounded; E. G. Dayton, executive officer, Wissahickon.

One of our gunboats assisted during the fight?unable to communicate with it afterwards.

4.45.?Enemy attacked me in barges.

We have captured thirteen officers, one hundred and two (102) men, four boats, and three colors.

Not one of my men hurt.

The fire of our guns from James and Sullivan's islands had surprised and demoralized the assaulting forces.

Many of the boats at once put back.

The troops in those that were foremost sought refuge on the berme of the fort, and held up their hands in token of surrender.

Had our batteries remained silent until the whole Federal detachment had left the barges, it is probable that the 500 or 450 picked men alluded to by Admiral Dahlgren would have fallen into our hands.

But though our success could have been more complete, it was, nevertheless, highly satisfactory, and brought forth the following congratulatory letter from General Beauregard:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Sept. 9th, 1863. Major Stephen Elliott, Comdg. Fort Sumter, etc., etc.:

Major,?The Commanding General directs me to compliment you and your garrison on the brilliant success of this morning.

He hopes that all future attempts of the enemy to take Sumter will meet with the same result.

The General will endeavor to have the prisoners removed in the course of the day or to-night.

Should, meanwhile, the enemy bombard Sumter, and you have not enough cover for your command, you will expose the prisoners, instead of your troops, to the enemy's fire.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, A. N. T. Beauregard, A. D. C.

The events succeeding those we have just related?but which are, relatively, of minor importance?are sufficiently explained by the following letters and instructions of General Beauregard to his subordinate officers, to the War Department, and to generals and citizens of note in South Carolina and elsewhere:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Sept. 10th, 1863. Brig.-General R. S. Ripley, Comdg. First Mil. Dist., etc., etc.:

General,?I am instructed to inform you of the arrival from Richmond of a party of one hundred and thirty officers and men, under the command of Lieutenant Rochelle, C. S. N. These men were ordered here for harbor service, and have been directed to report to Captain Tucker.

The Commanding General desires you to confer with Captain Tucker, and determine what arrangement may be best to carry on and protect our communications with Sumter and Sullivan's Island.

He thinks that two or more launches, with howitzers, the torpedo-ram, and Juno, should be used exclusively for that purpose.

Captain Haskell's launch, the one captured by the Juno, and others, might be fitted up at once for the police of the harbor, and to protect Captain Gray in putting down torpedoes in the outside channel.

You will please give your immediate attention to the organization of the water transportation and harbor police, and ascertain from Captain Tucker how far he may be able to assist, or whether he would prefer superintending the organization himself.

Of course the two?transportation and harbor police?should be under the control of the same head.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Sept. 14th, 1863. Brig.-General R. S. Ripley, Comdg. First Mil. Dist., etc., etc.:

General,?I am instructed by the Commanding General to ask you the following questions, and direct the execution of the following orders:


Are the roads and bridges from Fort Pemberton, along the Stono, to the upper batteries near the Overflow in good condition?

If not, they should at once be so made.

All those batteries and those in rear of the Overflow must be connected, as soon as practicable, by a good wagon-road, passing not far in their rear along the shortest lines.


Have you yet made arrangements about employing those officers and sailors from Richmond for guarding the harbor at night, and for communicating with Sullivan's Island, in case of necessity?


Has that picket been maintained or re-established at Marsh Battery, north of Vincent's Creek?

It was doubtless through that creek that the boats of the enemy passed which captured ours at Cummings's Point.

You will please explain why the orders relative to said picket were neglected.


It is reported by Major Elliott that the ordnance artificer sent to Fort Sumter to collect old iron, etc., remained there but one day. You will please have another sent, with orders to remain as long as necessary.


Can the 10-inch columbiad still remaining in Fort Sumter be removed to the city?

If practicable, request Mr. Lacoste to do so at once.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, Jno. F. O'Brien, Major, and A. A. G.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Sept. 15th, 1863. Brig.-General R. S. Ripley, Comdg. First Mil. Dist., etc., etc.:

General,?I am instructed to communicate to you the following orders of the Commanding General:


That the treble-banded Brooke gun which burst on Sullivan's Island be brought to the city as soon as practicable.


That, if not already done, the other Brooke gun which arrived from Richmond be forthwith sent to Sullivan's Island.

This was ordered several days ago.


That you will please inform these Headquarters whether the order in reference to the picket at Monk's Corner has yet been complied with, and any deserters arrested.


That you turn over, temporarily, to Lieutenant Rochelle, C. S. N., for army transportation and guard purposes in the harbor, all row-boats, barges, etc., not required for your current wants, taking proper receipts.


That, as soon as possible, you have removed from Fort Sumter all the lead, copper, good carriages, and chassis, etc., especially the carriage and chassis of the 11-inch gun now required in the city.


That you have reconstructed the observatory at Secessionville, and also erect one near Battery Cheves or Haskell.


That the commanding officer at Fort Johnson be directed to employ actively the troops there in constructing bomb-proofs and rifle-pits.


That Colonel Butler, at Moultrie, be directed to employ actively as many of his regiment as practicable in removing the debris from the interior, to throw over the parapet into the ditch of the water-face, under the direction of the Engineer Department, to form a chemise to the scarp.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, Jno. F. O'Brien, Major and A. A. G.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Sept. 19th, 1863. Brig.-General R. S. Ripley, Comdg. First Mil. Dist., etc., etc.:

General,?The Commanding General instructs me to communicate the following orders:


That the batteries about Redoubt No. 1 fire occasionally on vessels in Light-house Creek, if their guns can reach that far without too great danger of bursting.


That Sumter and the surrounding batteries be supplied with a sure and well-understood signal for opening fire in case of another attack by barges.


That Fort Sumter be kept always fully supplied with at least one month's provisions for the garrison.

You will please, in this connection, report the supply now on hand in that fort.

I am also directed to inform you that the enemy is constructing a battery in rear of the middle of Black Island.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, Jno. F. O'Brien, Major and A. A. G.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Sept. 23d, 1863. Brig.-Genl. R. S. Ripley, Comdg. First Mil. Dist., etc., etc.:

General,?The Commanding General instructs me to inquire if Fort Sumter is amply provided with water.

He also directs that, in the daytime, our batteries only fire on Morris Island when they see the enemy actively at work, and at night they should fire only at irregular intervals.

We must economize our ammunition and guns as much as possible for a long siege.

It is the wish of the Commanding General that Fort Sumter be furnished with disinfectants, and that one company of the garrison be changed weekly.

He further directs that you send a detachment of Earle's battery, under Captain Earle, with the larger Foote gun, to Buckingham Ferry, for the purpose of annoying the enemy's communication between Fort Pulaski and Hilton Head.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, John F. O'Brien, Major, and A. A. G.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Sept. 23d, 1863. Brig.-Genl. R. S. Ripley, Comdg. First Mil. Dist., etc., etc.:

General,--It is the wish of the Commanding General that you call on Generals Hagood, Colquitt, and Taliaferro, and Colonels Keitt and Harrison, to furnish the names of such officers and men who have specially distinguished themselves for zeal and gallantry in the discharge of their duties on Morris Island during the turns of duty of those commanding officers on that island; also on Colonel Rhett and Major Elliott for the same in reference to the defence of Fort Sumter.

You will also please carry out the following orders:

Moultrie House, Sullivan's Island, not to be destroyed by our troops unless too close to our batteries.

It serves as a good object to draw the enemy's fire.

The 8-inch rifled and banded gun heretofore ordered to the foot of Laurens Street (where a 10-inch gun has been put) will be sent to Fort Moultrie; Colonels Butler and Harris to determine its position.

The 11-inch gun on Sullivan's Island will have to be transferred to the eastern chamber of Battery Bee, designated by Commanding General to Engineer officer, to a position east of an 8-inch columbiad.

The old 32-pounder rifled gun (No. 27) in Moultrie should be sent to the city for re-rifling, and a proper mechanic to Moultrie, to bush another 32-pounder, rifled, in position there.

The sand-bags of embrasures to be kept wet during action.

The Yates traversing arrangements in Moultrie and the outside batteries appear to be all out of order, which was not the case in Fort Sumter.

Order an ordnance officer to see to this at once.

If Colonel Yates be available, order him to make an investigation forthwith.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, H. W. Fielden, Capt. and A. A. G.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Sept. 25th, 1863. Lieut.-Col. D. B. Harris, Chief-Engineer, etc., etc.:

Colonel,?I am instructed to say in this way what has already been communicated to you verbally by the Commanding General?that he approves of every measure practicable to give Fort Sumter means for contributing to the general defence of the entrance of the harbor; and, therefore, he desires certain casemates in northeast face, which Major-General Gilmer

Promoted, about the 15th of September, 1863. has designated in his communication of the 23d instant, to be put in condition to receive two 10-inch columbiads, one 42-pounder, and one 32-pounder, rifled and banded; these pieces to be thoroughly protected from a rear and vertical fire of the enemy's batteries.

Respectfully, your obdt.

servt., Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Sept. 29th, 1863. Brig.-Genl. R. S. Ripley, Comdg. First Mil. Dist., etc., etc.:

General,?The Commanding General instructs me to inquire whether the traversing arrangements of the guns on Sullivan's Island have been put in order.

They needed repairs last week.

He desires also that you will send an artificer to Fort Ripley to remedy the defects in the traversing arrangements of the guns at that point, as they are represented as being out of order.

The General also directs that Fort Ripley be supplied with one hundred and fifty to two hundred rounds of shot to the gun. There are now only one hundred and twenty-eight.

Finally, the General directs me to say that there is too much powder at Fort Ripley.

The surplus will be removed to Castle Pinckney, if required there for its three guns, one of which will be added to its present arrangement.

Very respectfully, your obdt.

servt., Clifton H. Smith, Asst. Adjt.-Genl.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Sept. 30th, 1863. General Samuel Cooper, Adjt. and Insp.-General, Richmond, Va.:

General,?The published report of Brigadier-General Gillmore, of the 7th instant, to his government, relative to his acquisition of Batteries Wagner and Gregg, contains several errors, which I feel called upon to correct.

1st. Seventy-five men were not taken on Morris Island, for only two boats' crews?about 19 men and 27 sailors, or about 46 men in all?were captured by the enemy's armed barges between Cummings's Point and Fort Sumter.

2d. Colonel Keitt's captured despatches could not have shown that the garrison of Wagner and Gregg amounted to between 1500 and 1600 effective men on the day of the evacuation (6th inst.), for Colonel Keitt reported that morning 900 men, all told, only about two-thirds of whom could be considered effectives; the others being wounded, or more or less disabled from exposure for so long a period to the weather and the incessant fire, day and night, of the enemy's land and naval batteries.

The forces holding these works and the north end of Morris Island, during the fifty-eight days siege, varied from 1000 to 1200 men, seldom exceeding the latter number when it could be avoided.

3d. Battery Wagner was not a work of the most formidable kind, but an ordinary field-work, with thick parapets, but with ditches of little depth.

The sand thrown up by the enemy's shells and drifted by the wind, during so long a siege, had nearly filled up the ditches in many places, and had partially covered up the explosive shells, spiked planks, and pikes placed in the ditch for its defence.

See also General Gillmore's book, p. 74, � 168, where the same incorrect statements are made.


The bomb-proof of Wagner could not contain 1800 men, or more than 600; the garrison of the work being about 800 men.

5th. Nineteen pieces of artillery and a large supply of excellent ammunition were captured.

The pieces of heavy and light artillery left in Wagner and Gregg were more or less damaged, and all with their vents not too much enlarged were spiked.

The carriages, chassis, etc., were more or less disabled by the enemy's shots and shells.

Only 1800 pounds of ammunition (200 in Wagner and 1000 in Gregg) were left to explode the magazines and bomb-proofs; but, unfortunately, through some accident, the fuses left burning did not ignite the powder.


The city of Charleston may be completely covered by General Gillmore's guns on Morris Island, but at the distance of four miles from his advanced battery to the nearest point of the city.

I will conclude by stating that, strange as it may appear, the total loss in killed and wounded on Morris Island, from July 10th to September 7th, 1863, was only 641 men; and, deducting the killed and wounded due to the landing on the 10th of July, and to the assaults of the 11th and 18th of July, the killed and wounded due to the terrible bombardment, which lasted almost uninterruptedly, night and day, during fifty-eight days, only amounted to 296 men, many of whom were only slightly wounded.

It is still more remarkable that during the same period of time, when the enemy fired 6202 shots and shells at Fort Sumter, varying in weight from 30 pounds to 300 pounds, only 3 men were killed and 14 wounded. Indeed, the hand of the Almighty would seem to have protected the heroic garrison of that historic work.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Oct. 7th, 1863. General Braxton Bragg, Commanding near Chattanooga, Tenn.:

Dear General,?I have just been informed from Richmond that the Army of Virginia is about to take the offensive again, to prevent Meade from reinforcing Rosecrans, thus repeating, to a certain extent, the campaign of last July into Pennsylvania, which did not save Middle Tennessee and the Mississippi Valley.

You must, no doubt, recollect what I wrote on the subject to General Johnston, on the 15th of May

See Chapter XXXI. last, to endeavor to prevent that offensive campaign, which, I thought, would not effect the object in view.

I now address you my views on the reported intentions of General Lee or the War Department, to see if our small available means cannot be used to a better purpose.

It is evident to my mind that, admitting Lee's movement can prevent Meade from reinforcing Rosecrans and drive the former across the Potomac, Lee cannot prevent Rosecrans from being reinforced by about 40,000 or 50,000 men from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, and the Mississippi Valley, in about one month's time; hence, admitting that Rosecrans has now about your own supposed effective force?say 60,000 men of all arms?he will then have about 110,000 men against 60,000.

War being a contest of masses against fractions, all other things being equal, you would certainly be defeated; then, either you must be reinforced from Johnston's or Lee's army, or Middle Georgia would be lost, and the Confederacy, now cut in two, would then be cut in three.

Meanwhile, Meade, having been reinforced by the new levies of the enemy, and taking his time to organize and discipline them, would retake the offensive, and Lee would be driven back towards Richmond, admitting that his supplies would enable him to maintain his army that long on the south side of the Potomac; or a large army might be concentrated here, and, having taken this place and marched into the interior, towards Augusta, the Confederacy would again be subdivided; or, should the enemy find it impossible or too tedious to take Charleston, he might concentrate again his forces on the coast of North Carolina, and, marching to Raleigh or Weldon, would cut off all our present communications with Virginia.

The question now arises, can these calamities be avoided, and in what way?

If my opinion for once could be listened to, I would say again, act entirely on the defensive in Virginia, send you immediately 25,000 men from Lee's army, 5000 or 10,000 more from Johnston's forces, to enable you to take the offensive forthwith, and cross the Tennessee to crush Rosecrans before he can be reinforced to any large extent from any quarter.

Then you could attack and defeat the enemy's reinforcements in detail, before they could be concentrated into a strong army.

In the mean time, Lee, if necessary, could fall back within the lines around Richmond until a part of your army could be sent to his relief.

I fear any other plan will, sooner or later, end in our final destruction in detail.

Should you approve of this plan, can you not address it as your own to the War Department, in the hope of its being adopted?

What I desire is our success.

I care not who gets the credit for it. Our resources are fast getting exhausted; our people, I fear, are getting disheartened; for they can see no bright spot in the horizon to revive their drooping hopes after the patriotic sacrifices they have made in this terrible contest.

Let us, then, unite all our efforts in a last deadly struggle, and, with God's help, we shall yet triumph.

I regret I have not time to pay you a short visit, to present you my views more fully, and to discuss with you our future operations.

Wishing you ample success, I remain, sincerely your friend, G. T. Beauregard.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Oct. 8th, 1863. Brig.-General R. S. Ripley, Comdg. First Mil. Dist., etc., etc.:

General,?It is the wish of the Commanding General that you should at once have inquiries made where the fault lies in Evans's brigade not being properly supplied with ammunition.

With the exception of the 22d South Carolina Volunteers, now on Sullivan's Island, none of the regiments are completely supplied with the regulation number of forty rounds.

The 23d Regiment, stationed some seven miles from Brigade Headquarters, is extremely deficient, and has no immediate means of replacing any necessary consumption, as all ordnance wagons and ordnance sergeants are attached to Brigade Headquarters, and not with their respective regiments.

Those regiments that are armed with rifles of 54 calibre say that the ordnance officer of the brigade cannot supply the required ammunition.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, H. W. Fielden, Capt., and Asst. Adjt.-General.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Oct. 28th, 1863. Major-General J. F. Gilmer, Second in Command, etc., Savannah, Ga.:

General,?On examination I find that General Mercer has now thirty-four companies in his command, on duty as heavy artillery, while the number of companies here, for manning all the batteries around Charleston, does not exceed thirty-eight.

Of course, to man all his batteries on the most efficient footing, he has not too many?indeed, not as many as it would be desirable for him to have?but, relatively, it would appear that his force of heavy artillery is too large, and may be reduced without material detriment, when we consider the demands of the service elsewhere in the Department, and the chances for operations, or the risk of any serious movement for the reduction of Savannah, at least without some notice.

Accordingly, Company E, 12th Battalion Georgia Volunteers, has been ordered here to join the rest of the battalion, and it will be well to see that it is replaced by a company of Olmstead's regiment (1st Georgia Volunteers), as there is one company of that regiment already there, and it is desirable to have homogeneity in the composition of these garrisons.

There are, moreover, three companies (F, H, and I) of the 54th Regiment (Way's) Georgia Volunteers in the District of Georgia?two at Rosedew, and one at Beaulieu?on heavy artillery duty, which, I have suggested to the General, ought to be brought here for James Island and consolidated with the other six companies for infantry service.

Therefore the General Commanding instructs me to lay the matter before you, to investigate whether these companies may not be replaced either from Gordon's or Olmstead's regiment, and ordered here, without material risk of exposing Savannah to fall by a coup de main.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Oct. 29th, 1863. Colonel D. B. Harris, Chief-Engineer, etc.:

Colonel,?The Commanding General directs that you will repair tonight to Fort Sumter, and give the necessary instructions for repairs to that fort.

You will also determine, upon consultation with the commanding officer and local Engineer, what is the minimum garrison and force of laborers that should be kept at that post.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, Clifton H. Smith, Asst. Adjt.-Genl.

Headquarters, Department S, C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Oct. 30th, 1863. Colonel Alfred Rhett, Comdg. Fifth Mil. Dist., etc., etc.;

Colonel,?Major Elliott must arrange, through you, with Generals Ripley and Hagood and Flag-officer Tucker, of the navy, some definite signal, upon the giving of which by him the batteries on Sullivan's and James islands, and the ironclads of our navy bearing on the several faces of that work, shall open fire so as to sweep every point of approach.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Oct. 30th, 1863. Brig.-Genl. Johnson Hagood, Comdg., etc., James Island, S. C.:

General,?In reply to your letter of the 29th instant I am directed by the Commanding General to inform you that the Engineer Department has been ordered to alter the embrasure of one of the guns at Battery Simkins, so as to allow it to be brought to bear upon and against Fort Sumter if necessary.

The right-hand gun of this battery cannot be thus altered without exposing it too much to the fire of the enemy from Gregg and Wagner.

I have the honor to be, General, very respectfully, your obdt.

servt., Clifton H. Smith, A. A. G.

P. S.?The Commanding General further directs that you instruct the Engineer to close the embrasure at Battery Simkins every morning before daylight, as otherwise the gun may be dismounted by a fire from Battery Gregg.

Respectfully, C. H. S., A. A. G.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Oct. 30th, 1863. Brig.-Genl. R. S. Ripley, Comdg. First Mil. Dist., etc., etc.:

General,?As a boat attack may be anticipated on Fort Sumter, after the heavy bombardment which that work has been undergoing for some days, the Commanding General directs that all the batteries bearing on it shall be held ready at night to sweep its exterior faces, at a concerted signal from Major Elliott, or whensoever the approach of hostile boats shall be evident.

Concert of action, however, is most desirable.

This order was also sent to Brigadier-General Hagood.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Nov. 1st, 1863. His Excellency M. L. Bonham, Governor of South Carolina, etc., etc.:

Governor,?Your letter of the 24th inst. enclosing one from Colonel Waddy Thompson, and another from Messrs. Pullian and Patten, has been received.

I have ordered a light battery to report at once to Colonel Williams, at Greenville, S. C. I regret as much as you do my inability to send mounted troops for the defence of that part of the State.

It is not prudent to withdraw, at this critical moment, from my already too small forces a regiment of old troops from the defence of Charleston.

So soon as it can be done with safety I will gladly send all the assistance in my power to Governor Vance.

I remain, very respectfully, your obdt.

servt., G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Nov. 4th, 1863. Brig.-Genl. R. S. Ripley, Comdg. First Mil. Dist., etc., etc.:

General,?Enclosed is a telegram

This telegram, like many others from the same source, proved to be erroneous. received from Major Norris, Chief of Signal Corps, Richmond.

The Commanding General wishes you to make all necessary arrangements for the contingency, and with a view to the rapid reinforcement of the command on Sullivan's Island from the troops in Christ Church, which portion of your district, however, should not be left uncovered until the decisive moment.

He suggests, also, that the 20th Regiment S. C. V. (Keitt's), alternating with some other good regiment, should take post for the present on Sullivan's Island at night, returning to their encampments just before daylight, to escape observation.

Very respectfully, your obdt.

servt., Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

A copy of the telegram referred to was, on the same day, forwarded to General Taliaferro, commanding the Seventh Military District.

He was directed to hold his troops prepared at night for the emergency, and to look particularly to the east lines exposed to approach from Morris Island, giving due regard, however, to the proper protection of the new lines.

BrigadierGen-eral Wise, commanding Sixth Military District, St. Andrew's Parish, was also instructed as to what course to follow, should he be called to the assistance of General Taliaferro.

The incident now about to be related is deserving of note.

It produced a feeling of disappointment among some of the warmest friends of Mr. Davis.

About the middle of October, 1863, President Davis visited General Bragg at his headquarters near Dalton, to settle a difficulty then existing between that officer and his subordinate commanders, and to suggest Longstreet's assault on Knoxville.

While returning to Richmond he stopped a day or two in Savannah and Charleston, and made it a point to inspect some of their defensive works and the gallant troops manning them.

Unable to go in person to welcome the President upon his arrival in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, General Beauregard sent several members of his staff?among whom were Colonel Roman and Lieutenant Chisolm?to perform that duty and accompany the distinguished visitor to Charleston.

He reached there on the 2d of November, at about 1 P. M., and found General Beauregard awaiting him at the depot, or what served as such, with an imposing military escort.

There was also a deputation of citizens, appointed by the civil authorities, to offer him the hospitalities of the city.

But he declined their invitation, having already promised a personal friend?ex-Governor Aiken? to repair to his residence and make of it his headquarters during his short sojourn in Charleston.

The President was escorted with all due honor to the City Hall, where he gave a public reception, after delivering an eloquent and patriotic address.

He spoke of almost every topic of the war, except one.

The defence of Charleston at that time had lasted more than seven months, and, in face of the dreadful reverses of Gettysburg and Vicksburg and the general gloom resulting from them, it alone kept up the hope and spirits of the South.

The officers and men had signally distinguished themselves during that desperate and glorious siege.

Several of them had been justly recommended for promotion.

Yet he found but a single one to praise?Major Stephen D. Elliott, the recently chosen commander of Sumter, placed there after the first bombardment was over and the regular artillery withdrawn.

Not one word of General Beauregard, who stood at his elbow while he spoke; not one word of Generals Taliaferro, Hagood, Colquitt, and Ripley, of Colonels Rhett, Butler, Harris, Keitt, and Harrison, or of the brave men who fought with and under them, was said by Mr. Davis, the Commander-in-chief of the land and naval forces of the Confederate States.

The President was speaking to Carolinians, in the heart of their devoted city.

Such was his justice to those whose genius, courage, and unsurpassed fortitude had attracted the admiration of Europe and the respect of their enemies.

When the reception was over Governor Aiken invited the Mayor, some of the leading citizens, and the ranking officers present, to dine at his house with the President.

Some accepted; General Beauregard did not. He thought that, after the singular manner in which he and his subordinate commanders had just been treated, he could without impropriety free himself from all but official courtesies towards Mr. Davis.

He therefore contented himself with accompanying the latter on his tour of inspection around James and Sullivan's islands, and with explaining to him all that had been done, since the destruction of Sumter, to perfect the interior harbor defenses and lines in and about Charleston.

From General Hagood's narrative of the defence of James and Morris islands, from July, 1863, to the early part of 1864, we take the following passage:

In November, President Davis visited James Island. General Taliaferro was absent on leave, and General Hagood in command.

Mr. Davis inspected the works closely, going at a rapid gallop, with his cortege, from battery to battery, and stopping long enough to receive a salute and ride around the regiments which were drawn up along his route, each at its post.

He seemed in good spirits.

The troops betrayed much enthusiasm, but he acknowledged their cheers for Mr. President by simply raising his hat. General Hagood rode with him, as commander of the island, and necessarily had much conversation with him. This, and on the field of battle at Drury's Bluff, when General Beauregard was pleased to present him again, with a compliment, to the President, were the only times when he was ever in conversation with this distinguished man.

When the President left Charleston, General Beauregard escorted him once more, and was among the last to take leave of him at the Northeastern Railroad Depot.

In the Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government?unless we are mistaken?Mr. Davis makes no mention of his visit to Charleston.

If there is any reference to it in that work it is in such an incidental manner that we have not been able to discover the passage.

And again, in that book, as in his address of the 2d of November, 1863, already referred to, he gives the merest passing notice to a period including fully nineteen months of the war; thus omitting to enlighten the student of history, and compelling him to look elsewhere for the evidence of facts which Mr. Davis apparently considered too insignificant to deserve particular mention.

He says:

The brave and invincible defence of Fort Sumter gave to the City of Charleston, South Carolina, additional lustre.

For four years that fort, located in its harbor, defied the army and navy of the United States.

Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, vol.

II., p. 204, first edition.

Who commanded the Department?

Who planned that invincible defence?

Who executed it?

What troops were there, and under what officers did they fight?

These are questions as to which complete silence is preserved; and from what follows the reader is led to believe that the Commanding General was General Hardee, and that Fort Sumter was never under any officer except Colonel Stephen D. Elliott.

We quote:

When the city was about to be abandoned to the army of General Sherman the forts defending the harbor were embraced in General Hardee's plan of evacuation.

The gallant commander of Fort Sumter, Colonel Stephen Elliott, Jr., with unyielding fortitude refused to be relieved, after being under incessant bombardment, day and night, for weeks.

It was supposed he must be exhausted, and he was invited to withdraw for rest; but, on receiving the general order of retreat, he assembled his brave force on the rugged and shellcrushed parade-ground, read his instructions, and, in a voice that trembled with emotion, addressed his men in the glowing language of patriotism and unswerving devotion to the Confederate cause.

The cheers which responded to the utterances of their colonel came from manly and chivalric throats.

Yielding to the inevitable, they claimed for the Stars and Bars a salute of one hundred guns.

As it was fired from Sumter it was re-echoed by all the Confederate batteries, and startled the outside blockaders with the idea that a great victory had been won by the Confederacy.


That such a statement should have been inserted in a work purporting to be a true exposition of Confederate history is beyond comprehension.

The facts are these:

Colonel Elliott, who had been promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General, was relieved, on the 4th of May, 1864, from the command of Fort Sumter, and sent to Virginia, to take charge of Walker's brigade, of South Carolina.

The successor of General Elliott at the fort was Captain John C. Mitchel, of the 1st South Carolina Artillery (Regulars). He remained in command until the 20th of July, 1864, when, during the third regular bombardment of Sumter, he was killed by a mortar-shell.

Captain Mitchel was a son of the distinguished Irish patriot, and a highly accomplished and daring officer.

On his death Captain T. A. Huguenin, of the South Carolina Infantry (Regulars), was appointed in his place, and held command of Sumter until its evacuation, on the 17th of February, 1865?nearly eight months after General Elliott had been relieved.

The evacuation of Sumter was effected at night, in silence, without a speech from any one, without a cheer from the garrison, without the firing of a gun. In order to keep the enemy in ignorance of the movement then in course of execution, the withdrawal was proceeded with as secretly and noiselessly as possible.

And yet the ex-President of the Confederate States and ex-Commander-in-chief of its armies published to the world in his work (seventeen years in preparation) this extravagant fiction.

The enormity being pointed out to him by friends, he has, in a second publication of the first edition of his book, resorted to another and different version, but one which is also erroneous in several particulars.

We shall again refer to this matter when treating of the evacuation of Charleston.

Chapter 34:

General Beauregard prepares for an attack upon Charleston.

instructions given to General Gilmer.

attack of the 19th of November upon Fort Sumter.

orders and instructions given by General Beauregard.

Gradual cessation of aggressive operations by the Federal commanders.

plan of campaign drawn up by General Beauregard, to be submitted to the President through the Hon. Pierre Soule

War Department does not take it into consideration.

report from Richmond of an impending movement on the Carolina coast.

General Beauregard's letter to General Whiting.

how Lieutenant Glassel damaged the New Ironsides.

Lieutenant Dixon's attack with the torpedo-boat upon the Housatonic.

loss of the boat and crew.

construction of the submarine Torpedoboat.

its history.

boats destroyed by torpedoes in Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Landing of a Federal force at Jacksonville.

General Finegan concentrates his forces.

arrival of reinforcements.

battle of Ocean Pond.

General Finegan's report.

what General Beauregard says of the battle.

his difficulties in sending troops to Florida.

he leaves for Camp Milton.

his despatches to the War Department.? cavalry withdrawn from South Carolina and Georgia.

General Beauregard returns to Charleston.

his instructions left with General Anderson.

he demands leave of absence.

telegram from War Department desiring his co-operation with General Lee.

he accepts.

he turns over the command of the Department to General Samuel Jones.

his parting address to the troops.>

Without placing implicit faith in the telegram received from Richmond, through Major Norris, Chief of the Signal Corps, wherein an immediate heavy attack upon Charleston was predicted, General Beauregard took every precaution to be prepared for such a contingency.

He had a force of two hundred infantry held in readiness, nightly, at Fort Johnson, to be thrown as a reinforcement into Fort Sumter, and had secured, for that purpose, from Flag-officer Tucker, the services of the, steamer Juno, Lieutenant Porcher commanding.

As an additional means of defeating any attempt of the enemy, either to assail Sumter or to carry Battery Simkins, he suggested that one or two of our ironclads should take such a position, at night, as would enable them to sweep the space between Cummings's Point and Fort Johnson and between the latter and Battery Simkins.

He also advised Commander Tucker that, in case the enemy's ironclads should endeavor to remove the obstructions between Sumter and Moultrie, while attacking the Sullivan's Island batteries, his gunboats should be placed in the vicinity of Fort Sumter, out of the direct fire of our works, and in such a manner as to foil the enemy's object; that should an effort be made by the Federal fleet, or any part of it, to pass by our obstructions, without stopping to remove them or fight the batteries, then Commander Tucker's ironclads should so change their position as to be somewhat in rear of our second line of defence?that is to say, James Island, Fort Ripley, and Castle Pinckney, according to the channel through which the enemy's vessels might attempt to force their passage.

In order to complete these precautionary arrangements the following instructions were forwarded to Major-General Gilmer on the 7th of November:

General,?Should the enemy's ironclads enter the harbor, the Commanding General thinks it probable they will endeavor to take the Fort Johnson lines facing towards Morris Island in flank and reverse, to favor an infantry attack upon Battery Simkins, and, possibly at the same time, make a similar front attack from Fort Johnson to the Martello Tower.

It becomes important, then, to guard against the first by traverses wherever required, and against the second by a line of rifle-pits or infantry parapets, connecting the batteries near the Martello Tower with the one at Fort Johnson.

The Commanding General, therefore, desires you, assisted by Colonel Harris, to make a proper examination to determine whether these rifle-pits should be prolonged to the creek below Battery Wampler, or turned back near the Martello Tower towards the marshes facing Morris Island, wherever the ground is most favorable for such a defensive line; or whether the detached redoubts, ordered some time ago, should be at once commenced, suspending meanwhile further labor on the new lines, which are now deemed quite defensible.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

Nothing of much importance occurred between the 7th and the 19th of November.

On the latter date another boat attack was made by General Gillmore's force against Fort Sumter, resulting in utter failure, as had been the case with the former attempt.

The following is an extract from Mr. Charles Cowley's book, from which we have already had occasion to quote some passages:

On the night of November 19th, 1863, General Gillmore made an attempt to surprise and capture Fort Sumter.

He asked no aid from the navy; but Admiral Dahlgren, hearing of it, and anxiously desiring its success, ordered his pickets to cover the assaulting party. * * * The thoughtful care of the Admiral for the army column on this occasion shines, by contrast, with the failure of Gillmore to support the navy column on September 6th.

Leaves from a Lawyer's Life, Afloat and Ashore, p. 115. The date given should be September 9th, and not 6th.

We copy the following extract from Colonel Elliott's journal, dated November 20th, 1863:

* * * At three o'clock a detachment of the enemy's barges, variously estimated at from four to nine in number, approached within three hundred yards of the fort, and opened fire with musketry.

Most of the troops got into position very rapidly, but, in spite of all instructions, commenced a random fire: into the air on the part of many, at the distant boats on the part of others.

The troops stationed in the centre bomb-proof for the most part refused to ascend the parapet, though encouraged by the example of Lieutenant Mironell and a few other brave men.

I have sent a despatch to General Taliaferro, asking him to relieve two lieutenants who did not behave well.

I have not evidence enough to convict them, but do not want them here longer.

I have taken measures which, I trust, may insure better conduct in the future.

No rockets were sent up, because positive attacks were not made.

The ricochet practice from Sullivan's Island was very handsome.

The fire from Johnson was very bad, the balls passing directly over the fort.

Private T. Whester, Company D, 1st S. C. Artillery, was wounded slightly in the head yesterday by a brick.

I respectfully request that, if practicable, Captain Harleston be retained here until the dark nights have entirely passed by. His removal just at this time will be a great misfortune to me, as I am greatly dependent on his watchfulness and ability.

Captain Harleston remained as desired by Colonel Elliott.

On the 24th of November, at 4.30 A. M., while examining obstructions reported as being washed by the tide, that gallant and meritorious young officer was mortally wounded by a Parrott shell, and died a few hours later, lamented by all.

The orders and instructions now submitted to the reader will show the untiring vigilance of the Commanding General, and how extremely careful he was to prepare against every possible emergency.

The first is a circular addressed to Generals Walker, Wise, Robertson, and Mercer, commanding respectively the Third, Sixth, and Second Military Districts of South Carolina and the District of Georgia.

It read thus:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Nov. 25th, 1863.

General,?The following views of the Commanding General are communicated for your information:


Further depletion of the already too weak forces left for the defence of Charleston is improper, and, therefore, you must depend solely upon the troops of your command to repel any attack of the enemy by moving rapidly your cavalry and light batteries to any point in your district which may be threatened.

Should you be compelled to abandon the line of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad, you will retire fighting obstinately, so as to protect, as much and as far as practicable, the country in your rear, especially the line of the South Carolina Railroad, for which latter object the best defensive line would be the Overflows, the Ashley River, from Bee's Ferry to the Little Lakes; thence across to Givham's Ferry, on the Edisto River, and along that river to the South Carolina Railroad bridge, above Branchville; and thence along and as near the southern boundary-line of Barnwell District as shall be determined by a close reconnoissance by General Walker's Engineer officer.


The line of the Overflows and the works in advance of it along the Stono will be defended by the troops under Brigadier-General Wise, commanding Sixth Military District, together with such additional troops as he may receive from Brigadier-General Taliaferro's command, in the Seventh Military District.


The line in rear of the Ashley River, from Bee's Ferry inclusive, to Bossua Creek, near Dorchester, will be held by troops from the Fifth and the First Military Districts.


The forces under Brigadier-General Robertson are intrusted with the defence of the line from Bossua Creek to Little Lakes, thence across to Givham's Ferry, on the Edisto, and the Four Hole Creek. Colonel Harris, Chief-Engineer, has been directed to throw up certain defensive works across the country, from the Ashley to the Edisto.


The line in rear of the Edisto, from Four Hole Creek to the South Carolina Railroad bridge, above Branchville, will be defended by Colonel Williams's regiment of State troops already there, reinforced by a portion of Brigadier-General Walker's command, until they can be relieved by other troops in the Department.


From the Edisto to the Savannah River, near the southern boundary of Barnwell District, will be defended or guarded, as far as practicable, by the remainder of Brigadier-General Walker's command.

That officer will construct such field-works, rifle-pits, abatis, and make such overflows, as the means at his disposal and the nature of the country will permit.

7th. Brigadier-Generals Robertson and Walker will resort to such expedients as the beating of drums, firing of salutes and rockets, as will deceive the enemy.

A temporary concentration of cavalry at various points near the enemy's pickets, and lighting numerous camp-fires at night, must also be resorted to as frequently as possible.

In other words, we must make up for our deficiency in numbers, as far as practicable, by ingenuity and activity.

A thorough knowledge of the country should give us an advantage over our adversary, which must be improved and made available to the utmost; and each district commander will be expected to provide himself with an ample number of tried and reliable guides.

The Commanding General desires particularly to impress upon you his inability to reinforce your command at present.

It is an axiom of war that no work is sufficiently strong to resist a determined attack unless properly garrisoned.

The defences of this city require a force of 18,500 infantry, and at least ten light batteries; in lieu of that force only 12,695 infantry (of which a portion are unreliable troops) and eight light batteries compose its present garrison.

If one portion of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad is worth guarding, the rest has the same claim.

Hence, if 1000 men are sent to the Third District, nearly a like number should also be sent to the Second District, and thus, weakening the already too small force absolutely required for the defence of Charleston, invite an attack from the enemy before these troops from those districts could possibly be recalled.

The question then arises, whether it is better to risk the safety of Charleston or that of the country lying between it and Savannah?

The Commanding General cannot hesitate in the selection.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

P. S.?November 28th, 1863.?Since the date of this circular Clingman's brigade, 1810 effectives, has been ordered back to North Carolina. T. J.

To General Hagood, to whom a copy of the foregoing circular had not been forwarded, the following communication was subsequently sent:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Dec. 5th, 1863.

General,?I am instructed to say to you that, while the movements of the enemy appear to indicate an attempt to operate within the limits of the Second and Third Military Districts, rather than any effort to effect a lodgment within your district, nevertheless your troops should be held constantly on the alert and ready for any effort to surprise you.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff.

General Gillmore admits that with the second bombardment of Sumter ended all aggressive operations for the season against the defences of Charleston.

Engineer and Artillery Operations against the Defences of Charleston Harbor, pp. 79, 80. The truth is, that the taking of Battery Wagner, on the 7th of September, was the enemy's last step forward; and though, from such a result, high expectations had arisen, not only on the part of the Federal commander in front of Charleston, but also throughout the Northern States, nothing more had been accomplished.

Wagner and the whole of Morris Island were in the possession of the enemy; Sumter had been silenced and reduced to a heap of ruins, but bomb-proofs had been speedily erected, and the Confederate flag still floated over it, and its capacity for resistance was daily increasing.

The harbor, too, remained as impenetrable as it was when the Federal fleet first attempted to enter it; and Charleston, encompassed now and surrounded by a new line of inner defences, was as ready as ever to cope with the combined military and naval attack prepared against it. Fort Sumter had gradually become a new work; Fort Johnson had greatly gained in strength and importance; so had almost every battery on James and Sullivan's islands; and General Beauregard, as was justly said in Pollard's Lost Cause,

Page 437. had given another illustration of the new system of defence practised at Comorn and Sebastopol, where, instead of there being any one key to a plan of fortification, there was the necessity of a siege for every battery, in which the besiegers were always exposed to the fire of the others.

From Cummings's Point and the other works of Morris Island the bombardment was maintained during the whole of the month of November and up to the 19th or 20th of December.

It did not entirely cease even after that time, but decreased in intensity from day to day, until only a few occasional shots were fired: as usual, mostly at Fort Sumter.

General Beauregard, taking advantage of this relative lull in the enemy's operations in his front, and believing that there was then no threat of immediate danger, began to consider other and more distant points of the Confederacy; and, while contemplating the military situation in Virginia and the West, drew up, at the request of the lion.

Pierre Soule, of Louisiana, a comprehensive plan of campaign, which the latter desired, if it were possible, to submit to the authorities at Richmond.

Mr. Soule was a man of high capacity.

He had been a Senator in the United States Congress, Ambassador to Spain under President Pierce's Administration, and, owing to his firm and unyielding attitude after the fall of New Orleans, in April, 1862, had been sent, by General B. F. Butler, as a prisoner to Fort Lafayette.

At the time we speak of he had but lately been released from captivity, and had run the blockade to Charleston, whence he had left for Richmond, with a view to offer his services to the Confederate Government.

The plan referred to was as follows:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Dec. 8th, 1863. Hon. Pierre Soule Richmond, Va.:

My dear Sir,?I compliance with your request, made on the eve of your departure for Richmond, I have prepared for you a sketch of certain operations by which we may yet retrieve our late losses, and possibly baffle the immense resources of men and warlike material of our enemy.


The system hitherto followed of keeping in the field separate armies, acting without concert, on distant and divergent lines of operation, and thus enabling our adversary to concentrate at convenience his masses against our fractions, must be discontinued, as radically contrary to the principles of the art of war, and attended with inevitable results, such as our disasters in Mississippi, Tennessee, and North Georgia.


We must arrange for a sudden and rapid concentration, upon some selected, decisive strategic point of the theatre of war, of enough troops to crush the forces of the enemy embodied in that quarter.

This must necessarily be done at the expense or hazard, for the time, of other points less important, or offering less advantages for striking the enemy.

A blow thus struck will necessarily disorganize his combinations and give us the choice of the field of operations.

I am sensibly aware of our limited means, our want of men, the material and appliances of war and of transportation, and hence the difficulties which will embarrass us in the execution of this plan of concentration.

But I see no way to success except through and by it, and nothing but ultimate disaster without it. A different course may, indeed, protract the contest, which will become, day by day, more unequal.

We may fight stoutly, as hitherto, many bloody and indecisive battles, but will never win a signal, conclusive victory, until we can manage to throw a heavy and overwhelming mass of our forces upon the fractions of the enemy, and at the same time successfully strike at his communications, without exposing our own.

I believe this may yet be done.

Not knowing, however, our present available forces, and their exact locations, I am unable to make a definite or detailed plan of operations.

But I believe I am warranted in assuming that we have under arms 210,000 effective men, distributed nearly as follows:

Looking at a map of the Confederate States it will be seen that the most injurious blow which the enemy could strike, at present, would be to take possession of Atlanta, thus isolating still more completely the Trans-Mississippi States, and detaching, in a great measure, the States of Mississippi and Alabama from the eastern portion of the Confederacy.

It would also be a deplorable injury to the energetic, populous State of Georgia, and cripple the great resources of that people.

We should, therefore, regard Atlanta as the actual objective point of the large force which the enemy has concentrated about Chattanooga, and the one which we must, at all cost, prevent him from obtaining.

In this state of affairs, throwing aside all other considerations, subordinating all other operations to this one vital campaign, at a concerted moment we must withdraw from other points a portion of their forces?all, indeed, not absolutely essential for keeping up a show of defence, or safety against a coup de main? and concentrate in this way every soldier possible for operations against General Grant.

Such strategic points as Richmond, Weldon, Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, and Meridian?or Jackson, Mississippi, at the same time? should be fortified, garrisoned, and provisioned, according to their relative present value to the Confederate States, sufficiently to prolong their defence, if attacked or besieged, until troops for their relief could be detached as required from the army in Northwestern Georgia.

I will now state approximately what troops may, in my belief, be withdrawn from the following quarters and added to the army at or about Dalton, namely:

These 40,000 men, added with celerity to the force now under Hardee, and including that with Longstreet and other detachments, would make an army of 100,000 men. Let this army take the offensive at once, and, properly handled, it should crush any force that Grant could assemble in time and oppose, scattered as he evidently is, and unprepared as he would be for such an event.

To insure the success of such a plan of operations the Press must be led to preserve complete silence touching all military movements.

Depots of subsistence, munitions of war, ambulances, wagons, horses, etc., should be established at certain points, not too far from Atlanta, for rapid concentration at the proper time.

Meanwhile, whatsoever troops could be safely withdrawn from the Department already indicated, should be quickly, quietly concentrated at suitable central points, thence to be thrown forward, with all possible despatch, to Dalton, with all the means of transportation available of all sorts.

At the same time the officer appointed to command this army should make all his preparations for such a trust, and the sudden accumulation of troops of all arms, so that he may be able to mould it into a homogeneous mass as early as practicable, and to inaugurate offensive operations without loss of one moment of time that may be obviated.

And, further, he must be invested with an unrestricted, unembarrassed selection of staff-officers, and thoroughly emancipated from the least subordination to the views and control of the heads of bureaus at Richmond, a reproduction in this war of that fatal Austrian system with which no eminently successful commander ever had to contend; a pernicious plan of administration which will clog and hamper the highest military genius, whether a Napoleon or a Caesar.

I believe the success of the plan of campaign thus sketched, and the utter defeat of the enemy, would be almost certain.

The question would next be: whether to pursue the routed enemy with vigor to the banks of the Ohio and the Mississippi, or to return to the several sources whence the army was gathered their respective detachments or quotas for the campaign?

This should be left, however, to be determined by the nature of the enemy's operations at the time.

I must finally remark that were it possible to concentrate with sufficient expedition, at or about Knoxville, such an army as I have indicated, that would be the better point whence to take the offensive into Middle Tennessee than Dalton?that is, according to the principles of war?and would promise more decisive results; for it is evident we should thus threaten the enemy's communications, without exposing our own. (Principle II.) Le secret de la guerre est dans la surete des communications (Napoleon). By a movement from Knoxville we should be doing what is taught in connection with the third maxim ( Art of War ), to wit: That part of the base of operations is the most advantageous to break out from into the theatre of war which conducts the most directly on the enemy's flanks or rear.

There may be, however, such practical difficulties in the way of the execution of such a movement on that line as may not make it advisable to adopt it.

The whole science of war, it has been well said, may be briefly defined as the art of placing in the right position, at the right time, a mass of troops greater than your enemy can there oppose to you.

Those conditions, I sincerely believe, may all be filled by very much such a plan as the one which I have hurriedly placed before you. Of course my views must be subject to such modifications as my want of precise information relative to the number and location of our troops may render necessary.

The hour is critical and grave.

I am filled with intense anxiety lest golden opportunities shall be lost-lost forever.

It is concentration and immediate mobility that are indispensable to preserve us.

Yours sincerely, G. T. Beauregard.

Mr. Soule communicated the foregoing paper to the War Department, but no action was taken in the matter.

The War Department was, no doubt, too much engrossed in other business to pass upon the merits of this or any other plan of battle.

When, about eleven months later, Atlanta fell and was destroyed, and most of the disastrous consequences predicted by General Beauregard ensued, the War Department must have seen?though too late, as usual?that the plan had been a good one, and that if it had been adopted a very different result might have been obtained.

Some further information had been received from Richmond, disclosing a probable movement of the enemy on the South Carolina coast, and warning General Beauregard to be prepared for it. He acted accordingly, in his accustomed prompt and energetic way; but, knowing how prone the War Department was to credit such reports, and having heard nothing of the kind from his own signal-service corps, he felt sure this news would prove false, as had been the case on many previous occasions.

The following letter refers to this subject, and explains General Beauregard's views and opinions upon the future operations of the enemy in Tennessee and farther South:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., Dec. 25th, 1863. Major-Genl. W. H. C. Whiting, Comdg. Dept., Wilmington, N. C.:

My dear General,?A merry and lucky Christmas to you!

Your letter of the 23d instant has just been received.

I got a copy of the same telegram sent you; but I have been deceived every time that same scout, or some other coming from Baltimore, has furnished news of enemy's movements in my Department.

Hence I am very cautious to believe his reports now, although, of course, I make my preparations all around, so as not to be caught napping.

I sent, in return, pretty much your answer?that I could not defend with success here Savannah and the railroad without additional troops.

Defensive works are next to useless if not garrisoned properly.

I have therefore applied for the temporary return of Walker's brigade, which is now doing nothing, at or near Dalton.

It is evident that the enemy, having taken Chattanooga for their spring campaign, are now returning Meade's corps as fast as possible, for fear of being forestalled by Longstreet joining Lee, and the two together crushing Meade, which should have been done by this time; for Longstreet would move on interior lines, while Meade's three corps have to go around the circumference of the circle.

It is probable, however, that when the roads in Virginia shall have become perfectly impracticable a part of Meade's reinforcements may be sent South for a winter campaign against Charleston, Savannah, or Wilmington; hence Johnston or Lee must be prepared to reinforce us. Halleck is just finding out what can be done with sudden and rapid concentration of troops.

Our side, meanwhile, is still trying the reverse: see Chattanooga and Knoxville.

I suppose that by the time we shall have no more troops to concentrate we will learn better.

By-the-bye the President does not seem to place more reliance in that scout's statement than I do: see the conclusion of Colonel Brown's communication, i. e., Wilmington is believed to be the point threatened, instead of Savannah.

I am happy to hear, though, that the Yankees have given up all hope of taking Charleston; for I am tired of this useless burning of powder which might be saved for a better purpose.

My batteries, however, fire very little?as little as possible.

Sumter is stronger, as a defensive work, than it ever was before the late accident to one of the small magazines.

Those damages will soon be repaired, and I am going to add two 10-inch columbiads to its present armament.

Hoping that you will be equally successful in case of an attack on Wilmington, I remain,

Yours, very truly, G. T. Beauregard.

P. S.?Troops are still reported passing here from the North, going to Hilton Head.

General Walker reports about 6000 men encamped on that island alone. G. T. B.

In October, 1863, Lieutenant Glassel performed a daring feat against the New Ironsides. In spite of the enemy's equivocal statement to the contrary, that vessel, the Admiral's flag-ship at the time, was so seriously crippled as to be unable, thereafter, to perform any service in conjunction with the hostile fleet in front of Charleston.

The following account is transcribed from General Beauregard's article on the Torpedo Service in the Harbor and Water Defences of Charleston, published in the Southern Historical Society Papers of April, 1878:

Vol. v., No. 4, p. 145, et seq. The article was also published in the Annals of the War, p. 513.

* * * The David reached the New Ironsides about 10 o'clock P. M., striking her with a torpedo about six feet under water; but, fortunately for that steamer, she received the shock against one of her inner bulkheads, which saved her from destruction.

The water, however, being thrown up in large volume, half filled her little assailant and extinguished its fires.

It then drifted out to sea with the current, under a heavy grape and musketry fire from the much alarmed crew of the New Ironsides. Supposing the David disabled, Glassel and his men jumped into the sea to swim ashore; but, after remaining in the water about one hour, he was picked up by the boat of a Federal transport schooner, whence he was transferred to the guardship Ottawa, lying outside of the rest of the fleet.

He was ordered at first by Admiral Dahlgren to be ironed, and, in case of resistance, to be double ironed; but, through the intercession of his friend, Captain W. D. Whiting, commanding the Ottawa, he was released on giving his parole not to attempt to escape from the ship.

The fireman, Sullivan, had taken refuge on the rudder of the New Ironsides, where he was discovered, put in irons, and kept in a dark cell until sent with Glassel to New York, to be tried and hung, as reported by Northern newspapers, for using an engine of war not recognized by civilized nations.

But the Government of the United States has now a torpedo corps, intended specially to study and develop that important branch of the military service.

After a captivity of many months in Forts Lafayette and Warren, Glassel and Sullivan were finally exchanged for the captain and a sailor of the Federal steamer Isaac Smith, a heavily-armed gunboat, which was captured in the Stono River, with its entire crew of one hundred and thirty officers and men. * * * Captain Glassel's two other companions, Engineer Tomb and Pilot Cannon, after swimming about for a while, espied the David, still afloat, drifting with the current.

They betook themselves to it, relit the fires from its bull's-eye lantern, got up steam, and started back for the city.

They had to repass through the fleet, and they received the fire of several of its monitors and gunboats, fortunately without injury.

With the assistance of the flood-tide they returned to their point of departure, at the Atlantic wharf, about midnight, after having performed one of the most daring feats of the war. The New Ironsides never fired another shot (on the coast of South Carolina) after this attack upon her. She remained some time at her anchorage off Morris Island, evidently undergoing repairs; she was then towed to Port Royal, probably to fit her for her voyage to Philadelphia, where she remained until destroyed by fire after the war.

On the 17th of February, 1864, an expedition, in every respect as hazardous and fully as bold, was prepared and carried out, under Lieutenant Dixon, of Mobile, Alabama, with the submarine torpedo-boat, as it was called,

Also called the fish torpedo-boat. against the United States steamer Housatonic.

She was struck before realizing her danger, and sank almost instantaneously; but the torpedo-boat went to the bottom with her; and though, as it seems, most of the officers and crew of the Housatonic were saved, neither Lieutenant Dixon nor any of his associates were ever seen afterwards.

They all perished together, for none were reported as being captured by the enemy.

They, no doubt, knew how perilous was the attempt they were undertaking.

There are principles and there are causes that men hold sufficiently dear to inspire and justify heroic sacrifices.

Lieutenant Dixon and the few who were with him evidently looked upon the Southern cause as one of these.

We quote again from General Beauregard's article referred to above:

Nearly about the time of the attack upon the New Ironsides by the David,

It was four months later. Mr. Horace L. Hunley, formerly of New Orleans, but then living in Mobile, offered me another torpedo-boat, of a different description, which had been built with his private means.

It was shaped like a fish, made of galvanized iron, was twenty feet long, and at the middle three and a half feet wide by five deep.

From its shape it came to be known as the fish torpedo-boat.

Propelled by a screw worked from the inside by seven or eight men, it was so contrived that it could be submerged and worked under water for several hours, and to this end was provided with a fin on each side, worked also from the interior.

By depressing the points of these fins the boat, when in motion, was made to descend, and by elevating them it was made to rise.

Light was afforded through the means of bull's-eyes placed in the man-holes.

Lieutenant Payne, C. S. N., having volunteered, with a crew from the Confederate navy, to man the fish-boat for another attack upon the New Ironsides, it was given into their hands for that purpose.

While tied to the wharf at Fort Johnson, whence it was to start under cover of night to make the attack, a steamer passing close by capsized and sunk it. Lieutenant Payne, who at the time was standing in one of the man-holes, jumped out into the water, which, rushing into the two openings, drowned two men then within the body of the boat.

After the recovery of the sunken boat Mr. Hunley came from Mobile, bringing with him Lieutenant Dixon, of the Alabama Volunteers, who had successfully experimented with the boat in the harbor of Mobile, and under him another naval crew volunteered to work it. As originally designed the torpedo was to be dragged astern upon the surface of the water; the boat, approaching the broadside of the vessel to be attacked, was to dive beneath it, and, rising to the surface beyond, continue its course, thus bringing the floating torpedo against the vessel's side, when it would be discharged by a trigger contrived to go off by the contact.

Lieutenant Dixon made repeated descents in the harbor of Charleston, diving under the naval receiving-ship, which lay at anchor there.

But one day, when he was absent from the city, Mr. Hunley, unfortunately, wishing to handle the boat himself, made the attempt.

It was readily submerged, but did not rise again to the surface, and all on board perished from asphyxiation.

When the boat was discovered, raised, and opened the spectacle was indescribably ghastly: the unfortunate men were contorted into all kinds of horrible attitudes, some clutching candles, evidently endeavoring to force open the man-holes; others lying in the bottom, tightly grappled together, and the blackened faces of all presented the expression of their despair and agony.

After this tragedy I refused to permit the boat to be used again; but Lieutenant Dixon, a brave and determined man, having returned to Charleston, applied to me for authority to use it against the Federal steam sloop-of-war Housatonic, a powerful, new vessel, carrying eleven guns of the largest calibre, which lay at the time in the North Channel, opposite Beach Inlet, materially obstructing the passage of our blockade-runners in and out. At the suggestion of my Chief of Staff, General Jordan, I consented to its use for this purpose, not as a submarine machine, but in the same manner as the David. As the Housatonic was easily approached through interior channels from behind Sullivan's Island, and Lieutenant Dixon readily procured a volunteer crew, his little vessel was fitted with a Lee spar-torpedo, and the expedition was undertaken.

Lieutenant Dixon, acting with characteristic coolness and resolution, struck and sunk the Housatonic on the night of February 17th, 1864; but, unhappily, from some unknown cause, the torpedoboat was also sunk, and all with it lost.

Several years since, a diver, examining the wreck of the Housatonic, discovered the fish-boat lying alongside of its victim.

Other Federal steamers and transports, in other portions of the Department, were also struck, and often greatly damaged, by torpedoes planted, by General Beauregard's orders, in several streams, in Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Thus were destroyed, in April, 1864, on the St. John's River, Florida, first, the Maple Leaf and, afterwards, the General hunter; and in the Ossabaw Sound the Columbine and the Water Witch. Both the latter were captured by boarding parties, in May and June, 1864.

The main incident of this particular period of the war, in General Beauregard's Department, was the battle of Ocean Pond, in Eastern Florida, which took place on the 20th of February, 1864, and shed lustre on the Confederate troops engaged.

At Jacksonville, Florida, on the 7th of February, the enemy landed a considerable force of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, which was increased by further arrivals on the 8th. General Finegan, with his well-known energy, immediately issued all necessary orders for the concentration of his scattered troops, and lost no time in notifying General Beauregard of the emergency.

From Jacksonville the enemy, unhindered, pressed on to Baldwin; then to Barber's; then to Sanderson, and was, on the 11th, within three miles of Lake City.

There his progress was checked by a force composed of about 450 infantry, 100 cavalry, and two pieces of artillery.

He fell back to Sanderson, and thence to Barber's, on the east bank of the St. Mary's, where he evidently intended to concentrate before moving on Lake City.

In the mean time General Finegan, with all the reinforcements he had thus far been able to procure, had marched to Ocean Pond, on the Olustee River, and, on the 13th, with not more than 2000 men of all arms, resolutely awaited the enemy's advance.

Several days of anxious suspense were thus passed, during which, to the great relief of all, the following troops arrived, namely: the 6th, 19th, 23d, 27th, and 28th Georgia Regiments, and the 6th Florida Battalion, with four guns of the Chatham Artillery.

They were placed under Brigadier-General Colquitt, and formed what General Finegan termed his First Brigade.

The 32d and 64th Georgia Volunteers, the 1st Georgia Regulars, the 1st Florida Battalion, and Bonaud's Battalion, with Guerard's Light Battery, all under Colonel G. P. Harrison, constituted the Second Brigade.

The cavalry was organized into a Third Brigade, under Colonel C. Smith: thus making a total effective force of about 4600 infantry, 600 cavalry, and three batteries of light artillery.

The rapidity with which our forces were concentrated from different points, and especially from Charleston and Savannah, is worthy of all praise; the more since between the Georgia and Florida lines of railroad there then existed a gap of some twentysix miles, over which the Carolina and Georgia troops had to march before reaching their destination.

And here it is proper to remark that, shortly after the eastern part of Florida had been added to General Beauregard's command,

On the 7th of October, 1862.

See Chapter XXVII. he had called the attention of the War Department to that obstacle in the way of rapid concentration, in case of urgency, and had recommended that the iron on the Key West Railroad, which was not used at the time, be taken for the purpose of closing up this gap. Nothing was done in the matter, however, owing, it was said, to the opposition of ex-Senator Yulee, of Florida, the President and principal owner of the Key West road.

On the 20th the enemy moved forward, in three columns, numbering together about 8000 infantry, with corresponding artillery, and some 1400 cavalry.

At 12 M. of that day he was within three miles of General Finegan's position.

Our cavalry, supported by the 64th Georgia and two companies of the 32d, was ordered to advance and skirmish with the front line of the enemy, and, if possible, to draw it to our works.

General Colquitt, with three regiments of his own brigade and a section of Gamble's artillery, now marched to that point, and, by orders, assumed command of the cavalry and infantry forces already sent to feel the strength of the enemy.

He found the latter advancing rapidly, and our cavalry retreating before him. Without the loss of a moment his skirmishers were pushed forward, and his line of battle formed, with the 19th Georgia on the right, the 28th on the left, and Gamble's section of artillery in the centre.

The 64th Georgia and the two companies of the 32d were moved to the left of the 28th; and, to guard against an attack in flank, the 6th Georgia was extended farther still, in the same direction.

Colonel Smith, with the cavalry, was instructed to take a position on the extreme flank, so as to check any movement of the enemy from either side.

After these preliminaries, the advance began with true Confederate dash; the opposing forces gradually giving way, though fighting hard to hold their ground.

Seeing at a glance that, with the handful of men under him, his success could only be temporary, General Colquitt now called for reinforcements.

General Finegan, in anticipation of his desire, had already ordered them forward.

The 6th Florida soon arrived, and with it the 23d Georgia.

They were sent, the former on the right of the 19th Georgia, the latter on the left of the 64th; and the 32d Georgia and the 1st Georgia Regulars, under Colonel Harrison, having also come up, were placed between the 23d and 6th Georgia, with instructions to guard the left of the line.

The engagement had now become general.

The enemy, in heavy force, under General Seymour, fought stubbornly, broke and re-formed his lines several times during the battle; but, after a resistance of more than four hours, finally gave way in confusion, and was closely pressed for three miles, until night compelled the pursuers to halt.

In his report General Finegan said:

Their loss in killed, both officers and men, was large.

Four hundred and eighteen of their wounded were removed by us from the field, and four hundred, or near that number, of their killed were buried by us; also nearly two hundred prisoners were captured; several officers of high rank were killed, and others severely wounded.

Their loss cannot be less than two thousand or two thousand five hundred men. Five superior guns, one set of colors captured, and sixteen hundred stand of arms; also one hundred and thirty thousand rounds cartridges (damaged by being thrown into water), as appears by the report of the ordnance officer herewith enclosed.

The victory was complete, and the enemy retired in rapid retreat, evacuating in quick succession Barber's and Baldwin, and falling back on Jacksonville. * * * Our loss in the engagement was ninety-three killed and eight hundred and fortyone wounded, a large proportion very slightly.

See General Finegan's report, given in full in the Appendix.

It may be of interest to revert to the difficulties encountered in forwarding reinforcements from Charleston and Savannah to the assistance of General Finegan.

We quote from General Beauregard's report to General Cooper, dated Charleston, South Carolina, March 25th, 1864.

The whole report, less such portions of it as are given in the text, will be found in the Appendix.

* * * On the 7th of February (received 8th) Brigadier-General Finegan reported by telegraph that five gunboats and two transports of the enemy had made their appearance in the St. John's, within five miles of Jacksonville, and on the next day announced the arrival at Jacksonville of eighteen vessels?gunboats and transports?the landing of the enemy, presumed in large force, and an immediate advance on the night of the 7th of February. General Gilmer was at once ordered to put in motion, to report to General Finegan, all the troops he had been previously ordered to hold in readiness for such an emergency.

General Gardner, commanding in Middle Florida, was telegraphed to send to the imperilled quarter, with all possible celerity, every soldier he could spare.

Colquitt's brigade was ordered from James Island to Savannah, with a light battery. General Finegan was advised of what was done, and instructed to do what he could with his means to hold the enemy at bay, and to prevent the capture of slaves; and at the same time I reported to you this hostile movement, and my intention to repel it, as far as practicable, with infantry to be drawn from Charleston and Savannah, but requested, in consequence of the very recent discharge of some five thousand South Carolina militia, that other troops should be sent to take their places and avoid danger to Charleston and Savannah.

Scarcely had Colquitt's brigade begun to move, when the enemy, in anticipation, doubtless, of my attempt to reinforce Finegan, made a strong demonstration on John's Island.

Though assured of the purpose of this movement, it assumed, however, so serious a form as to compel me to divert, temporarily, General Colquitt and three and a half regiments of his brigade, to reinforce General Wise, then confronted by at least two brigades of the enemy (about four thousand five hundred strong), pushed forward in advance of the Haulover, or bridge-way between John's and Seabrook's islands, and in addition several regiments of infantry were detached from Sullivan's and James islands, to be in readiness for the development of the enemy's purposes.

On the night of the 11th ultimo I ordered all our batteries bearing on Morris Island to open a heavy simultaneous fire on that portion, as if a cover for an assault, and with the hope of forcing the enemy to withdraw from John's Island to the protection of his own works.

This stratagem seems to have produced the desired effect, or assisted to make him abandon the movement on John's Island, and withdraw hastily before daybreak, thus releasing and enabling Colquitt's command to reach General Finegan in time to meet and defeat the enemy at Ocean Pond, some thirteen miles in advance of Lake City.

In the meanwhile other troops, fast as the means of railroad transportation would enable me, had been despatched to the theatre of war from the works around Charleston and Savannah, and the positions covering the Savannah Railroad.

This was done, indeed, to a hazardous degree; but, as I informed the Hon. Secretary of War by telegraph, on the 9th ultimo, I regarded it as imperative to attempt to secure the subsistence resources of Florida.

General Finegan was also apprised of these reinforcements on the 11th of February, and instructed to manoeuvre meantime to check or delay the enemy, but to avoid close quarters and unnecessary loss of men.

While these reinforcements were en route the enemy again attempted to delay them by a movement with show of force against Whitemarsh Island, near Savannah, and it became a measure of proper precaution to halt at Savannah two of the regiments on the way to General Finegan, for the development of the enemy's plans, one of which regiments, indeed, I felt it but prudent to detain there for the present.

The want of adequate rolling-stock on the Georgia and Florida Railroads, and the existence of the gap of some twenty-six miles between the two roads, subjected the concentration of my forces to a delay, which deprived my efforts to that end of full effect.

The absence of General Hill making it injudicious for me to leave this State, I directed Brigadier-General Taliaferro to proceed to Florida and assume command, he being an officer in whose ability, field experience, and judgment I had high confidence, not knowing at the time that Brigadier-General William M. Gardner, commanding in Middle Florida, his senior, had returned from sick leave, and was fit for field service, and had gone to General Finegan's headquarters with the troops of his district.

Apprised of this, I directed General Gardner, on the 21st ultimo, to assume command, and organize for a vigorous offensive movement preliminary to the arrival of General Taliaferro; but subsequently the victory of Ocean Pond having taken place, in which it was supposed General Gardner, though not in immediate command, had taken an active part, I directed that officer to assume the chief command, and, dividing his forces into divisions, to assign General Taliaferro to one of them.

Soon after which, however, I was advised by the War Department of the assignment of Major-General J. Patton Anderson to the command of the forces in the State of Florida.

General Beauregard had done all in his power to obtain from the War Department the appointment of three major-generals, to take command of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, with a view of thus converting these States into three military districts; and, to that end, he had repeatedly recommended for promotion several of the brigadier-generals then doing service under him. They were officers of tried merit, already familiar with the localities, and enjoyed the full confidence of their men. Had his suggestion been carried out, General Beauregard could have moved, freely and at will, from one district to another, whenever, in his opinion, circumstances required it, without in any way jeopardizing the interests or safety of any one of them.

But, from all appearances, the Secretary of War had always opposed the adoption of such a system, and was only induced to take a step in the matter on or about the day of the battle of Ocean Pond.

At that time Lieutenant-General D. H. Hill was ordered to Charleston, where he arrived on the 28th of February, eight days after the battle; and Major-General J. Patton Anderson was sent to Florida, but did not reach Camp Milton until the 3d of March?in other words, fourteen days after the battle.

General Gilmer, who had been in the Department for several months, but whose services, when he arrived, had not been requested (General Beauregard needed no additional chief-engineer at the time), had been assigned to the District of Georgia, where the Commanding General thought he might be useful, and was already there when the battle of Ocean Pond was fought.

The consequence of this tardy action of the War Department was, that General Beauregard, who would have gone to Florida with the first troops sent thither to the assistance of General Finegan, could only do so after the arrival of General Hill; for the enemy, who had made serious demonstrations in General Wise's subdistrict, might at any time renew them at other points, then necessarily denuded of troops for the relief of Florida.

He reached Camp Milton on the 2d of March, after travelling two days and nights, with hardly any rest.

General Anderson had not yet assumed command.

Immediately after his arrival General Beauregard carefully reconnoitred the locality and its vicinity, and soon obtained all necessary information as to our resources and those of the enemy.

The next day (3d) he telegraphed to the War Department the conclusion he had reached, stating, in substance, that he would endeavor by strategy to bring the enemy out of his stronghold? Jacksonville?and would then give him battle, notwithstanding his superior numbers, reported to be 12,000, whereas ours amounted to but 8000.

He stated that he had selected a good defensive line, a few miles in rear of the position our troops then occupied, where he hoped to be able to defeat the enemy, without much loss on our side.

In answer came a despatch from Richmond, dated March 4th (received on the 5th), telling General Beauregard that he had been misinformed as to the strength of the enemy and of Jacksonville, and that he should attack at once.

The reply sent was courteous but firm, and to the following effect: Have been here since the 2d, inquiring into condition of affairs and status of enemy.

Am positive in my statement to the Department, and shall not attack.

Am willing to transfer the command to next officer in rank?General Anderson?who will attack under the orders of the Department.

Will give him all the assistance in my power.

This seems to have satisfied the War Department, as no further direction was sent from Richmond.

A few days later, and while he was still busily engaged in reorganizing the forces at Camp Milton, and preparing the defensive line referred to above, General Beauregard received by telegraph from New Orleans, via Mobile and Charleston, the sad intelligence of the death of Mrs. Beauregard, whom he had not seen since his departure from Louisiana, on February 23d, 1861: more than three years before.

Soldiers and patriots are often compelled to silence the voice of nature, to suppress the longings of a loving heart, to sacrifice all that man so fondly cherishes to duty and to country.

Grateful should be the land that inspires such high virtue, and all honor to those who can practise it.

On or about the 18th of March orders from Richmond, withdrawing most of the cavalry from his Department, induced General Beauregard to return at once to Savannah and Charleston, after leaving definite instructions with General Anderson as to his future conduct to meet impending events in his district.

They read as follows:

Headquarters in the field, Camp Milton, Fla., March 20th, 1864. Major-Genl. J. Patton Anderson, Comdg. Dist. of Florida, etc., etc.:

General,?Having to return temporarily to Charleston sooner than I had intended, I desire giving you herewith my general views as to future probable operations against the enemy, now occupying Jacksonville with about 12,000 or 15,000 men, and Palatka with about 1500, as reported by scouts, deserters, etc.

Your present available forces (less than 8000 men) are not sufficient to enable you to drive the enemy out of Jacksonville, fortified and supported by four or five gunboats, as the place is at present.

The task with regard to Palatka would be less difficult, if you could detach on such an expedition, to insure its success, a sufficient force from the troops at McGirt's Creek.

But this might be attended with more danger than the object in view would warrant.

Your present defensive line, in rear of McGirt's Creek, for a temporary purpose?that is, until the work around Baldwin (twenty miles from Jacksonville) shall be sufficiently completed to enable you to give battle at that point with all the chances of success in your favor, notwithstanding the disparity in numbers.

I have ordered Colonel Harris to prepare positions on those works for the guns of the siege-train and the 32-pounder, rifled, intended for the new battery ordered on Fleming's Island.

Should the enemy advance upon you from Jacksonville you should retire on Baldwin slowly, drawing him after you. About one brigade will take position in the lines there, with some cavalry on the left; the other two brigades and main body of cavalry will take positions on the right, ready to take the enemy in flank and rear, by advancing between the Little and Big Cypress Swamps, should he attack the lines in front.

In the event of his again being defeated he should be pushed vigorously by the cavalry on his flanks, and the infantry on his rear.

Should the enemy divide his forces by reinforcing strongly those already at Palatka, the proposed battery at Fleming's Island, on the St. John's, should be constructed at once, and torpedoes put in the river, so as to prevent its navigation.

Should the enemy, after fortifying strongly Jacksonville and Palatka, leave those two places, with only a strong garrison in each, a battery should be put up at once near the mouth of Trout Creek, a few miles below, Jacksonville, to cut off its communication with the mouth of the river.

This would insure the fall or evacuation of both places.

Colonel D. B. Harris, Chief-Engineer of the Department, will remain with you for the present, and has received my general instructions relative to the works referred to. As soon as you shall be able to dispense with his services you will send him to make the necessary examinations about St. Mark's and Tallahassee, to guard those important points from any attack from the Gulf.

Captain Pliny Bryan, A. A.-Genl., is in charge of the torpedoes to be put in the St. John's River.

He must consult Colonel Harris as to their location.

Captain Bryan is also a very good signal officer; capable of reading the enemy's signals, he would be a good inspector of that branch of the service.

You will please keep me well advised, at Charleston, of all movements of the enemy in your district.

A telegram should be sent at least every other day. I will endeavor to rejoin you as soon as practicable, especially should the enemy intend any offensive movement in your front.

General Beauregard verbally advised General Anderson, should the enemy advance, to give him battle; and should the high grass covering the country be sufficiently dry and the wind favorable, to set that grass (some distance in his own front) on fire just before engaging the enemy; then to charge him, while in confusion, with vigor, making as great use of his own artillery and cavalry as possible.

Look well to your means of transportation and commissary supplies.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

On the 23d, from Charleston, he telegraphed as follows to the War Department:

Have returned here to make best disposition practicable incident to the departure of the cavalry ordered to Virginia.

It has become more urgent than ever to have an efficient officer of higher rank than brigadier-general to command in South Carolina. General Hill has not entered on duty; he is awaiting an answer to his communication to you from this place. G. T. Beauregard.

About a week later the following telegram was sent to General Anderson:

Charleston, S. C., March 30th, 1864.

Be prepared to return, soon as enemy's movements shall permit, Colquitt's brigade, then the Virginia regiments, then Harrison's brigade.

Meanwhile, if you can safely strike at Palatka, you should do so. How are General Gardner's operations against deserters progressing? G. T. Beauregard.

On or about the 9th of April, finding that the enemy had nearly ceased his operations against Charleston and the coast, and believing he could, under such circumstances, absent himself from his command, without inconvenience to the service, General Beauregard notified the War Department that he would soon apply for a short leave of absence; intending, as he had done in June, 1862, to repair to Bladon Springs, Alabama, to seek that quietude of mind and relief from the incessant routine of duty which, on a former occasion, had produced the most beneficial effect upon him. His despatch read as follows:

Charleston, S. C., April 9th, 1864. General Samuel Cooper, Adjt. and Insp.-Genl., Richmond, Va.:

* * * My health requires I should apply for a leave, dependent, however, on operations of enemy.

But I cannot make application without a competent major-general. G. T. Beauregard.

The next day he wrote as follows to General Gilmer:

Charleston, S. C., April 10th, 1864. Major-Genl. J. F. Gilmer, Comdg. Savannah, Ga.:

My dear General,?Your favor of the 8th inst. has been received.

I fully appreciate the views therein expressed, which are correct, but of difficult execution under present circumstances.

With regard to General M., I am aware of the objections to him, but my fear was to fare worse.

You are, no doubt, aware that not those officers who stand the highest in the estimation of the War Department are sent here permanently.

In fact, this has been called the Department of Refuge.

Moreover, my recommendations of and applications for officers are seldom, if ever, heeded.

With the exception of Brigadier-General Walker, Colonels Elliott and Harris, and Captain Johnson (the last two engineers), not one of my officers has been promoted since the beginning of the memorable siege of Charleston, although I have recommended several.

This is encouraging neither to myself nor to those under my orders.

Since your other letter Major-General J. has been ordered to this Department to relieve you. I hope he will do, but from what I hear I fear not.

I have to request that you will give him, as far as practicable, the benefit of your experience and observation, especially to keep him out of any faux pas or errors.

Give him as full and detailed advice as possible, providing for such contingencies as may happen.

1 will, on my part, give him such general instructions as ought to suffice.

Regretting to lose your services, and with my kind regards to Mrs. G., I remain,

Yours, very truly, G. T. Beauregard.

General Beauregard was preparing to leave about the middle of April, when a telegram from the War Department was received during the night of the 13th, inquiring if his health would permit him to come and assist General Lee in the defence of Richmond.

His answer was:

Charleston, S. C., April 14th, 1864. Genl. Braxton Bragg, Commander-in-Chief, Richmond, Va.:

Am ready to obey any order for the good of the service. * * * G. T. Beauregard. The order was therefore issued.

It was as follows:

Richmond, April 15th, 1864. General G. T. Beauregard:

Repair with least delay practicable to Weldon, N. C., where instructions will be sent to you. S. Cooper, Adjt. and Insp.-Genl.

On the 16th no general officer had yet been sent to relieve him. This made him uneasy, and all the more so that troops were again being withdrawn from his Department as rapidly as they could be forwarded.

His telegram to General Cooper, of that date, read thus:

Owing to reduction of forces, I shall leave this Department with great concern, which would be much diminished if General Hill were ordered to relieve me; for since his arrival here he has been making himself acquainted with the forces and localities.

My Chief of Staff is still quite sick, and cannot be, at present, of much assistance to General Jones.

I am confident a positive order from War Department would be obeyed with alacrity by General Hill. G. T. Beauregard.

On the 17th he sent the following telegram to General Whiting:

Am ordered to Weldon for present, but am desirous to see you as I pass through Wilmington, on Wednesday, about 10 o'clock. G. T. Beauregard.

On the 18th General Cooper received the following despatch:

General Jones has not yet arrived.

Have telegraphed Gilmer to come forthwith.

I will leave to-morrow.

I have recalled all South Carolina and Georgia troops from Florida, except one battalion infantry and one and a half regiments cavalry. G. T. Beauregard.

General Jones finally arrived on the 19th.

The next day General Beauregard telegraphed General Cooper in these words:

Charleston, S. C., April 20th, 1864.

I have turned over command, temporarily, to General Jones to-day.

I will leave for point of destination in one hour. G. T. Beauregard.

Before doing so, however, and in order to take official leave of the gallant troops of his Department, he issued to them this address:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., April 20th, 1864.

Officers and Soldiers,?By an order of his Excellency the President I am relieved temporarily from the command of this Department by Major-General Sam Jones, to be assigned to another important command.

I leave with the assurance that you will transfer to my successor, a meritorious officer of the Armies of Virginia and Tennessee, that confidence and spirit of prompt obedience to orders which have contributed so much to your success heretofore.

Should you ever become discouraged, remember that a people from whom have sprung such soldiers as those who defended Wagner and Sumter can never be subjugated in a war of independence. G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

Chapter 35:

Arrival of General Beauregard at Weldon, April 22d.

he Disapproves operations against Plymouth and Newbern.

Predicts Burnside's attack upon Petersburg, and Advises concentration of forces,

letter of General Bragg.

alarm of the authorities in Richmond.

General Butler beaten off on the 6th and 7th of May.

recall of troops.

General Hoke's junction with General Ransom.

General Beauregard reaches Drury's Bluff.

his plan to destroy Butler's and Grant's forces.

he Submits it to General Bragg.

the latter approves, but will not consent without the President's Ratification.

President Davis visits Drury's Bluff.

Refuses his consent.

General Beauregard's command is extended.

he forms a plan of attack.

narrative of the battle of Drury's Bluff.

failure of General Whiting to arrive in time.

General Wise's comments upon him.

he Resigns his command.

errors of Mr. Davis.>

General Beauregard reached Weldon, North Carolina, on the 22d of April, 1864; but, contrary to the assurances given him by the War Department, found no orders awaiting him there.

He immediately called General Bragg's attention to the fact, and the next day was officially assigned to the command of what was called the Department of North Carolina and Cape Fear, including Virginia south of the James and Appomattox, and all that portion of North Carolina east of the mountains.

On the 23d he assumed command of his new Department, which he henceforth designated as the Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia, and applied for those officers of his former staff whose services he deemed indispensable.

While at Weldon, watching and aiding certain operations specially ordered by the War Department against Plymouth and Newbern, but of which he did not approve, he carefully studied on the maps then in his possession the field around Petersburg, between that city and the James, and along the lines of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, then about to become the theatre of a hostile movement against the Confederate capital under Major-General B. F. Butler.

This expedition General Beauregard had anticipated for several weeks, and he had instructed his Chief-Engineer, Colonel Harris, to reconnoitre, for the purpose of occupation and defence, the position at Bermuda Hundreds, which afterwards became the base of General Butler's operations.

He had also instructed Colonel Harris to inspect closely old Fort Powhatan, a few miles below City Point, on the James, which he desired to strengthen and re-arm with heavy guns, besides blocking up the river?there narrower than elsewhere?with torpedoes and other obstructions.

But before this could be done General Butler had landed at Bermuda Hundreds an army of about 30,000 men, composed of two corps, under Generals Gillmore and W. F. Smith.

On the 25th of April General Beauregard sent the following telegrams to General Bragg, who was then acting as military adviser of the President and General Chief of Staff of the Confederate Armies:

1. Every indication is that Burnside will attack Richmond via Petersburg.

Are we prepared to resist him in that direction?

Can the forces of this Department be concentrated in time?

are questions worthy of immediate consideration by the War Department.

2. Burnside's point of attack being still uncertain, and our ironclad in the Neuse having grounded firmly, is it prudent to leave longer the forces in Department so scattered?

Is object in view worth the great risk incurred?

I know not yet what troops are about Petersburg.

Here there is only one State regiment, and in Wilmington two regiments, infantry, movable troops.

He also wrote a letter to General Bragg on the same subject,

See Appendix. condemning the existing state of affairs, and pointing out the danger to be apprehended in case of a sudden attack by the enemy upon Petersburg or Weldon.

He advised the division of his Department into three military districts, under three major-generals, with a view to insure a successful defence with the smallest available force.

But the Newbern expedition was yet looked upon by the Administration as the true initiatory step to future and more important concentration.

General Bragg, therefore, answered evasively, as follows:


Richmond, Va., April 25th, 1864. General Beauregard:

Reports of yesterday represent Burnside landing in force at Yorktown.

Evans's whole brigade was ordered to Wilmington.

Has it arrived?

Which brigade can best be spared from South Carolina?Colquitt's or Wise's? The Navy Department has taken action to relieve the grounded gunboat. Braxton Bragg, General.


Richmond, April 26th, 1864. To General G. T. Beauregard:

The movement under Major-General Hoke, if prompt and successful, will enable us to concentrate a formidable force to meet Burnside.

If not made, or unsuccessful, a large portion of your force must be held in North Carolina, to guard the railroad.

Knowing his energy and activity, the President has promoted him (General Hoke), to avoid any difficulty about commands.

Urge him to action. Braxton Bragg, General.

Still more, however, than the two foregoing telegrams does the following letter show what undue importance was attached to the Newbern expedition:

Headquarters armies Confederate States, Richmond, Va., April 28th, 1864. General G. T. Beauregard, Weldon, North Carolina:

General,?Your written communication of the 25th inst. received, and has been submitted to the President, with this endorsement, viz.: Respectfully submitted to his Excellency the President.

Gracie's brigade from Southwest Virginia and Colquitt's from South Carolina are now under orders, and it is proposed to draw others from South Carolina as soon as transportation will allow.

The paper was returned to me with the following endorsement by the President, viz.:

Returned to General Bragg.

With due energy it is hoped the gunboat in the Neuse may be put afloat.

The capture of Newbern, and possession of the Sound by our vessels, increased as they may be by the addition of others, will relieve the necessity for guarding the whole line of railroad as proposed.

The attempt should be made with all vigor to improve our condition in the manner indicated, and in the plan adopted for the campaign of General Hoke.

Then we may spare troops for other service, either in West Virginia or east of Richmond.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, Braxton Bragg, General.

It being evident that the President would persevere in carrying out this divergent movement, General Beauregard a few days later ?on the 1st of May?forwarded a communication to General Hoke, in answer to the latter's request that he should take personal command of the Newbern expedition.

He declined interfering in the matter, but counselled him, however, and carefully developed his views as to the means to be employed and the best method of attack.

See communication in Appendix.

The movements of the enemy in the direction of Petersburg, and the pressing despatches of General Pickett, commanding there, at last opened the eyes of the War Department to the imminent peril of the moment.

It now realized the difficulty of concentrating the forces so injudiciously scattered by its improvident orders.

The immediate danger to Richmond, apart from that to which Petersburg was subjected, aroused the apprehensions of the President to such an extent that, in spite of General Pickett's urgent demand for reinforcements, Hagood's brigade, from South Carolina?which General Beauregard desired to have halted at Petersburg?was ordered to be pushed straight through to Richmond, and not to stop at all on the way.

See telegrams, in Appendix. General Beauregard insisted, however, that the order should be revoked, and thus were Petersburg and Richmond barely saved by the opportune presence and gallant conduct of Hagood's command.

It was upon that occasion that General Butler's forces were baffled and beaten off, on the 6th and 7th of May, in their attempt to seize the Richmond Railroad above Petersburg.

Much praise is also due to the prompt action of General Bushrod Johnson and his Tennesseeans, 1168 in number, whom General Hagood found at the junction when he arrived in person with the remaining companies of the 25th South Carolina Regiment. General Johnson had marched from Drury's Bluff, in the direction of Colonel Graham's firing, with the purpose of giving him assistance.

Owing to the position assigned to his forces, the part he and his men took in this sharp encounter, which overturned Butler's plans, was not so conspicuous as it would otherwise have been, though it neutralized the action of the Federal force confronting his line, and thereby contributed to the successful repulse of the enemy.

The loss of the latter was estimated at 1000 men, though General Hagood is of opinion that it was probably not so great.

The entire population of Petersburg loudly applauded the timely intervention of the South Carolina brigade.

It was presented with a flag by the ladies.

From the pulpit thanks were offered to the 1500 brave men composing it; and the merchants of the city, in acknowledgment of what they had done, would receive no pay from them for their divers small purchases at the time.

See, in Appendix, extract from General Hagood's memoirs.

Meanwhile troops were hastily called for from all quarters; and so great was the trepidation of the Administration, that their arrival was expected before they had had time to get fairly under way. Thus was General Hoke abruptly ordered back from the Newbern campaign

General Hoke had already taken the outworks at Newbern, and demanded its surrender; when, in obedience to instructions from Richmond, General Beauregard sent him a special messenger (Lieutenant Chisolm, A. D. C.) with orders to repair forthwith to Petersburg, no matter how far his operations might have advanced against Newbern.

General Beauregard had had trains collected at Kinston to facilitate the transport of his troops via Weldon.

No time was lost in carrying out the order. and sent to Petersburg, where he arrived, as did also General Beauregard, on May 10th.

Among the various telegrams sent to Richmond on that day by General Beauregard was the following to General Bragg:

Petersburg, May 10th, 1864.

Am organizing rapidly brigades already here and those arriving into two divisions, under Pickett and Hoke, with battalion of artillery to each division.

Many batteries are still en route. Hope to be in position for offensive tomorrow night.

Will inform you in time for co-operation with General Ransom. G. T. Beauregard.

And on the next day this telegram was forwarded:

Petersburg, May 11th, 1864. General Braxton Bragg, Richmond, Va.:

My forces are being united as soon as practicable.

You may then rely on my hearty co-operation in defence of Richmond.

Appearances here this morning are that the enemy is about withdrawing from this point to reinforce elsewhere.

I will try to strike him a severe blow before he leaves. G. T. Beauregard.

The authorities at Richmond were now in a state of great excitement.

The enemy had been repulsed on the Richmond Railroad, and, to all appearance, had abandoned his original intention of investing Petersburg; but where he would next attempt to strike was the all-absorbing question.

Richmond was his only immediate objective, thought Mr. Davis. Mr. Seddon and General Bragg were of the same opinion.

Many telegrams were now sent from Richmond to Petersburg, showing more nervousness than wisdom on the part of the Administration, and seriously interfering with General Beauregard's plans.

No one could doubt that the Confederate capital was in imminent peril at that hour; but that Mr. Davis, and Mr. Seddon, and even General Bragg, from within the works of Richmond, should imagine that they could better appreciate the situation than General Beauregard? who for weeks had warned them of the very danger they had persistently neglected to avert?was indeed more than strange.

It is easily seen what the result would have been if General Beauregard had not resisted the vexatious intermeddling of persons having none of his opportunities to judge of the real state of affairs around him. Fortunately, he finally wrested from the War Department full authority to follow his own course and handle his troops as he thought best.

By his orders General Hoke led the column from Petersburg, with six brigades of infantry and eight batteries, for the purpose of forming a junction with General Ransom, at or about Drury's Bluff, and began moving on the morning of the 11th. General Beauregard remained to await the arrival of the last two brigades, hourly expected from Weldon, and also to see General Whiting, then just arriving to take command of the forces in Petersburg and relieve General Pickett, who on the day before had reported himself ill.

Butler's army now seriously menaced the position of Drury's Bluff, on the James, which was not originally included within the limits of the Department assigned to General Beauregard.

The latter left Petersburg on May 13th with an escort of about 1200 men of Colquitt's brigade and Baker's small regiment of cavalry, after leaving specific instructions, oral and written, with General Whiting, as to the co-operation he was to give, in the impending battle, with the forces expected at Petersburg from the South.

From information received on the way General Beauregard's march was deflected from the straight route he was pursuing to the left, by way of Chesterfield Court-house; and, as the Federals during the day had carried the outer line of works at Drury's Bluff, he was barely enabled to slip between their extreme left and the river, reaching his point of destination at three o'clock in the morning.

Late as it was, he called in council Colonel Harris, his Chief-Engineer, and Colonel Stevens, the Engineer of that post and of Richmond.

They explained to him the main features of the Federal attack, its result, and the consequent dejection of our troops.

Colonel Stevens also gave him an account of the battles of the Wilderness and of Spottsylvania Court-house up to the 12th, and described the position occupied since that time by the respective forces of Generals Lee and Grant.

He spoke, likewise, of a reserve of 5000 men, held for the defence of Richmond, and stationed in or near that city.

After a rapid survey of that theatre of the war, on a topographical map furnished him by Colonel Stevens, General Beauregard saw that, as both General Lee and himself occupied the interior lines, it was possible, by a bold, combined effort on our part, to destroy not only General Butler's forces but also those under General Grant.

His plan was instantly conceived and communicated to Colonels Harris and Stevens.

He then despatched the latter to Richmond, to present his views to the President; or, if unable to see him, to General Bragg.

Colonel Stevens could not see the President.

He explained his mission to General Bragg, who, previous to taking any action, preferred to consult in person with General Beauregard.

He arrived at the latter's headquarters at half-past 5 o'clock that morning, accompanied by Colonel Stevens.

The plan, now repeated by General Beauregard to General Bragg, was as follows: that General Lee should fall back from his position, near Guinea Station, to the defensive lines of the Chickahominy, or even to the intermediate lines of Richmond; that 10,000 of his men should meanwhile be swiftly transferred to General Beauregard, together with the 5000 reserves, in Richmond, under General Ransom; that upon the arrival of this reinforcement, which would give him an effective of about 25,000 men, General Beauregard, at daybreak on the 15th, should attack Butler on his right flank, so as to cut him off from communication with his base at Bermuda Hundreds; while General Whiting, with some 4000 men, moving simultaneously from Port Walthall Junction, should strike Butler's right rear, press him back upon the James River above Drury's Bluff, and force him to surrender by noon of that day, leaving his depot at Bermuda Hundreds a prey to the Confederates; that General Beauregard should then throw his victorious force across the James, and, by a concerted movement, strike General Grant on his left flank, while General Lee should attack him in front.

General Bragg expressed his approval of the plan, but also his inability to direct its execution without the consent of the President, to whom he would immediately submit it. Deprecating the loss of time that would thus ensue, General Beauregard strongly urged General Bragg to take the responsibility upon himself and issue the necessary orders at once.

He feared Mr. Davis might procrastinate and even oppose his views.

But General Bragg could not be induced so to act, and left to seek the approval of the President.

Within about two hours after the conference between Generals Beauregard and Bragg the President himself reached Drury's Bluff; and General Beauregard, with more minuteness than before, again detailed his plan of operations.

The President objected that the proposed retrograde movement of General Lee's army towards Richmond, and the withdrawal from it of 10,000 men, were altogether out of the question; and that he could only add to General Beauregard's force the 5000 reserves of Ransom's division.

In urging the advantages of his plan General Beauregard insisted that General Lee's withdrawal behind the Chickahominy, where McClellan had been so effectually held at bay in 1862, or even?which would be still better?behind the defences of Richmond, for a few hours, would render General Grant's left flank more exposed, and bring it within easier reach of his proposed attack.

This was substantially the line in assaulting which, on the 3d of June, at Cold Harbor, General Grant was so bloodily repulsed. Among the arguments used by General Beauregard in pressing his views upon Mr. Davis was that, if successful, the stroke would in all probability terminate the war; while, if it should not be successful, the end to which the Confederate cause was helplessly drifting, unless redeemed by some early, bold, and decisive success, would only come sooner.

Mr. Davis persisted in his refusal.

He would only consent to the transfer of Ransom's division from Richmond, and that not until the next day (15th), expressing his desire that the attack should be made on Butler's army, and his confidence that the latter would be beaten and driven back to his base at Bermuda Hundreds.

To this General Beauregard replied that the defeat of Butler alone would be but a barren victory, as had been so many former operations of the war, and was not the ultimate object to be obtained.

What he proposed accomplishing was, the extended decisive result which all the circumstances of the moment favored.

But, to General Beauregard's chagrin, all his representations were unavailing: Mr. Davis could not be convinced.

The same day (May 14th) General Beauregard was officially notified from Richmond by General Bragg that his command was enlarged so as to include all territory south of the James; and that he was also expected to protect the city of Richmond from any sudden movement against it from the north side.

Ransom's division was sent on the afternoon of the 15th, making General Beauregard's force about 15,000 strong, which he hastily organized into three divisions, under Hoke, Ransom, and Colquitt?officers who, except the latter, were then unknown to him.

With that promptness of execution which always characterized his movements on the field, and produced such confidence in those who came in close contact with him, General Beauregard, late as it was, perfected his plan of operations and order of battle; saw, conferred with, and counselled each of his division and some of his brigade commanders; forgot nothing, except his own comfort, and stood ready to meet the impending events of the next day.

Some of General Hagood's remarks in his memoirs referring to these events are so appropriate, that they are now placed before the reader.

He says:

That evening (15th of May) Beauregard, passing along the lines, asked some of his soldiers if they were not tired of this sort of fighting, and said he would change it for them.

At 10 o'clock at night, on the 15th, Hoke's brigade commanders were summoned to his headquarters, informed that the offensive would be taken in the morning, and instructed in the plan of battle.

Beauregard's plans showed the instinct of genius.

They could not, under the circumstances, notwithstanding the difficulty of handling rapidly and effectively an army so recently organized, have failed substantially to have annihilated his antagonist, had not two of his division commanders failed him. The shortcomings of General Ransom and General Whiting are indicated in the official report.

Before 11 A. M., on the 15th, General Beauregard had sent instructions to General Whiting, then at Petersburg, and had fully informed him of his intended movement against Butler.

His despatch to that effect was as follows:

Drury's Bluff, May 15th, 1864, 10.45 A. M. Major-General W. H. C. Whiting, Petersburg, Va.:

I shall attack enemy to-morrow at daylight, by river road, to cut him off from his Bermuda base.

You will take up your position to-night on Swift Creek, with Wise's, Martin's, Dearing's, and two regiments of Colquitt's brigades, with about twenty pieces, under Colonel Jones.

At daybreak you will march to Port Walthall Junction; and when you hear an engagement in your front you will advance boldly and rapidly, by the shortest road in direction of heaviest firing, to attack enemy in rear or flank.

You will protect your advance and flanks with Dearing's cavalry, taking necessary precautions to distinguish friends from foes.

Please communicate this to General Hill.

This revokes all former orders of movements. G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

P. S.?I have just received a telegram from General Bragg informing me that he has sent you orders to join me at this place; you need not do so, but follow to the letter the above instructions. G. T. B.

He had also delivered to each of his three division commanders the following circular, adding to it such oral advice as the occasion required:

Headquarters, etc., Drury's farm, May 15th, 1864. To??

General,?The following instructions for battle to-morrow are communicated for your information and action.

The purpose of the movement is to cut off the enemy from his base of operations at Bermuda Hundreds, and capture or destroy him in his present position.

To this end we shall attack and turn, by the river road, his right flank, now resting on James River, while his centre and left flank are kept engaged, to prevent him from reinforcing his right flank.

Major-General Ransom's division will, to-night, take position the most favorable for attack on the enemy's right flank, to be made by him at daybreak to-morrow morning.

His skirmishers will drive back vigorously those of the enemy in his front, and will be followed closely by his line of battle, which will, at the proper time, pivot on its right flank, so as to take the enemy in flank and rear.

He will form in two lines of battle, and will use his battalion of artillery to the best advantage.

Colonel Dunnovant's regiment of cavalry will move with this division, under the direction of General Ransom.

Major-General Hoke's division, now in the trenches, on the right of the position herein assigned to General Ransom, will, at daylight, engage the enemy with a heavy line of skirmishers, and will hold the rest of his forces in hand, ready to attack with vigor the enemy's line in his front as soon as he shall find it wavering before his skirmishers, or so soon as Ransom's line of battle shall have become fairly engaged with the enemy.

General Hoke will form in two lines of battle, four hundred yards apart, in front of his trenches, at the proper time, and in such manner as not to delay his forward movement.

He will use his battalion of artillery to the best advantage.

Colonel Boyken's regiment of cavalry will move in conjunction with Hoke's division, so as to protect his left flank.

He will receive more definite instructions from Major-General Hoke. Colonel Shingler's regiment of cavalry will move with the reserve division.

The division commanded by Brigadier-General Colquitt will constitute the reserve, and will to-night form in column, by brigades, in rear of Hoke's present position, the centre of each brigade resting on the turnpike.

The division will be massed under cover of the hills now occupied by Hoke's troops, so as to be sheltered at the outset from the enemy's fire in front.

During the movement the head of the column will be kept at a distance of about five hundred yards from Hoke's second line of battle.

As soon as practicable the intervals between the brigades of the reserve division will be maintained at from two to three hundred yards.

The reserve artillery, under General Colquitt, will follow along the turnpike, about three hundred yards in rear of the last brigade.

He will use it to the best advantage.

Simultaneously with these movements Major-General Whiting will move with his division from Petersburg, along the Petersburg and Richmond Turnpike, and attack the enemy, flank and rear.

The movements above indicated must be made with all possible vigor and celerity.

The Generals commanding divisions, and Colonels Baker and Shingler, commanding cavalry, will report at these headquarters at 6 h. P. M. to-day.

In the mean time they will give all necessary instructions for providing their respective commands with sixty rounds of ammunition issued to each man, and at least twenty rounds for each in reserve.

They will cause their commands to be supplied with two days cooked rations. G. T. Beauregard, Genl. Comdg.

Nothing could be more explicit and nothing clearer.

Each division commander knew exactly what he was expected to do. He knew also, and so did each brigade commander, what movements would be executed on other portions of the field.

To acquaint his subordinates with the general outlines of his plans when about to put them into execution, and thus insure unity of action, was one of the methods habitually used by General Beauregard during the war. The wisdom of this course was never more clearly exhibited than upon this occasion.

General Beauregard's narrative of the battle of Drury's Bluff, and the divers incidents connected with it, will be found in the following passages, taken from his report to the War Department:

Ransom moved at 4.45 A. M., being somewhat delayed by a dense fog, which lasted several hours after dawn and occasioned some embarrassment.

His division consisted of the following brigades, in the order mentioned, commencing from the left: Gracie's, Kemper's (commanded by Colonel Terry), Burton's (under Colonel Fry), and Colonel Lewis's (Hoke's old brigade).

He was soon engaged, carrying, at 6 A. M., with some loss, the enemy's line of breastworks in his front, his troops moving splendidly forward to the assault, and capturing five stands of colors and some five hundred prisoners. The brigades most heavily engaged were Gracie's and Kemper's, opposed to the enemy's right, the former turning his flank.

He then halted to form, reported his loss heavy and troops scattered by the fog, his ammunition short, and asked for a brigade from the reserve.

Colquitt's brigade was sent him at 6.30 A. M., with orders for its return when it ceased to be indispensable.

Before either ammunition or the reserve brigade had arrived he reported the enemy driving Hoke's left, and sent the right regiment of Lewis's brigade forward at double-quick towards the point of supposed danger.

This held the enemy long enough for the reserve brigade to arrive, charge, and drive him back from the front of our left centre, where the affair occurred, over and along the works, to the turnpike.

It will be seen, in a subsequent part of this report, that one of Hagood's advance regiments had unexpectedly come in contact with the enemy and been ordered back, it not being contemplated to press at this point until Ransom should swing round his left, as directed in the battle order.

This possibly originated Ransom's impression as to the situation of Hoke's left, which had, in fact, steadily maintained its proper position.

At 7.15 A. M. Colquitt's brigade, of the reserve, was recalled from Ransom, and a slight modification of the original movement was made to relieve Hoke, on whose front the enemy had been allowed to mass his forces by the inaction of the left.

Ransom was ordered to flank the enemy's right by changing the front of his right brigade, to support it by another in echelon, to advance a third towards Proctor's Creek, and to hold a fourth in reserve.

This modification was intended to be temporary, and the original plan was to be fully carried out on the seizure of the river and Proctor's Creek crossing.

In proceeding to execute this order Ransom found the reserve brigade engaged and his own troops moving by the right flank towards the firing at the centre.

He therefore sent Burton's brigade back instead of Colquitt's, and reported a necessity to straighten the lines he had stormed.

Here his infantry rested during the greater part of the day. Dunnovant's cavalry, dismounted, being thrown forward, as skirmishers, towards a small force which occupied a ridge in the edge of George Gregory's woods, north of Proctor's Creek.

This force, with an insignificant body of cavalry, believed to be negroes, and a report of threatening gunboats (which came some hours earlier, as since ascertained), were the only menace to our left.

At 10 A. M. I withheld an order for Ransom to move until further arrangements should be made, for the following reasons:

The right was heavily engaged; all of the reserve had been detached, right and left, at different times; the silence of Whiting's guns, which had been heard a short time about 8 A. M., gave reasonable hope that he had met no resistance and would soon be on; a despatch had been sent to Whiting at 9 A. M., which was repeated at 9.30 A. M., to press on and press over everything in your front, and the day will be complete; and Ransom not only reported the enemy in strong force in his front, but expressed the opinion that the safety of his command would be compromised by an advance.

On the right Hoke had early advanced his skirmishers and opened with his artillery.

The fog and other causes temporarily delayed the advance of his line of battle.

When he finally moved forward he soon became hotly engaged, and handled his command with judgment and energy.

Hagood and Johnson were thrown forward, with a section of Eschelman's Washington Artillery, and found a heavy force of the enemy, with six or eight pieces of artillery, occupying the salient of the outer line of works on the turnpike and his own defensive lines.

Our artillery engaged at very short range, disabling some of the enemy's guns and blowing up two limbers.

Another section of the same command opened from the right of the turnpike.

They both held their positions, though with heavy loss, until their ammunition was spent, when they were relieved by an equal number of pieces from the reserve artillery?under Major Owen.

Hagood, with great vigor and dash, drove the enemy from the outer lines in his front, capturing a number of prisoners, and, in conjunction with Johnson, five pieces of artillery?three 20-pounder Parrotts and two fine Napoleons.

He then took position in the works, his left regiment being thrown forward by Hoke to connect with Ransom's right.

In advancing this regiment encountered the enemy behind a second line of works in the woods,. with abatis interlaced with wire.

Attack at that point not being contemplated, it was ordered back to the line of battle, but not before its intrepid advance had brought on it considerable loss.

This circumstance has been referred to before, as the occasion of a mistake by Ransom.

Johnson, meanwhile, had been heavily engaged.

The line of the enemy bent around his right flank, subjecting his brigade, for a time, to fire in flank and front.

With admirable firmness he repulsed frequent assaults of the enemy, moving in masses against his right and rear.

Leader, officers, and men alike displayed their fitness for the trial to which they were subjected.

I cannot forbear to mention that Lieutenant Waggoner, of the 17th Tennessee Regiment, went, alone, through a storm of fire and pulled down a white flag which a small, isolated body of our men had raised, receiving a wound in the act. The brigade, holding its ground nobly, lost more than a fourth of its entire number.

Two regiments of the reserve were sent up to its support, but were less effective than they should have been, through a mistake of the officer posting them.

Hoke also sent two regiments from Clingman, to protect Johnson's flank.

These partially partook of the same mistake, being posted in the woods, where the moral and material effect of their presence was lost.

I now ordered Hoke to press forward his right for the relief of his rightcentre, and he advanced Clingman with his remaining regiments, and Corse with his brigade.

He drove the enemy with spirit, suffering some loss; but the gap between Clingman and the troops on his left induced him to retire his command, to prevent being flanked, and re-form it in the intermediate lines.

Thus Corse became isolated; and, learning from his officers that masses were forming against his right flank, he withdrew some distance back, but not quite so far as his original position.

These two brigades were not afterwards engaged, though they went to the front; Corse, about one hour after he fell back, and Clingman at about 2.15 P. M. The enemy did not re-occupy the ground from which they drove him before they retired.

In front of Hagood and Johnson the fighting was stubborn and prolonged.

The enemy, slowly retiring from Johnson's right, took strong position on the ridge in front of Proctor's Creek, massing near the turnpike, and occupying advantageous ground at the house and grove of Charles Friend.

At length Johnson, having brushed the enemy from his right flank in the woods, with some assistance from the Washington Artillery, cleared his front, and rested his troops in the shelter of the outer works.

One of the captured pieces having opened on the enemy's masses, he finally fell back behind the woods and ridge at Proctor's Creek, though his skirmish line continued the engagement some hours longer.

Further movements were here suspended, to wait communication from Whiting, or the sound of his approach, and to reorganize the troops, which had become more or less disorganized.

Brief firing at about 1.45 P. M. gave some hope of his proximity.

I waited in vain.

The firing heard was probably an encounter between Hearing and the enemy's rear-guard.

Dearing had been ordered by Whiting to communicate with me; but, unsupported as he was by infantry or artillery, he was unable to do so, except by sending a detachment by a circuitous route, which reached me after the work of the day was closed.

At 4 P. M. all hope of Whiting's approach was gone, and I reluctantly abandoned so much of my plan as contemplated more than a vigorous pursuit of Butler and driving him to his fortified base.

To effect this, I resumed my original formation, and directed General Hoke to send two brigades forward along the Court-house Road, to take the enemy in flank and establish enfilading batteries in front of the heights west of the railroad.

The formation of our line was checked by a heavy and prolonged storm of rain.

Meanwhile, the enemy opened a severe fire, which was soon silenced by our artillery.

Before we were ready to advance darkness approached, and, upon consultation with several of my subordinate commanders, it was deemed imprudent to attack, considering the probability of serious obstacles and the proximity of Butler's intrenched camp.

I therefore put the army in position for the night, and sent instructions to Whiting to join our right at the railroad in the morning.

During the night the enemy retired to the fortified line of his present camp, leaving in our hands some fourteen hundred prisoners, five pieces of artillery, and five stand of colors.

He now rests there, hemmed by our lines, which have since, from time to time, been advanced with every skirmish, and now completely cover the southern communication of the capital, thus securing one of the principal objects of the attack.

The more glorious results anticipated were lost by the hesitation of the left wing and the premature halt of the Petersburg column before obstacles in neither case sufficient to have deterred from the execution of the movements prescribed.

Too much praise cannot be bestowed on the officers and men who fought the battle of Drury's Bluff, for the ardor and intrepidity displayed by them whenever called upon to meet the foe, regardless of his advantage in numbers and position.

I shall take pleasure in presenting the names of those who most distinguished themselves as soon as the detailed reports of subordinate commanders shall have been received at these headquarters.

The same opportunity will be taken to mention the names and services of those members of my personal and general staff who were present during that battle, and of those officers who, belonging to other commands, kindly volunteered their services on that occasion.

The intelligent zeal and activity of all these officers, in transmitting orders and conveying information from one portion of the field to the other, contributed largely to the success of the day.

The day was ours.

Butler's army was driven back, hemmed in, and reduced to comparative impotency, though not captured.

The danger threatening Richmond was, for the time being, averted.

Our success, however, was incomplete in this, that General Beauregard's entire plan, one of the ablest he had conceived during the war, was not carried out. The blame rests, not only upon the hesitation of the left wing, but chiefly upon General Whiting, whose failure to execute the order which had been distinctly and repeatedly given him prevented the decisive result so nearly accomplished.

We are loath to comment upon the lamentable remissness of an officer, possessing undoubted capacity, whose subsequent death, in the hands of the enemy, from wounds received in his gallant defence of Fort Fisher, pleads for indulgence on the part of the historian.

General Wise?who, with General Martin, was under his command at the time of the Drury's Bluff affair?wrote (besides his official report) a full and clear narrative of what then took place.

He was severe upon General Whiting's course and the cause that produced it, but his criticism is not the less true and well-deserved.

He used the following language:

My report fully detailed all these particulars to General Beauregard, who referred it back to General Whiting.

And here I take heartfelt pleasure in stating my judgment upon the latter. * * * He was an able and brave officer, and failed only from his too long indulged habit of inebriety.

Had he been sober that day General Beauregard would have achieved the most decisive victory of the war. His success was signal and brilliant as it was; but what would have been the effect upon the war if Whiting had obeyed his orders, and he had crushed, as he undoubtedly would, the army of Butler, and had then rapidly crossed to Chaffin's Bluff, and thence to Bottom's Bridge, with his victorious 20,000?

Lee would have had his 45,000 in Grant's front, with Beauregard's 20,000 on his left flank and rear, and Grant would never have reached Harrison's Landing?if, indeed, his army too had not been conquered.

Yet Beauregard received for his victory at Drury's Bluff rather more of censure than of commendation.

The last telegram sent by General Beauregard to General Whiting on the day of the battle read as follows:

Headquarters, Department, May 16th, 1864:11.30 P. M. Major-General Whiting:

Your despatch of 7.30 P. M. (sent by the guide Archer), replying to mine of 4.15 P. M., is received.

I rely and insist that you shall effect a junction with my right to-morrow morning, as indicated in my despatch of 6.45 P. M., herewith repeated in duplicate. G. T. Beauregard.

The foregoing despatch had been sent to General Whiting upon receipt of the following telegram:

General Beauregard, Drury's Bluff:

I am here for the night near Walthall's Junction.

Didn't get your despatch until near night.

Had driven the enemy all the way from Swift Creek, his pickets and outposts being very stubborn and provided with artillery.

Enemy retired slowly before me all day. Could inflict no great loss on him owing to country.

Owing to lateness of hour of receiving despatches and enemy's position could not press him further to-day.

Concluded to try again in the morning, if you do. Could hear but very little firing.

His line faces me and rests on his works across the Neck and beyond the railroad.

Send reply.

Two regiments of cavalry are moving from City Point.

Makes me uneasy, as I have to detach cavalry. 7 1/2 P. M., May 16th, 1864. W. H. C. Whiting, Major-General.

Don't let him press me to-night; position very bad.

Received 10.15 P. M. G. W. Lay, Lieut.-Colonel.

The grief expressed by General Whiting when he met General Beauregard on the following day, was most sincere.

He accepted the blame laid upon him, admitted his irremediable error, and asked to be relieved from his command.

This was immediately done, as is shown by the telegram we here append, forwarded by General Beauregard to President Davis:

Hancock's House, 2 1/2 miles N. of Walthall junction, May 17th, 1864.

Whiting's forces joined me at mid-day.

He expressed a desire to be relieved from command of his temporary division, and has accordingly returned to the temporary command of the Department.

In accordance with your permission I have assigned General Hill to command this division temporarily, with the understanding that he will apply for orders in the field.

I trust this will fully meet your approval.

The enemy has retired to his lines across the Neck.

I have telegraphed General Bragg as to my position and intentions. G. T. Beaupregard.

Following this recital, we are again compelled to refer to the errors contained in Mr. Davis's book.

The passages to be found in Vol.

II., pp. 511-515, wherein is described his interview with General Beauregard, at Drury's Bluff, and its results, are here alluded to:

In the afternoon of the 14th I rode down to visit General Beauregard at his headquarters in the field.

Supposing his troops to be on the line of intrenchment, I passed Major Drury's house to go thither, when some one by the roadside called to me and told me that the troops were not on the line of intrenchment, and that General Beauregard was at the house behind me.

My first question on meeting him was to learn why the intrenchments were abandoned.

He answered that he thought it better to concentrate his troops.

Upon my stating to him that there was nothing then to prevent Butler from turning his position, he said he would desire nothing more, as he would then fall upon him, cut him off from his base, etc.

What else General Beauregard is supposed to have then said is not given by Mr. Davis, whose memory, no doubt, failed him at this point.

Or was it that General Beauregard only began, and never ended, his explanation?

Be this as it may, Mr. Davis affords the reader neither satisfaction nor enlightenment.

The impossibility of any such occurrence, or of any such conversation, will now be demonstrated.

It was between the hours of eight and nine in the morning of the 14th, and not in the afternoon of that day, that Mr. Davis first saw General Beauregard at the Drury house; the object of his coming thither being to confer concerning the plan laid before him, through General Bragg, the tenor of which is already known.

General Beauregard had no headquarters, at that time, in the field, or elsewhere.

The Drury house was the first he had entered on his arrival at Drury's Bluff that morning, and he had not yet left it when the President was ushered in. The line of intrenchments spoken of by Mr. Davis, and for the abandonment of which he called General Beauregard to account, had been taken by the enemy on the evening before; that is to say, before General Beauregard's arrival at Drury's Bluff.

And it must be borne in mind that, at the time of Mr. Davis's visit there, General Beauregard had not yet seen the commanding officer of the post?General Hoke?who, expecting a renewed attack, was then near his lines; nor had he even assumed command of our forces.

The fact is that, as late as 8 o'clock A. M., on the 14th, Drury's Bluff had not been made a part of General Beauregard's Department, as appears from the following telegram forwarded to him on that day:

Richmond, Va., May 14th, 1864. To General Beauregard:

Your command is extended so as to include all that portion of Virginia lying south of the James River, including Drury's Bluff and its defences.

Order will be sent by courier. S. Cooper, Adjt. and Insp.-Genl.

The order was sent, and with it a communication from General Bragg, of the same date, confirming the despatch.

See Appendix. President Davis, therefore, might, with equal logic, have taken General Beauregard to task for not having prevented Butler's landing at City Point and Bermuda Hundreds.

Mr. Davis goes on as follows:

We then passed to the consideration of the operations to be undertaken against Butler, who had already advanced from his base at Bermuda Hundreds.

I offered, for the purpose of attacking Butler, to send Major-General Ransom with the field force he had for the protection of Richmond.

This is an indirect acknowledgment that the object of his visit on the 14th was to listen to General Beauregard's plan of operations: first, against Butler, and afterwards, in conjunction with General Lee, against Grant; for that was the only plan then submitted and under consideration, and it included the sending of Ransom's force from Richmond to Drury's Bluff. Mr. Davis, therefore, is in error when he says that he offered Ransom's division.

He made no such offer, but merely consented?apparently with reluctance?to the removal of that force, which he ordered down twenty-four hours later than General Beauregard had wished him to do, and after positively refusing the 10,000 men from Lee's army, which General Beauregard, in his plan and orally during that interview, had entreated him to send, in order that he might carry out his plans.

Mr. Davis, who fails to give the details of the plan, says that such a proposition was made to him several days later?namely, after the battle of the 16th.

He says:

Soon after the affair at Drury's Bluff, General Beauregard addressed to me a communication proposing that he should be heavily reinforced from General Lee's army, so as to enable him to crush Butler in his intrenchments, and then, with the main body of his force, together with a detachment from General Lee's army, that he should join General Lee, overwhelm Grant, and march to Washington.

I knew that General Lee was then confronting an army vastly superior to his in numbers, * * * but, as a matter of courteous consideration, his letter [General Beauregard's letter] was forwarded, with the usual formal indorsement.

General Lee's opinion on the case was shown by the instructions he gave directing General Beauregard to straighten his line, so as to reduce the requisite number of men to hold it, and send the balance to join the army north of the James.

The confusion in Mr. Davis's mind concerning these events is wholly incomprehensible.

Two communications had been presented by General Beauregard to the War Department during that period.

The first?in other words, the very one about which Mr. Davis's conference was held, on the morning of the 14th?had been addressed, not to Mr. Davis directly, as he asserts, but to General Bragg, and bore date May 14th, 1864.

It read as follows:

Headquarters, Department N. C. And So. Va., Drury's Bluff, May 14th, 1864. General Braxton Bragg, Comdg.:

General,?Considering the vital importance of the question involved, and resting upon the success of the plan I suggested to you this morning, I have deemed it desirable and appropriate that their substance should be briefly communicated in writing.

General Lee's army, at Guinea Station, and my command, at this place, are on nearly a right line passing through Richmond.

Grant's army is on the left flank, and Butler on the right.

Our lines are thus interior.

Butler's aim is unquestionably to invest and turn Drury's Bluff, threatening and holding the Petersburg and Danville Railroads, opening the obstructions in the river at Fort Drury for the passage of war vessels, necessitating then the return of General Lee to the lines about Richmond.

With the railroad held by the enemy, Grant in front, and Butler in rear of the works around Richmond, the capital would be practically invested, and the issue may well be dreaded.

The plan suggested is, that General Lee should fall back to the defensive lines of the Chickahominy, even to the intermediate lines of Richmond, sending temporarily to this place 15,000 men

Inclusive of Ransom's forces, at Richmond. of his troops.

Immediately upon the accession of my present force I would take the offensive and attack Butler vigorously.

Such a move would throw me directly upon Butler's communications; and as he now stands, with his right flank well towards the rear, General Whiting should also move simultaneously.

Butler must necessarily be crushed or captured, and all the stores of that army would then fall in our hands?an amount, probably, that would make an interruption in our communications, for a period of a few days, a matter of no serious inconvenience.

The proposed attack should be accomplished in two days, at furthest, after receiving my reinforcements.

This done, I would move with 10,000 more men to the assistance of General Lee than I drew from him, and then Grant's fate would not long remain doubtful.

The destruction of Grant's forces would open the way for the recovery of most of our lost territory, as already submitted to you in general terms.

Respectfully, G. T. Beauregard.

The other communication referred to is dated May 18th, and was sent to Richmond in the form of a memorandum.

It was intended to meet the entirely changed circumstances existing after the rout of Drury's Bluff, and had very little?if anything ?to do with the plan submitted to General Bragg and to Mr. Davis on the morning of the 14th, and re-affirmed, in writing, on the same day. This second communication ran thus:

Headquarters, N. C. and So. Va., May 18th, 1864:9 P. M., Hancock's House, Va., 2 1/2 miles of Walthall Station.

Memorandum.?The crisis demands prompt and decisive action.

The two armies are now too far apart to secure success, unless we consent to give up Petersburg and place the capital in jeopardy.

If General Lee will fall back behind the Chickahominy, engaging the enemy so as to draw him on, General Beauregard can bring up 15,000 men to unite with Breckinridge and fall upon the enemy's flank with over 20,000 men effective, thus rendering Grant's defeat certain and decisive, and in time to enable General Beauregard to return with a reinforcement from General Lee to drive Butler from Petersburg and from his present position.

For three days, perhaps four at most, Petersburg and Richmond would be held by the forces left there for that purpose.

Without such concentration nothing decisive can be effected, and the picture presented is one of starvation.

Without concentration General Lee must eventually fall back before Grant's heavy reinforcements, and the view presented merely anticipates this movement for offensive purposes.

Meantime, it is impossible to effectually protect our lines of communication with North Carolina, and impossible to hold our present line in front of Butler, with a much more reduced force.

At present 3000 men can be spared from these with safety, day after to-morrow 2000 more, perhaps; for our lines will probably be stronger, if, as we expect, the forward line can be occupied to-morrow. G. T. Beauregard.

An attentive consideration of the features of these two plans of operations, and of the respective times and situations to which they refer, will cause the reader to wonder at the incorrectness of Mr. Davis's narrative.

The military situations before and after the victory of Drury's Bluff were very different, and the respective plans of operations proposed were in essential features the reverse of each other.

The first proposed that Beauregard should be reinforced from Lee, so as to crush Butler, and then move to Lee's support, to take the offensive against Grant; the second proposed that Beauregard should move first to Lee's support, to attack and defeat Grant, and thence return, reinforced by Lee, to finish Butler.

Yet Mr. Davis applies to the latter phase of events the plan proposed by General Beauregard to meet the former.

We must assume that Mr. Davis comprehended these proposed plans of action when they were submitted, and we are forced to the conclusion, therefore, that his present sources of historical information are not sufficiently accurate and trustworthy to entitle his work to recognition as one of authority.

It will suffice, then, to add that General Lee sent no order to General Beauregard to straighten his line!

Apart from the fact that he did not, he could have had no authority for so doing, since General Beauregard's Department was entirely separate and distinct from his, and General Lee was not in the habit of openly violating the rules of military courtesy and etiquette.

Moreover, there could have been no occasion for such an order from any quarter, inasmuch as General Beauregard had already informed the War Department that he intended to occupy a shorter line on the next day (May 19th).

As to the balance (to use Mr. Davis's expression) of General Beauregard's forces being sent to join the army north of the James, the telegrams inserted in the Appendix to the next chapter of this work, wherein this subject is exhaustively treated, conclusively show that General Lee did not make such a request (it was not an order) until May 30th and June 1st; at the same time he expressed the desire that General Beauregard himself should, if possible, cross with his troops and take command of the right wing of the Army of Virginia.

Another error on the part of Mr. Davis is noticeable in the second volume of his work, page 512, where he says:

General Whiting, with some force, was holding a defensive position at Petersburg.

General Beauregard proposed that the main part of it should advance, and unite with him in an attack upon Butler, wherever he should be found between Drury's and Petersburg.

To this I offered distinct objection, because of the hazard during a battle of attempting to make a junction of troops moving from opposite sides of the enemy; and proposed that Whiting's command should move at night by the Chesterfield road, where they would not probably be observed by Butler's advance.

This, in the main, is correct.

Mr. Davis, as he says, did strenuously oppose the junction spoken of by General Beauregard, though his universal practice, as he asserts, was never to do more than to make a suggestion to a general commanding in the field;

Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, vol.

II., p. 511. The italics are ours. and General Beauregard, as was his duty to do, yielded to the will of the Commander-in-chief. Mr. Davis continues:

General Beauregard, thereupon, spoke of some difficulty in getting a courier who knew the route and could certainly deliver the order to General Whiting.

Opportunely, a courier arrived from General Whiting, who had come up the Chesterfield road.

He then said the order would have to be drawn with a good deal of care, and that he would prepare it as soon as possible.

I arose to take leave, when General Beauregard courteously walked down the stairs with me, remarking as we went that he was embarrassed for the want of a good cavalry commander.

I saw in the yard Colonel Chilton, Assistant Adjutant and Inspector-General, and said, There is an old cavalry officer, who was trained in my old regiment, the First Dragoons, and who, I think, will answer your requirements.

Upon his expressing the pleasure it would give him to have Colonel Chilton, I told him of General Beauregard's want, and asked him if the service would be agreeable to him. He readily accepted it, and I left, supposing all the preliminaries settled.

In the next forenoon Colonel Samuel Melton, of the Adjutant and Inspector-General's Department, called at my residence, and delivered a message from General Beauregard to the effect that he had decided to order Whiting to move by the direct road from Petersburg, instead of by the Chesterfield route; and when I replied that I had stated my objections to General Beauregard to a movement which gave the enemy the advantage of being between our forces, he said General Beauregard had directed him to explain to me that, upon a further examination, he found his force sufficient; that his operations, therefore, did not depend upon making a junction with Whiting.

For the elucidation of the facts of the case it has been necessary to quote thus extensively from Mr. Davis's book.

He drifts away so completely from the true version of the incidents he describes that, in re-establishing the facts, our statement becomes directly contradictory to his. The fault is not ours.

Mr. Davis is mistaken in saying that General Beauregard was compelled to employ General Whiting's messenger to carry the first order sent him on that day, after the modification of the plan so much insisted upon by the President.

Messengers familiar with the road just gone over by General Beauregard and his escort were not wanting for the purpose.

The proof of this is, that three of them?not one only, as Mr. Davis supposes? were sent, on the 14th of May, to Petersburg, each bearing a copy of the triplicate message to General Whiting.

It may be that the courier referred to by Mr. Davis was one of these; but it is not true that General Beauregard could have found no other.

The following is the message in question:

Drury's Bluff, May 14th, 1864. To Major-General W. H. C. Whiting, Petersburg, Va.:

Proceed to this place Monday morning at daybreak, with Wise's and Martin's brigades and two regiments of Colquitt's, with five days provisions and sixty rounds of ammunition per man, and all available baggage, wagons, and ambulances, and as large a supply-train as possible, via Newby's Bridge, on Swift Creek (20 miles), thence to Cogshill's, Punkett's, Taber's, Watkins's (14 miles), and be here Tuesday afternoon at latest. Order Walker and his brigade from Kinston to Petersburg; also regiments of Hoke's and Kemper's brigade now at Hicksford and Weldon.

If they cannot come with you, order Dearing's cavalry to guard Petersburg until arrival of Walker.

Baker's regiment will be sent to meet you at Newby's Bridge.

Butler has his whole force in front of this place.

(Sent in triplicate.) G. T. Beauregard.

The next day, early in the morning, the following additional telegram was sent to General Whiting:

Drury's Bluff, May 15th, 1864:7 A. M.

To be more expeditious, leave as soon as practicable on Sunday.

Guides will be at crossing of creek.

Communicate only in cipher. G. T. Beauregard.

But, knowing now that General Ransom could not join him until the afternoon of the 15th, and for other important reasons, fully explained to President Davis in a letter which is about to be submitted, General Beauregard concluded to order General Whiting to march directly on the road to Drury's Bluff, according to his original idea before leaving Petersburg.

Hence, on the 15th, at 10.45 A. M., Colonel (afterwards General) Logan, formerly of the Hampton Legion, was sent to General Whiting with a telegram of that date,

The telegram alluded to is given at page 203 of the present chapter.

See, also, General Logan's letter, in Appendix. together with a copy of General Beauregard's order of battle, both of which had been committed to memory by the messenger, so that no accident might prevent their safe delivery.

A few hours later a duplicate of this telegram was also forwarded to, and duly received by, General Whiting.

The following is the letter referred to:

Headquarters, Department N. C. and So. Va., Drury's Bluff, May 15th, 1864. His Excellency President Jefferson Davis, Richmond, Va.:

Sir,?Upon further inquiry as to the shortest and safest route via Newby's Bridge) by which Major-General Whiting could travel, with his small force, to this point, it was found he would require two days to reach here, the distance being at least thirty-four miles, with roads in a bad condition, owing to the prevailing rains.

In a telegram of this morning he expresses his fears of an immediate attack upon him by the enemy.

At the same time Captain Davidson, of the navy, informs me that a large fleet of gunboats and transports of the enemy are about four miles below Chaffin's Bluff, probably to reinforce Butler and make a combined attack by land and water.

Under these circumstances, and in view of the fact that the enemy is diligently employed in erecting batteries and rifle-pits around this place, further delay might be fatal to success; and I have determined to attack him to-morrow morning with the forces at present available here, increased by Barton's brigade, as authorized by you.

I have ordered Major-General Whiting to co-operate with all his forces by attacking the enemy in rear from Swift Creek.

A copy of my instructions to him and of my order of battle will be forwarded as soon as practicable to the Department.

I have availed myself of the services of Major-General Ransom to command one of the two divisions of this army.

I hope, under the protection of a kind Providence, that our efforts tomorrow will be successful.

I remain, very respectfully, your obdt.

servt., G. T. Beauregard, Genl.

This is the only official communication made by General Beauregard to President Davis on the forenoon of the 15th of May (the date mentioned by Mr. Davis) relative to the order for the advance of General Whiting and his force, to co-operate with our army at Drury's Bluff.

The message, as Mr. Davis calls the preceding letter, may have been borne by Colonel Samuel Melton, though General Beauregard has no recollection of the fact; but, by whomsoever delivered to the President, it certainly is the only trustworthy evidence bearing upon the subject.

What Colonel Melton is alleged to have verbally added to General Beauregard's letter?namely, that upon further examination he found his forces sufficient, and that his operations, therefore, did not depend upon making a junction with Whiting?is in such direct contradiction to all of General Beauregard's views and efforts at the time, to his report of the battle, and to the whole contents of the letter itself, as to be unworthy of serious attention.

General Beauregard's reasons for modifying his order to General Whiting were given in that letter to the President; and therein alone?not in any outside gossip?should General Beauregard's views, opinions, and intentions be looked for, and there only does their expression really exist.

In corroboration of the foregoing statement are the telegrams, ten or twelve in number, sent by General Beauregard to General Whiting, between the 14th and 17th of May, showing conclusively that the former never wavered in his desire to secure the latter's co-operation before the expected attack upon Butler.

But we have additional proof in the telegram from General Beauregard to General Bragg, dated May 15th, 1864 (the day referred to by Mr. Davis), which reads as follows:

I have already sent General Whiting his instructions to co-operate with me. Please telegraph him to follow them as delivered by Colonel Logan.

Yours may conflict with mine.

The fact of General Beauregard's insisting so much upon the co-operation of General Whiting's forces, and the fear that orders from Richmond might clash with his own, leave no doubt as to his opinion that Whiting's presence was necessary to the success of his plan.

As General (then Colonel) Logan's name has been mentioned in connection with this incident, we quote a passage from a letter written by him to General Beauregard, dated Richmond, Va., January, 2d, 1882:

The whole of General Logan's letter is given in the Appendix.

During the day of May 15th Colonel Samuel Melton, acting A. A. G., notified me that you desired me to take your written and verbal instructions to General Whiting, at his headquarters, near Petersburg, as you intended attacking the enemy on the morning of the 16th, and felt anxious that there should, by no possibility, be any miscarriage of your instructions, or any misunderstanding as to their import.* * * Just before starting on my mission I was sent for by you, and in the presence of Colonel Melton the written despatches were given to me, and their contents carefully explained to me by you.

The written despatches to General Whiting were intrusted to Colonel Logan, in the presence of Colonel Melton, and carefully explained by General Beauregard.

It is evident, therefore, that Colonel Melton knew the object of Colonel Logan's mission to General Whiting.

How, then, on that very day, and while handing to Mr. Davis a letter from General Beauregard, explaining the reasons for his last orders to General Whiting, could Colonel Melton have said, Upon further examination General Beauregard found his forces sufficient, and thought his operations did not depend upon making a junction with Whiting?

It should be added, that the co-operation so persistently enjoined upon General Whiting would have been judicious and of material importance, even had the President granted, and not denied, the reinforcements sought from the Army of Northern Virginia.

But, without such assistance from General Lee, the junction of General Whiting's forces from Petersburg became absolutely necessary, in order to insure success over the Federal army threatening Richmond from the south of the James.

Reference will now be made to Mr. Davis's account of his offer of Colonel Chilton to General Beauregard, as a cavalry commander.

What General Beauregard needed at that time, and what he asked for was, not a cavalry commander, but cavalry and infantry, with which to crush Butler, and afterward cross the James, so as to co-operate with General Lee against General Grant.

This was the essential feature of General Beauregard's plan.

Having never desired the services of Colonel Chilton?who, from the opening of the war, had been a staff officer only?General Beauregard neither asked for nor accepted him?granting that he was offered by Mr. Davis.

He had with him cavalry officers of undeniable merit, namely, Colonel Dunnovant and Colonel Baker (already at Drury's Bluff), and General Dearing, who was to come up with Whiting's forces, and of whose ability and dash General Beauregard had the highest opinion.

There was, therefore, no vacancy which Colonel Chilton could have filled, unless he were made to supersede one of these three cavalry commanders?a thought which never occurred to General Beauregard's mind.

It is noticeable, also, that Mr. Davis, when writing of these events, lays great stress upon General Ransom's unpublished report of the battle of Drury's Bluff, while, on the other hand, he makes not even a passing allusion to the report of General Beauregard, the chief and unquestionably the most trustworthy source of information concerning that battle.

That report has been given in this chapter, and the reader should examine it with attention.

Every material statement it contains is corroborated and supported by the reports of Generals Hoke, Johnson, Colquitt, and Hagood.

As to General Ransom's report, which Mr. Davis quotes as authority in contradiction to General Beauregard's, it is incorrect in many important particulars; so much so that it received General Beauregard's censure at the time, not only because of its inaccuracy with regard to some of the events of the battle, but also because of General Ransom's shortcomings on that occasion, and because of the unauthorized and unofficial manner in which the paper was published in Richmond, before General Beauregard's own report had been forwarded to the War Department.

Chapter 85:

Withdrawal of troops from General Beauregard.

repulse of the enemy on May 17th.

construction of Howlett line fortifications.

Military situation.

the War Department withdraws more troops from General Beauregard to reinforce General Lee.

attack of Gillmore's Corps.

General Wise's account of it.

General Beauregard's telegram to General Bragg (June 7th).

his letter to the same (June 9th).

Predicts General Grant's movements, and proposes a plan of attack and defence to the War Department.

his Proposals not heeded.

General Grant's Army crossing the James.

General Beauregard telegraphs Generals Lee and Bragg to that effect.

his force at Petersburg.

attack by Smith's Corps on the 15th.

arrival of Hagood's brigade, of Hoke's division.

General Beauregard Notifies the War Department and General Lee of the necessity of calling Bushrod Johnson from the Bermuda hundred lines.

War Department Declines the responsibility, but blames General Beauregard.

Johnson's arrival.

three Federal Corps assault Petersburg on the 16th.

repulse of the enemy.

how General Gracie arrived and saved the line from destruction.

General Beauregard's telegrams and messages to General Lee.

a new defensive line.

how General Beauregard fell back upon it, at 12.30 A. M., on the 18th.

the enemy's surprise thereat.

Mr. Swinton, Mr. McCabe, and Mr. J. E. Cooke.

their errors as to the time of the arrival of General Lee's Army at Petersburg.

General Lee's telegrams.

Kershaw's division of the Army of Northern Virginia Reaches Petersburg on the morning of the 18th.

the enemy's assault on that day.

his repulse.

General Lee's arrival.

General Beauregard proposes an attack on General Grant's left and rear.

General Lee objects.

the War Department's disregard of General Beauregard's requisitions and warnings.>

At 1 o'clock P. M., on May 17th, while General Beauregard was still pursuing Butler's army, Ransom's division was withdrawn from him to Richmond, notwithstanding his request that the order should be suspended.

General Whiting's forces had just come up, and were not yet assigned to position.

Thus left with about 12,000 men to operate against an enemy not less than 25,000 strong, General Beauregard, after another severe engagement on that day, drove the Federals back behind their intrenchments at Bermuda Hundreds Neck.

A number of gunboats and transports, lying near the bend above Dutch Gap, were repelled by a battery of two 20-pounder Parrotts, just captured from the defeated foe. Across this Neck, from the James to the Appomattox, General Beauregard now constructed a strong line of works (known thereafter as the Howlett line). Its left, at the Howlett House Bluff, commanded the part of the Dutch Gap facing that position.

Thus it was that Butler and his army?in words attributed to General Grant?were so effectually bottled up.

It remains to be said that all the circumstances of the moment singularly favored the proposed plan of General Beauregard. General Grant, having lost fully 40,000 men from the outset of his campaign down to the battle of May 12th, near Spottsylvania Court-house, was, from that date to the 21st, awaiting reinforcements, without attempting any serious offensive movement.

At this favorable period General Beauregard was denied a temporary reinforcement of 10,000 men from the Army of Northern Virginia, which he would have made stronger within forty-eight hours by 23,000 men,

Including the 10,000 to be taken from General Lee's army, and leaving about 4000 to hold the Bermuda Hundreds line. yet, scarcely three weeks afterwards, on the 13th of June, after General Grant had been reinforced by 51,000 men, and General Lee by only 18,000, General Early was detached from the Army of Northern Virginia to the Shenandoah Valley with the entire 2d Corps.

As an unfortunate consequence of the failure of the Confederate authorities to comply with General Beauregard's plan of operations, Butler, though badly beaten, was able to effect his retreat upon his strong base at Bermuda Hundreds, and could safely (as he did) detach from that point Smith's corps of 16,000 men, to aid General Grant in the effort made, on June 3d, at Cold Harbor, to break through General Lee's defensive lines, on that side of the James.

Meanwhile, Butler, still 13,000 strong, continued to be a threat to the safety of Richmond, on the south side of the James.

This rendered it unwise to detach any material part of General Beauregard's force to aid General Lee.

So urgent, however, did the Confederate authorities regard the necessity, that they gradually withdrew from General Beauregard most of the troops that had been directly engaged under him in the battle of Drury's Bluff.

It is to be remembered that Butler's base at Bermuda Hundreds was also a constant menace to General Lee's communications, via Richmond and Petersburg, with his main sources of supply? namely, the States and open ports south of Virginia.

Wilmington was the only Atlantic harbor through which we could then receive ammunition and clothing from Europe.

Communication with South Carolina and Georgia, by way of the Weldon and Danville Railroads, was also endangered by Butler's presence.

This produced almost daily conflicts, and severe ones at times, showing that Butler's object was to seize or destroy the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, at the point nearest to Bermuda Hundreds.

In consequence of this fully one-third of the Confederate force had to be used on picket service.

This force now consisted only of part of Bushrod Johnson's division, about 3200 strong, holding the Bermuda Hundreds lines, and Wise's brigade, together with the local militia of Petersburg,

That militia, composed of old men and boys, had brought forth the remark from the Northern Press, that it was made up of men snatched from the grave, and youths taken from the cradle. in all about 2200 men, guarding that city.

On the 9th of June, Gillmore's corps was thrown across the Appomattox, by a pontoon-bridge at Point of Rocks, in a movement against Petersburg.

The attack itself was made by a body about 5000 strong, chiefly of Kautz's mounted infantry, and was successfully repulsed.

Had Gillmore's large force been handled with more vigor, Petersburg, with the handful of men then available for its defence (so completely had General Beauregard been deprived of troops for the support of General Lee), would have inevitably fallen into the hands of the enemy.

General Wise, in his narrative, gives a correct and graphic description of this affair.

The following passage is copied from it:

They pressed hard upon the left for three or four hours, and then suddenly attacked the militia on my extreme right with a detachment numbering 1000, which were handsomely received by Archer; but they broke through his line, one-half of them taking the road into Petersburg, and the other the road leading to Blandford.

Graham's battery, accidentally at the City Water Works, met the first, and a curious force drove back the latter.

I had detailed all who could possibly do momentary duty out of the hospitals, calling them the Patients; and from the jail and guard-houses all the prisoners, calling them the Penitents; and the two companies of Patients and Penitents moved out on the Blandford road, while I advanced with three companies of the 46th from our left; and the enemy on that road, seeing the head of the column of P. P.'s advancing in their front, and my three companies bearing on their right flank, they wheeled to the right ? about at once and retired; and Graham's battery repulsed the other party advancing on the city.

This was done with the loss of thirteen killed and a few wounded of the militia.

Petersburg was thus barely saved on the 9th; and the defence was so critical, that I demanded additional forces, and General Beauregard at once reinforced my command with my 26th Virginia, and nine companies of the 34th.

It is proper to add here that, before these reinforcements were forwarded, General Beauregard had sent General Dearing and most of his cavalry, from the right of the Bermuda lines?where he had yet no works?to General Wise's assistance.

He arrived in time to aid in the repulse of the enemy.

Previous to this, forecasting the strategy of General Lee's adversary, and believing that, persevering in his movement leftward around Richmond, he would pass to the south side of the James, General Beauregard, as early as the 7th of June, forwarded the following telegram to General Bragg:

Dunlap's farm, June 7th, 1864:3.30 P. M. General B. Bragg, Richmond, Va.:

Should Grant have left Lee's front, he doubtless intends operating against Richmond along James River, probably on south side.

Petersburg being nearly defenseless, would be captured before it could be reinforced.

Ransom's brigade and Hoke's division should, then, be returned at once. G. T. Beauregard.

The following was General Bragg's answer:

Richmond, June 8th, 1864. To General Beauregard:

My acquaintance with the state of affairs in General Lee's front is not sufficient to enable me to form an accurate opinion on your suggestions of yesterday, as to return of Hoke and Ransom.

Have therefore forwarded your despatch to General Lee. Braxton Bragg.

Two days later, with that strategic discernment which characterized both himself and Jackson, General Beauregard forwarded the following written communication to Richmond:

Headquarters, Department N. C. And so. Va., Swift Creek, Va., June 9th, 1864, 7 A. M. General Braxton Bragg, Comdg. C. S. Armies, Richmond, Va.:

General,?The present movements of Grant's army have a significancy which cannot have escaped your observation.

He clearly seeks to move around Lee's forces by an advance upon his left flank, in the direction of the James River, with a view to operate between that river and the Chickahominy, and, in case of his meeting with no adequate resistance, to plant himself on both sides of the former, throwing across it a pontoon-bridge, as close to Chaffin's Bluff as circumstances may permit; and, failing in this scheme, he may continue his rotary motion around Richmond, and attack it by concentrating the whole of his army on the south side of the James, using the fortified position at Bermuda Hundreds Neck as a base for his operations.

In that hypothesis our first object would seem to be to throw him off, as far as practicable, from his objective point (Richmond), unless the Government were to adopt the bold and, perhaps, safer policy of giving him battle, and decide at once the fate of that city, while we remain with a comparatively compact, well-disciplined, and enthusiastic army in the field.

To accomplish this object the river battery at Howlett's should be completed without delay, and thoroughly armed; the river should be obstructed by rope works and torpedoes, so distributed as to leave passage for only one ironclad at a time, which, in the meanwhile, should prevent the crossing of the river between that battery and Chaffin's Bluff.

My defensive line, now nearly completed, and extending from the river battery at Howlett's to Mrs. Dunn's house, would be held by Johnson's division.

The comparatively level and open country between these two points might be defended by a line of redoubts from Dunn's house to Swift Creek.

The short line west of Fort Clifton, between Swift Creek and the Appomattox, would be a barrier against any approach from the intersection of those two streams.

The defensive line from Mrs. Dunn's to the Appomattox could be defended by a part of Hoke's division, while the rest, taking position in Petersburg, might hold it until reinforcements from Lee's army were obtained.

Two divisions of about 15,000 men in all would thus prevent any force of the enemy from penetrating between Drury's Bluff and Petersburg, and compel him to take the latter before he could venture a real advance on Richmond.

With these views hastily thrown on paper I send you a statement of the strength and organization of the forces at the lines around Petersburg, at Drury's Bluff, and in front of Bermuda Hundreds Neck, that you may judge of my resources and ability to face the impending contingencies for which I may from moment to moment have to provide.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, General.

It is apparent, upon a careful examination of the foregoing letter, and of the reasons there given in explanation of General Grant's predicted movement, that, had the latter looked over the whole field with the same clearness as did General Beauregard, and effected his passage at Bermuda Hundreds, instead of south of the Appomattox, while he might still have attacked Petersburg?as he did, on the 15th, with Smith's corps, now increased to 22,000 men?the main body of the Federal army must have irresistibly planted itself upon the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad.

It would have been able, immediately thereafter, to stretch its left across the Richmond and Danville Railroad, cutting off General Beauregard from General Lee; cutting off General Lee and Richmond from the South; insuring the fall of Richmond; leaving no route of retreat for the army of Northern Virginia; and virtually ending the war by the 1st of July, 1864.

Anticipating this extreme danger, General Beauregard recommended the bold and?in his opinion?safer plan of concentration of all our available forces, to give General Grant battle, and thus decide, at once, the fate of the Confederate capital, while we still had in the field a compact, well-disciplined, and enthusiastic army.

As an alternative he proposed to throw General Grant off as far as practicable from Richmond, by the proper defence and obstruction of the James and of the line from Drury's Bluff to Petersburg, so that he should be compelled, under the greatest disadvantages, to attempt the capture of the latter place before venturing a real and serious advance on Richmond.

Neither proposition met with consideration at Richmond, nor, it seems, from General Lee; for, when General Grant, instead of crossing at Bermuda Hundreds at a time when he could have done so almost without impediment, preferred the point of passage that made Petersburg his immediate objective, General Beauregard was left, with about 5400 men, gradually increased to about 11,000, to bear the pressure of a hostile force increasing, by successive reinforcements, from 22,000 to at least 90,000 men (exclusive of two divisions of Wright's corps)?substantially the mass of General Grant's army.

With such fearful and almost incredible odds against him, General Beauregard, from the 15th to the 18th of June, maintained a successful barrier to the Federal advance?a feat of war almost without a precedent in which the courage and the endurance of the troops, no less than the skill with which the commander used his small resources, were fully as conspicuous as the goodfortune that lent itself to such a result.

During these few but, apparently, never-ending days of unremitting anxiety, General Beauregard, by repeated telegrams and messages, informed the War Department and General Lee of the movement of the Federal army to the south side of the James, and against his lines in front of Petersburg.

In support of this assertion we offer the following telegrams:


Swift Creek, Va., June 14th, 1864:7.15 A. M. General Braxton Bragg, Richmond, Va.:

Movement of Grant's across Chickahominy and increase of Butler's force render my position here critical.

With my present forces I cannot answer for consequences.

Cannot my troops sent to General Lee be returned at once?

Please submit my letter of 9th instant to President. G. T. Beauregard, General.


Swift Creek, Va., June 14th, 1864:8.10 P. M. General R. E. Lee, Army N. Va.:

A deserter from the enemy reports that Butler has been reinforced by the 18th and a part of the 10th Army Corps. G. T. Beauregard, General.

Apart from the increasing strenuousness and weight with which the attack at Petersburg was made, and the unusual boldness with which Butler ventured out of his intrenchments, in aggressive demonstrations upon the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, the noticeable activity in the movement of the Federal transports on the James, the capture, south of the river, of prisoners from General Grant's several army corps, and the result of their carefully-sifted testimony, were pressingly urged as corroborative of General Beauregard's opinion.

See Appendix.

Had one of General Lee's corps reached the scene in time to enable General Beauregard to take the offensive, General Grant's forces, sent up in detail, as they were, might have been beaten in detail; and this was the object desired and urged by General Beauregard as soon as he saw that General Grant was passing to the south side of the James, which he had anticipated and predicted as the probable projected movement of the enemy.

Indeed, it afterwards appeared that General Grant's purpose, in fighting the battle of Cold Harbor (June 3d) was that, if unsuccessful in breaking through General Lee's lines, he might thus prepare the way for such a movement.

General Grant's arrangements having been made for this last change of base, his several corps were put in motion for James River in the afternoon and night of the 12th of June.

See Army of the Potomac, by Swinton, p. 498. See, also, General Meade's report. Smith's corps (the 18th) was transported by way of the White House back to Bermuda Landing; Burnside's corps (the 9th) and Wright's (the 6th), by way of Jones's Bridge (Chickahominy) and Charles City Court-house Road; Hancock's (the 2d) and Warren's (the 5th) corps, by way of Long Bridge (Chickahominy) to Wilcox Landing, on the James,

Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 499. where General Grant's headquarters had been established on the 13th, and whence he telegraphed to Washington that the passage of the river would begin the next day. At 3 o'clock P. M., on the 14th, General Grant was at Bermuda Hundreds.

Smith's corps, brought around from the White House, was landed at Bermuda Hundreds in the afternoon of the 14th, and marched to Point of Rocks, on the Appomattox, where there was a pontoon-bridge already established, by which he crossed during that night and moved at once upon Petersburg,

Ibid., p. 500. having been reinforced with Kautz's cavalry and Hink's division of colored troops, making his force, as already said, 22,000 strong.

At this critical juncture General Beauregard had, for the immediate defence of Petersburg, north and south of the Appomattox, Wise's brigade, not more than 1200 strong; some light artillery, with 22 pieces, besides a few men manning the three or four heavy guns in position; two small regiments of cavalry, under Brigadier-General Dearing, and the local militia already mentioned; in other words, an aggregate not exceeding 2200 men of all arms.

These troops occupied, from the Appomattox to the Jerusalem plank-road, about three miles of the Petersburg lines, which were some seven miles and a half in length, leaving fully four miles undefended.

True, on his extreme right, in the woods, outside of the lines of works, General Beauregard had thrown Dearing's command, whose duty was to guard that flank and give timely warning of any heavy body of the enemy approaching in that direction.

But these were mere precautionary measures to prevent surprise.

No hope of serious resistance, by so small a force, could be entertained.

At the same time the lines across Bermuda Hundreds Neck, the object of which was to hold Butler in check, were occupied only by Bushrod Johnson's division (less Ransom's and Gracie's brigades, still absent with General Lee), about 3200 men. That is to say, the total force under General Beauregard's orders was but 5425 strong.

Hoke's division, the return of which he had been urging since the 7th of June, was still retained on the north side of the James.

The defensive line of Petersburg, from the lower to the upper Appomattox, constructed by the Engineer Department some time before the arrival of the Federals, was so extensive

It measured seven miles and a half. A portion of it, especially in the quarter of Batteries 5, 6, and 7, was bad in location, and very vulnerable.

General Beauregard, when first inspecting it, on his arrival at Petersburg (May 10th), had openly condemned its injudicious extension. as to require a force of not less than 25,000 men, instead of the 2200 then available.

At ten o'clock in the morning of the 15th of June W. F. Smith, after a hot engagement of several hours with Dearing's cavalry, in advance, moved upon the Confederate works by the Baxter road, in front of Batteries 6 and 7.

He was met, with unsurpassed stubbornness, by General Wise's forces, and repeatedly repulsed; but he succeeded at last, at 7.30 P. M., in carrying the Confederate batteries, from No. 5 to No. 9, inclusive.

Hancock's corps?which had crossed the James on the morning of the 15th, and, by some neglect or omission, was not immediately ordered to march upon Petersburg?came up to the support of General Smith only in the afternoon, too late to participate in the assault of that day.

Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 505. See, also, Hancock's report.

Hoke's division, of General Beauregard's force, withdrawn from it on the 30th of May to reinforce General Lee,

See Appendix. had been ordered, at last, to hold itself in waiting at Drury's Bluff, and, in response to General Beauregard's continued urgent calls, had been allowed to march to Petersburg at 11.30 A. M. on the 15th.

See Appendix. Hagood's brigade, forming part of that division, and for which railroad transportation had been sent to Chester, reached Petersburg about dusk, just after the batteries had fallen.

It was followed by the two other brigades within a few hours.

These reinforcements, as they arrived, were disposed upon a new line, a short distance in rear of the captured works, upon which a small epaulement was thrown up during the night.

General Beauregard, seeing the immense gravity of the attack, and that a heavy mass of the Federal army was now present and pressing against Petersburg, at 9.11 P. M. on the 15th, notified General Bragg of the situation.

He informed him that he would order Johnson down from Bermuda Hundreds, and that General Lee must look to the defence both of those lines and of Drury's Bluff.

See Appendix. He also telegraphed General Lee to the same effect.

See Appendix The War Department had already been advised of the probable necessity of such a movement, and had been asked to elect between Petersburg and the Bermuda Hundreds line, as it grew more and more evident that both could not be held.

See Appendix. For reasons of its own the War Department would make no decision in the matter.

But, as immediate action was imperative, General Beauregard assumed the responsibility, and, knowing that the safety of Richmond depended upon the protection to be given to Petersburg, at 10.20 P. M. ordered the abandonment of the Bermuda Hundreds line.

Johnson's division was accordingly transferred to Petersburg, moving at dawn on the 16th, and arriving at or about 10 o'clock A. M. on the same day. The thin skirmish line and few cavalry pickets which, in obedience to orders, he had left upon his withdrawal were driven off by Butler early on that morning.

The battery at Howlett's house had just been completed and armed with a few heavy guns received from Richmond when General Beauregard determined to evacuate those lines.

He ordered Colonel Harris, his Chief-Engineer, to dismount the guns and bury them, with their carriages and chassis, in the most favorable locality in the vicinity of the battery, and to carefully cover the spot with sod, leaves, and bushes, so as to conceal them from the enemy.

These instructions were carried out to the letter; and when, on the 18th, Pickett's division drove off the Federals from the Howlett Battery and the Bermuda Hundreds line, these guns and their appurtenances, being unearthed and found uninjured, were placed again in position, and used with telling effect on the Federal ironclads and other vessels lying in the long reach of Dutch Gap, facing the battery.

Thus reinforced, General Beauregard had under him a total effective force of about 10,000 men, of all arms, confronting Hancock's corps (the 2d) and Smith's (the 18th), with an aggregate of not less than 44,000 men.

Burnside's corps (the 9th) came up at about noon on the 16th,

Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 509. General Burnside, in his report, says he reached the position occupied by their troops at about 10 A. M. on the 16th. and General Hancock, who, by instructions of General Meade, had refrained from attacking until these reinforcements arrived, ordered an assault, with all the available forces, to be made at or about 5.30 P. M.

In Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 509, the hour is given as about 4 P. M. General Hancock, in his report, says: I was ordered to be prepared to commence the attack at 6 P. M. Three Federal corps (about 66,000 men) now united in an unrelaxing effort of three hours to break the Confederate line, and Birney's division, of Hancock's corps, finally succeeded in effecting a lodgment.

The contest continued into the night, then gradually slackened and ceased.

Warren's corps (the 5th), which had only reached Petersburg at dusk

Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 509. on that day, took no part in the action of the 16th.

No further offensive movement was attempted by the enemy until about noon of the next day (17th). With the addition of Warren's corps, composed of four divisions, the Federal force now assailing Petersburg consisted of not less than 90,000 men, of all arms, while the troops under General Beauregard only numbered 10,000 effectives, most of whom were unprotected by field-works.

With this fearful disparity, the battle opened on the 17th. Three times were the Federals driven back, but they as often resumed the offensive and held their ground.

About dusk a portion of the Confederate lines was wholly broken, and the troops in that quarter were about to be thrown into a panic, which might have ended in irreparable disaster, when, happily, as General Beauregard, with his staff, was endeavoring to rally and re-form the troops, Gracie's brigade, of Johnson's division, consisting of about 1200 men?the return of which to his command General Beauregard had been urgently asking?came up from Chaffin's Bluff, whence, at last, the War Department had ordered it to move.

It was promptly and opportunely thrown into the gap on the lines, and drove back the Federals, capturing about 2000 prisoners. The conflict raged with great fury until after eleven at night.

Foreseeing the inevitable rupture of his lines, General Beauregard had selected during the day, with his Chief-Engineer, Colonel Harris, a new and shorter defensive line along a ravine (Taylor's Creek) in the rear, which he caused to be clearly marked out with white stakes, so that it might be occupied at night without confusion, when the troops should be directed to retire upon it. Generals Hoke and Johnson were instructed to see that their staffofficers and those of the several brigades under them should examine and learn the new positions to be taken by their commands.

This they did with their usual care and precision while the fight was still going on. Shortly after 11 P. M., and just as the firing on both sides had almost entirely ceased, General Beauregard ordered all the campfires to be brightly lighted, with sentinels well thrown forward, and as near as possible to the enemy's.

At 10 P. M., or about that time, on the 17th, while General Beauregard was anxiously waiting for the firing to cease, in order to take up his new position, a messenger from General Burnside to General Meade rode into our lines and was captured.

He bore a despatch, which appeared to be an answer to Meade by Burnside, representing that two of his divisions were badly cut up, and the third so scattered at the time that it would be impossible to gather it up so as to go on with the attack before daybreak, and that his command was very much exhausted.

General Beauregard, being aware that the other Federal commands were in no better condition, felt convinced that the fighting would soon come to a stop, and thus enable him to begin his retrograde movement. Then, at about 12.30 A. M. on the 18th, began this retrograde movement, which, notwithstanding the exhaustion of our troops and their sore disappointment at receiving no further reinforcements, was safely and silently executed, with uncommonly good order and precision, though the greatest caution had to be used in order to retire unnoticed from so close a contact with so strong an adversary.

Without a moment's rest the digging of trenches was begun, with such utensils as had been hastily collected at Petersburg, many of the men using their bayonets, their knives, and even their tin cans, to assist in the rapid execution of the work.

Thus it was that, before daylight, and in spite of nearly insurmountable difficulties, our new defences were partially constructed, and our weary troops again placed under cover.

It was one of the boldest manoeuvres attempted during the war?one that General Beauregard had already twice resorted to with equal success, as the reader, no doubt, remembers; first, upon his retreat from Corinth, on the 30th of May, 1862, and afterwards, on the 6th of September, 1863, upon the evacuation of Battery Wagner, pending the siege of Charleston.

But here the movement was much more hazardous, for it was undertaken and executed by troops who were contending against not less than nine times their number, who were exhausted by three days of almost incessant fighting, and in whose hearts hope itself must have been almost extinct.

This was the line held by the Confederates until the end of the war. It was subsequently strengthened and materially improved; but its location, as then established by General Beauregard, remained unchanged.

General Meade, in his report of the campaign of 1864 (made in November of that year), speaks as follows of this new line:

On advancing (on the 18th) it was found that the enemy, during the night, had retired to a line about a mile nearer the city?the one he now occupies.

During these eventful days?beginning as early as the 15th ?General Beauregard had kept Mr. Davis, General Bragg, and General Lee constantly informed, by telegraph and messages borne by his staff, of the immense odds against which he was contending, a fact then placed beyond all question by the capture of prisoners from at least three corps of General Grant's army.

A strange skepticism, unexplained?unexplainable?was persisted in by those whom he so urgently addressed.

General Beauregard, however, no longer doubting, from the character of the attack and the accumulated proofs of every kind then before him, that, on the evening of the 17th, most of General Grant's forces had been brought against Petersburg, and knowing that the reinforcement of one division would be to no purpose, at 6.40 P. M. on the 17th telegraphed General Lee as follows:

Petersburg, June 17th, 1864:6.40 P. M. General R. E. Lee, Clay's House

On south side of James River. (also to Chester, Va.):

The increasing number of the enemy in my front, and inadequacy of my force to defend the already much too extended lines, will compel me to fall within a shorter one, which I will attempt to effect to-night.

This I shall hold as long as practicable, but, without reinforcements, I may have to evacuate the city very shortly.

In that event I shall retire in the direction of Drury's Bluff, defending the crossing at Appomattox River and Swift Creek. G. T. Beauregard, General.

He also despatched three of his staff (Chisolm, Roman, and Cooke) successively, at different hours of the day, evening, and night, the last of whom (Major Cooke) reached General Lee's headquarters at about 3 A. M., on the 18th, and, more fortunate than the two who had preceded him, was allowed to see General Lee, and accomplished, in part, his object in seeking him.

See, in Appendix, reports of Colonel Roman and of Major Cooke on this subject.

Half an hour after Major Cooke's arrival at Drury's Bluff the following telegram was sent from General Lee's headquarters:

Drury's Bluff, June 18th, 1864:3.30 A. M. Superintendent Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, Richmond:

Can trains run to Petersburg?

If so, send all cars available to Rice's Turnout.

If they cannot run through, can any be sent from Petersburg to the point where the road is broken?

It is important to get troops to Petersburg without delay. R. E. Lee, General. Official. W. H. Taylor, A. A. G.

On the same day General Lee transmitted the following telegram to General Early:

Headquarters, Army N. Va., June 18th, 1864. General J. A. Early, Lynchburg, Va.:

Grant is in front of Petersburg.

Will be opposed there.

Strike as quick as you can, and, if circumstances authorize, carry out the original plan, or move upon Petersburg without delay. R. E. Lee, General.

Mr. Swinton, in his Army of the Potomac, is, therefore, twice mistaken when he asserts (p. 506) that during the night of the 15th the van of Lee's army reached the town (Petersburg), and men of a very different mettle from the crude soldiers to whom its defence had been intrusted silently deployed in line of battle.

It must not be forgotten that, on and prior to the 15th, General Beauregard had been earnestly calling for reinforcements, including his own troops sent to General Lee; but that none had been forwarded, at that time, from the Army of Northern Virginia is shown by the following despatch:

Drury's Bluff, June 16th, 1864:10.30 A. M. To General Beauregard:

Your despatch of 9.45 received.

It is the first that has come to hand.

General Lee evidently meant the first despatch received that day; otherwise his statement would have been altogether erroneous.

See the telegrams already submitted to the reader, and Colonel Sam. Paul's report, to be found in Appendix. I do not know the position of Grant's army.

Cannot strip north bank of James River.

Have you not force sufficient? R. E. Lee, General.

Kershaw's division of Anderson's corps, the first of General Lee's forces that arrived at Petersburg, only reached that place on the morning of the 18th of June, as is established by the following telegrams, to which is also added a letter of General Kershaw himself:


Headquarters, Drury's Bluff, June 17th, 1864:10 P. M. General G. T. Beauregard, Petersburg, Va.:

General Kershaw's division, which will camp to-night on Redwater Creek, is ordered to continue its march to-morrow to Petersburg. R. E. Lee, General. Official. W. H. Taylor, A. A. G.


Headquarters, Petersburg, June 18th, 1864:11.30 A. M. General Braxton Bragg, Richmond, Va.:

Occupied last night my new lines without impediment.

Kershaw's division arrived about half-past 7, and Field's at about half-past 9 o'clock. They are being placed in position.

All comparatively quiet this morning.

General Lee has just arrived. G. T. Beauregard, General.


Extract from a letter of General Kershaw to General Beauregard. Camden, S. C., July 22d, 1876.

My dear General,?* * * I have been induced to think over the matter more carefully, and am now reminded that my position, when first in line of battle at Petersburg, was, as you remember, with my right on or near the Jerusalem plank-road, extending across the open field, and bending back towards the front of the Cemetery. * * * The first of my division that arrived took the cars sent for them, and marched through the city while I was at your quarters.

The sun was just up when I arrived there.

I was at your headquarters not more than an hour.

I think within another hour my troops were in position. * * * I am quite sure that the battle commenced within an hour after my troops were in position. * * *

I am, dear General, sincerely your friend and admirer, J. B. Kershaw, General G. T. Beauregard, New Orleans, La.


clay's House, June 17th, 1864: 3.30 P. M. Major-Genl. W. H. F. Lee, Malvern Hill, via Meaden Station:

Push after the enemy, and endeavor to ascertain what has become of Grant's army.

Inform General Hill. R. E. Lee.


clay's House, June 17th, 1864:4.30 P. M. Lieut.-Genl. A. P. Hill, Riddle's Shop, via Meaden Station:

General Beauregard reports large number of Grant's troops crossed James River, above Fort Powhatan, yesterday.

If you have nothing contradictory of this, move to Chaffin's Bluff. R. E. Lee. Official. W. H. Taylor, A. A. G.


clay's House, June 17th, 1864: 12 M. General G. T. Beauregard:

Telegram of 9 A. M. received.

Until I can get more definite information of Grant's movements, I do not think it prudent to draw more troops to this side of river. R. E. Lee.


clay's House, June 17th, 1864; 4.30 P. M. General G. T. Beauregard, Petersburg, Va.:

Have no information of Grant's crossing James River, but upon your report have ordered troops up to Chaffin's Bluff. R. E. Lee.

No further proof is necessary to show how impossible it is That the van of lee's army could have reached Petersburg during the night of the 15th, when, from evidence furnished by General Lee himself, the first division of his forces only came up on the morning of the 18th.

This settles the point as to Mr. Swinton's first error.

The second, referring to the mettle of the troops defending Petersburg, although of less importance, is still deserving of comment.

The only difference between the crude soldiers Mr. Swinton speaks of and those belonging to the army of General Lee was, that some of them, numbering two hundred local militia, were less inured to the hardships of war, and were mostly old men and boys.

But the other part consisted of Wise's brigade, which few commands in the service equalled, and of two small regiments of cavalry, under Dearing, who had infused into his men the dash and spirit that so eminently characterized him. The proof, however, that the mettle of the forces at and around Petersburg on the 15th was identically the same as that of all the Southern troops is that, although they numbered but 2200 effectives,

See, in Appendix, synopsis of General Wise's report of the operations around Petersburg on the 15th of June, 1864. they so gallantly manned and fought the extensive works on the south side of the city that three columns of Federals, amounting to not less than 22,000 veteran troops, were kept at bay during the whole day, and only succeeded, towards nightfall, in carrying a portion of the works, without the possession either of Petersburg or of the line of the Appomattox.

Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 503. The italics are ours. The enemy had been informed that these fortifications were such that cavalry could ride over them?a representation, says Mr. Swinton (Army of the Potomac, p. 502), that did not turn out to be justified by experience; for Kautz, who, with his mounted division, essayed to work his way round on the left, found himself completely estopped by a heavy fire; and in front the approaches were discovered to be so covered by the play of artillery from the works, that from every point on which Smith attempted to place batteries to silence the enemy's fire the guns were speedily driven off.

The reinforcements that first reached Petersburg formed part of General Beauregard's own troops, detached on the 30th of May and on or about the 3d of June, by order of the War Department, to co-operate with General Lee.

See Appendix. They were: Hoke's division, the first brigade of which (Hagood's) arrived at nightfall on the 15th of June; part of Bushrod Johnson's division?which had been so seasonably withdrawn from Bermuda Hundreds, by order of General Beauregard?arriving a little before noon on the 16th; and Gracie's brigade, of Johnson's division, the opportune arrival of which, in the afternoon of the 17th, saved the Confederate lines from utter destruction.

None of these troops belonged to the Army of Northern Virginia.

Part of them had been borrowed and were returned to their original command, though with evident reluctance.

The others had not left the limits of their Department.

And here it may be said that, had General Beauregard's protests, made as early as May 29th,

See General Beauregard's letter to Mr. Davis, and his telegrams to General Bragg, in Appendix. been heeded at Richmond, not a brigade, not even a regiment of his command, would have been taken away.

But the War Department was ever willing to accede to any call made by General Lee on General Beauregard, while the latter was denied all assistance from the former, and could hardly obtain the return of his own troops when he needed them most, during the days of the disproportionate conflict with General Grant's army, when General Lee had but few of the enemy in his front.

Telegrams, to be found in the Appendix to the present chapter (to which the reader's attention is invited), will show that not only were General Lee and the War Department most anxious at that time to draw troops from General Beauregard, but that they had actually requested his presence and personal co-operation on the north side of the James.

Butler, they thought, had sent the greater part of his army to reinforce General Grant, and had left only a nominal force to guard his position.

General Beauregard, however, was too farseeing, too well-informed as to the enemy's movements in his front, to partake of these delusions.

He expressed his readiness to obey any order given him by the authorities at Richmond, but warned them that at least 8000 men, under Gillmore, still confronted his lines, and most strongly advised that no more troops should be withdrawn from his Department.

Like Mr. Swinton, who, in most instances, is a careful and impartial examiner of the events he chronicles, Mr. J. D. McCabe, in his work entitled Life and Campaigns of General Robert E. Lee, falls into error with regard to the date of the arrival of General Lee's forces at Petersburg.

We quote from pages 507 and 508:

General Lee hurried forward as soon as he learned of the attack on Petersburg; but, as he was full forty miles from the Appomattox, his advanced forces did not reach the city until the night of the 15th.

The reader is already aware that, on the 15th of June, General Lee had not the least idea of hurrying forward to the support of General Beauregard.

His own telegrams exist to bear witness --to this.

Not only were none of his forces at or around Petersburg on the night of the 15th, but as late as June 17th he did not believe that General Grant had left his front.

He was endeavoring on that day to find out what had become of Grant's army.

Very clearly, Mr. McCabe had no such evidence, derived from General Lee himself, among the valuable collection of materials for a history of the war from which, he says, his book was written.

This, however, is not the only error concerning the siege of Petersburg into which Mr. McCabe has fallen.

We again quote from page 508 of his book:

General Lee had ordered General Beauregard not to evacuate his line until Anderson's corps, then moving from Richmond, should relieve him; but, as the demand for troops at Petersburg was so urgent, and there was no prospect that Anderson would get up in time, General Beauregard assumed the responsibility of withdrawing his command to Petersburg.

It has already been shown that General Lee never gave?and, in fact, could not have given?such an order to General Beauregard, for the simple reason that General Beauregard was at that time in command of his own Department, and not in any way under the orders of General Lee.

When he was advised by General Beauregard of the necessity of Johnson's withdrawal from the Bermuda Hundreds line, and asked to fill up the gap with his own troops, he answered:

Bottom's Bridge, June 16th, 1864:2 A. M. General G. T. Beauregard:

A division has been ordered to move to lines on Bermuda Neck.

It will be important for it to march there by daylight.

The pickets and skirmishers on the lines should be retained there until troops arrive, if practicable.

Please send an officer to meet the troops and conduct them. R. E. Lee, General. Official. W. H. Taylor, A. A. G. This was evidently no order.

It was received by General Beauregard at 4.30 A. M. on the 17th, not only after the withdrawal of Johnson from the Bermuda Hundreds line, but after his arrival at Petersburg, where he had so effectually assisted the evening before in repulsing the enemy.

Had General Bushrod Johnson's fractional division been left at Bermuda Hundreds Neck, and not been ordered by General Beauregard to Petersburg, at that supreme moment Petersburg?and Richmond also?would have been captured before General Lee discovered whether or not General Grant's army had actually crossed the James.

Both General Lee and the War Department had been previously informed by General Beauregard of the absolute necessity for that movement.

General Lee readily complied with the hurried call then made upon him, and did his best to replace Johnson's division with troops drawn from the Army of Northern Virginia.

No one blames him for the delay which ensued.

But the War Department obstinately refused to say which, Petersburg or the Bermuda Hundreds line, should be abandoned; though it must have been evident, even to the War Department, that both could not be held with the troops then at General Beauregard's disposal.

Instead of an answer to the questions asked, a series of inquiries came, the next day, from the War Department: At what hour, during the night of the 15th, did you evacuate the line across Bermuda Hundreds Neck?

asked General Bragg in his official capacity, as Chief of Staff and military adviser of the President.

At what hour during the night did General Johnson make the movement?

Did you inform General Lee of that movement?

If so, at what hour and through what channel?

Such was, in substance, the strange and querulous communication forwarded from Richmond to General Beauregard.

Here was one of the three leading generals of the Southern armies straining every nerve to guard the entrance-gate to the Confederate capital, with no reliance but his own tenacity of purpose and the intrepidity of the handful of men he had under him; with an attacking foe becoming hourly bolder and hourly increasing in number; and because, after repeatedly pointing out the precariousness of his condition, and asking for advice which was persistently denied him, he finally determined to act with promptness and vigor, he was called upon, amid his anxieties and multitudinous duties, to suspend his weighty task and respond to this inquisitorial investigation of his conduct.

See, in Appendix, General Beauregard's answer to General Bragg.

Another very serious error we find at page 510 of Mr. McCabe's book.

We quote as follows:

Grant's whole army was now before Petersburg; and, still holding to his original resolve to capture the city, he ordered a general assault for the morning of the 18th.

In the mean time, however, General Lee had been engaged in constructing a formidable line of works immediately around the city, and on the morning of the 18th he withdrew from the temporary line he had held in advance, and occupied that which was destined to become memorable for the siege it sustained.

Here Mr. McCabe evidently drew from his imagination, and not from the reliable sources from which he claims to have derived his knowledge of the events he deals with.

This new line has already been specially referred to in another part of this chapter.

General Lee had had nothing to do with it. General Beauregard had not only located and staked it out, without even consulting General Lee, but the line was already occupied by our troops, and had been so occupied for more than ten hours, when General Lee in person arrived at Petersburg.

Many inaccuracies concerning the Petersburg campaign are also to be found in Mr. John Esten Cooke's Life of General Robert E. Lee.

It is well to refer to some of them.

Speaking of the arrival of the Army of Northern Virginia at Petersburg, Mr. Cooke says:

General Lee had moved with his accustomed celerity, and, as usual, without that loss of time which results from doubt of an adversary's intentions.

Life of General Robert E. Lee, p. 44.

This eulogy is the more surprising, because General Lee himself, in several of his telegrams, already given to the reader, admitted how little he knew of General Grant's movements at that time; and it is now made clear how long he hesitated before he finally determined to come to General Beauregard's assistance.

The truth is, he could not have waited longer.

Mr. Cooke proceeds as follows:

On the 16th he [General Lee] was in face of his adversary there [at Petersburg]. General Grant had adopted the plan of campaign which Lee expected him to adopt.

This would be ludicrous, were it not so poor a compliment to General Lee's ability as a commander.

If General Lee expected General Grant to do what he actually did, why did he not foil his purpose?

The entire Federal army did not cross the James in a single day, nor did it march at once and together upon Petersburg.

If General Lee foresaw Grant's movements, either he should have joined General Beauregard and annihilated the separate Federal corps as they came up, one after the other; or, he should have thrown his whole force upon what remained of Grant's army, on the north side of the James, after his first corps had effected a crossing.

Mr. Cooke would have been correct had he made this assertion, with reference not to General Lee but to General Beauregard, whose letters and telegrams to the War Department, as early as June 7th, show how correctly he had interpreted General Grant's intentions.

General Lee had scarcely gotten his forces in position on the 16th, says Mr. Cooke, when he was furiously attacked; and such was the weight of this assault that Lee was forced from his advanced position, east of the city, behind his second line of works, by this time well forward in process of construction.

Whatever of truth is contained in the foregoing sentence is found in the reference to the fact that the second line of works, occupied by General Lee's forces when they reached Petersburg, on the 18th and 19th of June, were well forward in process of construction; so much so, it may be added, that General Lee's forces, on their arrival, had only to file into that second line of works, already located and already constructed ?though not finally completed?by General Beauregard.

While commenting upon these erroneous statements, so strikingly alike in their false conclusions, we might also object to Mr. Pollard's account, in The Lost Cause, of the various events relative to the attack upon Petersburg, from the 15th to the 18th of June.

His recital is, in the main, accurate, but his purpose seems to be to leave the reader under the impression that it was General Lee who instigated and executed all the movements of the Southern forces operating, just then, in that part of the country.

He will not admit that by General Beauregard's energy and farsightedness alone the Federal attempt was frustrated and the salvation of both Petersburg and Richmond was effected; thus prolonging the struggle for nearly another year.

It has always been a matter of surprise to many who were eyewitnesses of those great events that more credit was not accorded at the time, throughout the South, to General Beauregard and his small and exhausted force.

Those who are supposed to have correctly chronicled the events of that campaign have erred grossly, even as to dates, and have unjustly ascribed to General Lee alone the almost incredible repulse of the Federal army in front of Petersburg.

Mr. Davis is one of these writers.

With the original knowledge of the facts and with the facilities at his disposal, during and since the war, it is hard to believe that the errors found in his book,

Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, vol.

II., p. 638. concerning these events, were not the result of a biassed mind.

To him, to General Bragg, and to General Lee was sent every telegram necessary for the full and complete knowledge of the important movements of the Federal army; and the Southern Historical Papers, to which Mr. Davis often refers, had already published, months before the appearance of his book, most of the field telegrams reproduced by us.

Southern Historical Papers (vols.


and IV.) for 1877. These show when and how General Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia first reached the City of Petersburg.

And yet Mr. Davis says:

Lee crossed the James River on the 15th, and, by a night march, his advance was in the intrenchments of Petersburg before the morning for which the enemy was waiting.

The artillery now had other support than the old men and boys of the town.

And further on he adds:

On the 17th an assault was made with such spirit and force as to gain a part of our line, in which, however, the assailants suffered severely.

Lee had now constructed a line in rear of the one first occupied, having such advantages as gave to our army much greater power to resist.

Whether Mr. Davis derived his information from Swinton, McCabe, or Cooke, he has certainly ignored the clear and significant telegrams cited above, several of which are signed by General Lee himself.

The present writer well remembers the harassed and almost despairing look that gradually grew upon General Beauregard's bronzed and martial features, as each laborious day and sleepless night passed away without bringing the long-expected and often prayed ? for reinforcements.

And here may be explained how General Beauregard became acquainted with every incident that occurred around him, and acquired such correct knowledge, not only of the enemy's positions, but even of his intended movements.

He established along the James River, below Fort Powhatan, a well-organized system of couriers, by means of which communications with his headquarters, from various divergent points, far and near, were regularly kept up. Indeed, these communications continued, from the date of the battle of Drury's Bluff until long after the enemy's landing at City Point, and even during the siege of Petersburg.

This was no new experiment, for he had reduced the system almost to a science, and had fully tested its efficacy along the Tennessee River, while at Jackson, in 1862; and also, in 1862-63, along the Atlantic coast, in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. In war?he was wont to say?it is as important to know where your enemy is, and what he intends doing, as it is to have men, arms, and ammunition.

This maxim, or aphorism, is worthy of a place among those of Jomini.

The enemy's force at Petersburg on the 18th embraced Hancock's, Burnside's, and Warren's corps, with a portion?the stronger portion?of Smith's corps, under General Martindale, and Neill's division of Wright's corps, with all its artillery.

General Meade, in his report, says: During the night of the 16th Neill's division, 6th Corps, arrived, relieving Brooks's division of the 18th, who, accompanied by Major-General Smith, returned to Bermuda Hundreds, leaving General Martindale in command of Smith's troops.

In a preceding part of his report General Meade also says: Early on the morning of the 16th I proceeded to City Point, and from thence to Petersburg, meeting, when about half-way to the latter place, the Lieutenant-General Commanding, by whom I was instructed to take command of the troops then in front of Petersburg, and, if practicable, push the enemy across the Appomattox.

At the same time orders were sent to Wright to move up his artillery and one division of his infantry to Petersburg, and to take the two others by water to City Point.

At about noon on that day the attack was renewed by the Federals.

In another part of his report General Meade says: An unsuccessful assault by Gibbon's division was made about noon on that day. Partial assaults, however, had been made on some parts of the line before that hour, but with no decided result, as they were mostly engagements between skirmishers.

The withdrawal of our troops, during the night, from their former positions to the new line of intrenchments selected by General Beauregard had surprised the enemy to such an extent as to cause a halt in his operations; and this explains the delay of the general attack, which should have begun early in the morning, but was in fact begun in the afternoon.

General Burnside, in his report, says:

A grand attack was ordered by the Major-General commanding the Army of the Potomac for 4 A. M. on the 18th, and General Wilcox was directed to take the advance of this corps (the 18th), supported by General Potter.

On pushing out the skirmishers in advance of the attacking column it was discovered that the enemy had withdrawn from the line of the open ground in front of the Shade House, but their skirmishers were found in the woods that intervened between it and the Taylor House. * * * At 3.30 P. M. a general attack was ordered by the Major-General Commanding (General Meade), which resulted, on the part of this corps, in driving the enemy entirely out of the cut and ravine, and establishing our extreme advance within about one hundred yards of the enemy's main line, beyond the railroad. * * * The troops of General Hancock, on our right, and Warren, on our left, fully co-operated with us in this engagement.

General Meade also says that?

Major-General Birney, temporarily commanding the 2d Corps (Hancock's), then organized a formidable column, and, about 4 P. M., made an attack, but without success.

Later in the day attacks were made by the 5th and 9th Corps, with no better results.

General Beauregard's extreme right confronted Warren's corps, but was merely a thin skirmish line of infantry behind the defences.

It was here that he placed Kershaw's division, as soon as it arrived on the field, barely in time to resist one of the assaults of the enemy in that quarter.

This reinforcement gave General Beauregard at that time about 15,000 men, against not less than 90,000 Federals; for Field's division, which had arrived two hours after Kershaw's, was not yet in position.

Four entire Federal army corps were there.

One division (Brooks's) of Smith's corps was absent, but its place hard been filled by a division (Neill's) of Wright's corps; and the whole of Wright's artillery had also been moved up. The fight went on with determined vigor on the one side, with indomitable resistance on the other, and, despite the overwhelming odds against us, closed, before dark, by the total repulse of all the assaulting columns.

When made, it (the assault) was a complete repulse at every point, and was attended with another mournful loss of life.

Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 511.

General Lee reached Petersburg at 11.30 A. M. on the 18th, and his forces (except Kershaw's and Field's divisions) were brought up afterwards.

General Beauregard's telegram to General Bragg, already given in a preceding portion of the present chapter, fully settles that point.

By Sunday afternoon (the next day) the two corps then constituting the Army of Northern Virginia were within the defences of the city.

Less the forces left on the north side of James River, to protect Richmond from that direction.

Upon General Lee's arrival, General Beauregard, after riding with him towards the right of our line, on an elevation somewhat in advance of the City Reservoir, from whence a very good view was had of the whole field, proposed to him that, as soon as Hill's and Anderson's corps should arrive, an attack should be made upon General Grant's left flank and rear.

General Lee refused his assent, on the ground that his troops needed rest, and that the defensive having been thus far so advantageous to him against Grant's offensive, north of the James, and to Beauregard, at Petersburg, he preferred continuing the same mode of warfare.

The Federals, with their ample resources, were so speedily and strongly intrenched against attack?as was foreseen by General Beauregard in his conference with General Lee?that, at any later date, the offensive became impracticable.

Had General Beauregard's warning of the situation and his urgent requisitions been heeded in season, or as late as mid-day of the 16th (that is, twenty-four hours after Grant's whole army had crossed the river), even if no offensive operation had been undertaken by the Confederates, the repulse of the Federals, that afternoon, must have been so severe as to change entirely the face and fortune of the campaign: a repulse far more important than that inflicted at Cold Harbor might then have been given.

Or, if General Lee, when informed by General Beauregard that he had taken prisoners from three of the Federal corps, had boldly moved forward, with his whole force, or even with two-thirds of it, he might have crushed one-half of General Grant's army.

The failure to attempt such a movement is the more justly subject to criticism, because it could have been effected without in any way uncovering Richmond.

General Beauregard's reports and demands, at that period, were discredited and neglected, even by General Lee.

Yet it is known that, on June 14th;the latter was aware, from his own sources of information?and he reported the fact to the authorities at Richmond?that General Grant's whole army was massed at Wilcox Landing and Westover?the very point of its passage from the north to the south side of the James?and that its depot, at the White House, had been broken up, and all its material and stores removed, even including the railroad stock.

What else could these facts have been supposed to indicate than an entire change of base on the part of the enemy?

Chapter 37:

Unconquerable spirit of our troops around Petersburg.

tribute to the ladies of that city.

Southern women.

quietude of the Federal Army after June 18th.

General Meade intrenches.

what General Badeau says of the failure to capture Petersburg.

his comments upon the late arrival of General Lee's Army.

how General Beauregard saved the city.

Inaction of General Meade's Army.

erroneous explanation of it by General Badeau.

General Beauregard's comprehension of the depression of the enemy.

he proposes an immediate attack.

General Grant's words.

the siege of Petersburg.

criticism of the Confederate line of intrenchments.

denial that General Lee consulted General Mahone concerning the location of the line.

details of General Beauregard's proposed attack upon the Federal Army.

General Lee fears that the topography of the country will interfere with the movements of the troops.

Consults General Mahone with reference to the position of second Swamp and the railroad cuts.

General Lee refuses to make the attack.

reasons for holding to the Jerusalem plank road line.

that line maintained until the close of the war.

Untrustworthiness of Southern Historians on this Point.>

Before entering upon the events which followed the arrival of General Lee's forces at Petersburg it is but fair to pay a passing tribute to the handful of heroes who unflinchingly bore the heat and burden of the four days of unparalleled fighting which we have just described.

The beautiful devotion and patriotism of the women of the beleaguered city, during the whole period of the siege, claim also an honored place in these pages.

Equal praise should be meted out to those who never wavered before the overwhelming odds confronting them, and to those who nobly encouraged their valor and attended to their needs.

It will also be our object, in this chapter, again to direct the reader's attention to the location of the new Confederate lines, so successfully occupied by our troops on the eventful night of the 17th of June.

Throughout the Confederate war no epoch was more trying to our troops in the field, or more clearly demonstrated their powers of endurance and their unconquerable spirit, than the Petersburg campaign.

Reference is here made particularly to the struggle of the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th of June.

The exhausting work performed, the fatigue endured, night and day, by officers and men, and the knowledge that they were outnumbered seven to one, make the courage and stubborn resolution there displayed truly sublime.

It was a great feat in military annals.

On the 15th 2200 men defending Petersburg prevented 22,000 from effecting its capture.

On the evening of the 16th 10,000 men stood a successful barrier to 66,000.

The same 10,000 men, on the 17th, confronted 90,000, and were not defeated.

On the 18th our troops, reinforced, first by Kershaw's, then by Field's division, of General Lee's army?making an aggregate of 15,000 in the forenoon, and about 20,000 in the afternoon?not only withstood, but bloodily repulsed, the combined attack of these 90,000 men. The loss of the enemy exceeded ours in more than the proportion of his strength to ours?it was nine times greater.

Indeed, it amounted to more than the number of men we had in action.

In these preliminary operations against Petersburg, which may be brought together under the definition of the period of assaults, though no large action had taken place, the rolls of the army showed a loss of 15,000 men.

Swinton, Army of the Potomac, p. 515.

If we cannot here inscribe the names of all those who figured in that bloody drama, we may at least make mention of their commanders and of those whose untiring efforts aided them successfully to maintain their ground.

Hoke, Johnson, Wise, Hagood, Colquitt, Gracie, Martin, Dearing, are names that should be remembered.

To the men who fought under them the highest praise is due; and whatever of glory belongs to the former belongs also to those whose strong arms and stout hearts so effectually carried out their orders.

Nor should the name of Harris, the able Engineer and fearless officer, be omitted from that list of heroes.

When the war-cloud settled upon that part of Virginia, and the fate of Petersburg hung in the balance, the noble women of the besieged city and its environs could be seen, night and day, thronging forth, as far as they were permitted to go, rendering invaluable assistance to the wounded, and breathing words of solace and peace in the ears of the dying.

The work performed by them was efficient and intelligent, and not the well-meant but fitful efforts of the favored daughters of fashion.

Personal comfort was put aside by them; and many a Confederate soldier, now in the enjoyment of full health and strength, may attribute his recovery from illness, from wounds, or from physical exhaustion, to the unremitting attention given him by these patriotic women.

During the whole war, and in all parts of the Confederacy, the women of the South were up to this high standard.

They never, to our knowledge, in any single instance failed.

Their conviction of the justice of the cause was profound, and truly has it been said of them?their hearts were in the war.

After the total repulse of the Federal army on the evening of the 18th no further effort was made by the enemy to renew the assault upon Petersburg.

The musket was replaced by the spade ill the hands of the Union soldiers, and nothing of moment occurred between the two armies then confronting each other until the memorable event so appropriately termed by Mr. Swinton the mine fiasco.

Army of the Potomac, p. 518. Being satisfied, says General Meade, in his report, that Lee's army was before me, and nothing further to be gained by direct attacks, offensive operations ceased, and the work of intrenching a line commenced, which line is part of that at present held.

General Meade's report bears date November 1st, 1864.

In his Military History of Ulysses S. Grant (vol.

II., p. 372) General Badeau uses the following language:

The General-in-chief was greatly chagrined at the failure of Smith to capture Petersburg.

The plan of the movement had been to take that place by surprise; and when, on the 15th, Grant ascertained that Lee was still on the northern side of the James, while Smith and Hancock were combined, with nearly forty thousand men, in front of Petersburg,

A fact which even President Davis appears not to have known. he looked upon victory as assured.

Even after the early success of Smith had been left unimproved, it was still possible, by further attacks, to secure the capture of the place before Lee's entire army could arrive.

The assaults of the 16th, 17th, and 18th were all made with this idea; for if the rebels were not at once dislodged, it was apparent that a long and tedious siege must follow; in fact, a new series of combinations would become necessary, and a chilling disappointment fall upon the spirit of the North.

Every effort was therefore made south of the Appomattox; and when an unexpected opportunity was offered in front of Bermuda Hundreds, Butler was urged again and again to hold what he had acquired, and even to retake the position, after it had slipped from his grasp.

He seemed, indeed, to appreciate the importance of his prize, but did not succeed in retaining it, and, at the end of three days, the rebels again held the railway between Petersburg and Richmond, and all the great avenues connecting the Confederacy and its capital were in their control.

But, if the well-laid plans of the National commander had thus been doubly and trebly foiled, Lee had by no means displayed consummate generalship.

He made at the outset the grave mistake, which came so near being fatal, of remaining north of the James till Grant had arrived in front of Petersburg; and, even after starting from Cold Harbor, his alacrity was not conspicuous.

It was not until the morning of the 18th that his principal columns again confronted the Army of the Potomac; and he himself only arrived in Petersburg on that day.

General Badeau quotes General Beauregard's telegram to General Bragg, dated June 18th, wherein it appears that General Lee, in person, reached Petersburg on that day, at 11.30 A. M. It was Beauregard who saved the town.

It was he who foresaw the intention of Grant, and brought the troops from Bermuda Hundreds without orders, neglecting or, rather, risking the lesser place, to secure that which was all-important; massing and strengthening the inner works on the night of the 15th, and, afterwards, holding Meade and Smith at bay, until Lee arrived in force.

Then the combined rebel army, amounting to sixty thousand men, again on the defensive, and again behind earthworks, was able to withstand the attacks of the wearied veterans who were brought up, after their march of fifty miles, to still renewed assaults.

While noticing the general correctness of this account, so strikingly in contrast with what is said upon this subject by many a Southern writer, including Mr. Davis himself, we deem it necessary to point out a palpable omission on the part of General Badeau.

On the 20th of June, after the arrival of General Lee's forces at Petersburg, the Confederate army was still inferior in number to the Federal army to the extent of 30,000 men; and the wearied veterans alluded to by General Badeau had undergone no such fatigue as General Beauregard's troops had borne from the 15th to the 18th, inclusive; nor had they been subjected to more marching than General Lee's two army corps; nor were the breastworks they would have assaulted so formidable as they are represented to be; for, though begun by General Beauregard during the night of the 17th, they were not completed until days and weeks after General Lee's arrival.

Some other reason must be assigned for the inertness and comparative inactivity of the Federal army after the 18th of June, and that reason General Badeau himself finally gives in the following language:

* * * Hancock and Burnside crossed the river, and then moved and manoeuvred with alacrity and skill; and the men themselves never flagged nor failed.

Every one was earnest, every one did his best, till the fatal moment that lost the result which all had been striving for, which had, indeed, been absolutely attained, all but secured; when Smith, having won Petersburg, hesitated to grasp his prize.

Then, indeed, when all their exertions had proved fruitless, when, having out-marched and out-manoeuvred Lee, the soldiers found themselves again obliged to assault intrenched positions?then they seemed in some degree to lose heart, and for the first time since the campaign began their attacks were lacking in vigor; when they found the Army of Northern Virginia again in their front, sheltered by formidable breastworks, their zeal was lessened, and their ardor cooled.

Had the assaults in front of Petersburg been made with the same spirit as in the Wilderness, Petersburg would even then have fallen.

But it was not in human endurance to hold out in this incessant effort, and the limit had for a time been reached.

And Mr. Swinton says:

Indeed, the Union army, terribly shaken, as well in spirit as in material substance, by the repeated attacks on intrenched positions it had been called on to make, was in a very unfit moral condition to undertake any new enterprise of that character.

Here is again illustrated General Beauregard's military foresight.

When, about mid-day on the 18th, he took General Lee to the elevated site of the Petersburg Reservoir, and, showing him the field, urged upon him to order an attack on the next day by all the Confederate forces, he based his advice upon his intuitive apprehension of that wide-spread feeling among General Grant's forces.

Weighing the discouragement of the Federals against the revived spirits of our troops, then united and reinforced, General Beauregard knew that the chances of victory, notwithstanding the exhausted condition of our men, would be all in our favor; and General Badeau's and Mr. Swinton's admissions now show the correctness of his judgment.

Had General Lee attacked General Grant at that moment, the war would probably have had a different termination.

General Badeau reports General Grant as having said, at ten o'clock, on the evening of the 18th:

I am perfectly satisfied that all has been done that could be done, and that the assaults to-day were called for by all the appearance and information that could be obtained.

Now we will rest the men, and use the spade for their protection till a new vein can be struck.

Military History of Ulysses S. Grant, vol.

II., p. 374.

The regular siege of Petersburg had now begun; and the Confederate forces, including General Lee's army, occupied the new defensive lines to which General Beauregard had withdrawn his troops, during the night of the 17th, unobserved by his vigilant adversary.

These lines were necessarily taken under the pressure of circumstances, as most lines are on the field of battle, but had, nevertheless, been selected after due reflection and with great care.

General Beauregard's object?and he accomplished it?was to hold the overpowering forces of the enemy at bay until the arrival of the long-delayed reinforcements of General Lee.

The location and retention of these lines have met with more than passing criticism.

It has even been asserted that?

General Lee's first expression on his arrival at the front was that of dissatisfaction touching the general features of the new line; and, with the view of rectifying this important element of his defence, he called to his assistance Major-General William Mahone, an officer in whom he reposed great confidence, and who, besides being an engineer by profession, was familiar with the topography of the country around Petersburg.

See criticism by Captain John D. Young, late a commander of sharpshooters, 3d Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, as published, June 22d, 1878, in the Philadelphia Weekly Times.

General Beauregard is clear and positive on this point.

He says:

General Lee was too good a soldier and engineer, and had recently had too much practice in hastily selecting new positions to hold his enemy in check, to express dissatisfaction with the lines in rear of Taylor's Creek, which were just begun, when he first visited them, after his arrival at Petersburg.

He was, on the contrary, thankful, and well might he be, for the shelter they then offered, and only feared that the remainder of his troops would not get up in time to save the town.

General Lee did not at any time consult General Mahone with reference to the Taylor's Creek and Jerusalem plank road lines.

He knew that he himself, and General Beauregard, and their two able Engineers, Colonels Harris and Stevens, were fully competent to select between those two defensive lines, when their sites were so plainly visible.

General Mahone may have been a good and experienced civil engineer, but no one then knew that he laid claim to skill as a military engineer.

Civil and military engineering are as distinct from each other as geometry and algebra.

Both require special studies; but efficiency as a military engineer demands above all things great practice in the field under trying circumstances.

Where had General Mahone acquired skill by such practice

General Lee consulted him concerning the topographical features of the country outside of the Dimmock lines,

The name given to the original defensive lines of Petersburg. but for another purpose, and not with reference to the location of our defensive works, as will now be explained.

General Beauregard, on the day of General Lee's arrival?the 18th of June?at about 1 P. M., urged upon him, as has been stated, the advantage of taking the offensive before the enemy could have time to know the country and protect himself by abatis, rifle-pits, or trenches.

He proposed an attack upon General Grant's left flank, so as to double him up on his right and centre, while his rear should be assailed by all the cavalry that could be massed against it. General Lee at first appeared to favor the idea, but expressed some fear that the Norfolk Railroad cuts and the Second Swamp would prove too great obstacles in our way for the offensive.

It was upon this point that he consulted General Mahone, who had been the civil engineer and builder of the Norfolk road, and was necessarily familiar with the country over which our forces would have to operate.

General Mahone was of General Lee's opinion, and the suggested plan was not carried out. Meanwhile, and after a thorough examination of the new lines?of the Jerusalem plank road and of the Blandford ridge?General Beauregard expressed the opinion that we had better hold on, for the time being, to the line we then occupied, for the following reasons:


That it kept the enemy's batteries at a greater distance from the besieged town.


That it would act as a covered way (as the phrase is, in regular fortification), should we deem it advisable to construct better works on the higher ground in the rear.

In the mean time we could construct a series of batteries to protect our front line by flanking and over-shooting fires; and we could throw up infantry parapets for our reserves, whenever we should have additional troops.


That the new line gave a close infantry and artillery fire on the reverse slope of Taylor's Creek and ravine, which would prevent the construction of boyaus of approaches and parallels for a regular attack.

General Lee concurred in General Beauregard's opinion, and approved his selection.

The mine explosion, which occurred a few weeks later, showed how judicious this opinion had been; for it was the terrible fire of infantry and artillery on that reverse slope which prevented reinforcements being sent forward rapidly and continuously to the Federal columns which had already gained a footing in the Confederate works.

Thus, it became possible to bring our troops from the extreme right for the recovery of our lines.

If the movements of the enemy could not be distinctly seen from these lines, they could be readily observed from the batteries referred to, giving ample time to us for offensive operations.

The best proof that General Beauregard's new lines were properly located is, that they were held till the end of the war, at times by mere handfuls of jaded troops against vastly superior numbers, and without the necessity of building a second system of works on the more elevated grounds in the rear.

If, on the 17th of June, as Mr. Davis has it, Lee had constructed a line in rear of the one first occupied, having such advantages as gave to our army much greater power to resist,

Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, vol.

II., p. 638. it is evident that he never expressed dissatisfaction as to a position he had himself selected.

If, on the other hand, he did condemn the location of that new line (for which we have only the unsupported testimony of Captain Young), then Mr. Davis, who, in that respect, disagreed with General Lee, unconsciously lauds General Beauregard for the skill he there displayed; and Messrs. McCabe and Cooke lead their readers into error when they assert that the line spoken of was the selection of General Lee, and not of General Beauregard.

The inconsistencies of the authors of these fugitive histories and essays are so evidently self-destroying that no further effort is required to show how untrustworthy they are, and how unfair in their estimates of the events connected with this period of the war.

Chapter 38:

After the 18th of June General Beauregard is no longer in command of the Army around Petersburg.

enemy's raids to Interrupt our communications.

no material advantage gained.

completion of Confederate lines.

General Beauregard's forces occupy works in front of Petersburgh.

rumors concerning the mine.

the salients upon General Beauregard's lines.

he orders countermines, and Establishes batteries Commanding exposed points.

his instructions to the officers there posted.

Elliott's salient the Point selected by the enemy.

mining commenced on the 25th of June, and completed on the 23d of July.

when the explosion took place.

the Federal column of assault: how composed.

denudement of Confederate lines in consequence of the threatened movement of the enemy North of the James.

Bushrod Johnson's division.

its position along the works.

Elliott's brigade.

General Elliott wounded.

Colonel McMaster.

General Beauregard in front.

his orders carried out.

is present with General Lee, pending the action.

prompt and accurate firing of the Confederate troops.

raking fire of their batteries.

the enemy demoralized.

is unable to advance.-his critical position.

General Grant acknowledges the impossibility of success.

suggests the order to withdraw.

General Meade issues it.

arrival of General Mahone with part of his division.

Throws forward his brigade.

North Carolina and South Carolina regiments join in the movement.

separate action of Wright's brigade.

its repulse.

combined attack under Generals Mahone and Johnson.

slight resistance on the part of the enemy.

crater and lines abandoned by the Federals.

ours and the enemy's loss.

General Badeau's opinion of this affair.>

From the hour of 12 M., on the 18th of June, General Beauregard ceased to be first in command of our forces at and around Petersburg; and, though he continued on that day to direct, to some extent, the movements of the troops, he did so only because General Lee had not yet become sufficiently familiar with the position of our various commands on the new line occupied.

Comparative quiet now prevailed in both armies, and Federals as well as Confederates were actively engaged in strengthening their defensive works.

On the 21st, however, the 2d and 6th Federal Corps were withdrawn from the lines and sent on a flanking movement to the left, with a view to encircle the besieged city farther towards the west, and, if possible, to seize the Weldon road.

The 2d Corps (Hancock's), now temporarily under General Birney, had the lead.

It established itself west of the Jerusalem plank road, and soon formed a junction with a division (Griffin's) of the 5th Corps, which had been posted on the east side.

The other corps (the 6th) came up during the night, taking position on the left and rear of the 2d; and Wilson's and Kautz's cavalry were then sent to cut the Weldon and Southside railroads.

General Lee divined the intention of the enemy, and countermovements were immediately ordered to thwart his purpose.

By some misunderstanding between the Federal officers commanding this expedition, the 2d Corps became separated from the 6th, thereby leaving a wide gap between them, which exactly served the purpose of the Confederate movement; for part of A. P. Hill's corps, rapidly marching in columns by brigades, came up with its usual alacrity and occupied this interval.

The attack on the left of the 2d Corps was so vigorous that Barlow's division gave way in disorder; so did Mott's, soon afterwards.

The Confederate troops now struck Gibbon on the flank and rear, carried his intrenchments, and captured a battery and several entire regiments of his command.

Barlow and Mott; also lost several hundred prisoners. Gibbon's intrenchments were held by us until the captured guns were removed, when the Confederate column withdrew, carrying with it many standards and nearly 3000 prisoners, including several hundred from the 6th Corps. General Badeau

Military History of Ulysses S. Grant, vol.

II., p. 384.says the Federal loss on this occasion was four guns and about 1600 prisoners.

He rebukes those who give a higher number, and accuses them of always exaggerating the National losses.

Mr. Swinton, whose account of this expedition agrees with ours, puts the Federal loss at 2500, exclusive of several hundred from the 6th Corps.

Swinton's Army of the Potomac, pp. 512, 513. The result of this movement to attempt interruption of our communications was in nowise beneficial to the enemy, and merely extended his line to the left, with no further advantage to him.

During the several weeks that followed the regular investment of Petersburg cavalry raids were organized to cut and destroy the various railroads by which supplies were brought to our army.

Wilson and Kautz, acting separately, succeeded in tearing up and otherwise damaging many miles of very important roads, including the Weldon, at Reams's Station, the Southside and the Danville roads.

The raiding columns then formed a junction at Meherrin Station, but, upon reaching the Roanoke bridge, were checked in their further advance by a force of Confederates.

The return of Wilson's column became, at that time, a difficult problem.

At the crossing of Stony Creek, on the 28th, a severe engagement took place, forcing Wilson to make a considerable detour to the left.

His effort was to reach Reams's Station, which he believed to be still in possession of the Federals; but he was attacked by both cavalry and infantry, under General Hampton, and now fell back, with the loss of his trains and artillery and a considerable number of prisoners.

Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 513. The statement is confirmed by General Meade's report. Wilson barely succeeded in bringing his shattered forces within the Federal lines.

These raids, though damaging and harassing to us, proved so unsatisfactory to the enemy that further efforts of the kind were finally abandoned.

During this period of relative inactivity Generals Lee and Beauregard had so completed their lines of defence that assault upon them had been pronounced impracticable by the [Federal] chiefs of artillery and engineers.

Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 515. Beginning south of the Appomattox, these lines encircled the city of Petersburg, east and south, and extended, in a westerly direction, towards and beyond the left flank of the Federal army.

A similar system of defence extended north of the Appomattox, guarding Petersburg and the Petersburg and Richmond Railroad, against the Federal forces under Butler, at Bermuda Hundreds.

Notwithstanding the reports of the Chief of Artillery and the Chief-Engineer of the Federal army, the Confederate lines, running from the southwest of Petersburg to the north-east of Richmond, and extending over a length of fully thirty-five miles, were vulnerable at more than one point.

It must not be forgotten that the Appomattox was fordable a little above the permanent bridge, and it is very doubtful whether we could have prevented a vigorous and well-directed movement of the enemy from breaking through that part of our lines.

General Grant, or General Meade, could also have ordered a powerful attack on the salient formed by the junction of our new lines with the old ones, east of the Jerusalem plank road, the ground in that locality being very favorable for such a movement.

It is easy to understand how a success at that point would have enabled the Commander of the Federal army, strong as it then was (for it numbered at that time not less than 115,000 men, exclusive of cavalry), to take in reverse and thus command both of our lines, which we would have had to evacuate at once.

Or, General Grant could have occupied his lines with about 50,000 of his forces, and used the remainder?60,000 men, and perhaps more?as a column of active operations which would have been fully strong enough to meet any emergency.

General Badeau asserts that most of these operations were conducted exclusively by Meade, to whom Grant now intended to allow a more absolute control of the movements of his own army than he had hitherto enjoyed.

Military History of Ulysses S. Grant, vol.

II., p. 886. It is none the less a fact that, whoever the Federal commander then was, and though General Lee may have been outmanoeuvered previous to the arrival of his army in front of Petersburg, since that time, or, rather, from the 15th of June to the 30th of July, and even later, the Federal Commander?whether Grant or Meade?never proved himself a match for either General Beauregard or General Lee.

During the 18th and 19th of June, General Lee's troops, as they arrived, were extended on the right of General Beauregard's, which were now contracted somewhat from their attenuated development.

General Beauregard remained in immediate charge of the Petersburg lines already held by his troops; that is to say, from the Appomattox to about half-way between the Baxter road and the Jerusalem plank road.

The small portion of the Army of Northern Virginia not within the lines was held as a general reserve.

About the beginning of July it became apparent, from the Northern newspapers and from accounts of deserters and prisoners, that the Federals had undertaken to direct a mine against some point of the Confederate works at Petersburg.

General Beauregard, believing that the operation was aimed at his lines? for upon them were three salients (Colquitt's, Gracie's, and Elliott's), the ground in front of which was favorable for such an enterprise?directed countermines to be sunk from each of them.

This work, however, did not reach an efficient state; the troops had no experience in that special service; they lacked the proper tools, and, besides, were so exhausted from heavy duty in the trenches, that the work was not carried on with the necessary activity.

In all other respects ample preparations for the event of the explosion of the mine were carefully made by General Beauregard.

Batteries of 12-pounder Napoleons, 8 and 10 inch and Coehorn mortars, were erected on well-selected elevations in rear of and commanding the exposed points, assuring both a cross and front fire.

Gorge-lines were also constructed in rear of these salients, for the troops to retire into in the event of a breach in the exterior line by the springing of the mine.

Finally, and as the probable period approached, minute instructions were given by him to the officers in the menaced quarters, so as to prevent confusion or a panic from the explosion, and to insure a prompt, vigorous concentration of the troops and of the fire of the batteries for the repulse of any assaulting column that might attempt to enter the breach.

The salient actually selected by the Federals proved to be that occupied by Elliott's brigade, with Pegram's battery; and the mine, commenced on the 25th of June,

Colonel Pleasants's testimony, in Conduct of the War (1865), vol.

i., p. 112. was ready to receive its charge on the 23d of July.

The work was executed by the 48th Pennsylvania Volunteers, 400 strong, mostly composed of Schuylkill coal-miners, and whose colonel, Pleasants, was himself an accomplished mining engineer.

The mine, starting from the interior of Burnside's line of riflepits, immediately across Taylor's Creek, terminated beneath Elliott's salient, at a distance of one hundred and seventy yards, with lateral galleries beginning at that point, extending on the left thirty-seven feet, and on the right thirty-eight feet, and together forming the segment of a circle concave to the Confederate lines.

In both of these lateral galleries were four magazines, one at the extreme end of each, and the remainder at equal distances along the segment of circle, containing in all eight thousand pounds of powder, equally distributed, when charged on the 27th of July.

General Burnside's report, dated Before Petersburg, Va., August 13th, 1864, to be found in Conduct of the War (1865), vol.

i., p. 20.

The Federal column of assault consisted of the four divisions of Burnside's corps?Ledlie's, Potter's, Wilcox's, and Ferrero's, the latter composed of negro troops?directly supported by Turner's division of the 10th Corps and Ames's division of the 18th, under General Ord?in the aggregate at least 23,000 men. At the same time 10,000 men of Warren's corps, concentrated on its own right?that is, on the left of Burnside?and the 18th, concentrated in the immediate rear of Burnside, were actively to support the movement.

Hancock's corps was likewise concentrated as a support, for the same purpose, on the lines temporarily vacated by the 18th; and Sheridan, with all the cavalry assembled in the quarter of Deep Bottom, was to move strenuously against the Confederate right by the roads leading into Petersburg from the south and west.

Even the pontoon train was held in readiness, under the Chief-Engineer, Major Duane, to accompany the movement, and Engineer officers were assigned to each corps for the operation.

The artillery of all kinds was to open upon those points of the Confederate works covering the ground of movement of the Federal troops.

See General Meade's orders, July 29th, 1864, to be found in Conduct of the War (1865), vol.

i., pp. 32, 33. The whole force thus made disposable for the operation consisted, according to General Meade's testimony, of nearly 50,000 men,

General Meade's testimony, in same work, p. 37. exclusive of the cavalry.

The orders were to spring the mine at 3.30 A. M. on the 30th of July;

General Meade's orders of July 30th, 1864, in Conduct of the War (1865), vol.

i., p. 33. but, from some defect in the fuse, its fire died out, and a lieutenant and sergeant of the 48th Pennsylvania boldly volunteered to descend into the mine and ascertain the cause.

They relit the extinguished fuse, and at 4.44 the explosion took place.

Colonel Pleasants's testimony, in Conduct of the War, p. 114. He says, exploded at sixteen minutes to five.

In consequence of the withdrawal of troops to meet a threatened movement north of the James the Confederate lines from the Appomattox to Rives's salient (that is, to a point about half-way between the Baxter and Jerusalem roads) were held only by Bushrod R. Johnson's division, less two brigades (Gracie's and Johnson's), which had been detached for the same service.

General Beauregard at the time considered this as a most dangerous denudement and extension; and General Johnson, alluding to the same subject, in his detailed statement of the facts relative to this important incident of the siege of Petersburg, uses the following language: General Field's division, which had been holding the part of our line of defences on the right of my division, was taken out of the trenches, and Colquitt's brigade, of Hoke's division, was temporarily transferred to my command in exchange for Gracie's brigade, and I was left to hold, with less forces, defences double the length, or more, of that which I had previously defended.

Indeed, my understanding is, that my command was all the troops in our trenches when the mine was exploded, all of the rest of the army having been moved or held ready to meet any demonstration the enemy might make on the north of the James River.

Elliott's salient was occupied by his own brigade, of Johnson's division, consisting of the 26th, 17th, 18th, 22d, and 23d South Carolina Volunteers, in the order given, the left of the 26th resting on the right of Ransom's brigade,

Colonel F. W. McMaster's statement.

See Appendix. near the intersection of the lines with the Norfolk Railroad.

Wise's brigade followed on the right of Elliott and connected with Colquitt's brigade.

General B. R. Johnson's statement.

See Appendix. The explosion threw up the terre-plein of the salient, burying two guns of Pegram's battery and a part of the 18th and 22d South Carolina regiments, most of the former being in the midst of the upheaval; but the greater portion of the parapets of the main and gorge lines remained standing, the part destroyed being near the angle of their junction on the right.

The rupture of the earth divided the brigade?the remainder of the 22d and the 23d on the right, and the remainder of the 18th, the 17th, and the 26th on the left.

A momentary panic seized the men nearest the point of explosion.

Thus suddenly aroused from their sleep, they rushed in different directions along the trenches; but soon rallied around their officers, and opened, from their parapets, a rapid and effective fire upon the advancing enemy; while the batteries, so happily provided for this contingency by General Beauregard, also opened with telling effect.

Colonel McMaster, who, after General Elliott fell, commanded his brigade during this action, thus describes the firing of our batteries at the time:

* * * In less than five minutes time our men recovered from their panic the men of the 18th falling in indiscriminately with mine, and we shot with great rapidity and execution.

About the same time the battery on the left of the ravine, a short distance in rear of Ransom's brigade, did great execution and fired about six hundred shots in a short time.

This battery I observed specially; the others, in rear and on the right also, did good execution.

Within ten minutes, or more, Ledlie's division had entered the breach in the parapet of the salient and plunged into the crater?a cavity 135 feet in length, 97 feet in breadth, and 30 in depth,

General Johnson's statement.

See Appendix. with sloping sides, the soil sandy, but filled with great blocks of clay.

Wilcox's division immediately followed, and then Potter's, while the Federal artillery?guns and mortars?opened all along their lines, concentrating their heaviest fire on the lines and ground right and left of the crater.

General Beauregard, having no reserves, had instructed each of his brigade commanders that, in the event of a breach and attack, they should close rapidly towards that point, leaving a picket line to hold the trenches elsewhere.

This instruction was promptly executed upon the order of Division-Commander Bushrod R. Johnson. General Beauregard, aroused from sleep by the explosion, and immediately informed of its precise locality by Colonel Paul, an officer of his staff, despatched the latter to General Lee to make the report, request assistance, and appoint a rendezvous with him at Bushrod Johnson's headquarters, near Cemetery Hill.

He then repaired at once to that point, and, after ascertaining that his previous instructions for the event were being properly carried out, went forward to the Gee House, within 500 yards and immediately in rear of Elliott's salient, and, from that commanding point, took a full view of the scene of combat.

Returning soon afterwards to Johnson's headquarters?where, he had been told, General Lee was now awaiting him?he reported the situation, and learned that General Mahone's division had been ordered up. Generals Lee and Beauregard afterwards repaired to the Gee House, where they remained till the end of the action.

Meanwhile, and within ten or fifteen minutes of the explosion, General Elliott had ordered his regiments on the left of the crater to form on the brow of the hill, beyond the gorge-line which crossed the summit, and charge the Federals out of the mine; but he had no sooner reached the open ground, followed by Colonel Smith, of the 26th South Carolina, and half a dozen men, in execution of this movement, than he fell, severely wounded, and was immediately borne to the rear.

General Johnson's and Colonel McMaster's statements.

See Appendix. Colonel F. W. McMaster, on whom now devolved the command, despatched Colonel Smith, with the 26th and three companies of the 17th, by the trench and covered way on the left, to hold a shallow ravine in rear of the hill of Elliott's salient, there to resist any direct advance by which the enemy might seek to fall on the rear of the Confederate lines.

Colonel McMaster's statements.

See Appendix.

The Federals now attempted to force their way along the trenches.

Numbers of them, emerging from the crater, got into the ditch of the gorge-line, where a hand-to-hand fight ensued; while others, creeping along the glacis of the exterior line, got over the parapet into the main trench.

Ibid. The troops on the right and left of the crater fought them from behind the traverses connecting with the sinks, and from barricades thrown up at the angles of the trenches; while the adjacent brigades, from their main parapets, the covered ways, and ravines running to the rear, and from piles of earth at their bomb-proofs, concentrated a deadly fire on such of the Federal forces as were moving across from their lines, and on those in and near the crater, whenever they exposed themselves.

The Confederate front and flanking batteries, so judiciously located, swept the ground in front and rear of the crater, so that the Federals found themselves obstructed from direct advance or retreat.

These batteries also played into the crater itself, where the shells were dropped with such precision upon the huddled mass of Federals that numbers of them preferred to run the gauntlet back to their lines.

Wright's battery of four guns, admirably situated and protected, on the left of Elliott's salient, poured its whole volume of fire, with astonishing rapidity and effect, directly into their right flank; while one gun of Davidson's battery, in Wise's line, threw its canister and grape at short range into their left flank, both batteries, as occasion required, sweeping the ground in front of the crater.

Major Haskell's battery of four 8 and 10 inch mortars, under Captain Lamkin, in rear on the Jerusalem plank road, and one Coehorn and two 12-pounder mortars of Lamkin's, in the ravine, about 200 yards to the left and rear of the crater, and two 8-inch mortars, were served with unremitting and fatal execution; while a battery of three 8 or 10 inch mortars, on the right of the Baxter road, under Lieutenant Langhorn, fired at intervals with very good effect.

The order for the Federal column of attack was to advance and seize Cemetery Hill.

In all subsequent orders of General Meade this was the main objective; but upon their attempt to form for that purpose outside of the crater they were swept by such a fire from the batteries and infantry, including Colonel Smith's force, in the ravine in rear, and the 59th Virginia, under Captain Wood, formed in a ditch on the right of the crater and perpendicular to the main trench, that they rushed back and clung to the protection of the crater, continuing the contest for the possession of the trenches.

About 7.30 o'clock Ferrero's negro division was ordered to push through the breach and carry Cemetery Hill.

They moved across the open space between the Federal and Confederate lines into, out of, and beyond the crater; but at this point they broke under the fierce artillery and musketry fire there concentrated upon them; and, after having been partially reorganized, broke again, now fleeing in wild disorder into and out of the crater, back to General Burnside's rearmost lines, within the Federal intrenchments.

They carried back, on their way, Bell's brigade,

General Ord's report, dated August 3d, 1864, in Conduct of the War (1865), p. 102. of Turner's division, which, having been pushed across from Burnside's lines by Ord to support their assault, was then attempting to press forward from the right of the crater.

Such was the concentration of fire upon their front and flanks that the Federals were unable to develop and form their column of attack, and this was their last attempt to charge.

Meanwhile the struggle had continued for the possession of the trenches.

On the Confederate right of the crater these were held by the remainder of the 22d and the 23d South Carolina, aided by the 26th and part of the 46th Virginia.

Barricades were constructed, and the Federals did not succeed in advancing more than thirty yards. On the left they gradually occupied the trenches for less than two hundred yards, turning the barricades by advancing along and under cover of the glacis, and springing thence into the trench, until Colonel McMaster erected a last barricade

Colonel McMaster's statement.

See Appendix. at the bend, in advance of the covered way leading to General Elliott's quarters.

From this point the glacis took a direction which exposed the Federals attempting to use it to a flank fire from the exterior parapet, held by the right of Ransom's brigade; and here the enemy's advance was effectually checked, both in the trench and outside of it.

The entire Federal offensive had now been reduced to an impotent and fractional conflict in the trenches, when, at 9.45, General Meade gave General Burnside a peremptory order to withdraw his troops.

See Conduct of the War (1865), Appendix, vol.

i., pp. 229, 230. It even appears, from what General Badeau says of this order to withdraw,

Military History of Ulysses S. Grant, vol.

II., p. 482. that it originated with, and was first suggested by, General Grant himself, and not by General Meade.

Says General Badeau:

Burnside's despatches to Meade, reporting the fight, were meagre and unsatisfactory in the extreme; and Grant at last rode out to the National line, and there dismounting, walked across the front, under a heavy fire, to a point where Burnside was watching the battle.

He took in the situation at a glance, and, perceiving that every chance of success was lost, at once exclaimed, These troops must be immediately withdrawn.

It is slaughter to leave them there.

The italics are ours.He then returned to Meade's headquarters, and a written order to this effect was sent to Burnside.

It follows from this that, before Meade's order to withdraw was issued?that is to say, before 9.30 A. M.?General Grant, after coming personally to the front, saw that every chance of success was lost.

General Burnside, however, considering that a retreat across the open space between the lines could only be effected with great slaughter, asked for and obtained a suspension of the order, to await a more favorable opportunity.

It is evident that his object was not to go on with the attack?still less to renew it?but to retire the men with the least possible sacrifice of life.

General Meade at first refused, but finally gave him discretion as to the time for withdrawal.

Conduct of the War (1865), Appendix, vol.

i., p. 230. The remaining Federal supports (Warren and Hancock) took no part in the attack; and they also?General Warren at 9.45, General Hancock at 9.25?received orders to suspend all offensive operations and resume their original position.

So did General Ord.

Ibid., pp. 234, 238, 240.

Such was the situation?the Federals unable to advance, and fearing to retreat?when, at ten o'clock, General Mahone arrived with a part of his men, who lay down in the shallow ravine, to the rear of Elliott's salient, held by the force under Colonel Smith, there to await the remainder of the division.

Colonel McMaster's statement.

See Appendix. But a movement having occurred among the Federals which seemed to menace an advance, General Mahone threw forward his brigade with the 61st North Carolina, of Hoke's division, which had now also come up. The 25th and 49th North Carolina, and the 26th and part of the 17th South Carolina, all under Smith, which were formed on Mahone's left, likewise joined in the counter-movement, and three-fourths of the gorge-line were carried with that part of the trench, on the left of the crater, occupied by the Federals.

Many of the latter, white and black, abandoned the breach and fled to their lines, under a scourging flank fire of artillery and musketry from Wise's brigade.

General Johnson's statement.

See Appendix.

At about 11.30 Wright's brigade, which had then reached the ground, was detached and pushed forward, separately, by General Mahone, to drive the Federals out of the crater, but it suffered a repulse.

Ibid. General Beauregard now ordered a concentration of all available batteries to be made upon the crater and adjacent trenches, and, under cover of this fire, a combined movement of the forces of Mahone and Johnson was prepared, ordered by Generals Lee and Beauregard. Saunders's brigade of Mahone's division, with the 61st North Carolina, of Hoke's division, and the 17th South Carolina, of Johnson's division, moved on the left and rear of the crater, under General Mahone; and the 23d and part of the 22d South Carolina on the right, under General Johnson.

General Johnson's statement.

See Appendix. But before this last charge the Federals, thoroughly demoralized under the cross-fires of our artillery and musketry, were running the dread gauntlet back to their intrenchments, so that this last attack met with but little resistance.

The fact is that the crater and lines were so rapidly emptied of Federals, at the last moment of the charge, that the Confederate batteries slackened their fire, and only thirty men, with three stands of colors, were captured.


The total Confederate loss was 1172.

Johnson's division (of which 2500 were engaged about the crater), including Colquitt's brigade, temporarily attached to it, bore of this loss 922?66 officers, 856 men?the share of Elliott's brigade therein amounting to 672 in killed, wounded, and missing.

A few of these were prisoners, captured during the fight in the trenches, and, of the others, about 256 figured among the victims of the explosion, inclusive of 22 men belonging to Pegram's battery.

Mahone's division lost 250 men?killed, wounded, and missing? out of about 1500.

The Federal loss is reported, by Mr. Swinton, at about 4000 men; by General Meade, at 4400 killed, wounded, and missing, 246 prisoners, 2 colors, and 2 guns; and by General Badeau, at 4400.

In our opinion the enemy must have lost more than 5000 men.

Thus came to an end this transcendent scheme for the capture of Petersburg, planned with consummate skill?says General Badeau?and every contingency cared for in advance.

With the enemy drawn up in force to the north bank; the National troops brought rapidly back, the Army of the Potomac and the Eighteenth corps massed in rear of the mine; artillery prepared to cover the approach; the mine itself a success?there was every reason to anticipate a brilliant conclusion to the operation.

Whereupon. General Grant is credited with having said in regard to this masterly stroke, in which the highest expectations were centred, Such an opportunity of carrying fortifications I have never seen, and do not expect again to have.

And yet, writes General Badeau, with a frankness that does him no little honor, this affair proved to be one of the most discreditable to the National arms that occurred during the war.

This we will not contradict; but when he states that it was more than thirty minutes after the explosion before the rebels recovered from their panic and returned to their lines, he is in error.

He no less errs when he asserts that the [Federal] advance was not checked; the troops were not discouraged; the ground was clear before them; there was yet no serious resistance; they halted simply because they were not commanded to do otherwise.

The Confederate officers there present?and foremost of all Colonel McMaster?testify that they rallied their men, restored order, and opened fire not more than five minutes after the mine had exploded.

What stopped the Federal troops in their advance and prevented them from reaching the crest of Cemetery Hill?as they had been ordered to do?was the tremendous and raking cross-fire of artillery, prepared by General Beauregard for that very purpose, and the unflinching stand and prompt and accurate infantry fire of our troops, in front, as well as to the left and right of the crater.

Upon this very point General Bushrod Johnson, in his earnest and straightforward manner, says:

The 23d and part of the 22d South Carolina regiments on the right, and the 17th and 18th on the left of the crater, opened a destructive fire from our parapets on the advancing column and on the enemy in the breach.

The flanking arrangements of our works, on both sides of the breach, afforded peculiar advantages, and soon the fire along the line of my division extended far out on each flank, wherever the enemy's column could be reached, and swept the ground in front of the crater.

To the men on the left of Wise's brigade, occupying the eminence, south of Baxter road, about two hundred yards from the crater, the enemy's masses presented a most inviting target.

Wright's battery of four guns, admirably located and intrenched on the left of Elliott's brigade, and in rear of our front line, poured its whole column of fire on the enemy's masses and right flank.

The position of this excellent battery was perhaps unknown to the enemy, and the superior manner in which it was served, the rapidity of its fire, and the terrible effect on the enemy's forces, no doubt greatly astonished and demoralized them.

Major Haskell's mortar-battery, in charge of Captain Lamkin, consisting of four Coehorns, on the Jerusalem plank road, and one Coehorn and two 12-pound mortars in the ravine, some two hundred yards to the left and rear of the breach, and two mortars to the left of Wright's battery, were all opened promptly on the assaulting columns.

The practice of the four mortars on the plank road was admirable.

Their shells dropped with precision upon the enemy's masses, huddled in disorder in front of and in the crater.

Some three mortars on the right of the Baxter road, commanded by Lieutenant Langhorne, opened and continued, at intervals, with good effect until the close of the engagement.

This sufficiently explains why the Federals, notwithstanding their thorough state of preparation?every contingency being cared for in advance?did not accomplish what was expected of them.

Nor is their failure at all attributable to the absence of their corps and division commanders; for every colonel and every subordinate officer knew?if not every man of the assaulting column?what orders had been issued, and that the work to be done was to carry the Confederate lines and take possession of the hill beyond.

The truth is, that, losing sight of the invincible spirit of the veteran troops confronting them, they had counted upon inextricable confusion on the part of the Confederates, and had not anticipated the reception in store for them from the skilfully located batteries of General Beauregard.

Chapter 39:

Diverse operations of Federal columns.

General Hancock's expedition.

General Warren's.

the charge made by General Hagood's brigade.

defeat of General Hancock's corps by Generals Hill and Hampton.

insignificant command given to General Beauregard.

his dissatisfaction.

General Whiting requests him to inspect the works at Wilmington.

General Lee thinks General Beauregard will be given command of northwest Georgia.

he is ordered to Charleston, to examine into a difficulty between Generals Jones and Ripley.

finds the department much disorganized.

his interview with President Davis at Augusta.

the latter details to him General Hood's plan of campaign.

General Beauregard approves it.

President Davis decides to give General Beauregard the military division of the West.

General Beauregard accepts.

he leaves for General Hood's headquarters.

his communication to General Cooper.

General Hood demands, but does not secure, the surrender of Resaca.>

Some two weeks after the explosion of the Federal mine and the attempted capture of Petersburg, the enemy, with a view, no doubt, to divert public attention from the inglorious results of that miserable affair, as General Grant is reported to have called it, resorted again to divers operations, within and outside of the limits of his lines of intrenchment.

General Hancock, with his own corps, to which were added the 10th and all of Gregg's cavalry, was charged with the first expedition.

This movement was intended to create a diversion on the north bank of the James River, but it proved to be another sore disappointment to the enemy, and General.

Hancock, on the 20th of August, about eight or ten days after his departure, was ordered back to his former position at Petersburg, having sustained a loss of more than 1500 men.

Swinton, Army of the Potomac, p. 532.;

Meanwhile, and before General Hancock's return, an expedition, aimed at the Weldon Railroad, was undertaken by General Warren.

It led to several sharp actions between the contending forces, where much vigor and stubbornness were exhibited on both sides, resulting, however, in the final retention of the road by the Federals.

Their loss amounted to not less than 4455 killed, wounded, and missing.

Swinton, Army of the Potomac, p. 535. This shows what a strong effort General Lee had made to dislodge the enemy from the Weldon road.

Unfortunately, and owing to the impossibility of sending additional reinforcements, he failed in his purpose.

He would not and could not afford to sacrifice more lives for the possession of a line of communication which, though of great advantage to us, was not indispensable, for we still held the Danville route, by which Richmond as well as the army could be provisioned.

It was during this attempt to regain the use of the Weldon road that, on the 21st of August, General Hagood, of South Carolina, distinguished himself in a personal encounter with a Federal officer.

Owing to inaccurate reports of his scouts General A. P. Hill, who commanded the Confederate forces against Warren's expedition, mistook the exact position of the enemy's line on the left, and, through General Mahone, who labored under the same error, Hagood's brigade was ordered to press the rear and flank of the Federals.

He was to be supported by five brigades of Mahone's division, supposed to be already in front.

The brigade drove the skirmishers from their rifle-pits, but found itself in presence of a strongly intrenched line, crowded with men and artillery, extending right and left as far as could be seen.

General Hagood's Memoirs.

See Appendix. The five brigades of General Mahone were not there.

General Hagood saw at once how perilous a strait he was in, and used his utmost endeavors to halt his command; but the men, intent on carrying the position before them, neither heard nor heeded his voice,

Ibid. and had actually reached the parapets of the works before they understood what overwhelming disaster threatened them.

The situation was nearly desperate, all the more that a flanking column had now been sent behind the brigade, with the evident purpose of cutting off its retreat.

At this moment a Federal officer, Captain Daly, of General Cutler's staff, boldly rode forward and seized a regimental flag of the brigade.

Seeing this, General Hagood, then on foot, came up as fast as he could, and, calling upon his men to fall back, demanded the immediate return of the colors.

Upon the officer's refusal to comply?there being no time for parley?General Hagood shot him through the body, and as he reeled from the saddle upon one side sprang into it from the other, Orderly Stoney seizing the flag from his falling hands.

Ibid Instantly facing about, the South Carolina brigade, under the lead of its intrepid commander, charged and easily dispersed the Federal line in its rear, and, regardless of the severe fire poured upon it from the enemy's works, made good its retreat, though with heavy loss, to the shelter of the valley.

General Beauregard spoke in high terms of the coolness and daring of General Hagood upon this occasion, and strongly recommended him for promotion ? which he most assuredly deserved.

Very shortly after this affair, whereby the enemy had gained the possession of a road but lost many lives, General Hancock was met and defeated, at or near Reams's Station, by a Confederate force under Generals A. P. Hill and Hampton.

Their hardwon success was conceded by the enemy, though since that time it has been a matter of surprise that General Hancock was not immediately reinforced from General Warren's position, or that the troops sent to relieve him were marched by the longer of the two roads leading to him. The Federal loss was reckoned at 2400, killed, wounded, and missing, out of about 8000 men.

Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 538. Our own loss was severe also, though we have no means now at hand, of ascertaining the exact figures.

Since the battle of Drury's Bluff (May 16th) General Beauregard, the first general commissioned by the Confederate Government, had been in command of only two divisions, numbering together less than 10,000 men of all arms; and from and after the arrival of General Lee at Petersburg (June 18th) he had held a subordinate position, very similar but really inferior to that of a corps commander, whose force generally consisted of three divisions of about 5000 men each.

His army (so-called) occupied nearly all the new lines he had established on the night of the 17th of June, from the Appomattox to the old lines where these crossed the Jerusalem plank road.

They measured a length of over two miles, and, although commanded by some of the enemy's works in front, had been made quite secure by artificial means.

It is not to be wondered at that such a position had become irksome to General Beauregard.

It was all the more so because a very important movement against Washington, through the Shenandoah Valley, had been set on foot and confided to an officer who was gallant and meritorious, but whose rank in the Confederate army was lower than that held by General Beauregard, and whose merit and experience as a strategist had not been tested.

General Beauregard, though not openly cast aside, had been placed in an unworthy position, and was wasting his powers upon work that, under the guidance of General Lee, almost any subordinate general could have performed.

The fact that Early, a lieutenant-general, and not General Beauregard, was selected for the campaign referred to above, proves how deeply rooted was the prejudice prevailing against Beauregard at Richmond.

That General Early did his utmost to carry out the operation intrusted to him no one will for a moment doubt, and those who know him well, and appreciate his devotion to the cause he was serving, would certainly be the last to cast even a shadow of censure upon him; but it is none the less true that to retrieve the failing fortunes of the South at that juncture something more than devotion, earnestness, and gallantry was required on the part of the leader of this all-important expedition.

He should have had experience in handling separate, independent commands; rapidity of conception and execution; the power to shape and control events; the unwavering confidence in success which ever forces a like confidence upon an army; the capacity and habit, as it were, of assuming responsibilities; the prestige of acknowledged ability.

These traits were pre-eminent in General Beauregard, who was available at that time, and whose presence at Petersburg could certainly have been dispensed with after General Lee's arrival.

Early in the month of September General Beauregard had determined to ask for a change of command, when General Whiting expressed a desire that he should reinspect his defensive works at Wilmington and the mouth of Cape Fear River.

With General Lee's consent he complied with this request, returning to Petersburg about the middle of the month.

A few days later he was informed by General Lee that there was a probability of his being ordered to the command of the Army of Northwestern Georgia, then under General Hood.

Though somewhat surprised at such an announcement?for he remembered what answer the President, two years before, had given to the Congressional delegation asking for his return to the Army of Tennessee

See volume i., p. 418.?he nevertheless prepared and forwarded to General Lee the following memorandum:

near Petersburg, Va., September 19th, 1864.

Being strongly impressed with the responsibility of that position (the command of the Army of Northwestern Georgia), I am fearful of not being equal to the present emergency; but, being anxious to do all in my power to serve the cause, I will obey with alacrity any order of the War Department which may put me in command of that army.

With a view, however, to increase my usefulness as far as practicable, I hope I will be authorized to take with me such members of my general staff as I may consider indispensable to success, to wit: 1. Chief of Staff and First Assistant.

2. Quartermaster. 3. Medical Director. 4. Inspector. 5. Chief-Engineer. 6. Commissary, if required, as well as such other members of my general staff as I may find necessary when I shall have assumed command. G. T. Beauregard, General.

This was readily assented to by General Lee, who assured him that his request would undoubtedly be granted by the War Department.

Shortly afterwards (on or about the 23d of September) General Beauregard was ordered by the President to repair to Charleston, and, while awaiting further orders there, to inquire into the difficulty existing between General Sam. Jones, commanding the Department, and General R. S. Ripley, commanding the First Military District, of South Carolina.

See General Beauregard's letter, in Appendix. Before leaving Petersburg he took an affectionate farewell of General Lee and of his staff, and also of such officers of his own military family as were not to accompany him to his new field of action.

General Beauregard reached Charleston on the 25th of September, and immediately informed the President of the fact.

The latter was then at Macon, Ga., the headquarters of General Howell Cobb, and on his way to confer with General Hood, at Palmetto, Ga. He instructed General Beauregard to meet him at Augusta, where he expected to be, on the 2d of October, before returning to Richmond.

Meanwhile, General Beauregard entered on the duties assigned to him at Charleston.

He discovered a change for the worse, in the condition of the defences, since his departure for Weldon, N. C., about seven months before.

The system of signals and telegraphs that he had established along the coast of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, by which to gather news of the movements of the enemy and his fleets, had fallen into complete neglect.

The parapets of Fort Sumter, formed partly of the debris and ruins of its former magnificent walls and casemates, had crumbled down, and were being gradually washed away by the rains and the waves of the sea, thus rendering parts of the parade visible to the sentries in the rigging of the enemy's blockaders.

The want of harmony existing between the Commander of the Department and the Chief of the First Military District was evident; and General Beauregard soon perceived that the former could not control the restless and insubordinate spirit of the latter, who required a firm hand to keep him within bounds.

The investigation of the difficulties between these two officers revealed facts which confirmed General Beauregard in this opinion.

He therefore came to the conclusion that the sooner General Ripley was sent to the field the better it would be for the service.

Hence, on the 27th, he forwarded the following telegram to President Davis, who was then at General Hood's headquarters:

Charleston, S. C., Sept. 27th, 1864. To President Jeff. Davis, General Hood's Headquarters, Ga.:

Matters here are very unsatisfactory, requiring prompt action on the part of Government.

This State should be one district, under a Major-General, and the whole Department under a Lieutenant-General or General.

I will telegraph changes required soon. G. T. Beauregard, General.

Operator will repeat same message to General R. E. Lee, at Petersburg, Va., and to Hon. J. A. Seddon, Secretary of War, at Richmond.

Official. H. W. Fielden, A. A. G.

On the 2d of October, in accordance with his instructions, General Beauregard repaired to Augusta, and the next day had a long conference with the President, who had also arrived there during the night.

The General gave him a long and detailed account of his investigation at Charleston, repeating and minutely explaining the important suggestions contained in the foregoing telegram.

He thereupon earnestly recommended that Colonel D. B. Harris, who had been so efficient an aid to him, during his long defence of Charleston, should be made a majorgeneral, and assigned to the command of the new District of South Carolina. Mr. Davis would only promote him to a brigadier-generalship, giving him the command of the First Subdistrict of South Carolina?in other words, of the City of Charleston and its Harbor.

General Beauregard was desirous that the President should make the promotion at once; but he preferred delaying it until his return to Richmond.

Meanwhile, Colonel Harris was attacked by the yellow fever, then prevailing at Charleston, and died of it on the 10th of October, before hearing of his well-deserved promotion.

In him the Confederacy lost a brave and efficient officer.

As a division or even a corps commander lie would have had few superiors.

General Beauregard had repeatedly recommended him for promotion; but it was with some difficulty that he had obtained for him the rank of major after the Shiloh campaign, and of colonel after nearly two years of distinguished services at Charleston.

General Harris was a graduate of West Point, before General Beauregard entered that institution.

he had resigned shortly after joining the army, and, at the opening of the war took service in the Confederacy.

He was captain of engineers at the battle of Manassas, and, after serving for some time with General Cocke, joined General Beauregard, and remained with him until his untimely death.

All who knew Colonel Harris admired and respected him. Not only was he an able and experienced Engineer, but his coolness under fire, and the determined though simple and modest manner in which he performed his duties, no matter under what circumstances, had endeared him to the scarred veterans?officers and men?among whom he had served.

His favorite and characteristic motto?one he constantly used, and to which he was faithful to the last-was: The path of duty, the safest of all.

The President, without directly assenting to General Beauregard's suggestions as to the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, adopted most of them; and Lieutenant-General W. J. Hardee was accordingly assigned to that command, vice Major-General Sam. Jones, who took charge of the Military District of South Carolina; while Major-General Howell Cobb was placed over the Military District of Georgia. Florida had also been put under the command of a major-general (J. Patton Anderson), immediately after the battle of Olustee, or Ocean Pond.

Having gone over and concluded these different matters with General Beauregard, the President entered into an interesting and minute account of his recent visit to General Hood's headquarters, at Palmetto, Ga. He praised highly the new Commander of the Army of Tennessee, predicting that he would carry out a different policy from that of General Joseph E. Johnston, who would have retreated ere long?said Mr. Davis?to the very Gulf of Mexico, should Sherman have followed him that far south.

He spoke with high praise of the plan of operations of General Hood, who was on his march to flank General Sherman, then at Atlanta, and cut his line of communication with Middle Tennessee.

He was also to destroy the railroad and bridges, from Atlanta to Chattanooga, in as many places as possible, giving battle only when the chances should be favorable to him. General Beauregard readily approved of this movement, which was perfectly feasible, was according to the principles of war, and would, if carried out, compel Sherman to turn back, to protect his line of communication and force a battle with Hood, who, having the choice of position, in a mountainous country, might inflict on his adversary such heavy losses as would prevent his farther advance into Georgia, or make his retreat to Dalton?or even to the vicinity of Chattanooga?a military necessity.

A change of base in war, when practicable?which is not often the case?is always attended with great results;

Although it is a maxim never to abandon your line of communication, yet to change that line is one of the most skilful manoeuvres of the art of war, where circumstances authorize it. It is in such a case that a commander should be bold to strike great blows, and manoeuvre on his enemy's flank.

Victory is then in his hand.-Napoleon, at St. Helena. for one of the cardinal principles of tactics is, to operate on the communications of your enemy, without exposing your own, which General Hood could well do on this occasion, as he could readily establish his new lines of communication via the Selma, Jacksonville, and Rome Railroad, then built to Blue Mountain, ten or twelve miles from Jacksonville, where could soon be established his new depot of immediate supplies.

The President, having ascertained that General Beauregard favored this expected movement, determined to place him in command of what was to be the Military Division of the West, embracing the two Departments under Generals Hood and Taylor, and he informed General Beauregard of his decision to that effect.

General Hood's Department consisted of Tennessee and such part of Western and Northern Georgia as was not included in General Hardee's command; General Taylor's consisted of Alabama, Mississippi, and Eastern Louisiana.

A command composed of nearly five States--that is to say, covering more than one-third of the territorial extent of the Confederacy?was now offered to General Beauregard.

Had he consulted his own interests, or taken thought of his personal fame, he would have declined the heavy responsibility about to be imposed upon him; for he knew that, important as his command was in territorial extent, he would be without troops directly under him, with very scanty resources to count upon, and?far worse than all?with a marked feeling of discouragement and distrust growing among the people.

He knew, furthermore, that he was not superseding General Hood, or in any way depriving him of his command, but that he was merely sent to him as an adviser.

In proof of this we quote from President Davis's letter to General Hood, dated September 28th, from Opelika, Ala.:

* * *It seems to me best that I should confer with General Beauregard, and, if quite acceptable to him, place him in command of the Department embracing your army and that of General R. Taylor, so as to secure the fullest co-operation of the troops, without relieving either of you of the responsibilities and powers of your special commands, except in so far as would be due to the superior rank and the above assignment of General Beauregard.

He will necessarily, if present with either army, command in person.

Before final action there will be time for you to communicate with me, and I shall be glad to have your views.

Advance and Retreat, p. 255.

Very respectfully and truly yours, Jefferson Davis.

General Beauregard accepted, nevertheless, the trust reposed in him, under the condition, however, that he should be able to rely on the support of the War Department.

The President promised him its cordial co-operation, and desired that he should go at once to confer with Generals Hood and Taylor.

He left that night.

Another topic was discussed during the Augusta conference.

The President spoke of his troubles with Governor Brown, of Georgia, who, he said, did not give the Government a cordial support, and was ever disposed to throw petty obstacles in the way of procuring recruits, conscripts, and even supplies of provisions and manufactured goods.

General Cobb, he also asserted, was very much embarrassed in his work, as commander of his military district, by the want of harmony, so perceptible in his official relations with Governor Brown.

While in command of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, General Beauregard had always been on very friendly terms with Governor Brown. He offered to call on the latter while on his way to General Hood's headquarters, and to do all in his power towards accomplishing what the President desired.

It was so agreed.

Mr. Davis left that evening for Richmond, and the next morning (October 4th) General Beauregard began his prearranged journey, arriving the same day at Milledgeville, where he was most kindly received by Governor Brown.

The latter granted all that was asked of him, and offered General Beauregard his most cordial support.

A few days afterwards, the following telegram was forwarded from Opelika, Ala., to Mr. Davis:

Opelika, Ala., Oct. 7th, 1864. To President Davis, Richmond:

I have arranged, satisfactorily, matters between Governor Brown and General Cobb relating to exempts and State militia.

Am now en route for Hood's front. G. T. Beauregard.

From Milledgeville, General Beauregard had to travel via Macon, Columbus, Opelika, and Newnan, to get to General Hood's headquarters, as the latter had already left Palmetto to operate against the railroad from Atlanta to Marietta.

The Opelika and Atlanta Railroad, from Fairburn to the latter place, was in the possession of the Federals, and Newnan was as near as General Beauregard could get with safety, as he had no escort with which to repel any hostile force he might meet on his way. He had stopped at Macon for a day to confer with General Cobb, whom he found, as ever, zealous and energetic, and who heard with joy how oil had been poured on the troubled waters surrounding Governor Brown.

From Macon, fearing that Colonel Harris, whose illness had been reported to him, might not recover, General Beauregard telegraphed General Hardee, recommending General Custis Lee, Colonel William Butler, or Colonel Alfred Rhett, as Commander of the First Subdistrict of South Carolina, in case of Colonel Harris's death.

But, in the end, neither General Hardee nor General Jones removed the commander of that subdistrict.

General Hardee was one of the finest corps commanders in the Confederate service; but, determined and intrepid as he was on the battlefield, he, like General Sam. Jones, was given to hesitation and procrastination when dealing with matters of importance in administration.

General Beauregard reached Newnan on the 7th of October, and left immediately, on horseback, for Cave Spring, about seventy miles distant, where he arrived on the evening of the 9th.

There at last he had a conference with General Hood, who confirmed what President Davis had already said of his plan of operations.

General Beauregard now came to the conclusion that the movement had been rather hastily undertaken, and without proper provisions being first made for the change of base.

It was evident to him that the matter had not been sufficiently considered in its details, and that a great deal had been left to future determination, and even to luck.

It was easy to discover in the details of the plan evidences of the fact that General Hood and Mr. Davis were not accustomed to command armies in the field, especially armies like ours, for the management of which much had to be foreseen, and much prepared or created.

Sadly impressed with what he had seen and heard, during his conference with General Hood, General Beauregard resolved to repair at once to Jacksonville, about thirty miles southwest of Cave Spring, and about twelve miles from the terminus of the Selma and Rome road.

He was there on the 11th, and immediately telegraphed General Taylor to come to him without delay.

General Beauregard had not yet assumed command, and had determined not to do so until he had seen and freely conferred with both of his Department Commanders.

Meanwhile, he directed supplies of all kinds to be sent to Jacksonville, as a new depot of distribution, and made a personal examination of the approaches to the place, with a view to erect there all necessary works for its protection.

He ordered, in General Hood's name, that the Selma Railroad should be rapidly completed, from its terminus, Blue Mountain, to Jacksonville; and local officers found there, and still on sick leave, were appointed to fill, temporarily, all indispensable positions, not only at Jacksonville, but also along the new line of operations, so as to expedite the transfer of supplies for General Hood's army.

See letters to General Hood, and to others, in Appendix.

On the 12th of October, three days after his conference with General Hood, he addressed a communication to General Cooper, giving a minute account of his interview at Cave Spring, stating what General Hood had done and what he proposed doing.

The following passage of this document is submitted:

The whole of the letter will be found in Appendix.

Not being sufficiently well acquainted with the nature of the country referred to, and not having yet assumed command of my new Department, I advised General Hood not to carryout his first project (crossing to the north side of the Coosa River, twelve miles below Rome, which was occupied by one division of the enemy, and then crossing the Oostanawla), unless confident of being able to recross the Oostanawla above Rome, before General Sherman could concentrate superior forces against him, or could endanger his communications.

He readily consented to this suggestion.

It was also determined that, as a success was necessary to keep up the present buoyant spirit of the Army of Tennessee, a battle should not be fought unless with positive advantage on our side of numbers and position, or unless the safety of the army required it.

Under these circumstances, being still unprovided with a staff, baggage, and horses (which were left in Virginia when I was ordered to Charleston), and wishing to confer, before assuming command, with Lieutenant-General R. Taylor, relative to the condition of his Department and his ability to cooperate with General Hood in the present campaign; being desirous, moreover, of arranging matters necessarily connected with the change of base from Jonesboroa, Georgia, to Jacksonville, Alabama, I repaired to this place (Jacksonville) for the object stated, hoping to be able to return to the front in time for a battle, should one occur; but, to be certain of doing so, I instructed General Hood to keep me advised of the movements of the enemy.

I expect, nevertheless, to rejoin him in a few days. * * *

I remain, Sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, General.

On the same day, October 12th, General Hood demanded the unconditional surrender of Resaca, which was refused; and, not wishing to lose time or sacrifice his men, he passed on, to continue breaking up the railroad.

This he did successfully, as appears by the following message:

nine miles South of Lafayette, Ga., Oct. 15th, 1864. General G. T. Beauregard:

The army struck the communication of the enemy, about a mile above Resaca, on the 12th instant, completely destroying the railroad, including the block-houses from that point to within a short distance of Tunnel Hill, and about four miles of the Cleveland Railroad, capturing Dalton and all intermediate garrisons, with their stores and equipments, and about one thousand prisoners.

The main body of Sherman's army seems to be moving towards Dalton. join B. Hood.

Chapter 40:

General Beauregard assumes command of the Military division of the West.

the Departments comprised in this division.

circular addressed to that section of the Confederacy.

telegrams from Generals Roddy and Forrest.

General Beauregard establishes a base of operations at Jacksonville.

Anecdote of a young soldier.

General Hood resolves to continue the destruction of General Sherman's communications, and to cross the Tennessee River at Guntersville.

General Beauregard approves the plan, but fears it will not be successfully executed.

General Hood Persists.

reluctant assent of General Beauregard.

Similarity between General Hood's plan of campaign and President Davis's.

General Beauregard's communication to the War Department, October 24th.

telegram to General Cooper.

General Hood moves on October 22d.

difficulties of making change of base to Tuscumbia.

General Beauregard leaves on October 24th, to rejoin General Hood.

General Hood changes his line of march.

failure to seize Decatur.

General Hood again alters his plan.

his army too destitute of provisions to cross into Tennessee.

General Beauregard's chagrin.?he proposes crossing the River with the troops, and then leaving General Hood in sole command.>

On the 17th of October General Beauregard assumed command of his new Department, and published the following order:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Jacksonville, Ala., Oct. 17th, 1864.

General orders, no. 1:

In obedience to the orders of the President of the Confederate States I assume command, this day, of the Military Division of the West, east of the Mississippi River, comprising the Department of Tennessee and Georgia, commanded by General J. B. Hood, and the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, commanded by Lieutenant-General Richard Taylor.

These officers will retain command of their respective Departments, issuing orders necessary for the proper discharge of their duties.

In assuming command of this important Military Division I enjoin on all officers and soldiers harmony, zeal, implicit and prompt obedience to orders, and confidence in themselves and their commanders; and success will then surely crown their efforts to drive the enemy from our soil, and establish the independence of our country.

The following are the officers of my personal and general Staff:

1st Lieutenant A. R. ChisolmA. D. C.

1st Lieutenant A. N. ToutantA. D. C.

Colonel George W. BrentA. A. G.

Lieutenant-Colonel J. M. OteyA. A. G.

Major Henry BryanA. I. G.

Major J. B. EustisA. I. G.

Major-General M. L. SmithChief of Engineers.

Major Edward WillisChief Quartermaster.

Major F. MolloyChief Commissary.

Surgeon R. L. BrodieMedical Director.

Surgeon Samuel ChoppinMedical Inspector.

The Medical Director, Chief Quartermaster, and Chief Commissary will act only as inspectors of their respective Departments until further orders.

All communications to the Headquarters of this Military Division will be addressed to this place until further notice. G. T. Beauregard, General. Official. Geo. W. Brent, A. A. G.

The general outlines of the Military Division of the West were given in the preceding chapter, but it is necessary here to specify more minutely its precise limits.

These are indicated and explained in the following orders forwarded from the War Department to General Beauregard:

Richmond, Va., Oct. 3d, 1864. General G. T. Beauregard:

The Department of Tennessee and Georgia, under General Hood, includes all of the State of Georgia north and west of the following line: commencing at Augusta and running along the line of the Augusta and Savannah Railroad to Milton; thence along the western boundary-lines of the counties of Bullock and Tatnall; thence along the south bank of the Ocmulgee River to the northeast corner of Irwin County; thence south to the Florida line and to the Appalachicola River.

All the territory west of this Department and the Appalachicola River, and east of the Mississippi River, forms the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, under Lieutenant-General Taylor.

Special order has been this day issued placing you in command of both these Departments. S. Cooper, A. and I. G.

On the day on which General Beauregard assumed command (October 17th) he caused the following proclamation to be issued:

Circular. Headquarters, Military division of the West, Jacksonville, Ala., Oct. 17th, 1864.

In assuming command, at this critical juncture, of the Military Division of the West I appeal to my countrymen, of all classes and sections, for their generous support and confidence.

In assigning me to this responsible position the President of the Confederate States has extended to me the assurance of his earnest support; the executives of your States meet me with similar expressions of their devotion to our cause; the noble army in the field, composed of brave men and gallant officers, are no strangers to me, and I know that they will do all that patriots can achieve.

The history of the past, written in the blood of their comrades, but foreshadows the glorious future which lies before them.

Inspired with these bright promises of success, I make this appeal to the men and women of my country to lend me the aid of their earnest and cordial co-operation.

Unable to join in the bloody conflicts of the field, they can do much to strengthen our cause, fill up our ranks, encourage our soldiers, inspire confidence, dispel gloom, and hasten on the day of our final success and deliverance.

The army of Sherman still defiantly holds the City of Atlanta: he can and must be driven from it. It is only for the good people of Georgia and surrounding States to speak the word, and the work is done.

We have abundance of provisions, and there are men enough in the country liable and able for service to accomplish the result.

To all such I earnestly appeal to report promptly to their respective commands, and let those who cannot go see to it that none remain at home who are able to strike a blow in this critical and decisive hour.

To those soldiers of the army who are absent from their commands without leave I appeal, in the name of their brave comrades, with whom they have in the past so often shared the privations of the camp and the dangers of the battle-field, to report to their respective commands within the next thirty days; and an amnesty is hereby granted.

My appeal is to every one, of all classes and conditions, to come forward freely, cheerfully, and with a good heart, to the work that lies before us. My countrymen respond to this call as you have done in days that have passed, and, with the blessing of a kind and over-ruling Providence, the enemy shall be driven from your soil, the security of your wives and daughters from the insults and outrages of a brutal foe shall be established, soon to be followed by a permanent and honorable peace.

The claims of home and country, wife and children, uniting with the demands of honor and patriotism, summon us to the field; we cannot, dare not, will not fail to respond.

Full of hope and confidence, I come to join in your struggle, sharing your privations, and, with your brave and true men, to strike the blow that shall bring success to our arms, triumph to our cause, and peace to our country. G. T. Beauregard, General. Official. Geo. Wm. Brent, Col., and A. A. G.

The following despatch was received on the 18th of October from General P. D. Roddy, who was then at Courtland.

It was dated on the 17th:

No cavalry [enemy's] have passed Decatur.

Scouts report but a small garrison at Decatur yesterday, and no force on the north side of the river, from Florence up to Decatur.

All other force is believed to be going towards Bridgeport.

Two days later the following telegram was received from General N. B. Forrest, dated Corinth, October 19th:

I am moving to meet General Washburn, who is reported crossing five thousand troops at Clifton.

If he crosses I will attack.

If I can defeat him I can then cross and destroy N. W. Railroad to Nashville, and be in position as desired [by General Taylor].

These two telegrams are important, as showing the reasons for General Hood's proposed future campaign into Middle Tennessee.

After completing all necessary arrangements for the establishment, at Jacksonville, of a good base for General Hood to operate from, General Beauregard, on the 19th of October, started to join the Army of Tennessee at Blue Pond, in a northeasterly direction, six miles beyond Centre, which is itself about thirty miles from Jacksonville.

On his arrival there he ascertained from General Wheeler that General Hood and his army had retired to Gadsden, on the Coosa River, some twenty-seven miles to the westward.

Wheeler reported Sherman's army not far from his front, and that he had been skirmishing that day with the Federal cavalry, supported by some infantry.

General Beauregard was surprised that no intelligence of this retrograde movement had been sent to him. He began to fear that General Hood was disposed to be oblivious of those details which play an important part in the operations of a campaign, and upon which the question of success or failure often hinges.

Leaving immediately for Gadsden, General Beauregard arrived there on the 21st, at 11 o'clock A. M.

On his way an incident occurred which was of no importance in itself, but which illustrates the tone and spirit animating the Confederate soldier, even at that late hour of our struggle.

During the evening of the 20th, while General Beauregard was awaiting, at a cross-road store, the arrival of his staff-wagon, a young lad, wearing the Confederate uniform and carrying a light riflemusket, stepped up to the fireplace to warm himself.

General Beauregard was sitting close by, and, observing that the lad's shoes were very much worn, kindly said to him, My young friend, you seem to be badly shod.

Yes, was the reply, we are, many of us, in that condition; but let another fight come on with the Yankees, and we will all have new shoes.

Smiling at this curiously spirited answer, the General asked him how old he was.

Seventeen, sir, he answered, and I was at the battle of Manassas.

Saying which he raised his cap and, showing a scar on the side of his head, added, That's what I got there.

What regiment do you belong to?

said the General; and how is it you are so far behind it?

I belong now to the gallant 30th Louisiana, said the young veteran.

I had a chill this afternoon, and I lay down under a tree.

I fell asleep there, and when I woke up the army had passed on.

Feeling now quite an interest in the young soldier, General Beauregard remarked, I suppose you must be tired and hungry.

I shall have something given you to eat, and take you in my wagon when it gets here.

No, sir, thank you, was the sturdy answer.

I have already had something to eat, and will get more when I join my regiment.

Good-night, sir.

And away he went.

General Beauregard requested one of his aids to get the lad's name and tell him with whom he had been talking.

His name was obtained, and inscribed in the officer's memorandum-book, but the book was lost during the course of the war.

At Gadsden, General Beauregard found General Hood more than ever resolved upon continuing the destruction of Sherman's railroad communication beyond the Tennessee River.

His reasons for doing so were, that, as he had already caused Sherman, in so short a time to retrograde from Atlanta to Dalton, he believed that by crossing his army at Guntersville north of Gadsden, and continuing to tear up the railroad from Stevenson to Nashville?his cavalry, meanwhile, being sent to destroy the long bridge at Bridgeport?he would compel his adversary to follow him into Middle Tennessee, in order to protect his line of communication and his large supplies at Nashville.

The plan was no doubt bold, and likely to lead to great results, if carried out fearlessly and, above all, judiciously.

But General Beauregard was apprehensive that General Hood might not be able to execute it as designed.

According to his observation General Hood had already evinced want of experience as a commander, though he had ever been a gallant and resolute subordinate officer.

General Beauregard, therefore, expressed his solicitude as to the execution of the operation.

Among other objections he urged the lack of time in which to prepare a new base of operations, either at Tuscumbia?near which the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was said to be in good condition? or at some point on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, north of Corinth, should our army be forced to cross the Tennessee, at Clifton or Savannah, to escape pursuit by. Sherman with greatly superior forces.

General Hood argued that the two roads were in fair condition, and, if necessary, could be materially improved before he was likely to have need of them; that he would find ample supplies in Middle Tennessee, and, besides, would get those of the enemy.

He said he would take his pontoon-train with him, and thus be enabled to cross the Tennessee at any point he thought advantageous, should he be compelled to retire his forces; and that, by means of the Beauregard torpedoes, protected by rifle guns behind strong parapets, he could always hold at bay the enemy's few tinclad gunboats long enough to allow him to recross the river, in case of emergency.

These details were minutely and earnestly discussed by the two generals during their long conference, which lasted far into the night.

General Beauregard was not thoroughly convinced; but knowing that President Davis did not intend that he should supersede General Hood in the command of the Army of Tennessee, and that he would neither approve nor support his course if he should do so, he thought it wiser to yield and let General Hood have his own way. The plan was a good one in itself, but success depended upon the manner in which it should be carried out.

Another reason?which was not without weight with General Beauregard?for not opposing General Hood's idea was the assertion by the latter that his proposed movement, as now amended, had the sanction of General Bragg, at that time the President's military adviser.

In reality?and though different in many minor details?the movement now about to be made closely resembled, and almost formed part of, the system of operations and general plan of campaign devised by President Davis himself, when he visited General Hood in the latter part of September.

On page 565, vol.

II., of Mr. Davis's work we read as follows:

With a view to judge better the situation, and then determine, after personal inspection, the course which should seem best to pursue, I visited General Hood's headquarters at Palmetto.

The crisis was grave.

It was not to be expected that General Sherman would remain long inactive. * * * To rescue Georgia, save the Gulf States, and retain possession of the lines of communication upon which we depended for the supplies of our armies in the field, an effort to arrest the further progress of the enemy was necessary; and to this end the railroads in his rear must be effectually torn up, the great railroad bridge over the Tennessee River at Bridgeport destroyed, and the communication between Atlanta, Chattanooga, and Nashville completely cut off. Could this be accomplished, all the fruits of Sherman's successful campaign in Georgia would be blighted, his capture of Atlanta would become a barren victory, and he would probably be compelled to make a retreat towards Tennessee, at every mile of which he might be harassed by our army.

Mr. Davis had, of course, said all this to General Hood, and had, in substance, repeated every word of it to General Beauregard.

In thus insisting upon carrying out his new movement General Hood knew that he was putting into execution part of Mr. Davis's own plan; and, in not opposing that plan, General Beauregard knew that he was in nowise disregarding Mr. Davis's views, still less disobeying his general instructions.

Three days after this second modification of General Hood's movement General Beauregard made it a point to send a communication on the subject to the War Department.

He had followed the same course, about twelve days before, with reference to the alteration General Hood had made in his plan, on the 9th of October, previous to General Beauregard's meeting him at Cave Spring.

Thus apprised in season, the War Department could have objected, or proposed any change it deemed advisable; and General Beauregard's main object was to afford this opportunity to the Administration at Richmond.

Following is the communication alluded to:

Headquarters, Military division of the West. In the field, Gadsden, Ala., Oct. 24th, 1864. General Samuel Cooper, Adjt. and Insp.-Genl., C. S. A., Richmond, Va.:

General,?I shall leave to-day, about 12 M., to join General Hood, who is en route to the vicinity of Guntersville, on the Tennessee River.

At what time and place the army will cross future events will determine.

Guntersville had been the point designated. The army of General Sherman is on the road between Dalton and Gadsden, and his advance forces are about fifteen miles distant from Gadsden.

In view of the present movement, a change of base has become necessary, and orders have accordingly been issued, transferring it from Jacksonville to Tuscumbia, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.

To secure our lines of communication and an uninterrupted source of supplies, Lieutenant-General Taylor has been directed to place in complete running order the Mobile and Ohio and the Memphis and Charleston railroads, from Corinth to Tuscumbia, and that all supplies and troops for the army be sent by that route.

He has been directed to garrison Corinth and Bear Creek bridge, and protect the important points along these lines by block-houses and field-works, with one or more companies of infantry at each.

Post officers have been assigned at Tuscumbia, and it has been suggested to General Taylor to assign Brigadier-General Adams, now at Talladega, to command at Corinth.

Major-General Forrest, as soon as he has executed his instructions in the destruction of the Northwestern Railroad, from Nashville to the Tennessee, has been ordered to report immediately to General Hood, in Middle Tennessee.

General Taylor has likewise been instructed to confer with their Excellencies Governors Clark (of Mississippi) and Watts (of Alabama), in order to obtain such State troops and militia as may be necessary to secure and protect the important points along our railroad communications.

The railroad from Memphis to Corinth will be destroyed, and the iron removed, for the purpose of supplying our wants elsewhere.

The road to Jacksonville will also be completed, but the rolling-stock will be gradually reduced to the amount used thereon prior to the present movement from Jonesboroa, and transferred to such roads as may require it for the exigencies of the army.

Major-General M. L. Smith, Chief-Engineer, has been instructed to confer with General Taylor, for the purpose of securing our railroad lines, by the proper field-works on the Tennessee River, between Eastport and Florence, as will guard it against navigation by the enemy.

To make this the more effectual torpedoes will be placed at proper points.

These batteries, armed with 20 and 80 pounder Parrott and rifled guns, will protect the torpedoes and effectually obstruct the passage of gunboats.

The guns will be protected by strong and heavy traverses.

Every precaution possible has been taken to cover our lines of communications and render successful the great object of this campaign.

The chiefs of the quartermaster and commissary departments have been instructed to take all necessary and proper measures to send stores and supplies to the points above indicated, and co-operate in the movement.

I have the honor to enclose a copy of a letter addressed to General Hood, suggesting the propriety of General Cheatham issuing an address to the citizens of Tennessee, on entering that State, setting forth that he comes to that State with his corps and that of Major-General Forrest to aid in their redemption, and calling upon them to co-operate with him in the destruction of the enemy's lines of communication, while the main body of the army is engaged in destroying his lines between Chattanooga and Atlanta.

The object of such an address will be to arouse the people of that State and distract the enemy as to our intent and aims.

See Appendix.

My headquarters for the reception and appropriate distribution of papers has been transferred to Oxford, Ala., near Blue Mountain, from which point a line of couriers will connect with the army.

Our movements after crossing the Tennessee will be determined by those of the enemy.

I trust, General, that we will shortly be able to communicate to you and the country such tidings as will redound to the honor of our arms and the success of our cause.

I am, General, respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, General.

Before this was written and forwarded the following telegram was sent to Richmond:

Gadsden, Ala., Oct. 22d, 1864:5 P. M. General S. Cooper, A. and I. G., Richmond, Va.:

Army of Tennessee arrived here yesterday, and left to-day for vicinity of Guntersville.

Circumstances will determine when and where it will cross Tennessee River.

The position of Sherman's army is not definitely known.

His advance forces are eighteen miles from here, on road to Dalton. G. T. Beauregard, General.

It must be borne in mind that, when General Hood left General Beauregard at Gadsden, it was understood that he would cross the Tennessee River at Guntersville, or its immediate vicinity, to continue the destruction of Sherman's railroad communications; and that Hood's cavalry was also to destroy the bridge on the Chattanooga road, at Bridgeport.

No sooner had General Beauregard yielded his assent to the plan, so exhaustively explained in the foregoing document, than General Hood completed his arrangements to move his army.

It began marching on the morning of the 22d. General Beauregard, who had instructed Lieut.-General Taylor and the chiefs of the quartermaster's and commissary's departments to meet him at Gadsden, remained there to confer about the necessary preparations to carry out the new change of base to Tuscumbia.

The pontoon-bridge across the Coosa, forgotten in the hurry of departure, was, by order of General Beauregard, removed, and sent at once to General Hood.

General Beauregard was not long in discovering that this change of base was more difficult to make than the change from Jonesboroa to Jacksonville had been; for the Mobile and Ohio road, from Okalona to Corinth, contrary to General Hood's statement, was in a very dilapidated condition.

So was the road from Corinth to Cherokee, near Tuscumbia.

For a long period it had been but little used, and meantime it had been greatly injured by both armies.

On the 22d General Beauregard instructed Lieut.-General Taylor to order General Forrest's division and Roddy's brigade of cavalry to report to General Hood, between Guntersville and Decatur.

See letter to General Taylor, in Appendix. Forrest was then about Jackson, Tenn., and Roddy at or about Tuscaloosa, guarding the Tennessee River from Eastport, on the left, to the eastward beyond Guntersville.

On the 23d he addressed a communication to Lieut.-General Taylor, relative to the new change of base to Tuscumbia, and what he desired him to do in that connection.


Having now completed all his orders and instructions, General Beauregard, on the 24th, started to rejoin General Hood's army, which he supposed to be then crossing the Tennessee River, at or near Guntersville.

On his way thither he stopped at the home of the young heroine Miss Emma Sanson, who within that year had intrepidly piloted General Forrest during his pursuit of General Grierson's raiding expedition through North Alabama.

This young woman had received a unanimous vote of thanks and a grant of public lands from the General Assembly of the State of Alabama.

She was absent at the time of General Beauregard's visit, and he missed seeing her.

When he had gone nearly two-thirds of the distance to Guntersville, to his surprise and disappointment, he was informed that General Hood had turned off to the left, on the road to Decatur, some fifty miles westward, again neglecting to report the important change in his programme, despite General Beauregard's impressive remarks to him at Gadsden, on the occasion of his former omission of a like nature.

When he finally joined General Hood, on the 27th, at Decatur, which was then being invested by the Army of Tennessee, General Beauregard cautioned him anew, in a more pointed manner, against the irregularity of his official proceedings, and openly expressed his regret that Hood had gone so far down the river to effect a crossing ? a movement which would increase the distance to Stevenson by nearly one hundred miles, and give Sherman more time to oppose the march in force.

General Hood said that he had understood, when half-way to Guntersville, that the crossing at that point was strongly guarded by the Federals, and that there was no crossing-point below nearer than Decatur, which he thought he could take without serious loss.

General Beauregard was of opinion that the capture of Decatur should have been accomplished by a coup de main at daybreak, for the enemy, now aware of General Hood's presence and intention, would be prepared to meet and resist him.

The reconnoissances that day showed that the place was too strong and too well garrisoned to be assaulted; and, again changing his plan, General Hood now resolved to attempt a crossing below Decatur, half-way to Courtland, where, he had been informed, he would find a favorable point of passage.

On the afternoon of the 28th the Engineers reported no favorable point nearer than Courtland, some twenty miles to the west.

The army, therefore, left, on the 29th, for that town, which was about seventy miles distant from Guntersville.

Already four or five days had been lost.

Upon arriving there the Engineers, who had been sent on ahead of the troops, reported that a crossing could be effected, but not without difficulty.

At this moment, when General Beauregard hoped that the longexpected movement would at last be begun, General Hood informed him that he feared he had not provisions enough left to go into Middle Tennessee with; that many of his men were again shoeless, or nearly so, and that it would be very imprudent to commence a new campaign in that lame condition.

He said he would, therefore, prefer going on to Tuscumbia, twenty miles farther west, where, from all reports, there was a good crossing-place, only ten or twelve miles from Cherokee, the terminus of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.

Over that railroad he could get all necessary supplies in a few days.

It would be impossible to express General Beauregard's chagrin at such an outlook.

He began to fear that the army would never reach Middle Tennessee, and so informed General Hood, who could no longer conceal the fact that he also looked at his enterprise rather despondingly.

At Tuscumbia the army would be about ninety miles from Guntersville, a distance which it would be necessary to double in order to get back to that point, making it, in all, one hundred and eighty miles.

It was now too late to change General Hood's plan, and the wisest policy was to make the best of it. General Beauregard, therefore, offered no opposition, but strongly advised that everything should be hurried forward with the greatest expedition; and that, instead of marching to the eastward after crossing the river, the army should begin a campaign in Middle Tennessee, there to capture or destroy the scattered detached forces of the enemy, while most of our cavalry should be sent to tear up the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, commencing at Bridgeport, or as near that place as practicable; that meanwhile General Hood with his army should endeavor to reach Nashville with the least possible delay, and capture its garrison, under General Thomas, with the large supplies there collected for his forces and those of General Sherman.

Such an active campaign, if commenced at once, would compel the latter to return immediately into Middle Tennessee to defend his line of communication.

General Hood readily concurred in those views, and expressed his conviction that he could carry them out successfully.

See General Beauregard's letter to General Cooper, November 6th, 1864, to be found in the next chapter.

Fortunately, before leaving Gadsden, on the 24th, General Beauregard had given all necessary orders for the repairing of the Mobile and Ohio and the Memphis and Charleston railroads, and had directed that all available railroad stock should be transferred to them.

General Taylor had promised to give the matter his special attention, and to turn in that direction all the supplies then moving towards Jacksonville, Ala. Thus, General Beauregard hoped to see the Army of Tennessee resupplied and in a fair way to carry out the campaign planned for it. He proposed crossing the river with the troops, and then leaving General Hood in sole command, for he remembered the words of Napoleon when the Directory, in 1796, offered to send him a general of greater experience, to assist him in the campaign of Italy: One bad head in command of an army in the field is always better than two good ones.

Chapter 41:

Arrival of General Hood's Army at Tuscumbia, October 30th.

General Beauregard requests a summary of his plans of future operations.

request not complied with.

General Beauregard inspects the Banks of Tennessee River.

Advises an address to the people of Tennessee.

heavy rains begin on the 2d of November.

General Hood takes up his Headquarters at Florence on the 10th.

telegrams to the War Department.

telegram of General Forrest.

letter of General Beauregard to General Cooper.

advice to General Hood concerning the disorderly conduct of scouts.

despatch from General Taylor.

further advance of the enemy.

procrastination of General Hood.

he Declines to send cavalry to support General Wheeler.

General Beauregard urges him to greater activity.

General Beauregard leaves Tuscumbia for Corinth.

again urges an immediate advance.

leaves Corinth for Macon.

General Hood moves on the 21st of November.

the enemy falls back.

attack of his works in front of Franklin.

our loss severe.

letter to General Beauregard from President Davis.

comments upon it.

General Beauregard leaves for Augusta.

his letter of December 6th to the President.

Inadmissibility of the plea that Mr. Davis lacked timely notice of General Hood's proposed movements.>

The army reached Tuscumbia on the afternoon of the 30th of October, and on that day General Hood received the following communication:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Tuscumbia, October 30th, 1864.

General,?General Beauregard desires that you will forward him, for the information of the War Department, a brief summary of the operations of your army from the date of its departure from Jonesboroa, Ga., to the present time; also a concise statement of your plans of future operations, intended for the same office.

I am, General, respectfully, your obedient servant, Geo. Wm. Brent, Col., and A. A. G. General J. B. Hood, Comdg., etc., etc.

For reasons which cannot be explained this request was not readily complied with.

On the 31st of the same month General Beauregard inspected the banks of the Tennessee, to select suitable positions for the erection of field-works for the protection of the troops while crossing at that point, intending also to fortify the opposite bank, to facilitate a recrossing, should one become necessary; and, with a view to stimulate the enthusiasm of the people of that part of Tennessee which was about to be occupied by the army, he made the following suggestion to General Hood:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Tuscubmbia, October 31st, 1864.

General,?General Beauregard directs me to ask your attention to the propriety of your publishing an address to the people of Tennessee on entering that State.

One coming from you, as commander of the army, and one from Governor Harris, he regards as highly important.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Geo. Wm. Brent, Col., and A. A. G. General J. B. Hood, Comdg., etc., etc.

Meanwhile the pontoon-bridge was commenced; it was completed on the 2d of November. General Steven D. Lee's corps was then thrown across the river, and immediately started some defensive lines around Florence.

These were inspected, on the 5th, by General Beauregard, who materially modified all that part of them which was commanded by a height in front.

Two divisions of General S. D. Leo's corps were now advanced on Shoal Creek, about seven or eight miles north of Florence.

Unfortunately, heavy rains began on the 2d, and lasted for many days.

The river rose rapidly, and the roads became impassable.

Part of the bridge being submerged, Cheatham's corps, which was to have crossed shortly after Lee's, was unavoidably delayed.

General Hood moved his headquarters to Florence on the 10th of November, preparatory to taking the offensive.

On the 31st of the preceding month (October) he had sent this despatch to the Secretary of War:

Florence is in our possession, and the pontoon-bridge is being laid down.

I hope to be able to advance across the river so soon as supplies can be obtained.

On the same day General Beauregard had sent General Cooper a corresponding telegram, in the following words:

Tuscumbia, Ala., November 3d, 1864:9 A. M. General S. Cooper, Adjt.-Genl., Richmond, Va.:

Part of the army occupied Florence, but want of supplies and bad weather have delayed forward movement, which will be resumed as soon as practicable. G. T. Beauregard.

On the same day General Forrest, telegraphing via Paris, West Tennessee, and Corinth, Miss., forwarded to General Beauregard a despatch, thus describing the result of his encounter with the enemy:

My batteries, on the Tennessee River, have engaged the enemy all day with great success.

Two gunboats and two transports were destroyed in attempting to pass.

One gunboat and two transports are now in my possession, ready for use; but the other gunboat and transport floated down the river in a disabled condition, and both will be either destroyed or captured, as my troops are still in pursuit.

There is one gunboat and three transports still above my batteries, all of which will be destroyed or captured.

To this General Beauregard immediately replied, as follows:

Tuscumbia, November 3d, 1864:2 P. M. General N. B. Forrest:

I congratulate you on your brilliant success.

We hold Florence as a base to operate, in three or four days,

General Beauregard thought the movement would begin on the 7th at latest. towards Lawrenceburg or Waynesboroa.

Meet the army soon as possible in direction of either place, making first a demonstration towards Columbia, if practicable, to distract the enemy, now supposed marching from Nashville and Chattanooga.

Send up river to Florence, if possible, all surplus captured supplies.

This was addressed to General Forrest at Johnsonville, Tenn., via Corinth and Jackson, Tenn., by couriers, and shows what were General Beauregard's expectations on the 3d of November.

His letter to General Cooper, dated November 6th, is more explicit, and gives a full and correct statement of the amended plan of operations adopted on the 3d, after thorough discussion of the subject by Generals Beauregard and Hood.

The reader will, no doubt, peruse it with interest:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Tuscumbia, November 6th, 1864.

General,?I have the honor to enclose for the information of the War Office copy of a communication addressed to General J. B. Hood, on the 30th ultimo, asking a summary of the operations of his army from Jonesboroa, Ga., to that date, and for a statement of his plan of future operations for the authorities at Richmond, accompanied by his reply, on the 3d instant, enclosing copies of his telegrams to the Government during the period referred to. I renewed my request on the 4th instant for his plan, and on the same day received a reply, stating that it was not possible for him to furnish any plan of future operations, as so much depended on the movements of the enemy; the matter having been fully discussed between General Beauregard and himself.

1 forward copies of three letters and their several enclosures.

The plan referred to, which was discussed and approved on the 3d, subject to such modifications as the movements of the enemy might determine, was to move as soon as possible from Florence into Middle Tennessee, towards Lawrenceburg, thence to Pulaski or Columbia, as circumstances might indicate.

General Forrest, with his command, was ordered to form a junction with the Army of Tennessee, in the direction of Lawrenceburg or Waynesboroa, first, however, making a demonstration towards Columbia, to distract the enemy, then reported to be advancing towards Pulaski and Rogersville from Nashville and Chattanooga.

Brigadier-General Jackson, with two brigades of his cavalry and one of Wheeler's, was to cover and support the right flank of the army, while Brigadier-General Roddy, with his command, was to cover the line of communication from Tuscumbia to Corinth, and thence towards Meridian.

Major-General Wheeler, with his command, was to guard the country from Jackson's right to Atlanta.

The portable pontoon-bridge which has been thrown across the Tennessee at Florence will move with the army, and will be replaced as soon as practicable by a permanent pontoon-bridge at the most suitable point for that object.

Proper defensive works are now being constructed at Florence, by Lee's corps, for the protection of the bridge, and to secure the recrossing of the army, in the event of disaster.

Various points along the river, from Florence down, are being examined for the purpose of selecting proper sites for batteries, and strengthened by torpedoes in the river, to prevent the passage of the enemy's gunboats and transports.

Points below Eastport, where the army may recross in case of necessity, have been ordered to be examined and chosen, the roads to be repaired, and the necessary defensive works constructed.

The attention of Major-General Smith, Chief-Engineer, has been specially directed to Savannah, Clifton, and Decatur, Tenn., as points well suited for the purposes indicated.

In the mean time minute and careful investigations have been made as to the condition of the roads in Middle Tennessee, and also of those districts best able to furnish supplies of provisions and forage for the army.

It is now contemplated that the army will cross the river and take up its line of march on the 9th instant, with fifteen days rations.

Lee's corps is now on the north side of the river, in front of Florence, two divisions being encamped on Shoal Creek, six or seven miles from that town.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, General. General S. Cooper, A. and I.-Genl., Richmond, Va.

Careful instructions were given, on the 9th, to Major-General M. L. Smith, Chief-Engineer, by General Beauregard as to the proper mode of protecting the Tennessee River against any attempted passage of the enemy's gunboats.

See General Beauregard's letter, in Appendix.

The day following he addressed a letter to General Hood, advising him to regulate, by specific orders, the system of scouting then in practice by the commands of Generals Wheeler, Roddy, and Forrest, in rear of the front line of the army, and suggested that cavalry scouts should be furnished with all necessary supplies, thus preventing the depredations on private property much complained of at the time, and so ruinous to discipline and order.

See letter to General Hood by Colonel G. W. Brent, A. A. G., in Appendix. These instructions, and others verbally given, appeared to produce an unfortunate effect upon General Hood, who began to chafe under the supervision exercised over him by General Beauregard, and to fear his superior influence with the army.

That supervision would have been much greater and more direct had General Beauregard not perceived this growing sensitiveness, and had he not also been thoroughly aware that any open interference on his part would bring upon him the censure of the War Department.

President Davis had authorized General Hood, should he deem it necessary, to communicate directly with the War Department.

See Chapter XXXIX. His letters of November 12th, through his Chief of Staff, and of November 15th, written by himself, show what caution and considerateness he used towards the Commander of the army, and how far from his thought it was to overshadow him in any way.

See Appendix.

See also, in Appendix, General Hood's letter of November 12th, complaining of interference on the part of General Beauregard. But, in his opinion, General Hood's preparations for the offensive were so slow and hesitating as to jeopardize the object of the campaign; and he therefore, in all his interviews with General Hood, urged the necessity of an immediate advance and greater rapidity in the movements of the troops.

His intention, as he distinctly stated, was not to remain with or accompany the army, but merely to see it safely across the Tennessee and on the move forward.

For it must be remembered that other important matters claimed his attention, in General Taylor's Department, along the Mississippi River, where the enemy appeared to be moving his forces towards Memphis and Paducah.

An early attack on Corinth was also to be feared, as was a concentration in Middle Tennessee against General Hood's offensive advance.

From Selma, on the 15th, General Taylor forwarded him the following telegram:

Following just received, dated Jonesboroa, Ga., November 14th: Scouts and prisoners report enemy destroying railroad between Atlanta and Marietta.

Prisoners report Sherman in Atlanta, and that camp rumor says he will move towards Mobile or Savannah.

Prisoners also report 15th and 20th Corps at Atlanta.

Large fires observed in Atlanta for last three days.

On the 16th General Wheeler, through General Taylor, forwarded the following telegram:

Selma, November 16th, via Meridian. To General Beauregard:

Will send Major-General Gardner to Corinth soon as possible.

Following just received, dated Jonesboroa, 15th: Enemy advanced early this morning, with infantry, cavalry, artillery, and wagon-train.

Have driven our cavalry back upon this place.

Strength not yet ascertained.

Enemy have burned many houses in Rome, Marietta, and Atlanta; also burned railroad and railroad bridges over Chattahoochee.

It now became evident that the inactivity of the Commander of the Army of Tennessee, after his arrival at Tuscumbia, on October 30th, had given Sherman ample time to repair the damage done to the railroad from Atlanta to Chattanooga.

He had been able to send back to that fortified place all his sick and wounded, as well as his surplus guns; and to draw from Nashville and elsewhere the supplies of provisions, ammunition, wagons, and horses required by him for his movement to the Atlantic coast.

Jackson's division of cavalry being urgently needed to cooperate with and support General Wheeler's forces, General Beauregard now requested General Hood to send it without delay.

See telegram and letter of Colonel Brent, A. A. G., in Appendix. By telegraph, on the 17th, Hood replied as follows:

To General Beauregard:

To send Jackson's division at this time would materially endanger the success of the operation of this army. J. B. Hood, General.

This refusal General Beauregard thought ill-timed, for the army was still motionless at Florence, and its immediate safety could hardly depend upon the presence of Jackson's cavalry.

Sherman had left Atlanta on the 15th, and news of his march, in two columns, one on the Jonesboroa road, the other on the McDonough road, was being received from various quarters? through General Cobb as well as through General Wheeler. General Hood was aware of it, but could not be persuaded to comply, just then, with General Beauregard's request, nor did he appear anxious to make a forward movement, as is shown by his telegram of that date:

Florence, Nov. 17th, 1864. To General Beauregard:

I have now seven days rations on hand, and need thirteen days additional.

Please use every effort to have these supplies pressed forward. J. B. Hood, General.

Realizing the fact that nothing could be gained?while much might be lost?by further procrastination, and wishing to spur on General Hood to definitive action, General Beauregard, on the same day, sent him the following letter:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Tuscumbia, November 17th, 1864.

General,?General Beauregard directs me to say that he desires you will take the offensive at the earliest practicable moment, and deal the enemy rapid and vigorous blows, striking him while thus dispersed, and by this means distract Sherman's advance in Georgia.

To relieve you from any embarrassment, while operating in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, he authorizes you to issue all such orders, in General Taylor's Department, you may deem necessary to secure the efficient and successful administration and operation of your army, sending to Lieutenant-General Taylor, or whoever may be in command, copies of all such orders.

He wishes you to send forthwith to Major-General Wheeler one brigade of cavalry of Jackson's division and the balance of that division as soon as it can be spared, should Sherman advance into Georgia; and also to advise General Wheeler that, in such a case, Clanton's brigade is subject to his orders.

These Headquarters will be removed in the morning from this place to Montgomery, Alabama.

Respectfully, your obedient servant., Geo. Wm. Brent, Col., and A. A. G. General J. B. Hood, Comdg., etc., etc.

Unable to await any longer the tardy preparations of General Hood for the offensive, General Beauregard left Tuscumbia on the 17th for Corinth, and reached the latter place on the next day. On his arrival there he forwarded various telegrams to the War Department, to Generals Hood, Taylor, Cobb, and Wheeler, and lost no time in giving all necessary orders for proper defensive works and the collection there of as strong a garrison as could be had. He also gave most minute instructions for the prosecution of the road to Tuscumbia, and repairs of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, as far as needed, towards Meridian.

While at Corinth alarming telegrams from Generals Hardee, Taylor, Cobb, and Wheeler were received by him relative to Sherman's advance on Macon.

He determined to leave at once for that locality, and telegraphed General Hood to take the offensive at once, in order to destroy or capture the Federal forces in Middle Tennessee, and compel Sherman to return to Kentucky, even should he have already reached the coast.

General Beauregard arrived at Macon on the 24th, after many annoying delays at Meridian, Demopolis, Selma, and Montgomery, and had a long and important conference with Generals Cobb and Taylor.

The latter had been ordered to Macon, to assist Generals Cobb and Hardee in the defence of Georgia.

He was an officer of acknowledged merit, though not educated as a soldier, and could be relied upon whenever judgment and firmness were requisite.

General Hardee, who appreciated these qualities in General Taylor, had urgently solicited his presence at Savannah, to aid in preparing for Sherman's threatened approach.

General Beauregard decided upon sending him at once, and soon afterwards forwarded some important communications to General Hardee concerning Sherman's movements, and what could best be done to anticipate them.

See, in Appendix, General Beauregard's order to Lieutenant-General R. Taylor, and letters of November 27th and 29th to General Hardee.

At last, on the 21st of November, General Hood, being ready to march, started on his offensive campaign into Eastern Tennessee, which was destined not to be of long duration.

On his approach the enemy retired from Columbia, where an abundance of supplies was found; and on the 30th our forces, having arrived in front of Franklin, made a vigorous attack, at 4 P. M. on that day, and drove the enemy from his outer line of temporary works to his inner works, which he abandoned during the night, leaving his killed and wounded in our possession.

He retreated rapidly towards Nashville, our cavalry still pursuing.

It was then that General Cheatham failed to attack the enemy in flank, while he was filing away on his front, thus disregarding the orders given him by General Hood and frustrating his plan.

Our loss was severe, many of our best officers being among the killed and wounded.

There fell Major-General Cleburne and Brigadier-Generals John Adams, Gist, Strahl, and Grandberry.

Among the wounded were Major-General John Brown and Brigadier-Generals Canty, Manigault, Quarles, Cockerell, and Scott.

Our aggregate loss amounted to 4500.

See General Hood's telegram to General Beauregard, in Appendix.

See also his report. It was a hard-fought battle, but, withal, a barren Confederate victory.

On the 30th of November, in response to his telegram of the 24th, General Beauregard received the following letter from President Davis:

Richmond, Nov. 30th, 1864. General Beauregard, care of Colonel Win. Brown:

Yours of the 24th received.

It is probable that the enemy, if short of supplies, may move directly for the coast.

When that is made manifest you will be able to concentrate your forces upon the one object, and I hope, if you cannot defeat his attempt, that you may reduce his army to such condition as to be ineffective for further operations.

Until Hood reaches the country proper of the enemy he can scarcely change the plans for Sherman's or Grant's campaigns.

They would, I think, regard the occupation of Tennessee and Kentucky as of minor importance. Jefferson Davis.

This letter reached General Beauregard on or about the 4th of December, on his way from Macon to Augusta, where He arrived on the 6th of December, at 6 P. M., after an uninterrupted and fatiguing journey, from Montgomery, Macon, Milledgeville, Sparta, and Mayfield.

He had thus retraced his steps and abandoned his intention of visiting Mobile, then seriously threatened, because of the reception, on December 2d, of a despatch from Richmond extending his Department to the Atlantic coast.

It will be seen by the foregoing communication from the President that, far from disapproving General Hood's tardy and persistent effort to march into Tennessee and Kentucky, he was of opinion that nothing effective could be accomplished until Hood reaches the country proper of the enemy.

Does this indicate opposition to the plan adopted?

On the contrary: Let Hood go on, let him reach, as soon as he can, the country proper of the enemy; then will he compel Sherman to retrace his steps and abandon his march into Georgia.

Such is the only interpretation to be given to Mr. Davis's letter.

The President's despatch of November 7th to General Hood, quoted by the latter in his book,

Advance and Retreat, p. 273. The telegram referred to will be found in the Appendix. as showing opposition to the campaign into Tennessee, is not more explicit and defined.

In neither does Mr. Davis do more than set forth surmises and suppositions.

In neither does he state any positive objection, or advise any positive course of action.

Had he shown open opposition to the campaign, it is needless to say that General Hood could not and would not have undertaken it, nor, under such circumstances, would General Beauregard have given it his assent.

From all points of the vast Department over which General Beauregard now had command came despatches and communications and urgent calls for advice and assistance.

Despondency and confusion were gradually taking possession of the public mind and gaining upon the commanders of the various menaced points in that part of the Confederacy.

All that personal energy and unremitting attention could accomplish was done by General Beauregard to respond to the unceasing calls upon him. He neglected none, and, in all his answers and counsels, endeavored to instil that hope and confidence in our success which he himself, perhaps, no longer entertained.

During his short stay at Augusta he met General Bragg, who had just arrived, and held with him a long conference in relation to the condition of affairs in General Hardee's Department.

General Bragg promised heartily to co-operate with him, but failed to do so when the occasion arose.

Before leaving Augusta to repair to Charleston, on his way to Savannah, General Beauregard wrote the following letter to President Davis:

Augusta, Ga., Dec. 6th, 1864. To his Excellency Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States :

Sir,?Your letter of the 30th, acknowledging the receipt of my telegram of the 24th of November, was received by me on the road from Macon to this place.

With the limited reliable means at our command I believe that all that could be has been done, under existing circumstances, to oppose the advance of Sherman's forces towards the Atlantic coast.

That we have not, thus far, been more successful, none can regret more than myself, but he will doubtless be prevented from capturing Augusta, Charleston, and Savannah, and he may yet be made to experience serious loss before reaching the coast.

On the 16th of November, when about leaving Tuscumbia, Ala., on a tour of inspection to Corinth, Miss., I was informed by General Hood of the report just received by him, that Sherman would probably move from Atlanta into Georgia.

I instructed him at once to repeat his orders to General Wheeler to watch closely Sherman's movements, and, should he move, as reported, to attack and harass him at all favorable points.

I telegraphed to Lieutenant-General Taylor, at Selma, Ala., to call on Governor Watts, of Alabama, and Governor Clarke, of Mississippi, for all the State troops that they could furnish, and, with all the available movable forces of his Department, to keep himself in readiness to move at a moment's notice to the assistance of Major-General Howell Cobb and Major-General G. W. Smith, who were then at or about Griffin, Ga., threatening Atlanta.

I also telegraphed to General Cobb to call upon Governor Brown, of Georgia, and Governor Bonham, of South Carolina, for all the State troops that could be collected.

I made all necessary preparations to repair forthwith to Georgia, in the event of Sherman's executing his reported movement.

On my arrival at Corinth, on the 18th of November, having been informed that Sherman had commenced his movement, I issued all necessary orders to meet the emergency, including an order to General Hood to send one division of cavalry (Jackson's) to reinforce Wheeler; but this order was suspended by him, his objection being that his cavalry could not be reduced without endangering the success of his campaign in Tennessee, and that General Wheeler already had thirteen brigades under his command.

I finally instructed him to send only one brigade, if he contemplated taking the offensive at once, as already had been decided upon.

I then left Corinth for Macon, where I arrived on the 24th of November.

I did not countermand the campaign into Tennessee to pursue Sherman with Hood's army for the following reasons:


The roads and creeks from the Tennessee to the Coosa rivers, across Sand and Lookout mountains, had been, by the prevailing heavy rains, rendered almost impassable to artillery and wagon-trains.

2d. General Sherman, with an army better appointed, had already the start of about two hundred and seventy-five miles, on comparatively good roads.

The transfer of Hood's army into Georgia could not have been more expeditious by railway than by marching through the country, on account of the delays unavoidably resulting from the condition of the railroads.


To pursue Sherman the passage of the Army of Tennessee would necessarily have been over roads with all the bridges destroyed, and through a devastated country, affording no subsistence or forage, and, moreover, it was feared that a retrograde movement on our part would seriously deplete the army by desertions.


To have sent off the most or the whole of the Army of Tennessee in pursuit of Sherman would have opened to Thomas's forces the richest portion of the State of Alabama, and would have made nearly certain the capture of Montgomery, Selma, and Mobile, without insuring the defeat of Sherman.


In October last, when passing through Georgia to assume command of the Military Division of the West, I was informed by Governor Brown that he could probably raise, in case of necessity, about six thousand men, which, I supposed, might be doubled in a levy en masse.

General Cobb informed me at the same time that at Augusta, Macon, and Columbus He had about six thousand five hundred local troops, and that he hoped shortly to have collected at his reserve and convalescent camps, near Macon, two thousand five hundred more.

Of these nine thousand men he supposed about one-half, or five thousand, could be made available as movable troops for an emergency.

To oppose the advance of the enemy from Atlanta the State of Georgia would thus have probably seventeen thousand men, to which number must be added the thirteen brigades of Wheeler's cavalry, amounting to about seven thousand men. The troops which could have been collected from Savannah, South Carolina, and North Carolina, before Sherman's forces could reach the Atlantic coast, would have amounted, it was supposed, to about five thousand men.

Thus, it was a reasonable supposition that about twenty-nine or thirty thousand men could be collected in time to defend the State of Georgia, and insure the destruction of Sherman's army, estimated by me at about thirty-six thousand effectives of all arms, their cavalry, about four thousand strong, being included in this estimate.

Under these circumstances, after consultation with General Hood, I concluded to allow him to prosecute with vigor his campaign into Tennessee and Kentucky, hoping that by defeating Thomas's army and such other forces as might hastily be sent against him he would compel Sherman, should he reach the coast of Georgia or South Carolina, to repair at once to the defence of Kentucky, and perhaps Ohio, and thus prevent him from reinforcing Grant.

Meanwhile, supplies might be sent to Virginia from Middle and East Tennessee, thus relieving Georgia from the present constant drain upon its limited resources.

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, General.

Thus was the President kept well advised, not only of the main movements of our forces, but of the reasons for them.

General Beauregard thought it incumbent upon himself to do so, and, from the moment he assumed command of the almost boundless Department placed under him to the day he was relieved of it, never did he, in a single instance, fail to inform Mr. Davis, or the War Department, of every new phase of the military situation in that part of the country.

Mr. Davis therefore gives an erroneous impression in his book, when he leads the reader to believe that he was unaware of General Hood's change of plan, and did not oppose it, because when notified of the same it was too late to regain the space and time which had been lost.

Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, vol.

II., p. 569. The italics are ours. It may have been too late on the 30th of November; but was it too late on the 12th of October, on the 22d and 24th of the same month, on the 3d and the 6th of November?dates at which both the President and the War Department, as we have seen, had been officially apprised of the successive alterations, deemed necessary by General Hood for the success of his campaign?

That General Beauregard had originated none of these alterations, and that he, more than once, deplored their adoption, has already been shown; and that the President, though made conversant in season with General Hood's amended views and intentions, said nothing to indicate his disapproval of them, is no less a patent and wellestablished fact.

His disapprobation, if not officially expressed and communicated to General Hood, could be of no import, was altogether futile, and might as well have been acquiescence.

Mr. Davis never hesitated to reject the plans of any of the generals commanding in the field when, in his opinion, there was sufficient reason for so doing.

He had gone farther, and, on former occasions, had openly prohibited the execution of many a proposed military movement.

We refer to the plan of aggressive campaign prepared by General Beauregard and submitted to the President, through Colonel Chestnut, on the 14th of July, 1861; to the advance urged at the Fairfax Court-house conference, in October of the same year, by Generals J. E. Johnston, Beauregard, and G. W. Smith; to the plan of campaign suggested, instead of the invasion of Pennsylvania, in 1863; to the proposed concerted attack upon Butler's forces, near Bermuda Hundreds, in May, 1864, by the whole of General Beauregard's army, reinforced by 10,000 men from the Army of Northern Virginia.

On those occasions the President's purpose was clear, his opposition unmistakable.

No doubt could exist as to his meaning.

Here, on the contrary, so vague and equivocal, so liable to misconstruction, was the language made use of in Mr. Davis's despatch of November 7th to General Hood, and in his letter of November 30th to General Beauregard, that, had the campaign into Tennessee resulted in success instead of disaster, this same despatch and this identical letter could have been interpreted to show Mr. Davis's unqualified approbation of the movement.

Chapter 42:

General Beauregard's effort to reinforce General Hood by drawing troops from the Trans-Mississippi Department.

his communication to General E. Kirby Smith.

he urges that two or more divisions be sent to the Army of Tennessee, or that a diversion be made towards Missouri.

his advice as to best method of crossing.

War Department Authorizes call upon General E. K. Smith.

General Beauregard leaves for Charleston.

he again Presses General E. K. Smith to forward his troops.

the latter Considers the attempt impracticable.

no steps taken to carry out the movement.

General Beauregard arrives in Charleston.

he visits Savannah on the 9th of December, and Consults with General Hardee as to the defence of the City.

returns to Charleston.

letter to President Davis.

detailed orders to General Hardee.

second visit to Savannah.

General Sherman demands the surrender of the City on the 17th of December.

his demand refused.

preparations for evacuation.

General Beauregard's confidential circular.

he goes to Pocotaligo.

Sends memorandum of orders to General Hardee.

successful evacuation of Savannah.

want of transportation for troops.

General Beauregard in Charleston on the 22d of December.

Prepares new defensive lines.

his presence required by General Hood.

he applies to be relieved of the command of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

request granted.

his last letter to General Hardee.

he leaves for Montgomery.>

Before following General Beauregard on his way to Savannah, via Charleston, where he arrived on the evening of December 7th, it may be of interest to mention what he had endeavored to do immediately after the battle of Franklin, with a view to reinforce General Hood's army upon its entrance into Tennessee.

He had cast his eyes towards the Trans-Mississippi Department, then under General E. Kirby Smith, and, with that rapidity of strategic conception so remarkable in him, had formed a plan of concentration which, if carried out in season, might have materially changed the aspect of our military affairs.

We submit his communication to that effect:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Montgomery, Ala., Dec. 2d, 1864. To General E. Kirby Smith, Comdg. Trans-Miss. Dept.:

General,?You are probably aware that the Army of Tennessee, under General J. B. Hood, has penetrated into Middle Tennessee as far as Columbia, and that the enemy is concentrating all his available forces, under General Thomas, to oppose him. It is even reliably reported that the forces, under General A. J. Smith, in Missouri, and Steele, in Arkansas, have been sent to reinforce Thomas.

It becomes, then, absolutely necessary, to insure the success of Hood, either that you should send him two or more divisions, or that you should at once threaten Missouri, in order to compel the enemy to recall the reinforcements he is sending to General Thomas.

I beg to urge upon you prompt and decisive action; the fate of the country may depend upon the result of Hood's campaign in Tennessee.

Sherman's army has lately abandoned Atlanta, on a venturesome march across Georgia to the Atlantic coast about Savannah.

His object is, besides the destruction of public and private property, probably to reinforce Grant, and compel Lee to abandon Richmond.

It is hoped that Sherman may be prevented from effecting his object; but should it be otherwise, the success of Hood in Tennessee and Kentucky would counterbalance the moral effect of the loss of Richmond.

Hence the urgent necessity of either reinforcing Hood, or making a diversion in Missouri in his favor.

Hoping that you may give us the desired assistance,

I remain, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, General.

A copy of the foregoing letter was immediately forwarded to Richmond for the information of the War Department, and this telegram preceded it:

Montgomery, Ala., Dec. 2d, 1864:9 P. M. His Ex. President Jefferson Davis, Richmond, Va., via Tallahassee, Fla.:

Generals Steele and A. J. Smith are reported to be reinforcing General Thomas at Nashville.

Cannot General E. Kirby Smith reinforce General Hood in Middle Tennessee, or take offensive in Missouri?

His assistance is absolutely necessary at this time. G. T. Beauregard.

The next day, and while General Beauregard was already on his way to Georgia, there to gather up, from every quarter, all available forces to check Sherman's advance, he caused the following letter to be sent to General E. K. Smith, in order to give him all possible facilities for successfully executing the transfer of his troops to the eastern side of the Mississippi:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Montgomery, Dec. 3d, 1864. To General E. Kirby Smith, Comdg. Trans-Miss. Dept.:

General,?I am this day in receipt of telegram from General Beauregard (who is now en route to the Atlantic coast), dated Opelika, Ala., Dec. 3d, in which he directs that I recommend for your favorable consideration that detached floating booms, armed with torpedoes, in addition to light batteries on shore, be placed in the Mississippi River, to prevent the enemy's gunboats from passing or offering annoyance at the point that you may select for the transfer of troops to this side, should you deem it expedient to make such transfer.

These booms should be triangular in shape, about 40 feet in length by about 20 feet base; should be made of five longitudinal pieces and five or six cross ones, strongly halved into and on top of the former.

The booms should be anchored across the river, about forty feet apart from centre to centre, and torpedoes should be anchored in the open space between them.

A second row of booms, breaking openings with the first, should be anchored about one hundred feet below the first row, being in the same manner as the former armed with torpedoes.

The torpedoes should be about six feet below the surface of the water.

The booms should be firmly anchored, with the apex of the triangle up stream.

I have the honor to be, General, respectfully, your obt. servt., George Wm. Brent, Col., and A. A. G.

The Secretary of War, the Hon. James A. Seddon, had answered General Beauregard's telegram to the President, and, though he doubted General E. Kirby Smith's willingness to respond to the emergency, had, however, authorized the call upon him.

Mr. Seddon's telegram to General Beauregard read: Your telegram of the 2d inst. is referred to me for answer.

If General E. K. Smith can now act as you suggest, it would be well he should do so. You are authorized so to inform him, and to request his prompt attention.

He has, however, failed heretofore to respond to like emergencies, and no plans should be based on his compliance.

The telegram was dated Richmond, December 4th, 1864. But his reply reached Headquarters after General Beauregard's departure from Montgomery.

When the War Department was apprised of the fact the following telegram was forwarded to Lieutenant-General Taylor:

Meridian, Dec. 14th, 1864. By Telegraph from Richmond, Dec. 7th, via Mobile, Dec. 13th. To Lieut.-Genl. Taylor:

Transmit by most rapid means the following despatch to General E. Kirby Smith, Shreveport, La.:

If practicable, cross troops.

Aid General Hood, or divert forces from operating against him in Tennessee.

If crossing be impossible, cannot you make demonstrations to withdraw troops of the enemy?

We have intelligence that Steele, with 15,000 men, had reached Memphis, and was proceeding to aid Thomas, commanding the enemy in operations against Hood.

The campaign in the Trans-Mississippi has ceased or been abandoned, while the enemy concentrates east of the Mississippi.

The co-operation of your troops should, in some force, avail us. Jas. A. Seddon, Secy. War.

To avoid all possible misunderstanding and present the case in a stronger light, Colonel G. W. Brent, A. A. G., transmitted to General E. K. Smith, through Dr. Macken, special courier of the War Department, a duplicate copy of General Beauregard's first letter, with this additional communication:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Montgomery, Ala., Dec. 13th, 1864. To General E. Kirby Smith, Comdg. Trans-Miss. Dept.:

General,?On the 2d inst. General Beauregard transmitted to you, by his aide-de-camp, Captain Toutant, a letter requesting that you would, without delay, send to the support of General Hood two or more divisions, or threaten Missouri, to distract the enemy, so as to induce him to recall his reinforcements to Thomas.

Since that date General Beauregard has been ordered to the East, and is now absent, and I am in receipt of a telegram from the Hon. Secretary of War directing General Beauregard to order the movement indicated in the letter of the 2d instant.

In the absence of the General I transmit you a copy of the said letter, and request a speedy compliance with it. Your prompt attention and action are not only required by the order of the Secretary of War, but by the exigencies of the public service.

I am, General, very respectfully, your obt. servt., George W. Brent, Col., and A. A. G.

Thus, it is made apparent that General Beauregard's earnest appeal to General E. K. Smith was approved, and promptly acted upon, by the War Department. General Hood in his book also discloses the fact of his great anxiety to receive reinforcements from the Trans-Mississippi Department.

He writes:

The President was still urgent in his instructions relative to the transference of troops to the Army of Tennessee from Texas?[why from Texas, which would have caused additional delay?]?and I daily hoped to receive the glad tidings of their safe passage across the Mississippi River.

Advance and Retreat, p. 299.

But no glad tidings came.

General E. K. Smith could not be moved to action.

He allowed exaggerated rumors and obstacles, trifling in their nature, to prevent him from adopting the step which had been so earnestly urged upon him. And here we may appropriately remind the reader that, scarcely one month before, General Forrest, with his light batteries alone, had captured and destroyed several of the enemy's gunboats and transports on the Tennessee River?thus proving that they were by no means so formidable as reported.

It is to be regretted that General E. Kirby Smith, although, in many respects, an officer of merit, did not exhibit the energy, daring, and determination that so eminently distinguished General Forrest.

Had the latter, and not the former, been then in command of the TransMissis-sippi Department, what a difference might have been made in the result of the war!

See, in Appendix, General E. Kirby Smith's reasons for not acceding to General Beauregard's call upon him.

General Beauregard remained only one day in Charleston; and, as General Hardee was at that time in Savannah, he left on the 8th for the latter place, stopping on his way at Pocotaligo, to confer with Major-General Sam. Jones.

He strongly advised the driving back of the enemy from his too close proximity to the Charleston Railroad.

At 7 A. M., on the 9th, he reached Savannah.

After a careful study of the situation and a full consultation with General Hardee, relative to the defence and possible evacuation of that city, he wrote out the following order and gave it to General Hardee that evening before taking leave of him:

Savannah, Dec. 9th, 1864. Lieut.-General W. J. Hardee, Comdg., etc., etc.:

General,?It is my desire, after the consultation that has taken place, that you shall hold this city as in your judgment it may be advisable to do, bearing in mind that, should you have to decide between a sacrifice of the garrison and city, you will preserve the garrison for operations elsewhere.

Very respectfully, yours, etc., G. T. Beauregard, General.

The enemy was now so near the railroad, between Savannah and the river, that General Beauregard was compelled to ascend the stream as far as the bridge?a distance of some fifteen miles? before he could safely take the train, which he did on the 10th, at 1 A. M., being accompanied by Colonels Otey and Roman and Major James B. Eustis.

At 5 P. M. on that day he was again in Charleston, and the next morning caused the following order to be published:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Charleston, Dec. 11th, 1864.

General orders, No.?:

1. This Military Division having been extended by his Excellency the President to embrace the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, it is announced, for the information of all concerned.

2. In urgent cases district and subdistrict commanders are authorized to communicate directly with these Headquarters, transmitting immediately copies of said correspondence to their proper Commanders.

By command of General Beauregard. Jno. M. Otey, A. A. G.

The outlook for the immediate future of the Confederacy had become very alarming.

Hood's army, near Nashville, was seriously threatened by Thomas, who was hourly awaiting his coming reinforcements.

Sherman, almost unimpeded in his march through Georgia, had all but reached his destination.

News had also been received that two corps of Grant's army, reinforced by cavalry, were advancing in North Carolina, via Weldon, with a large train of wagons; and General Beauregard was asked for troops with which to oppose the reported movement.

See General Whiting's telegram, in Appendix.

In a long and explicit letter to President Davis, General Beauregard thus explained the situation in General Hardee's Department:

Charleston, S. C., Dec. 13th, 1864. To his Excellency President Jefferson Davis, Richmond, Va.:


Sir,?I arrived here, on my way to Savannah, on the evening of the 7th, and remained until the following afternoon, to obtain information relative to the present condition of this Department.

The Second and Third Subdistricts, embracing Charleston and its defences, were reported to me short of provisions and ammunition for a siege.

I arrived at Pocotaligo during the night of the 8th, and after spending several hours in conference with General Jones as to the state of affairs in that vicinity, I proceeded to Savannah, arriving there on the morning of the 9th.

General Jones informed me that, after collecting all that could be safely spared from the other points in the District of South Carolina, his forces consisted of about five thousand five hundred effectives of all arms, of which about three thousand were militia and reserves.

Immediately upon my arrival at Savannah I called upon General Hardee, who communicated to me the following information:


That the enemy, supposed to be from thirty-five thousand to forty thousand men of all arms, were advancing on the River road, Middle Ground road, Central Railroad, and Louisville road, and were then reported to be about ten miles from the city, or about six miles from General Hardee's intermediate line of works, known as the Overflow Line; and that a portion of the enemy's troops was reported about three miles from Monteith Station, on the Charleston Railroad.


That his forces in and around Savannah, south of the Savannah River, consisted of about ten thousand effectives of all arms, about one-half of which were reserves and militia; that the main body occupied the works and lines guarding the city and its approaches, while the rest was then engaged in delaying the advancing columns of the enemy, which he supposed, however, would reach the front of his lines that day or the next; hence he had given orders for all extra trains on the Gulf Railroad and Charleston Railroad to be sent in the direction of Charleston as soon as practicable.


That on the north side of the Savannah River, and along New River, the number of troops was small, and only just sufficient to guard the works there constructed.


That Wheeler's cavalry was mostly operating in rear of the enemy, south of the Savannah River.


That in Savannah there were about thirty days provisions for the forces in and around the city.

I advised General Hardee, in accordance with previous instructions, to defend the city so long as consistent with the safety of his command, and suggested that he should make such preparations and arrangements?which I regretted to discover had not been made?as might be necessary for the evacuation of the city at the proper time, should that necessity arise.

With these views General Hardee coincided.

I particularly called his attention to the necessity of keeping open his communications with Charleston, via the Screven's Ferry Causeway and the Charleston Railroad, the latter being already partially interrupted by a battery of the enemy, near Coosawhatchie.

I informed General Hardee that I would return at once to Pocotaligo, to advise with General Jones relative to re-opening, without delay, the communications at Coosawhatchie, and preventing their further interruption.

When leaving Savannah, at 9 P. m., I received intelligence that the enemy had approached the railroad, between the city and the river, so as to render the running of my train dangerous.

I therefore took the cars at the bridge, which I reached by steamboat.

On arriving at Pocotaligo, early the next morning, I conferred with General Jones as intended, and came on to Charleston, to furnish him with all available means required by him.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, General.

On the 13th, 14th, and 15th important telegrams

See Appendix. were exchanged between Generals Beauregard and Hardee?the latter alluding to the critical duties now pressing upon him, and asking for additional orders, the former referring to his despatches of the 8th and his letter of instructions of the 9th.

he advised anew the immediate repair of the Screven's Ferry Causeway, and the establishment of a pontoon-bridge across the Savannah River, with flat-boats, which, he thought, could be impressed from neighboring rice-plantations.

He directed General Hardee's special attention to the necessity, under all circumstances, of maintaining his communications with General Jones at Pocotaligo; explained his views as to the best method of obstructing, by means of trees and torpedoes, the creeks east of Screven's Ferry; and recommended, at places which he designated, the construction of riflepits and batteries for field-pieces.

He also made it clear that, in case it became necessary to abandon Savannah, the river should be obstructed as far down as possible, in order to protect the country and railroad from Charleston to Augusta, and place either or both beyond the reach of a flank attack.

On the 16th, at 8 A. M., in answer to General Hardee's telegram of 3.30 P. M. of the previous day, he stated that he must be where most urgently called; that each officer should now bear his own responsibility and do for the best.

He promised, however, to leave that day for General Jones's headquarters, and immediately afterwards for Savannah?which he did, reaching the latter place at eleven o'clock at night.

The next day (the 17th) was an eventful day for Savannah.

General Sherman, elated by the success of his march through Georgia, addressed the following communication to General Hardee:

in the field, near Savannah, Dec. 17th, 1864. General William J. Hardee, Comdg. Confederate Forces in Savannah, Ga.:

General,?You have doubtless observed from your status at Roseden that sea-going vessels now come through Ossabaw Sound and up Ogeechee to the rear of my army, giving me abundant supplies of all kinds, and more especially heavy ordnance, necessary to the reduction of Savannah.

I have already received guns that can cast heavy and destructive shot as far as the heart of the city.

Also, I have for some days held and controlled every avenue by which the people and garrison of Savannah can be supplied.

I am therefore justified in demanding the surrender of Savannah and its dependent forts, and shall wait a reasonable time your answer before opening with heavy ordnance.

Should you entertain the proposition, I am prepared to grant liberal terms to the inhabitants and garrison.

But should I be forced to resort to assault, or to the slower and surer process of starvation, I shall then feel justified in resorting to the harshest measures, and shall make little effort to restrain my army, burning to avenge a great national wrong they attach to Savannah and other large cities which have been so prominent in dragging our country into civil war. I enclose you a copy of General Hood's demand for the surrender of the town of Resaca, Ga., to be used by you for what it is worth.

This demand of General Hood for the surrender of Resaca (October 12th, 1864,) contained the following words: If the place is carried by assault, no prisoners will be taken.

We do not intend to discuss the propriety of such demands of surrender, or to approve of the tone characterizing them; but it should be remembered that General Hood was addressing an invading enemy, whose passage through the South had already been marked by acts of cruelty, pillage, and devastation.

Whereas General Sherman was the commander of that invading army, whose conduct at Atlanta, after its surrender, had aroused and justified a feeling of resentment on the part of the commander of the Confederate forces.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant, W. T. Sherman, Major-General, U. S. A.

Without loss of time, and after full consultation with General Beauregard, an answer was forwarded by General Hardee.

Before submitting it to the reader it is proper to say that General Sherman's threats, should an unconditional surrender be refused, were striking indications of what must have been his premeditated design with regard to the large cities of the South?and villages and hamlets?whose misfortune it might be to fall into his power.

This letter of General Sherman is a stumbling-block in the way of his later assertions, and conflicts with the statements he has seen fit to make since the war about the burning of Columbia.

But we shall have occasion to discuss this subject hereafter.

General Hardee's answer was clear, firm, to the point.

It was written with moderation and dignity, and in that respect was in contrast with the communication of the Federal commander.

It read as follows:

Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Savannah, Ga., Dec. 17th, 1864. Major-Genl. W. T. Sherman, Comdg. Federal Forces near Savannah, Ga.:

General,?I have to acknowledge receipt of a communication from you of this date, in which you demand the surrender of Savannah and its dependent forts, on the ground that you have received guns that can cast heavy and destructive shot into the heart of the city, and for the further reason that you have, for some days, held and controlled every avenue by which the people and garrison can be supplied.

You add, that should you be forced to resort to assault, or to the slower and surer process of starvation, you will then feel justified in resorting to the harshest measures, and will make little effort to restrain your army, etc., etc.

The position of your forces, a half-mile beyond the outer line for the land defence of Savannah, is, at the nearest point, at least four miles from the heart of the city.

That and the interior line are both intact.

Your statement that you have for some days held and controlled every avenue by which the people and garrison can be supplied is incorrect.

I am in free and in constant communication with my Department.

Your demand for the surrender of Savannah and its dependent forts is refused.

With respect to the threats conveyed in the closing paragraphs of your letter of what may be expected in case your demand is not complied with, I have to say that I have hitherto conducted the military operations intrusted to my direction in strict accordance with the rules of civilized warfare, and I should deeply regret the adoption of any course by you that may force me to deviate from them in future.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obdt.

servt., W. J. Hardee, Lieut.-General.

The War Department had approved General Beauregard's views as to the stand to be made at Savannah.

It had even indicated that the same programme might be adopted with regard to Charleston.

The following telegram

It was a ciphered telegram. is given in support of this averment:

Richmond, Dec. 17th, 1864. To General G. T. Beauregard:

The spirit of your instructions to General Hardee, relative to the defences of Savannah, is approved.

It is hoped Savannah may be successfully defended.

But the defence should not be too protracted, to the sacrifice of the garrison.

The same remarks are applicable to Charleston.

We must rely upon your judgment to make the fullest possible defence consistently with the safety of the garrisons. S. Cooper, A. and Insp.-Genl.

This approbation was a cause of no small relief to General Beauregard, and allowed him more latitude than he would otherwise have had.

Active, urgent preparations for the evacuation were instantly begun.

It was now but a question of a few days.

So little had yet been done that General Beauregard feared there would be insufficient time to save most of the public property, and destroy what must otherwise fall into the hands of the enemy.

Most of the orders then issued were not only suggested by him, but, in many instances, written under his dictation.

See Colonel John. G. Clarke's letter to General Beauregard, in Appendix. His memorandum for the location of troops, dated December 18th, and left with General Hardee, shows the amount of work accomplished during his last visit to the invested city.

On the 19th he completed the order relative to the final evacuation, which was forwarded to the different commands, headed Confidential Circular, and signed by General Hardee, as Commander of the Department.

We refer the reader to this memorandum and to this circular, which will both be found in the Appendix to the present chapter.

General Hardee remained at Savannah, to carry out the dispositions taken by General Beauregard; and the latter, on the same day, left that city to confer with his District and Subdistrict Commanders, and advise with them as to the best methods of putting his plans into execution.

The next day he caused the following letter to be sent to General Hardee:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Pocotaligo, S. C., Dec. 20th, 1864. Lieut.-General W. J. Hardee, Comdg., etc., etc.:

General,?I am directed by the General Commanding to forward to you the accompanying memorandum

We invite the reader's special attention to the memorandum above referred to. See Appendix. of orders, which he wishes you to issue immediately after the evacuation of Savannah.

They are designed to carry out his views as to the best disposition of troops under your command for the defence of Charleston and the State of South Carolina generally?Savannah being in the possession of the enemy.

Major-General G. W. Smith's command (about two thousand men) being sent to Augusta, will leave, of the troops coming from Savannah, about six thousand five hundred, which, added to those under the immediate command of Major-General Sam. Jones, on the line of the Savannah and Charleston Railroad?say about five thousand five hundred, exclusive of those in and around Charleston?make about twelve thousand troops.

Of these he thinks there should be about two thousand five hundred to guard the left bank of the Combahee, with about one thousand in reserve at a central point between the Combahee and the Ashepoo.

About three thousand five hundred in the Fourth Subdistrict, with about one thousand of them in reserve at or near Adams's Run and Green Pond, and about five thousand in the Second and Third Subdistricts, in addition to those already there.

The cavalry guarding the left (or coast) flank, and the front and right flanks, should, of course, be used to support the troops to which they are nearest.

The orders indicated in the accompanying memorandum will make a distribution approximating as nearly to these numbers as circumstances will permit.

In carrying them out it will be necessary that you should send promptly the troops carried to Hardeeville by Brigadier-General Taliaferro to rejoin their respective brigades, and the detached companies or battalions of South Carolina reserves and militia to report to Brigadier-General Chestnut, at Grahamville; and the companies of the 3d South Carolina Cavalry, under Colonel Colcock, to unite with those now in front of Grahamville and near Coosawhatchie and Pocotaligo and Kirk's squadron, together with the section of horse artillery attached to the 3d South Carolina Cavalry.

Endeavor to bring and keep together, as far as practicable, the troops of the same organization.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, A. R. Chisolm, A. D. C.

While the foregoing communication was being penned this telegram was forwarded to Richmond:

Pocotaligo, S. C., Dec. 20th, 1864. President Jefferson Davis, Richmond, Va.:

General Hardee reports that about fifteen hundred of the enemy's infantry crossed yesterday Savannah River, from Argyle Island to Izard's plantation.

Wheeler holds them in check.

General Hardee will probably evacuate Savannah to-night.

His first defensive line will be in rear of the Combahee.

Wheeler's cavalry will guard country thence to the Savannah River.

All quiet here.

No report from General Hood since 28th of November. G. T. Beauregard.

He now ordered that the Savannah River Railroad bridge and trestle-work on the Carolina side should be immediately and thoroughly destroyed, and that Generals Wheeler and Taliaferro should be instructed to that effect.

Through Captain Courtney, at Hardeeville, he also communicated with Commodore Hunter, and pointed out the necessity of commanding the Savannah River by his gunboat, as long as possible, from the enemy's battery to a point as far up the stream as navigation would permit.

During the night of the 20th, and in strict obedience to General Beauregard's instructions, Savannah was successfully evacuated.

President Davis was informed of the fact as follows:

Pocotaligo, S. C., Dec. 21st, 1864.

General Hardee reports to-day from Hardeeville that evacuation of Savannah, as instructed by me,

See, in Appendix, Colonel Clarke's letters to General Beauregard. was successfully accomplished last night.

All the light artillery and most of the stores and munitions were brought off. The heavy guns were spiked and otherwise disabled.

Line of defence behind Combahee River will be taken as soon as possible. G. T. Beauregard.

On the same day he sent this telegram to General Hardee:

Pocotaligo, S. C., Dec. 21st, 1864.

I congratulate you on the success of the evacuation.

You can delay movement on Combahee line long enough to secure your supplies, provided you send your surplus artillery here and reinforce Fourth District and Charleston, as per my memorandum of yesterday, forwarded to you to-day by staffofficer. G. T. Beauregard. Lieut.-General Hardee, Hardeeville, S. C.

Sufficient transportation had not been prepared for the troops at Pocotaligo and Hardeeville, and for those whose movements were now so important for the defence of Charleston and other threatened points in South Carolina. General Beauregard, who was much disappointed at this want of forethought on the part of the district and subdistrict commanders, at once issued energetic orders designed to remedy the evil, and among them the following:

Pocotaligo, S. C., Dec. 21st, 1864. Lieut.-Colonel John M. Otey, A. A. G.:

Forces here and at Savannah are almost unprovided with transportation.

Have impressed forthwith sufficient for three thousand men here, same in Fourth Subdistrict, and six thousand about Charleston.

I leave about 2 p. M. G. T. Beauregard.

On the same day the following telegram was also forwarded:

Pocotaligo, S. C., Dec. 21st, 1864. Lieut.-Colonel John M. Otey, A. A. G.:

Until further orders there must be three full trains on road from Coosawhatchie to Hardeeville, and three or four near here, awaiting troops for Fourth District and Charleston.

See that it be done at once. G. T. Beauregard.

On the 22d General Beauregard was again in Charleston, his mind engrossed with the preparations to be made for the safety of that city and the establishment of new defensive lines for the State.

It would uselessly encumber the narrative, to insert here the various orders he issued at that time.

Most of them, as also part of his correspondence in that connection, will appear in the Appendix to the present chapter.

His activity was quickened by the unofficial news of General Hood's disaster at or near Nashville, and the desire, more than once expressed, since General Beauregard's arrival in Charleston, that he should visit, as soon as possible, the Army of Tennessee.

The three following letters show what minute attention General Beauregard was giving to the impending dangers of the moment:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Charleston, S. C., Dec. 25th, 1864. Lieut.-General W. J. Hardee, Comdg. Dept. S. C., Ga., and Fla.:

General,?If the pontoons now at Pocotaligo are not required there, General Beauregard deems it best that the officer in charge of them be ordered by telegraph to send them to this city at once.

He also deems it best, and directs, that the wagons lately sent from this city to Pocotaligo be furnished with covers, as most of them are without them.

I am further directed to inquire of you what torpedoes have been put down lately in the channel and harbor.

If none, the Commanding General directs that they be laid at once where originally contemplated, especially in front of the rope obstructions.

Mr. Fraser Mathews is suggested as one who could be charged with this duty, if no one else can accomplish the work.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, John M. Otey, A. A. G.

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Charleston, S. C., Dec. 27th, 1864. Lieut.-General W. J. Hardee, Comdg. Dept. S. C., Ga., and Fla.:

General,?I am instructed by the Commanding General to direct as follows:


That you make, silently and cautiously, all necessary preparations for the evacuation of Charleston?should it become necessary?taking at the same time the proper steps to save the garrisons of the different works.

Detailed and confidential instructions should be given as to the spiking, by means of rat-tail files, all heavy guns and such others as cannot be moved; for disabling carriages, chassis, and batteries.


That the infantry and cavalry of your command be organized forthwith into brigades and divisions, under good commanders.

That all the troops be supplied with knapsacks, haversacks, canteens, blankets, and shoes; and that ample transportation be supplied, as also ammunition for small-arms and light batteries.


That all light batteries be organized into battalions of three batteries each; one battalion being attached to each division, the others in reserve, under the Chief of Artillery.

The battalions attached to divisions, although under the orders of the division commanders, in battle and on the march, will, nevertheless, make all their returns and reports to the Chief of Artillery, and all correspondence relative to the organization, equipment, and interior management of batteries will pass through the same channel.

Such batteries will only be under the orders of the Chief of Artillery when in permanent camp or winter-quarters.

The Commanding General also directs that, should field-officers be needed for the battalions, you will apply by telegraph to the War Department, and request immediate attention.

I have the honor to be, General, very respectfully, your obdt.

servt., John M. Otey, A. A. G.

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Charleston, S. C., Dec. 29th, 1864. Lieut.-General J. W. Hardee, Comdg. Dept. S. C., Ga., and Fla.:


The lines in Christ Church require the special attention of your Engineer and the Commander of the Second Subdistrict.

The woods in front of the lines should be cut into abatis at once, and positions for field-guns in embrasure should be established immediately along them.

2. The batteries commanding approaches through the creeks should be put in perfect order and garrisoned.


A pontoon-bridge should be thrown across Cooper River at the most favorable point, if practicable.


I think you ought to apply for the promotion of Majors Lucas and Manigault, to give them more authority over their battalions.

Respectfully yours, G. T. Beaauregard, General.

Two days before, General Beauregard had forwarded the following telegrams to the War Department:


Charleston, S. C., Dec. 27th, 1864. General S. Cooper, Adjt.-Genl., Richmond, Va.:

In event of having to abandon the coast, and enemy's movements will permit a choice of base of operations, shall it be towards North Carolina or Georgia?

Latter is true base for forces of this Department; but views of War Department may require otherwise.

This telegram, and that which immediately follows it, were in cipher. G. T. Beauregard.


Charleston, S. C., Dec. 27th, 1864. General S. Cooper, Adjt.-Genl., Richmond, Va.:

General Hood desires me to visit Army of Tennessee. Colonel Brent, my Chief of Staff at Montgomery, says my presence is required West, owing to some confusion in various matters, and want of supplies and ammunition.

Unless otherwise instructed, I will leave here as soon as I can make definite arrangements for future operations in this State. G. T. Beauregard.

On the 30th General Beauregard, having completed all possible arrangements for the pending emergency, asked to be relieved of the command of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, in order that he might devote all his time and attention to his Department proper?the Military Division of the West.

His request was granted by President Davis, in the following despatch:

Richmond, Dec. 30th, 1864. To General G. T. Beauregard:

Your despatch of this day received, also copy of that to General Cooper, in relation to assignment of General Bragg.

You will leave with General Hardee orders and instructions in regard to the Department east of Augusta, and will resume the command of the District west of Augusta, as heretofore defined.

The change will be more formally announced from the Adjutant-General's office. Jefferson Davis.

Before taking leave of General Hardee, and of Charleston, where he had ever met with so much sympathy and encouragement, General Beauregard, in a last letter, thus expressed his views as to what should be done after his departure:

Charleston, S. C., Dec. 31st, 1864. Lieut.-General W. J. Hardee, Comdg. Dept. S. C., Ga., and Fla.:

General,?I enclose herewith a copy of a telegram received to-day from the President relieving me, at my request, of the general command of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

My presence is absolutely required at this moment at Montgomery and with the Army of Tennessee, and I cannot inform you when I will be able to return in this direction.

The interruption of railroad communication might render it impracticable to get back in time to be of assistance to you, should you require my aid suddenly.

The telegram of the President not being explicit as to the status of Augusta, I have requested that it should be included in your Department, as you now have under you the whole of Wheeler's cavalry and nearly all the available forces of Georgia, which are also required by you for the defence of South Carolina.

The defence of the city is so intimately connected with that of the western portion of this State, that you will consider it within the limits of your Department until further orders from the War Department.

I have already given you all the verbal instructions possible for the defence of Charleston and this State.

The answer of the War Department, not yet received, to my telegram of the 27th instant, will determine whether, in the event of evacuating this city, you will retire towards Georgia or North Carolina as a base.

The first is your natural base; but should you have reason to expect large reinforcements from the latter State, you should, of course, retire in that direction.

You will apply to the defence of Charleston the same principle applied to that of Savannah: that is, defend it as long as compatible with the safety of your forces.

Having no reason at present to expect succor from an army of relief, you must save your troops for the defence of South Carolina and Georgia.

The fall of Charleston would, necessarily, be a terrible blow to the Confederacy, but its fall, with the loss of its brave garrison, would be still more fatal to our cause.

You will; however, make all the preparations necessary for the possible evacuation of the city, and clear your decks for action.

Should it not take place, the trouble and expense of transportation will amount to little; but should you be compelled to evacuate the city when unprepared, the loss of public property would be incalculable.

All the cotton in the city should be removed; and if any be in the city at the time of its evacuation, it must be destroyed.

As already instructed, you should organize all your troops for the field, collecting sufficient transportation, ammunition, and provisions for an active campaign.

You must have depots of provisions and forage at several points in the interior of the State.

Columbia would be a very suitable point; Florence also, if you expect to move in the direction of North Carolina.

Augusta, Mayfield, and Milledgeville must be depots for future operations.

Your defensive lines from the Savannah River would be as already explained to you:


The Combahee and Salkehatchie to Barnwell Court-house, thence to the Savannah River.


The Ashepoo and Salkehatchie to Barnwell Court-house, thence to Savannah River.


Edisto to Branchville, thence across towards Barnwell Court-house.


Edisto and Caw-caw Swamp, or Rantool Creek.


Edisto and Ashley.

Wheeler's cavalry must protect your front towards Savannah River, and your right flank from Barnwell Court-house towards Augusta.

At least, the larger portion of his cavalry must be south of that river to watch the movements and check the progress of any force moving towards Augusta or the interior of Georgia, until the rest of the cavalry and other forces could be sent to give battle to the enemy.

Please keep General Cobb and myself advised of your movements and those of the enemy, in order that we may give you in time any assistance in our power.

Hoping that you may be successful in holding Charleston, and repelling any advance of the enemy,

I remain, respectfully, your obt. servt., G. T. Beauregard, General.

These dispositions being taken, General Beauregard left Charleston on the 2d of January, 1865, and on the 8th reached Montgomery, on his way to Tupelo, Miss.

He carried with him sad forebodings of inevitable calamity to the Confederacy?the consequence of General Hood's disastrous campaign into Middle Tennessee.

Chapter 43:

General Hood desires General Beauregard to visit the Army of Tennessee.

despatches Concefning General Cheatham.

General Beauregard's Inabil? ity to go to General Hood's assistance.

the disaster at Nashville.

General Beauregard's great anxiety.

he is again urged to go to the West.

he telegraphs the War Department for authority to place General Taylor in command of the Army of Tennessee, if necessary.

the War Department approves.

General Beauregard starts for Corinth.

his instructions to General Hardee.

Reaches Macon on the 6th of January.

Confers with General Cobb.

suggests advisability of Restoring General J. E. Johnston to his former command.

despatch from General Hood stating that the Army had recrossed the Tennessee River.

he again calls on General Beauregard.

urges one hundred days Furlough for the Trans

Mississippi troops.

the idea disapproved by the War Department and by General Beauregard.

troops from the Army of Tennessee sent to the assistance of General Hardee.

General S. D. Lee's Corps, under Stevenson, goes First.

shattered condition of the Army.

General Hood asks to be relieved of his command.

Lieut.-General Taylor appointed in his Stead.

General Hood's farewell circular to his troops.

General Taylor assumes command.

General Beauregard visits Mobile January 21st.

he Inspects all the works.

leaves for Augusta.

the enemy believed to be advancing on that City.

General Beauregard gives his attention to all the threatened points of his vast Department.>

Just before the battle of Nashville, which began on the 15th of December, and ended on the 16th, General Hood expressed the wish that General Beauregard should visit the Army of Tennessee, if he could.

See his telegram, in Appendix. This was proof sufficient that matters were not going on satisfactorily in that quarter, for at no previous time had General Hood evinced the least desire to have General Beauregard with him or his army.

A few days before the following telegram, in cipher, had also been forwarded to General Beauregard, but it was not received until on or about the 15th at Charleston:

Headquarters, six miles from Nashvlle, on Franklin Pike, Dec. 8th, 1864.

A good lieutenant-general should be sent here at once to command the corps now commanded by Major-General Cheatham I have no one to recommend for the position.

Have sent same despatch to the Secretary of War. J. B. Hood, General.

The motive actuating him in this instance will be found in his report, entitled Operations of the Army of Tennessee, already referred to in one of our preceding chapters.

In his book (Advance and Retreat, p. 286 et seq.) General Hood also explains why he was so desirous that General Cheatham should no longer serve with him. In justice to the latter, however, it is but fair to lay before the reader this additional telegram, forwarded both to the Secretary of War and to General Beauregard, and of the same date as the preceding one:

Headquarters, six miles from Nashville, on Franklin Pike, Dec. 8th, 1864.

Major-General Cheatham made a failure on the 30th of November, which will be a lesson for him. I think it best he should remain in his position for the present.

I withdraw my telegrams of yesterday and to-day on this subject. J. B. HooD, General.

Unfortunately, when General Beauregard received the two telegrams he was so much absorbed in the operations along the southern coast of South Carolina and at Savannah, which was then threatened by General Sherman's army, that he could neither go to the Army of Tennessee, nor, at that time, assist General Hood in any way whatever.

On the 15th of December, General Thomas, having collected all his available troops at Nashville, while General Hood had, unfortunately, divided his own,

He had sent General Forrest and some infantry towards Murfreesboroa, to watch or capture a small force of Federals. commenced his attack, which was, at first, handsomely repulsed.

It was renewed the next day with great vigor, when, at about 3.30 P. M., a portion of our line, to the left of the centre, suddenly gave way,

General Hood's telegram of December 17th.

See Appendix. creating no small confusion among the Confederates, and resulting in the loss of fifty pieces

In his book (Advance and Retreat, p. 303) General Hood says fiftyfour pieces. of artillery, with other materials of war, and a hasty retreat?by many termed a rout?to the south side of Duck River.

It was there that S. D. Lee's gallant corps protected the retreating Confederate columns until Franklin was reached,

There it was that General S. D. Lee was severely wounded in the foot, and compelled to leave the field. when Forrest so opportunely joined the army, and thence, with skill, determination, and endurance, formed its rearguard to the Tennessee River.

Speaking of this battle, General Hood in his book says:

Advance and Retreat, p. 302 At an early hour (16th) the enemy made a general attack along our front, and were again and again repulsed at all points, with heavy loss, especially in Lee's front.

About 2.30 P. M. the Federals concentrated a number of guns against a portion of our line, which passed over a mound on the left of our centre, and which had been occupied during the night.

This point was favorable for massing troops for an assault under cover of artillery.

Accordingly the enemy availed himself of the advantage presented, massed a body of men?apparently one division?at the base of the mound, and, under the fire of artillery, which prevented our men from raising their heads above the breastworks, made a sudden and gallant charge up to and over our intrenchments.

Our line, thus pierced, gave way; soon thereafter it broke at all points, and I beheld for the first and only time a Confederate army abandon the field in confusion.

On the 24th and 25th of December, General Beauregard, who was still in Charleston, received telegrams from Colonel G-. W. Brent, his Chief of Staff, then at Montgomery, Ala., informing him that He had nothing official from Hood, but that, from a despatch received from General S. D. Lee, then at Florence, he was apprehensive that some reverse may have occurred.

See the two telegrams referred to, in Appendices to the present and to the preceding chapter. Such information, vague in the main, but significant in more than one respect, caused great anxiety to General Beauregard; but He could not leave Charleston at that juncture, and was therefore compelled to await further tidings.

A day or two later Colonel Brent again telegraphed as follows:

Montgomery, Ala., Dec. 27th, 1864. To General G. T. Beauregard, Charleston, S. C.:

If you can be spared from your present duties, I think it important that you should come here as soon as practicable. Geo. Wm. Brent, Col., and A. A. G.

General Beauregard's determination to go to the Army of Tennessee as soon as he could had been taken before the receipt of these despatches; but, fearing now that a disaster might have happened to General Hood, he telegraphed President Davis as follows:

Charleston, S. C., Dec. 25th, 1864.

Should circumstances require another commander for the Army of Tennessee, I respectfully recommend Lieut.-General Richard Taylor for that position.

He is zealous, energetic, intelligent, and judicious.

He might remain still in command of his department until relieved by a competent officer. G. T. Beauregard.

When five days had elapsed, no answer having been made to this despatch, General Beauregard reiterated his inquiry, by sending to the President the following telegram:

Charleston, Dec. 31st, 1864.

On reaching Army of Tennessee am I authorized to appoint General Taylor to its command, should I find its condition such as to require a change of commander?

Please answer at Montgomery. G. T. Beauregard.

When General Beauregard left Charleston, on the 2d of January, 1865, General Hood's headquarters were supposed to be at or near Corinth, Miss.

It was not, just then, an easy matter to reach that point; for the railroad between Augusta and Montgomery had been destroyed, and a circuitous route, via Milledgeville and Macon, was the only one left; this unavoidably prolonged the journey and delayed General Beauregard in his effort to join General Hood's army.

At Augusta, on his way to Milledgeville, he received President Davis's despatch of January 2d, authorizing him to give the command of the Army of Tennessee to Lieutenant-General Taylor, should circumstances justify him in so doing.

See telegram of Mr. Davis, in Appendix. This relieved General Beauregard of much anxiety for the moment.

He took advantage of his short stay at Augusta to issue instructions to General Hardee relative to the defence of Branchville against Sherman.

He informed General Hardee that he had selected a defensive line behind Briar Creek, in Georgia, to correspond with that of the Salkehatchie, in South Carolina,

See telegram from General Beauregard to General Hardee, in Appendix.

See, also, order of War Department giving limits of Department South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida putting it under General G. W. Smith, who then had command of the Georgia reserves.

General Beauregard reached Macon on the 6th of January, in the afternoon, and remained there a whole day, in conference with General Cobb in regard to military affairs in his district.

It was after this conference that General Beauregard, who had had occasion to speak of his efforts to procure the services of Major-General D. H. Hill, bethought himself also of another officer, General Joseph E. Johnston, whose retirement, for months past, had been the subject of varying comments and painful regret throughout the South.

General Beauregard was of opinion that the military experience and other eminent qualities of such an officer could not, at this juncture, be well dispensed with; and, with his usual rapidity of action, he immediately telegraphed the Hon. W. P. Miles, member of Congress, and Chairman of the Military Committee of the House, that, should the War Department be willing to restore General Johnston to active duty in the field, he, General Beauregard, would gladly yield to him his former command.

But nothing was then done in the matter; nor was it likely that the suggestion would ever be favorably entertained.

So thought the Hon. W. P. Miles, who, in his answer to General Beauregard, said:

I received your telegram with reference to General Johnston, and showed it to the Secretary of War.

I fear he will not be assigned to duty.

General Beauregard had not yet left Macon when He received the following despatch from General Hood:

Headquarters, Corinth, Jan. 3d, 1865.

The army has recrossed the Tennessee River without; material loss since the battle of Franklin.

It will be assembled in a few days in the vicinity of Tupelo, to be supplied with shoes and clothing, and to obtain forage for the animals.

Copy sent to the Secretary of War. J. B. Hood, General.

This afforded a gleam of comfort to General Beauregard, who was now inclined to think that rumor had perhaps exaggerated the report of General Hood's disasters.

On the same day, however, another telegram arrived.

It was in these words:

Headquarters, at Corinth, Jan. 3d, 1865. General G. T. Beauregard:

Your despatch of January 1st received.

My despatch from Spring Hill, Tenn., informed you of the result of the battle of Nashville, after which I thought it best to withdraw the army from Tennessee, which was done, crossing the river at Bainbridge.

To make the army effective for operations some rest is absolutely necessary, and a good supply of shoes and clothing.

I think it of vital importance that the Trans-Mississippi troops should be furloughed, by organizations, for one hundred days, and will so telegraph the President.

It would be well if you could visit the army. J. B. Hood, General.

The telegram of January 1st, referred to by General Hood, had been forwarded to him to ascertain what was then the real condition of his army, as no direct intelligence from him to that effect had been received for more than two weeks. It ran thus:

Montgomery, Ala., Jan. 1st, 1865. General J. B. Hood, Corinth:

General Beauregard desires a report of your operations since your report of 11th of December.

Advise by telegraph as far as practicable.

Write fully the condition of the army, and what is necessary to give it effective means for operations.

We have no despatch since yours of 15th of December. Geo. Wm. Brent, Col., and A. A. G.

The idea of granting furloughs of one hundred days to entire organizations, when the service of every man in the army was then of such vital importance to the cause, could not for a moment be encouraged.

General Beauregard referred the matter at once to the War Department and openly opposed it. Mr. Seddon's views coincided with his own, as is shown by the following despatch:

Richmond, Va., Jan. 8th, 1865. General Beauregard:

Repress, by all means, the proposition to furlough the Trans-Mississippi troops.

The suggestion merely is dangerous; compliance would probably be fatal.

Extinguish the idea. James A. Seddon, Secretary of War.

The idea was accordingly extinguished, as Mr. Seddon so energetically expressed it; for, on the same day, after informing the War Department that he would lose no time in carrying out its instructions, General Beauregard informed General Hood that his application relative to his Trans-Mississippi troops was disapproved by the Secretary of War; that it was considered a dangerous experiment, and that he fully agreed with Mr. Seddon in that respect.

Discountenance it in full, were the ending words of the despatch forwarded to that effect.

See Appendix General Hood was thus compelled to abandon his strange plan for increasing the effectiveness of his army; but the following telegram shows how reluctant he was to do so:

Tupelo, Jan. 11th, 1865. To General Beauregard:

I am very anxious to see you here in reference to the Trans-Mississippi troops, and also as to some system of furlough for other troops, and on other important matters. J. B. Hood, General.

In the mean time, and acting upon the suggestion of General Beauregard, who as early as December 23d had advised General Hood to come with or send to Augusta such of his forces as were not absolutely required to hold his defensive line,

See, in Appendix, General Beauregard's telegram to Colonel Brent. the War Department expressed its willingness that troops from the Army of Tennessee should be sent, in the direction of South Carolina, to the assistance of General Hardee.

Immediate steps were taken by General Beauregard to hasten the execution of this judicious measure; and on the 16th of January, the day following his arrival at Tupelo, he held a long and important conference with General Hood on this subject.

The latter, while expressing his willingness to obey the President's and General Beauregard's orders, declared the impracticability of doing so before removing, not only his sick and wounded, but all his stores, from Tupelo; which, he thought, would require at least four days.

Of all the shattered corps of that gallant army, General S. D. Lee's, then under the command of Major-General Stevenson, was in the best condition.

General Beauregard, therefore, desired that it should be sent off as soon as transportation could be collected, without waiting for the remainder of the army; and all necessary orders were issued to that effect.

See Appendix The bad condition of the roads, the scarcity of provisions, or rather the extreme difficulty of gathering them for distribution on the march, added to unavoidable delays consequent upon the inadequate means then at our disposal?not to speak of the demoralized condition of the men themselves?thwarted, and more than thwarted, the usefulness of that and all other measures tending towards the same end.

General Beauregard could now realize the full truth of the reported disintegration and confusion of the Army of Tennessee.

Very little?if anything?remained of its former cohesive strength.

If not, in the strict sense of the word, a disorganized mob, it was no longer an army.

None seemed more keenly alive to the fact, and suffered more from it, than General Hood himself.

So humiliated, so utterly crushed was he, in appearance, by the disastrous results of his defeat and its ruinous effects upon his army, that General Beauregard, whom he had just apprised of his application to be relieved from its command, had not the heart virtually to disgrace him by ordering his immediate removal the had not the slightest doubt that General Hood's application would be readily acceded to, and therefore generously abstained from using the power with which he had been clothed.

Two days after his arrival at Tupelo the following telegram was received by him:

Richmond, Jan. 15th, 1865. General G. T. Beautregard, Tupelo, Miss.:

By telegraph yesterday General Hood requested to be relieved from command of the Army of Tennessee.

His request is granted, and you will place Lieutenant-General Taylor in command, he retaining command of his Department as heretofore, and you, with such troops as may be spared, will return to Georgia and South Carolina. James A. Seddon, Secretary of War.

Both Generals Hood and Taylor were immediately informed of this order; and General Beauregard, after giving detailed instructions to General Smith, Chief-Engineer, for the defence of Choctaw and Open Bluff, Ala., and the river at those points, started on the 19th of January for Augusta, Ga., via Mobile.

He had on that day requested General Hood to hold Cheatham's corps (less Gibson's brigade) in readiness to move at a moment's notice, and to see to it that one hundred rounds of small-arms ammunition per man should be sent with the troops going to Georgia.

On his departure from Tupelo he left with General Taylor the following special field order, with date in blank, to be filled on the day of its going into effect:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Tupelo, Miss., Jan.?, 1865.

1st. General J. B. Hood is relieved, at his own request, by the War Department from the command of the Army of Tennessee.

He will report for orders to the War Department, at Richmond, Virginia.

2d. Lieutenant-General R. Taylor, commanding Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and Eastern Lousiana, will assume command of the Army of Tennessee until further orders. G. T. Beauregard, General.

It was only on the 23d that General Hood took leave of the army, after addressing a circular to his troops, in which, with characteristic manliness, as will be seen, he took upon himself the entire responsibility of the Tennessee campaign.

He said:

Soldiers,?At my request I have this day been relieved from the command of this army.

In taking leave of you accept my thanks for the patience with which you have endured your many hardships during the recent campaign.

I am alone responsible for its conception, and strived hard to do my duty in its execution.

I urge upon you the importance of giving your entire support to the distinguished soldier who now assumes command, and I shall look with deep interest upon all your future operations and rejoice at your success. J. B. Hood, General.

From that day till the time of its transfer to Georgia and South Carolina, Lieutenant-General Taylor became the commander of what was left of the Army of Tennessee; not, precisely, against his will, but strictly in obedience to orders, and without having either sought or desired the position.

He wrote a simple but energetic address to the troops, and did his best to stimulate them to the performance of their last duty to the cause for whose triumph they had so nobly fought and bled.

But he well knew, while he thus endeavored to quicken to new deeds of heroism the overtaxed valor of the broken forces he now had under him, that it was too late to arouse them to further hope and endurance.

General Maury had repeatedly called General Beauregard to Mobile, for the purpose of inspecting its defensive works and of giving such advice as his experience should suggest.

Other duties, more pressing at the time, had prevented compliance with the request, which, however, had not been overlooked or forgotten.

General Beauregard reached Mobile on the 21st of January, and remained there four days. He visited every work around the city, and gave minute instructions for its protection, as well as that of the various harbor approaches.

To Major-General M. L. Smith, Chief-Engineer, who was not with him during this inspection, he telegraphed, on the 23d, as follows:

City land defences, next to lower bay, where enemy will probably attack, are still unfinished.

System of barbette guns adopted for land batteries is the worst possible.

Their fire will be silenced by enemy's sharp-shooters as soon as they get within range.

On the 25th General Beauregard was on the road to Augusta, where he was anxiously awaited.

From Tensaw Landing, Ala., he forwarded the following telegram to General Hardee:

I suggest the immediate preparation of a pontoon-bridge of at least fifty boats.

The purpose of this suggestion was to protect General Hardee's retreat northward, especially across the Santee, in case the railroad bridge over it should be destroyed by Sherman's cavalry, an event which might have compelled the surrender of all our forces south of that stream.

The services of Major-General D. H. Hill had at last been accepted by the War Department, and General Hardee, to whom he was ordered for duty, had, on the 19th of January, assigned him to the command of Augusta.

From that city, on the 28th, he reported the enemy rapidly advancing towards him, and expressed the hope that troops would be hurried up as fast as possible.

General Hardee immediately forwarded his telegram to General Beauregard, adding to it these words: I think your presence of extreme importance at this juncture.

The next day the following telegram was also sent by General Hardee:

Enemy failed in his attempt to cross the Combahee, but 15th and 17th Corps are about to cross the Savannah, to unite with column moving towards Augusta.

See Appendix for these two telegrams.

Pursuant to General Beauregard's orders, Cheatham's corps had been pushed forward to Georgia with all possible speed; and, on the 30th, at Lieutenant-General Taylor's own suggestion,

See General Taylor's telegram, in Appendix. Stewart's corps was also made to move eastward.

Its services, General Taylor thought, would be of far more value against Sherman than in any fitful effort to arrest Thomas, should he begin in earnest a movement southward.

From the time General Beauregard left Mobile till his arrival at Augusta, on the 1st of February, he was incessantly engaged in issuing orders and giving and sending instructions for the rapid transportation of the remnant of General Hood's army.

It was then that he called the attention of the War Department to the necessity of speedily finishing the railroad from Milledgeville to Mayfield, and asked authority to assign Major Hottle, A. Q. M., to that important work, which he deemed essential to further military operations.

But General Gilmer was of a different opinion, and the War Department, therefore, paid no attention to General Beauregard's suggestion.

He likewise appealed to Governors Brown (of Georgia) and Clark (of Mississippi), strongly advising them to use the militia of their respective States, and all other means in their power, to secure the return of deserters and absentees to their commands.

To Brigadier-General Mackall, as He passed through Opelika, he gave specific orders concerning Palmer's battalion and the impressment of horses for the artillery on its way to the east.

Truly may it be said that, during these trying weeks of depression and anxiety, his presence being called for, simultaneously, at almost every point, he displayed unfailing energy and forethought, spoke words of comfort to the depressed ?whose number increased with every additional reverse?and never allowed the minutest details of his multitudinous duties to escape his attention.

Chapter 44:

Generals Beauregard and Hardee meet, by appointment, at Augusta.

they hold a conference at Green's Cut Station with Generals D. H. Hill and G. W. Smith.

Military situation as there developed, and plan adopted and forwarded to the War Department, with General Beauregard's endorsement.

disappointment as to the number of troops.

order to General Stevenson.

enemy begins his forward movement on 1st of February.

disposition of his forces on the March.

General Beauregard's plan for opposing him.

he Advises concentration at Columbia, and abandonment of sea-coast cities and towns.

his plan of operations, if aided by the Government.

ordered to resume the command of General Hardee's Department.

General Beauregard's instructions to General Wheeler.

telegram to General Cooper.

Tardiness of General Hardee in evacuating Charleston.

General Beauregard in Columbia.

Confers with General Hampton and the Mayor.

General Hardee's anxiety.

General Beauregard goes again to Charleston.

finds no definite steps taken for the evacuation.

his instructions to General Hardee.

despatches to General Lee.

returns to Columbia.

General Beauregard orders Quartermaster and Commissary of Subsistence to remove stores from that City.

General Hardee becomes 11.

his command turned over to General McLaws.

General Beauregard's telegrams to General Lee.>

On his arrival at Augusta, General Beauregard was met by Lieutenant-General Hardee, who had been invited to await him there.

The object of their conference was to adopt a plan for opposing the probable immediate advance of Sherman from Savannah, Beaufort, the southeastern portion of South Carolina, and the whole extent of the Confederate line, along the Salkehatchie and the Combahee.

Major-General D. H. Hill, commanding the Subdistrict of Augusta, and Major-General G. W. Smith, commanding the Georgia reserves, occupied at that time the defensive line of Briar Creek, some twenty-five miles south of Augusta, with their headquarters at or near Green's Cut Station, on the Augusta and Savannah Railroad. General Beauregard was desirous that both of them should be present at the projected meeting; and as they could not, just then, absent themselves from their commands, it was decided that Generals Beauregard and Hardee should go to them.

The conference was held on the 2d of February, at Green's Cut Station, and lasted several hours.

The views and measures there presented by General Beauregard were accepted with but little?if any?modification.

They are embodied and clearly expressed in the following document, which is laid before the reader.

Therein will be found a succinct but correct picture of the military situation at that time, and the reasons actuating General Beauregard in the formation of his judgment upon the subject:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Augusta, Ga., Feb. 3d, 1865.

Notes of conference had on the 2d day of February, A. D. 1865, at Green's Cut Station, Ga., at which General Beauregard, Lieut.-General Hardee, Major-General D. H. Hill, and Major-General G. W. Smith were present.

The following was the estimated strength of the forces, in and about Augusta and the State of South Carolina, which could be relied on as effectives to resist the advance of Sherman:

Cheatham's and Stewart's corps had not arrived.

The head of Cheatham's corps was expected to come on the 4th or 5th, and the head of Stewart's on the 10th or 11th.

In view of Sherman's present position, his manifest advance towards Branchville from Pocotaligo and Coosawhatchie, the weakness of our forces, and the expected arrival of the reinforcements above referred to, it was deemed inadvisable to concentrate our forces at Branchville and there offer battle to Sherman.

During the pending negotiations for peace it was thought of the highest importance to hold Charleston and Augusta as long as it was humanly possible.

Moreover, it being in violation of all maxims of the military art to adopt a place as a point of concentration which it was possible that the enemy, with a largely superior force, could reach before our columns could arrive, it was, therefore, concluded?


That the line of the Combahee should be held as long as practicable, resisting the enemy strongly at all points.


Should the enemy penetrate this line or turn it in force, General Hardee should retire with his forces, covering his rear with about five hundred cavalry, towards Charleston, resisting the advance of the enemy in that direction vigorously behind every available creek, river, or swamp; while Wheeler, dividing his forces temporarily, should fall back with the main portion in the direction of Columbia, checking the enemy's advance, should he follow, and hold the line of the Congaree until reinforcements could arrive.

The other portion of his cavalry was to fall back towards Augusta, covering that place.


Should the enemy follow General Hardee and indicate an attack on Charleston, and whenever it should become evident that a longer defence was impracticable, General Hardee should abandon the place, removing all valuable stores, and hasten to form a junction in front of Columbia with the forces of General Beauregard, who would have to cover Columbia, and take up the Congaree as a line of defence.


That the infantry now on the line of Briar Creek (about twenty-five miles south of Augusta) should be removed as soon as the stores were brought back, and take up a new position along Spirit Creek, about fifteen miles nearer, which should be fortified.

A four-gun battery, with embrasures and heavy traverses, was to be placed on the Savannah River, near the mouth of Spirit Creek, and a similar one at Sand Bar Ferry, both batteries aided by torpedoes in the river.


It was held in contemplation to send Lee's corps to Branchville; and in the event of the happening of the contingency alluded to in the second and third resolutions, Major-General Stevenson, commanding that corps, should retire towards the Congaree, protected by the cavalry, where he would watch and guard its crossings until the arrival of Generals Beauregard and Hardee.

In the course of the conference General Hardee expressed the opinion that it would require at least twenty thousand men to defend Charleston successfully during about twenty days?the extent of provisions there accumulated.

He said, however, that his subordinate commanders in that district, Brigadier-Generals Taliaferro and Elliott, and Colonel Rhett, estimated the force required at from that number to about twenty-five thousand men.

The troops arriving from the Army of Tennessee were still without artillery and wagons.

Three batteries were expected to arrive at Augusta in two or three days, but the other six and the wagon-trains could not be expected to commence arriving before eight or ten days.

The enemy, moving with a certain number of days' rations for all his troops, with the hope of establishing a new base at Charleston after its fall, has in reality no lines of communication which can be threatened or cut?his overpowering force enables him to move into the interior like an ordinary movable column.

Respectfully submitted. Geo. Wm. Brent, Col., and A. A. G.

The foregoing report, written by Colonel Brent, from notes furnished him by General Beauregard on his return from the conference, was forwarded to the War Department, with the following endorsement:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Augusta, Feb. 5th, 1865.

Respectfully forwarded to the War Department for the information of the President.

If it be true, as reported by prisoners and deserters, that Schoefield's corps (23d), from Middle Tennessee, and Sheridan's (19th), from the Valley of Virginia, have joined Sherman's army, it cannot be estimated at less than fifty-four thousand infantry and artillery?i. e., six corps, at nine thousand men each?to whom must be added about four thousand cavalry, forming a total of not less than fifty-eight thousand disciplined and well-organized men.

General Sherman afterwards informed General J. E. Johnston, in North Carolina (April 18th, 1865), that he had over seventy thousand men in all. G. T. Beauregard, General.

When it became necessary to operate with the Confederate forces mentioned in the first part of the foregoing report, it was found that their number was most sadly diminished.

This reduction?which caused extreme disappointment to General Beauregard?was due to the exhaustion of the men, numbers of whom had dropped out of the ranks on the march, never afterwards reporting for duty; and to the fact that the Georgia State troops, or reserves, amounting to about fifteen hundred effectives, were not allowed to pass beyond the boundaries of their State, and were, therefore, not available for any operations in the two Carolinas.

Cheatham's and Stewart's corps had also been delayed on their march from Tupelo, Miss.; and Lee's corps, under Major-General C. L. Stevenson, was still destitute of its means of transportation and of its artillery.

On the 3d General Hill was required to return one of the brigades of Lee's corps which he then had with him at Green's Cut Station, and the following order was thereupon issued to Major-General Stevenson:

Augusta, Feb. 3d, 1865.

General,?General Beauregard desires that you will forthwith move with your corps by rail to Branchville, and assume command at that point of all troops which may be there.

You will carry with you five days cooked rations.

On reaching Branchville you will open communication with Lieutenant-General Hardee, at Charleston, and advise him of your arrival.

You will report here in person to General Beauregard, to receive instructions from him.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, Geo. W. Brent, Col., and A. A. G. Major-General C. L. Stevenson, Comdg. Lee's corps.

During the latter part of the month of January reports were rife that General Sherman would resume his march, on or about the 1st of February, after having consumed nearly a month and a half in recruiting and refitting his army.

This would have given the Confederates ample time to collect and reorganize another army in his front, if the resources of the country had not been exhausted, and if the railroad communications and rollingstock then at our disposal had not been so much damaged by hard usage and the raiding incursions of the enemy.

As it was, and despite very great efforts to that end, the remnant of Hood's army, with its artillery and wagon-trains, could not be transported in time to defend the interior of South Carolina.

On the 1st of February, General Wheeler, commanding the Confederate cavalry, with headquarters near Lawtonville, S. C., about half-way between the Salkehatchie and Savannah Rivers, telegraphed that the enemy had commenced his forward movement, with infantry and cavalry; that he had crossed the Coosawhatchie at McBride's Bridge, and was marching in a northerly direction.

That Federal force consisted of the 14th Corps, commanded by General Jefferson C. Davis, first on the left, according to General Sherman's map; and of the 20th Corps, coinmanded by General A. S. Williams, second on the left; both under General Slocum, and constituting the left wing of the advancing column.

Then came the 15th Corps, commanded by General J. A. Logan, being third from the left, and the 17th, commanded by General F. P. Blair, being fourth from the left.

These two latter corps were under General Howard, and formed, together, the right wing of this invading expedition.

Each corps consisted of about fifteen thousand men, infantry and artillery, exclusive of the cavalry, under General J. Kilpatrick, reported to be about four thousand strong.

On the 3d of February, having more fully ascertained the condition of affairs in South Carolina and Georgia, and knowing how insufficient would be the forces then at our command in these two States to oppose any serious movement on the part of Sherman, General Beauregard conceived a plan by which he hoped, late as it was, to redeem the fortunes of the Confederacy, and sent to Mr. Davis the following telegrams:


Augusta, Feb. 3d, 1865. To his Excellency President Davis, Richmond, Va.:

Three points threatened by enemy are of greatest importance to hold at present: Charleston, Branchville, and Augusta.

Sherman is now apparently moving on Branchville.

If we had sufficient force to give him battle a concentration of forces should immediately take place there; but General Hardee reports only thirteen thousand seven hundred effectives, infantry and artillery, of whom about three thousand are State reserves and militia.

Lee's corps, just arrived here, and now on its way to Branchville, numbers only about four thousand effectives.

It had no more than thirty-three hundred and fifty. Cheatham's and Stewart's corps, averaging about three thousand each,

The strength of each was twenty-five hundred men. will not all arrive here before 10th instant, by which time enemy will probably have possession of Branchville.

Concentration of Hardee's forces and mine cannot, therefore, take place south of Columbia.

I respectfully urge the vital importance of concentrating at Columbia such forces as can be sent from North Carolina and Virginia. Ten or twelve thousand additional men would insure the defeat of Sherman and the reopening of General Lee's communications with his base of supplies.

I will repair to Columbia as soon as practicable, and, with your approval, will assume command of all forces which may be assembled there.

When railroad to Branchville shall have been tapped by enemy General Lee's supplies will have to be sent via Washington, Ga., and Abbeville, S. C. G. T. Beauregard.


Augusta, Ga., Feb. 3d, 1865. To his Excellency President Davis, Richmond, Va.:

The fall of Charleston and Columbia would necessitate soon abandonment of Wilmington and East North Carolina.

If troops from there and from Virginia could be sent me at Columbia, with their transportation, I would defeat, and might destroy, Sherman's army.

No time, however, should be lost. G. T. Beauregard.

The two telegrams here submitted show how clear to General Beauregard was the necessity of abandoning all those cities and posts which he knew must soon fall of their own weight, and for whose protection troops were used that could now be better employed at other points.

But no attention was paid to his suggestions.

The Government persevered in following its beaten track, and preferred fighting the enemy's superior forces with disjointed portions of our own; thus reversing the essential maxim of war: To command success, concentrate masses against fractions.

If General Beauregard had been aided in his effort to collect, in time, at or near Branchville, along the Charleston and Augusta Railroad, a force of some twenty-five thousand men, infantry and artillery, independently of the ten or twelve thousand General Hardee had behind the Combahee and Salkehatchie, his defensive plan would have been as follows.

As soon as he ascertained how General Sherman's four corps were advancing towards Branchville and the four principal crossings of the south branch of the Edisto (which are lined with endless, impassable swamps), he would have put some five thousand men to defend, aided by abatis and rifle-pits, the three left crossings from the west; guarding each of the minor ones with dismounted cavalry and two or three field-pieces.

General Beauregard would then have retired, with the rest of his troops?numbering about twenty-two thousand?in front of Sherman's extreme right flank corps, the 17th, which crossed at Bionnecker's Bridge.

He would have allowed this corps to cross about two-thirds of its number, when he would have attacked it with his whole force, and the result could not have been doubtful.

He would then have pursued the remainder of that corps with about five thousand infantry and some cavalry; and, with the main body of his troops?seventeen thousand, more or less?he would have turned westwardly, crossing at Bionnecker's Bridge, and, marching thence towards Hobman's Bridge, would have attacked the 15th Corps in rear, while the five thousand men left to defend the bridge would have assailed them in front.

Thus pressed the 15th Corps might have been captured or destroyed.

General Beauregard, reinforced successively by the troops at the other two bridges, and those left to guard Augusta, would have been able to march against the remaining two corps of Sherman's army.

It is evident that these corps (isolated so far from their base), at Beaufort or Savannah, could not have reached either point without being sorely crippled, if not destroyed.

We have thus minutely transcribed this plan, because of its strategic value and entire feasibility.

General Beauregard had veteran troops under him and veteran commanders, who were all confident of his ability to lead them; and he was justified, by the light of his past experience, in again counting upon victory.

It was, indeed, unfortunate that the War Department and Generals Bragg and Hardee did not understand the wisdom and necessity, at this juncture, of the concentration he advised.

It would have resulted in the re-establishment of our lines of communication and depots of supplies, and in the eventual relief?if not permanent salvation?of the Confederate Capitol.

On the 4th of February, General Beauregard was ordered to (assume command of all the forces in the district as defined before his departure to the West, with authority, should he deem it advisable, to re-assign General Hardee to his old corps, and attach to it any other forces he might select.

Had the reinforcements asked of the War Department been sent with this order, the military situation in South Carolina would soon have worn quite a different aspect.

As it was, the authority to act, without the means, could and did avail little.

On the same day General Beauregard forwarded the following instructions to General Wheeler.

They are given in full, because they show the movements of the enemy at that time, and indicate what measures were about to be adopted to oppose him:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Augusta, Ga., Feb. 4th, 1865:11.45 A. M. Major-Genl. Jos. Wheeler, comdg. cavalry at Fiddle Pond, near Barnwell Court-house, S. C.:

General,?General McLaws reports that the enemy, late last night, had forced a passage across the Salkehatchie, in the vicinity of River's Bridge, forcing him back towards Branchville.

Should you have received no definite orders from General Hardee, for the present contingency, you will cross the Salkehatchie, with the bulk of your forces, as close to River's Bridge as safely practicable, and re-establish your communications with General McLaws (of Stevenson) at or about Branchville, protecting, at the same time, the Charleston Railroad from that point towards Blackville, and beyond it, if possible.

When compelled to fall back from the railroad you will defend the crossings of the Edisto above Branchville, operating in conjunction with General Stevenson for the protection of Columbia, and the crossings of the Congaree above and below that city.

The remainder of your force (say about one brigade) left south of the Salkehatchie will retire fighting in the direction of Augusta, holding the enemy in check wherever practicable.

It will be sent to rejoin you as soon as circumstances will permit.

Continue to keep General Hill advised of your movements, and of those of the enemy.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, G. T. Beauregard, General.

On the 6th it was still uncertain whether the enemy, after reaching Branchville, would attempt to strike Augusta, Columbia, or Charleston.

He was, no doubt, inclined to move on the two last at once, and our force was insufficient to check his progress.

He was advancing upon the Charleston Railroad, General Wheeler striving to get between him and Augusta, and having all bridges below Holman's Bridge destroyed.

The following telegram from General Beauregard to General Cooper, dated Augusta., February 8th, 1865, describes the situation then existing:

Enemy cut railroad to Charleston yesterday (the 7th) near Blackville.

Lee's corps is in position on south fork of Edisto, protecting approaches to Columbia.

Head of Cheatham's corps arrived here last night.

McLaws's division is at and about Branchville.

I shall leave here to-morrow for Columbia.

Upon reaching Columbia, about noon on the 10th, General Beauregard immediately telegraphed General Hardee advising the concentration of his forces from the Combahee line to a line behind the Edisto, so as to shorten it as much as possible.

On the day following, in answer to General Hardee, who had informed him of the crossing of the enemy to James Island in front of his works, General Beauregard forwarded the following telegram:

Columbia, S. C., Feb. 11th, 1865. Lieut.-General Hardee, Charleston, S. C.:

By late movements of the enemy it is apparent that he intends to move upon Charleston, or to cut off your communications along the Northeastern Railroad.

It is therefore advisable that you proceed to execute, as soon as possible, the movement agreed upon the 2d instant.

Guard well your left flank and the crossings of the Santee. G. T. Beauregard.

But General Hardee, for reasons which were never clearly explained, imprudently delayed following the advice thus given him. It is easy to understand that he was loath to abandon Charleston, in the effort to capture and destroy which millions of dollars had been spent in vain by the Federal Government, thousands of lives lost, and more than one military reputation irretrievably wrecked.

No one felt greater reluctance than General Beauregard to abandon Charleston.

He had largely contributed to build up that city's high renown, and valued it as he did his own. Still, an imperative duty lay before him and before those who, up to this time, had helped to place that brave city beyond the grasp of the enemy.

The place must be evacuated; and the sooner this should be done the better it would be; otherwise its garrison, its stores, and public property must fall into the hands of the enemy, thus adding disgrace to misfortune.

On the 12th of February, the evacuation not having yet begun, and General Hardee having asked for additional advice, General Beauregard replied that he could not judge of the precise moment for beginning the movement, but that, in his opinion, further delay might be fatal.

In the mean time the War Department, as usual, had been kept well informed of the movements of the enemy, and knew that General Stevenson had fallen back to the north branch of the Edisto; that Wheeler was moving towards Augusta, to check the advance of the invading column; also that; a monitor was in the Stono, and constant firing maintained, though not, as yet, upon Charleston; that the enemy had crossed the North Edisto near Orangeburg; that McLaws had retired from Branchville to the Four-hole Swamp; and that sixteen transports had appeared in Bull's Bay, north of Bull's Island, on the coast of Christ Church Parish.

A few hours after his arrival at Columbia, General Beauregard had a long interview with the Mayor of the city, Doctor T. J. Goodwyn, and, almost at the same time, with Major-General Wade Hampton, who was then in South Carolina with Brigadier-General Butler, for the purpose of recruiting men and horses for his division of cavalry.

As they were both of that State, and well acquainted with its topography and resources, General Beauregard requested their assistance in the defence of Columbia.

They responded with alacrity, and were forthwith assigned to duty.

General Hampton was given the command of the city and its vicinity, and General Butler placed under him. But soon perceiving the necessity of having a single head to the cavalry?now materially increased by the accession of General Butler's command?and desirous of availing himself of the ability of so distinguished an officer as General Hampton, General Beauregard applied for his immediate promotion to the rank of lieutenant-general.

His request being readily acceded to, that tried and experienced cavalry commander, the acknowledged peer of the hard-fighting Forrest, was thus enabled to take precedence over General Wheeler, who, though an active, zealous, and gallant officer, was comparatively unknown in South Carolina, and, therefore, could not have rendered equal service with General Hampton.

At this juncture General Hardee's anxiety and uncertainty of mind as to the evacuation of Charleston appear to have been extreme.

He had apparently forgotten, or was no longer heedful of, the clear and definite arrangements agreed upon at the Green's-cut Station conference on the 2d of February, which should have been amply sufficient for his guidance.

So urgent and repeated, however, were his calls upon General Beauregard, that the latter concluded to comply with them.

Accordingly, notwithstanding the threatening movements of the enemy in the direction of Branchville and Columbia, which required his close supervision, he ordered the railroad track to be cleared of all trains that might impede the celerity of his trip; and, on the afternoon of the 13th, after sending a telegram to that effect, started for Charleston, where he arrived shortly after daylight on the 14th.

To his extreme surprise and regret, he found that no positive step had yet been taken for the evacuation so much spoken of, because, it was said, of a certain opposition on the part of Governor Magrath and of the Confederate Government itself.

General Beauregard, however, had no trouble in convincing General Hardee of the absolute necessity of abandoning the city and concentrating our forces, not at Columbia, as had been originally decided?for it was then too late to do so?but at another point on the Charlotte Railroad, namely, Chesterville, S. C.

Most of the day which General Beauregard spent in Charleston on that occasion was devoted to the preparations for the movement of the troops, embodied in the following document, which he left with General Hardee for his guidance:

Headquarters, Military division of the West, Charleston, Feb. 14th, 1865.

Memoranda of Orders for Lieutenant-General W. J. Hardee.

1st. One brigade of Wright's division in St. Paul's will move by railroad to Monk's Corner, and thence march into position (at or about Snowden's), from Sandy Run to Santee River.


The remainder of Wright's division to move via Summerville, thence to Groomsville, thence along Northeastern Railroad to St. Stephen's depot.


The troops around Charleston will commence their movement when Wright's division shall have reached Summerville.


Troops in Christ Church will take steamers to Strawberry Ferry, via Cordesville, to St. Stephen's depot.


The troops from James Island along sea-front first, thence in succession to Ashley Ferry; thence to Six-mile House; thence to St. Stephen's depot.


Troops in Charleston to follow movements to Six-mile House, thence to St. Stephen's depot.


When the troops shall have arrived at Monk's Corner, McLaws shall commence the retrograde movement from the left flank, resting at Four-hole Bridge, passing in rear of Four-hole Swamp; thence by Pineville road to Pineville; thence to St. Stephen's depot.


The troops on McLaws's right shall follow the movement as they are uncovered from the left.


The rear-guard of the troops executing these movements shall destroy all bridges and trestle behind them, and railroads, when possible.


The troops concentrated at St. Stephen's shall move to form a junction with the troops at Columbia, or with the same at Chesterville, following one of the routes, according to the movements of the enemy, as follows:

1st. Via Manchester and Kingsville to Columbia or Manchester, Camden, and Brown's Ferry, on the Catawba, to Chesterville.

2d. Via Darlington, Kelly's Bridge, on Lynch's Creek, and Brown's Ferry, on the Catawba, to Chesterville.

3d. Via Cheraw, Chesterville, Lancaster, and Brown's Ferry, on the Catawba, to Chesterville.

In view of the facility the enemy has at Branchville and Orangeburg, and in the direction of Columbia, to cut the line of retreat of the garrison of Charleston, as above referred to, it becomes necessary to commence the evacuation as soon as the necessary preparations can be made.

The holding of Charleston is now reduced to only a question of a few days.

Its loss does not jeopardize the safety of the State of South Carolina, but the loss of its garrison would greatly contribute to that end. G. T. Beauregard, General.

That night (February 14th) General Beauregard ordered the track cleared again, and started on his return to Columbia.

On arriving at Florence, at 7 A. M., on the 15th, he sent the following telegram to General Hardee:

Order all roads and bridges repaired on the three routes designated.

Horses impressed in and about Charleston must be used for remounting Young's cavalry.

Impress, also, saddles and bridles, if necessary. G. T. Beauregard.

On the same day, and from the same place, he telegraphed General Lee as follows:

I have arranged with General Hardee for the immediate evacuation of Charleston, and concentration of our forces at Chesterville, S. C.; if those of General Bragg could be added thereto success might crown our efforts, however dark may appear the present hour. G. T. Beauregard.

While stopping, a few hours later, at Sumterville he forwarded this telegraphic message to General Lee:

Sumter Station, S. C., Feb. 15th, 1865. General R. E. Lee, Richmond, Va.:

Generals Stevenson and Hampton report from Columbia enemy has appeared in their front and driven their pickets across Congaree, at railroad bridge near Kingsville.

They consider movement on Columbia serious.

I am on my return there. G. T. Beauregard.

And to General Hardee he sent the following important despatch:

Sumterville, Feb. 15th, 1865. Lieut.-General Hardee, Charleston, S. C.:

Commence immediately movement as arranged; and, if practicable, average twenty miles a day. Collect at once sufficient provisions and forage, at proper points, on the several routes designated. G. T. Beauregard.

General Beauregard reached Columbia on the afternoon of the 15th, and soon afterwards sent a message to General Lee as follows:

Columbia, S. C., Feb. 15th, 1865:7.30 P. M. General R. E. Lee, General-in-chief, Richmond, Va.:

Have just arrived from Charleston.

Generals Stevenson and Hampton report Sherman's four corps moving on this place, two of them pressing our troops back on south side to within about four miles of the river.

Cheatham's corps has not yet arrived.

We will hold the city as long as practicable with present available means. G. T. Beauregard.

He had already had despatches sent to Generals Stewart and Cheatham, calling upon them to hasten their movements on Columbia; and to Major Roland Rhett, A. Q. M., and Captain J. D. Witherspoon, A. C. S., orders were given, on the 15th, to remove all quartermaster and subsistence stores, with the exception of fifty thousand rations, to some point on the Charlotte Railroad, in the direction of Chesterville.

During the evening of the same day (15th) General Beauregard received a telegram from General Hardee, enclosing one from Mr. Davis, showing that, even at that late hour, he was still hesitating concerning the evacuation of Charleston.

As will be seen, the President encouraged, and, in a great measure, was the direct cause of this blameworthy procrastination.

General Hardee's telegram read thus:

Charleston, Feb. 15th, 1865. To General Beauregard:

The following dispatch was received last night from President Davis: Your despatch of 12th received to-day.

The enemy may, and probably does, intend an attack on Charleston, but it is by no means manifested by present operations.

It is proper, under the view presented, to remove whatever is not needful for defence of the place, and then to postpone evacuation as long as prudent.

If General Beauregard can hold the enemy in the field, the course herein indicated may preserve the city and harbor for further uses, and save us the pain of seeing it pass into the hands of the enemy.

General Beauregard and yourself are so well informed of the condition of the armies and the practicability of routes, that I must leave you to the free exercise of your judgment.

It, however, seems to me that the bridge over the Santee can be defended against a boat expedition up that river without materially injuring other operations; and a movement by the enemy, overland, from Bull's Bay is hardly to be anticipated.

General Beauregard's answer followed without delay.

It was in the following words:

Columbia S. C., Feb. 15th, 1865. General Hardee, Charleston, S. C.:

Despatch of to-day received containing President's. I have far from sufficient force to hold the enemy in check in the field.

He is, at this moment, investing Columbia with his four corps (as reported), on the south side of Congaree.

Hence I see no good reason for deviating from the plan already decided upon; on the contrary, I urge its immediate execution. G. T. Beauregard, General.

The movement was accordingly ordered to begin, on the 16th, without further delay.

See General Hardee's telegram, in Appendix. Unfortunately, however, General Hardee, who had been unwell for several days, was obliged, at this critical hour, to leave his post; and the command of his forces devolved upon the officer ranking next under him, General L. McLaws.

See Appendix for despatch of Major Roy, A. A. G. It is for this reason, no doubt, that the evacuation was not effected until the night of the 17th and the early morning of the 18th.

The following telegrams, sent by General Beauregard to General Lee, so thoroughly explain the whole situation, that no further explanation seems necessary:


Columbia, S. C., Feb. 16th, 1865. General R. E. Lee, General-in-chief, Richmond, Va.:

I returned last evening from Charleston.

I shall assume command to-day of all forces in South Carolina.

The present military situation is thus: our forces, twenty thousand effective infantry and artillery, more or less demoralized, occupy a circumference of about two hundred and forty miles, from Charleston to Augusta.

The enemy, well organized and disciplined, and flushed with success, numbering nearly double our force, is concentrated on one point, Columbia, of that circumference.

Unless I can concentrate rapidly here in my rear all available troops, the result cannot be long doubtful.

General Hardee still hesitates to abandon Charleston, notwithstanding I have repeatedly urged him to do so, thereby losing several days of vital importance to future operations. G. T. Beauregard.


Columbia, S. C., Feb. 16th, 1865. General R. E. Lee, General-in-chief, Richmond, Va.:

Enemy commenced shelling the city this morning.

He is apparently moving up towards Saluda River.

Our forces occupy south bank of that stream and Congaree. G. T. Beauregard.


Columbia, S. C., Feb. 16th, 1865. General R. E. Lee, General-in-chief, Richmond, Va.:

Enemy has forced a passage across the Saluda River above Columbia.

I will endeavor to prevent him from crossing the Broad, but my forces here are so small it is doubtful whether I can prevent it. Columbia will soon be evacuated. G. T. Beauregard.

From the contents of this chapter, and the orders and telegrams annexed, it is evident that, in the amended version of his account of the evacuation of Fort Sumter,

See the amended version of the first edition of Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, vol.

II., p. 204. Mr. Davis is hardly more correct than when he first stated that Colonel (afterwards General) Elliott was then in command, and on receiving the general order of retreat * * * addressed his men in the glowing language of patriotism and unswerving devotion to the Confederate cause.

See first edition (as originally published) of Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, vol.

II., p. 204. The italics are ours. Mr. Davis now admits that General Elliott was not there at the time, and that to Captain Huguenin, the last commander of the fort, was reserved the sad honor of retiring the garrison.

The acknowledged efficiency of Captain Huguenin, and the peculiar circumstances under which he was placed, deserved notice on the part of the ex-President of the Confederacy.

We have already endeavored, in a preceding chapter, to do justice to Captain Huguenin and to the other meritorious officers who made famous the successful defence of Fort Sumter, but whose names are not even mentioned in Mr. Davis's account.

The plan of evacuation of Charleston and its harbor?attributed by Mr. Davis to General Hardee?was devised by General Beauregard.

The minutest details concerning it were marked down by him and impressed upon General Hardee, who, far from having formed any plan to that effect, did not even perceive the necessity of withdrawing the troops at that time, and so long delayed the execution of the movement that, with a view to carry it out, General Beauregard resumed command of the Department, and then ordered General Hardee to evacuate at once.

This is the first error noticeable in Mr. Davis's amended account of that event.

Another is his omission to state that, because of General Hardee's ill-health and absence at the time, it was General McLaws who commanded the troops at the evacuation.

His third error is the mention he makes of Colonel Stephen Elliott, Jr., as the gallant commander of that fort, intimating thereby, and leading the reader to believe, that, prior to July, 1864, when Captain Huguenin was sent there, no other officer than Colonel Elliott had been in command of Fort Sumter.

The reader is aware that, after Colonel Rhett had defended the fort for a prolonged period, he was withdrawn from that work, to take charge of the city defences; and that Fort Sumter was afterwards commanded?first by Major Elliott; second, by Captain Mitchell, who fell at his post; and third, by Captain Huguenin, one of the gallant officers of the 1st South Carolina Infantry (Regulars), who was still on duty there when the evacuation took place.

Chapter 45:

The enemy Crosses Broad River on the 16th of February.

General Beauregard orders the evacuation of Columbia.

it is effected on the 17th.

General Beauregard's arrival at Ridgeway.

his despatches to the War Department.

General Hampton's plan to oppose the advance of the enemy.

General Beauregard goes to White Oak.

his letter to General Lee.

he Reaches Chesterville.

his telegram to President Davis urging concentration.

remarks upon General Badeau's interpretation of this telegram.

apprehension of the enemy upon this Point.

reasons upon which General Beauregard founded his advice.

his arrival at Charlotte on the 22d.

General Lee's despatch giving command of the Southern Army to General Johnston.

impossibility of beating back Sherman without reinforcements.

General Lee's despatch to the Secretary of War.

comments thereon.

what Colonel Taylor (Lee's Adjutant) thought of the necessity for concentration.

General Beauregard's plan the only Wise one.

General Johnston assumes command.

his view of the situation.

General Beauregard's answer to General Lee.

arrival of General Johnston at Charlotte on the 24th.

Sherman's line of March after destroying Columbia.

fall of Fort Fisher.

General Bragg retreats to Goldsboroa.

his tardy junction with General Johnston.

wisdom of General Beauregard's plan Vindicated.>

The enemy effected the crossing of Broad River during the night of the 16th of February.

With our small force of infantry and a few light batteries, under General Stevenson, aggregating about three thousand men, and the cavalry, under Generals Wheeler and Butler, some four thousand men, commanded by General Hampton, we had endeavored, in vain, to impede his progress.

The evacuation of Columbia therefore became a necessity, and General Beauregard ordered its execution at daylight on the following morning.

The infantry and artillery were to head the retreat, and the cavalry, bringing up the rear, was to file out of the city as the Federal columns should enter it.

See letters to Generals Hampton, Stevenson, and Cheatham, in Appendix.

See, also, instructions to Colonel G. W. Brent. This movement was carried out to the letter with perfect system and order.

The conflagration and pillage that took place after our troops had left will form the subject of another chapter.

General Beauregard rode out of Columbia, with his staff, at 10 A. M. on the 17th, taking a northerly route towards Chester, where he thought he might still be able to form a junction with General Hardee's forces.

He arrived at Ridgeway, about twenty-five miles from Columbia, on the night of the 17th, and remained there nearly two days, giving orders to his different commands, and reporting to the President and General Lee every incident of importance connected with the movements of his troops.

His first telegram to the latter read as follows:

Ridgeway, S. C., Feb. 17th, 1865:9.30 P. M. General R. E. Lee, Richmond, Va.:

Enemy having forced crossing of Saluda and Broad rivers above Columbia, city had to be evacuated this morning.

My forces are now retiring on this place.

Everything possible shall be done to retard enemy's advance, but I cannot separate cavalry from infantry without fear of disaster, owing to small number of latter?only about three thousand effectives.

Moreover, having no supply trains, troops must move along railroad. G. T. Beauregard.

In answer to a despatch from the Secretary of War, alleging interference with provisions at Charlotte which had been ordered to Richmond by the Commissary-General, General Beauregard immediately forwarded this telegram:

Ridgeway, S. C., Feb. 17th, 1865:9.30 P. M. General Breckinridge, Secy. of War, Richmond, Va.:

Far from interfering with provisions at Charlotte Junction, I have done all I could to send everything forward from Columbia.

See, in Appendix to preceding chapter, General Beauregard's orders to Major R. Rhett, A. Q. M., and to Captain Witherspoon, A. C. S., for removal of stores from Columbia. I advise removal of all supplies, except two hundred thousand rations, from Charlotte to a safer place farther north; no time should be lost. G. T. Beauregard.

On the 18th he informed General McLaws, who had temporarily relieved General Hardee, that Columbia had been abandoned; that Hampton's cavalry was still near the city; that the future intentions of the enemy were not yet fully ascertained; but that all instructions given to General Hardee must be rapidly carried out.

On the same day General Hampton, by despatch, proposed a plan of concentration to check the enemy's further advance.

It was ably conceived, and, under other circumstances, might have resulted successfully.

But, as Cheatham's and Hardee's troops could not have reached the designated point in time, and as the 14th Corps (Federal) had already crossed to the east of Broad River, it being probable that the 20th would cross on the next day, at Alston, General Beauregard was of opinion that, with our small forces then available, we could effect no serious damage to the 15th Federal Corps, and that our line of retreat to Chesterville might, on the other hand, be entirely cut off by the 14th and 20th Corps?thus opening an unobstructed country to the enemy through the State of South Carolina. General Hampton's suggestion, therefore, was not adopted.

See Appendix.

From Ridgeway, General Beauregard passed on to White Oak, where, on the 19th and 20th, he sent important instructions to Generals Hampton and Stevenson, directing their movements and line of march, and advising necessary measures for the removal of rations at Chesterville.

He also forwarded the following message to General Lee:

White Oak, Feb. 19th, 1865. General R. E. Lee, Richmond, Va.:

General,?After close examination and exerting every means in my power, I find it impossible for the troops now in Charleston to form a junction with me this side of Greensboroa (North Carolina). Believing it best, from the information just received from Governor Vance and General Bragg, to transport the troops by rail to that point, I have directed General McLaws to move them by rail as rapidly as possible.

I am also of the opinion that Cheatham, at Newberry, this morning, with two thousand men, and Stewart, eighteen hours behind him, with twelve hundred, cannot form a junction with me except by moving across, via Statesburg and Manchester, and thence, by rail, to Greensboroa.

This movement will require some days, owing to the difficulties of crossing Broad and Wateree rivers.

The enemy has advanced to-day to near Winnsboroa, in force, and is still moving along the railroad, keeping between this place and Broad River, thus cutting off Cheatham and Stewart. G. T. Beauregard.

This was before the enemy had decided to move eastward.

General McLaws was informed of the countermanded movement, and General Bragg, at Wilmington, was asked to communicate with and afford him all the aid in his power.

General Beauregard arrived at Chesterville on the night of the 20th.

He remained there until the next day, at 10 A. M., when he left for Charlotte, N. C., having lost all hope of concentrating at Chester, with Hardee's, Cheatham's, and Stewart's forces.

From Chesterville, on the 21st, General Beauregard sent the following telegram to President Davis:

Should enemy advance into North Carolina, towards Charlotte and Salisbury, as is now almost certain, I earnestly urge a concentration in time of at least thirty-five thousand infantry and artillery at latter point, if possible, to give him battle there and crush him; then to concentrate all forces against Grant, and then to march on Washington to dictate a peace: Hardee and myself can collect about fifteen thousand men, exclusive of Cheatham and Stewart, not likely to reach in time.

If Lee and Bragg could furnish twenty thousand more, the fate of the Confederacy would be secure. G. T. Beauregard.

It seems, according to Mr. Davis's book,

Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, vol.

II., p. 631. that this demand for reinforcements, although implying a compliment to General Lee, had no other result than to disturb him; and it is hardly necessary to add that no attention whatever was paid to it.

A curious feature of the Confederate history may here be elucidated.

In his Military History of Ulysses S. Grant, General Badeau speaks of the foregoing despatch and proposed concentration in terms of complete discourtesy.

Military History of Ulysses S. Grant, vol.

III., p. 397. He alludes to General Beauregard's ill-health at the time, and to that cause ascribes what he considers the folly of his proposition.

He even connects it with the fact that on the day after this despatch was received Johnston superseded Beauregard in command of the troops opposed to Sherman.

If it was folly on the part of General Beauregard to suggest and urge the concentration of our forces at that period?and it must not be forgotten that he had been attempting to bring it about ever since the 3d of February:

See, in preceding chapter, General Beauregard's telegrams of that date.?it was also folly on the part of General Lee to write, in the despatch wherein he asked for the appointment of General Johnston, the following words: It is necessary to bring out all our strength and, I fear, to unite our armies, as, separately, they do not seem able to make head against the enemy.

And again: I fear it may be necessary to abandon our cities, and preparations should be made for this contingency.

General Lee's communication, of February 19th, 1865, to General Breckinridge, Secretary of War, in Appendix. The only difference between the two generals was, that General Lee saw the necessity of concentration too late, and failed to act upon it; whereas Beauregard saw it much earlier, and would have tried to carry it to a successful conclusion, had the power been given him to execute his plans.

That General Grant himself dreaded the effects of such folly?i. e., the concentration proposed and the demand for reinforcements by General Beauregard ?is conclusively shown by the following quotation from General Badeau's book: At this time again Grant saw reason to apprehend a movement of Lee before Richmond or Petersburg, either to screen the withdrawal of the rebel army, or to distract attention from operations elsewhere.

Military History of Ulysses S. Grant, vol.

III., p. 394. And General Grant is reported to have said, on the 25th of February: Deserters from the rebel lines, north of the James, say it is reported among them that Hill's corps has left, or is leaving, to join Beauregard.

Ibid., vol.

III., p. 395. That, late as it was, the course proposed by General Beauregard was the true strategic measure to adopt, is shown by the apprehension of the enemy.

And General Badeau again quotes, as follows, General Grant's words to General Meade, on the 3d of March:For the present, it is better for us to hold the enemy where he is than to force him South. * * * To drive the enemy from Richmond now would endanger the success of these columns

Ibid., vol.

III., p. 405.?meaning Sherman's and Schofield's.

And what was General Beauregard attempting to compass, with a view to a successful conclusion of the war?

That the end had been nearly reached by both contending parties was evident at the time, and has been set forth, with startling certainty, by researches among the Federal archives.

The desire for peace was eager all over the North; and any decisive victory or series of victories, on our part, would not only have disheartened our adversaries, by re-opening before them a vista of long and protracted struggles, with levies of men now become most exacting, but would have reanimated the whole South, and brought back thousands of absentees to our ranks.

Under such circumstances, with a wise, far-seeing Administration, and with prompt, energetic action in the field, was it folly to assume that we could have claimed and obtained an honorable peace?

General Beauregard knew that the South was not exhausted; that there still remained in it strong powers of vitality; that the granaries of that vast and fertile territory bulged with stores of corn.

Swinton's Army of the Potomac, p. 571. He also knew that the Army of Northern Virginia was wasting away in a futile attempt to preserve Richmond and Petersburg; that General Lee was not in a position to undertake any movement against the army confronting him; and that should reinforcements be drawn from his ranks, none of his plans would thereby suffer or be prevented; while, by utilizing one or two corps of the Army of Virginia, Sherman could have been checked, cut off from his base, and, eventually, defeated.

That the undertaking was a perilous one, is undoubted; but it was practicable, nevertheless; and, situated as we then were, a bold and vigorous effort of the kind was necessary, unless we were willing to await, with crossed hands, the fate which the unimpeded movements of the enemy must inevitably draw upon us. Basing his opinion upon all these considerations, General Beauregard, who, despite his great anxiety, could not and would not despond, wisely counselled that measure of concentration which the Administration, unfortunately, disregarded, and General Badeau, with naught before him but the equivocal proof of an accomplished fact, presumptuously condemns.

On the night of the 22d General Beauregard arrived at Charlotte, where, to his no small surprise, the following telegram was handed to him:

Headquarters, Feb. 22d, 1865. General G. T. Beauregard:

I have directed General J. E. Johnston to assume command of Southern army, and to assign you to duty with him. Together, I feel assured you will beat back Sherman. R. E. Lee.

Had General Lee accompanied this despatch with an order for two corps of his army to march to the assistance of Generals Johnston and Beauregard, his assurance that, together, they would be able to beat back Sherman would have been well founded; otherwise it was entirely meaningless.

With what troops was this defeat of Sherman's army to be accomplished?

General Johnston had none, and General Beauregard's forces?marching from different points, and not yet united at any, notwithstanding his unceasing efforts to bring them together?consisted of about five thousand men of the Army of Tennessee and the troops of the Department under General Hardee, amounting to about eleven thousand. Two thousand of the former, commanded by Major-General Stevenson, were near Charlotte.

One thousand, under Lieutenant-General Stewart, were near Newberry, approaching Charlotte; and two thousand, under Major-General Cheatham, were between Newberry and Augusta, also marching towards Charlotte.

The troops of the Department, under Lieutenant-General Hardee's command, were moving from Charleston to Cheraw.

Eleven hundred of them were South Carolina militia and reserves, not expected to leave the State.

General Johnston's Narrative of Military Operations, p. 572.

The concentration of all their available forces within any given time, at any given place, was not the greatest obstacle that Generals Johnston and Beauregard had to overcome; the question was, how could they, with less than fifteen thousand men under them (for the South Carolina militia and cadets had to be deducted), have driven back an army numbering fully seventy thousand men, according to General Sherman's own estimate of its strength?

But it seems that, in General Lee's opinion, however courteous his language may have been, the deficiency lay in the commander, not in the number of his troops; for, on the 19th of February, in General Lee's despatch, already alluded to and addressed to General Breckinridge, Secretary of War, he thus expressed himself: * * * I do not see how Sherman can make the march anticipated by General Beauregard; but he seems to have everything his own way, which is calculated to cause apprehension.

General Beauregard does not say what he proposes, or what he can do. I do not know where his troops are, or on what lines they are moving.

His despatches only give movements of the enemy.

He has a difficult task to perform under present circumstances, and one of his best officers, General Hardee, is incapacitated by sickness.

I have also heard that his own health is indifferent, though he has never so stated.

Should his strength give way, there is no one on duty in the Department that could replace him, nor have I any one to send there.

General J. E. Johnston is the only officer whom I know who has the confidence of the army and people; and if he was ordered to report to me I would place him there on duty.

See, in Appendix, General Lee's despatch to General Breckenridge, Secretary of War.

It seems strange that General Lee should have declared himself ignorant of the whereabouts of General Beauregard's forces, and of the lines upon which they moved, when so many despatches of General Beauregard, to him and to the War Department, were replete with the most exact information on these two points, as is shown by the telegrams contained in this and the preceding chapter, and in the appendices to both.

But stranger still appears his further assertion that he has also heard that his own [General Beauregard's] health is indifferent, though he has never so stated.

And, acting upon this supposition, without making the least inquiry of General Beauregard, he proposes, not that General Johnston shall be called from retirement and held in readiness, should his services be required for the emergency referred to, but that he shall be immediately ordered to supersede General Beauregard and take command of his army.

And why should General Lee have been disturbed by General Beauregard's urgent demand for reinforcements from the Army of Virginia?

Why should his plan for concentration have been the apparent immediate cause of his removal, when we find the vital necessity of just such a movement strongly advocated by Colonel W. H. Taylor, late Adjutant-General of the Army of Northern Virginia?one who, as he says himself, was brought into daily and intimate relations with General Lee, and whose statements upon such topics were but the reflex of the views and opinions

Four Years with General Lee, p. 140. The italics are ours. of his commander?

In Colonel Taylor's book, entitled Four Years with General Lee, we find the following significant passage given as a certified extract from his war journal:

Edge Hill, Feb. 24th, 1865.

Now that General Johnston has been placed in command of his old army by General Lee, it is not probable that the latter will go to South Carolina? at any rate, not immediately. * * * It is not to be denied that our condition at this time is a critical one; but although it is a crisis in our affairs, it is the same with the enemy.

Suppose we were to concentrate on Sherman and crush him, would not the aspect of affairs be entirely changed?

Well, that is not beyond the range of possibility.

Much depends on the check given to Sherman's career.

Richmond may be lost to us, and Sherman may be overwhelmed.

The defeat of Sherman would restore Richmond.

To be rid of him would more than compensate for such temporary sacrifice.

Four Years with General Lee, pp. 143, 144. The italics are ours.

We cannot understand, therefore, how General Beauregard incurred the disapproval of General Lee, for wishing to carry out a measure which General Lee's own better judgment seems to have approved,

Ibid., pp. 145, 146. but which failed of execution, because the General-in-chief bent before the will of those who would not abandon Richmond, even temporarily, and allowed, nay, proposed, General Beauregard's removal, although the latter was advocating the only plan which, at this dark hour, could have made success possible.

At the eleventh hour, and when delay, from whatever source it might arise, was so much to be dreaded, General Johnston, at the request of General Lee,

In President Davis's work, vol.

II., p. 631, we read: A few days subsequent to the events in North Carolina to which reference has been made, General Lee proposed that General J. E. Johnston should be put in command of the troops in North Carolina.

He still had the confidence in that officer which I had once felt, but which his campaigns in Mississippi and Georgia had impaired.

With the understanding that General Lee was himself to supervise and control the operations, I assented to the assignment. was abruptly placed in command of our forces operating in the two Carolinas, and instructed to beat back Sherman, but without being given the means wherewith alone such a result could be obtained.

The question which naturally arises now is, how did General Johnston carry out these instructions?

We know that when the troops under him were assembled, in obedience to orders already issued by General Beauregard, he officially assumed command on the 25th of February, and published on that occasion an able and soldierly address to his troops.

But what were his expectations, and what course was it then his intention to pursue?

He thought the Southern cause, at that time, irretrievably lost, and so, evidently, did General Lee himself; and he resumed the duties of his military grade with no hope beyond that of contributing to obtain peace on such conditions as, under the circumstances, ought to satisfy the Southern people and their Government.

General Johnston's l Narrative of Military Operations, p. 372. General Beauregard and, in fact, most of our leaders, in the field and elsewhere, believed that the end of the war was close at hand.

But, in Colonel Taylor's language, as already quoted, General Beauregard also knew that, although it was a crisis in our affairs, it was the same with the enemy.

he therefore strongly believed that our best chance of obtaining an honorable peace was to base it upon a victory over the enemy, which could only be gained by great vigor and an immediate concentration.

The following is General Beauregard's answer to the order informing him of his removal from the command of his army:

Charlotte, N. C., Feb. 22d, 1865. General R. E. Lee, Richmond, Va.:

Your despatch informing me that you had directed General Joseph E. Johnston to assume command of the Southern army and to assign me to duty with him, has just been received.

In the defence of our common country I will, at all times, be happy to serve with or under so gallant and patriotic a soldier as General Johnston. G. T. Beauregard.

This was a noble answer, denoting an entire absence of personal ambition on the part of its author.

To General Johnston?who, before accepting the command offered him, had visited General Beauregard, to ascertain if he had been consulted on the subject

Ibid., p. 371. ?the latter had also given, in substance, the same assurance.

It will be remembered, no doubt, that some time in January, after leaving Charleston and before reaching the Army of Tennessee, General Beauregard had endeavored to have General Johnston restored to active service, and had even proposed to yield him his former command.

See Chapter XLIII.

of this work, p. 329. No action, however, had been taken in the matter by the War Department, and General Beauregard had reason to believe that, after all he had accomplished with the restricted means at his disposal, he would continue to control the military operations of his Department.

He had made no complaint whatever about his health, although others may have taken upon themselves to report it as being indifferent.

The truth is, he had seldom been so well since the opening of the war. Nor had he expressed any fear that his health might impair his energy or prevent the full execution of his own or the Government's plans.

General Lee's answer (which we give in the Appendix) shows how well he appeared to appreciate the disinterestedness marking General Beauregard's conduct.

We must say, however, that had General Beauregard been aware of the personal intervention of General Lee and of the reason assigned for his removal, he would, while unhesitatingly sacrificing his rank for the public good, have plainly shown his consciousness of the injustice done him.

By some curious fatality, worthy of note, it seems to have been General Beauregard's destiny, at various periods of our four years struggle, to be subordinated to officers of his own grade in the army, ranking him only by date of commission.

At the battle of Manassas, in July, 1861, he was placed under General Joseph E. Johnston; in February, 1862, during the Shiloh campaign, under General Albert Sidney Johnston; in June, 1864, at Petersburg, under General R. E. Lee; in February, 1865, again under General Joseph E. Johnston.

And it may be remarked that no other full general was ever so circumstanced, until, near the close of the war, when General Lee was given what Mr. Davis, perhaps appropriately, called the nominal dignity of Generalin-chief

Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, vol.

II., p. 361. of the Confederate armies. General Hood, when under General Beauregard's orders, during the Tennessee campaign, was only a provisional general, and had been elevated to that rank in order to give him precedence over other officers of his own army, who held commissions of older dates than his own. To General Beauregard's honor, it must be said that it was always through his single-minded efforts to effect a concentration for some great object that he thus lost the prerogatives of his rank, and often the power to carry out his own plan for the defeat of the enemy.

The truth is?and both the army and the people knew it?that his desire for the good of the service always predominated over the ambition to command.

Congress, in acknowledgment of his eminent services, on four different occasions passed votes of thanks to him and to the troops under him: first, after the fall of Sumter, in April, 1861; second, after the battle of Manassas, in July, 1861; third, after the battle of Shiloh, in April, 1862; fourth, for the repulse of the Federal ironclad fleet in Charleston Harbor, in April, 1863.

No other Confederate general was honored to that extent during the war. And may it not be added that a strange contrast was thus presented between the ill ? will of the Administration and the manifest admiration and gratitude of the representatives of the people?

It is known, furthermore, that Congress would have reiterated its thanks to General Beauregard, after the battle of Drury's Bluff, in May, 1864, and also after the almost incredible stand he made at Petersburg, from June 15th to 18th, of the same year, had not the fear been expressed by some members, that to pass votes of thanks again in his honor would indicate too much partiality for him.

General Johnston arrived at Charlotte on the 24th, and, after a long conference with General Beauregard, assumed command the next day. He desired the latter to continue the concentration of our forces, at the most available points, from Charlotte to Raleigh, which General Beauregard had been so long endeavoring to effect.

General Johnston's intention, as soon as the place of concentration could be definitely fixed, was to repair to it and assume command in the field, while General Beauregard should complete all other arrangements, and, with such troops as he might have at hand, watch over our various lines of communication.

The Appendix to the present chapter contains the telegrams, orders, and instructions issued by General Beauregard in furtherance of this end.

After burning and destroying Columbia, as will be shown in the next chapter, General Sherman sent forward the right wing of his army in a northerly direction, towards Winnsboroa, where, on the 21st, a junction was made with his left wing, under General Slocum.

From Winnsboroa they marched as follows: the right wing, crossing the Catawba at Peay's Ferry, went towards Cheraw and Fayetteville; the left wing, crossing at Rocky Mount, after a delay of several days, also began its march towards Cheraw.

In the mean time, according to General Sherman,

Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman, p. 288. Kilpatrick, with his force of cavalry, had been ordered to make a feint in the direction of Lancaster, so as to lead General Beauregard into the belief that the whole Federal army would soon be marching upon Charlotte.

General Beauregard was perfectly aware of Kilpatrick's presence on the Lancaster and Camden road;

See, in Appendix, his despatch of 27th to General Lee. but he was convinced, nevertheless, as is shown by his despatch of the 24th to General Lee, that the enemy's movements would seem to indicate Cheraw and Fayetteville as their present objective.

See, in Appendix, his despatch of that date to General Lee The tenor of this latter despatch and its date, which corresponds with the arrival of Kilpatrick near Lancaster, are proof sufficient that the delusion so complacently referred to by General Sherman existed more in his own mind than in General Beauregard's.

While these movements were being executed Fort Fisher and the other Confederate works at the mouth of Cape Fear River, after a short but glorious resistance, were captured by the Federal forces operating against them.

It was there that General Whiting redeemed his reputation, and, after receiving a mortal wound behind the shattered ramparts of Fort Fisher, died in the hands of the enemy.

Wilmington surrendered to General Terry on or about the 22d of February, and General Bragg, with nearly eight thousand men, retreated towards Goldsboroa, to form a junction at last with General Johnston's forces.

The wisdom of the policy advocated by General Beauregard weeks before, but which had been disapproved of by the War Department, was here clearly demonstrated.

Had our untenable seaports and harbor defences, and even the Confederate capital, been abandoned in time, and the troops occupying them withdrawn and concentrated at or about Branchville, S. C., reinforced by two or more corps from the Army of Northern Virginia, a stand could have been made by which Sherman's invading army, then so far from its base?the sea-coast ?would have been effectually checked, and the course of events materially changed.

As it was, place after place fell before overpowering numbers, and the junction of General Bragg's forces with those of General Johnston was only partially effected, after Schofield had united his forces with those of Sherman.

Chapter 46:

General Sherman's preconceived determination to have Columbia burned.

his denial.

his despatch to General Halleck, showing his Intent.

Contradictions contained in his Hartford speech.

General Hampton's advice not to burn the cotton in Columbia.

General Beauregard of the same opinion.

orders to that effect issued on the 16th of February.

statement of Generals Beauregard, Hampton, and Butler.

surrender of the City.

how it was pillaged.

Signal thrown up at 8 P. M.

Outbreak of the fire.

vain efforts by the citizens to arrest its progress.

General Sherman's Connivance in the plan.

testimony of General Howard.

admission by General Sherman that his troops burned Columbia.

the City destroyed.

orders of General Sherman in the morning to arrest the fire and pillage.

letters of General Wade Hampton.>

In a preceding chapter (Chapter XLII.) we had occasion to comment upon the threats, indirectly made, by General Sherman in his demand for the surrender of Savannah (December 17th, 1864); and the intention was declared to recur to the matter at the proper time, as evidence of the Federal commander's preconceived purpose in regard to other Southern cities that might eventually fall into his power.

The following is the passage:

But should I be forced to resort to assault, or to the slower and surer process of starvation, I shall then feel justified in resorting to the harshest measures, and shall make little effort to restrain my army, burning to avenge a great national wrong they attach to Savannah and other large cities which have been so prominent in dragging our country into civil war.

The italics are ours.

It will give additional significance to this utterance, and show that it was not written in Vain, if the reader will note the following passage from Major-General Halleck's despatch to General Sherman, bearing date of Washington, December 18th, 1864? the day after the demand made for the surrender of Savannah: Should you capture Charleston, I hope that by some accident? [the word some is italicized by General Halleck himself]?the place may be destroyed; and if a little salt should be sown upon its site, it may prevent the growth of future crops of nullifcation and secession.

Supplemental Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, vol.

i., p. 287. The italics are ours.

General Sherman says, in his Memoirs, while speaking of the burning of Columbia: Many of the people think this fire was deliberately planned and executed.

This is not true.

Despite irrefutable evidence staring him in the face, he denies the part taken by his army in the work justly asserted to have been done by it. But on the 24th of December, 1864, he sent the following answer to Major-General Halleck's official despatch of December 18th, 1864: I will bear in mind your hint as to Charleston, and don't think salt will be necessary.

When I move, the 15th Corps will be on the right of the right wing, and their position will bring them naturally into Charleston first; and if you have watched the history of that corps, you will have remarked that they generally do their work up pretty well.

The truth is the whole army is burning with an insatiable desire to wreak vengeance upon South Carolina.

I almost tremble at her fate, but feel that she deserves all that seems in store for her. * * * I look upon Columbia as quite as bad as Charleston.

Supplemental Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, vol.

i., p. 291.

Thus, General Sherman agreed with General Halleck in the barbarous programme, and promised its thorough execution.

This furnishes unequivocal proof of malice aforethought and premeditated incendiarism.

The fate of the towns, villages, and hamlets lying in the track of General Sherman's army in South Carolina shows the sincerity of his expressions.

Hardeeville, Grahamville, McPhersonville, Barnwell, Blackville, Midway, Orangeburg, and Lexington, situated between the border of Georgia and the City of Columbia, were given to the flames, and a like doom was reserved for the capital of the State.

The torch was mercilessly applied to buildings, public and private, for hundreds of miles on the route of the invading army.

Gross indignities were perpetrated on the persons of inoffensive inhabitants.

Agricultural implements were wantonly destroyed; dwellings, mills, barns were pillaged and pitilessly reduced to ashes; horses, mules, cattle, goats, and donkeys, not carried away, were killed.

Provisions of all kinds were loaded on interminable trains of wagons, and what could not be thus taken was ruthlessly destroyed.

For, as General Sherman openly said, in his address at Salem, Ill., We were determined to produce results * * * to make every man, woman, and child in the South feel that if they dared to rebel against the flag of their country, they must die or submit.

This is in striking contrast with his Hartford speech of June 8th, 1881, in which he says: These orders were purposely most merciful, because I have not but most kindly feelings towards South Carolina, by reason of old associates and friends made before the war, some of whom were known to be in Columbia, and to whom I extended, personally and officially, every possible assistance.

The facts of the case are these: On the 16th of February, the day on which Lieutenant-General Hampton received official news of his promotion, and was regularly assigned to the command of all the cavalry operating around Columbia, he gave it as his opinion, in a conference with General Beauregard, that, as the enemy was destroying cotton wherever he could find it on his march through South Carolina, it would be not only useless but, perhaps, dangerous to burn the cotton-bales, which, for want of time and a better place to put them, had been piled in the wide streets of Columbia.

The reason then given by General Hampton was, that by burning the cotton, as was originally intended, to prevent it from falling into the hands of the enemy, we might set fire to neighboring buildings, and eventually endanger the whole city.

As General Beauregard was aware that, owing to the destruction of the South Carolina Railroad by the enemy, the cotton then in Columbia could not be removed from its limits, he readily adopted General Hampton's suggestion, and, through the latter, issued at once explicit orders to that effect.

Captain Rawlins Lowndes, General Hampton's adjutant at the time, was the officer who published and signed the orders we refer to, and saw to their prompt and faithful distribution among the troops.

This is corroborated by Generals Beauregard, Hampton, and Butler; by Colonel Otey; by Captain Lowndes; by Lieutenant Chisolm; by the various brigade and regiment commanders on duty that day; in fact, by every officer and private belonging to the Confederate forces then assembled in and around the threatened city, which General Sherman had declared to be quite as bad as Charleston, and therefore, in his opinion, doomed.

To give additional strength to this statement and present it in its proper light, we add the following statement of Generals Beauregard, Hampton, and Butler, fully supported by the officers whose names have been already mentioned?not to speak of hundreds of honorable citizens of Columbia, conspicuous among whom were Dr. Goodwyn, its respected Mayor, and the Rev. Doctors A. Toomer Porter and P. J. Shand?to wit:

That when, between 9 and 10 o'clock A. M. on the 17th, General Butler's last trooper rode out of the capital of South Carolina, just as the vanguard of the Federal army was entering it, not one bale of the cotton piled in its streets had been set afire.

The only thing burning at the time of the evacuation was the depot of the South Carolina Railroad, situated on the distant outskirts of the city?too far to have communicated the fire to any other building, and which, for want of material, very soon burned itself out.

This silences all contradiction, for this is simply the truth.

It remains none the less a fact, however, that Columbia was destroyed by fire.

When was it so destroyed, and by whom?

Between 8 and 9 o'clock A. M., on the 17th, Dr. Goodwyn, the Mayor, and three Aldermen, whose names we are unable to give, formally surrendered the city to the first officer of the hostile army whom they met, and were promised protection to the town and its inhabitants until communication could be had with General Sherman.

Testimony of Dr. Goodwyn before the Investigation Committee. At 11 o'clock A. M. Columbia was in the possession of the Federal forces.

The first detachment that entered it formed part of the command of the officer (Colonel Stone) to whom the surrender was made, and belonged to the 15th Corps, of whose work General Sherman had exultingly spoken in his despatch to General Halleck, already given.

No sooner had the Federals entered the city than universal pillage began.

Stores and private buildings were indiscriminately sacked, and neither check nor restraint was put upon the soldiery by their officers.

At about 2 P. M. General Sherman rode in. He also promised protection to the city, as Colonel Stone had previously done.

Meanwhile, and, in fact, hours before General Sherman's appearance, open and undisguised warnings were given the inhabitants of the fate awaiting them.

Some were cautioned to leave immediately, as, before the next morning, everything around them would be reduced to ashes.

See testimony of Mrs. L. S. McCord and William H. Orchard before Investigation Committee. The signal at which the conflagration was to begin?three rockets, to be fired, at about eight o'clock, in front of the Mayor's residence?was also spoken of and distinctly described, at times with jeers and threats, occasionally with an appearance of compassion for the unfortunate inhabitants.

At the appointed hour these rockets shot upwards, attracting the attention of the whole city, and shortly afterwards the troops scattered down the streets; suddenly fires broke out in every direction, at points distant from each other, and the flames spread on all sides.

Citizens, with their fire-companies, at first rushed to the burning houses, attempting, as best they could, to save them from destruction; but they were unable to effect any good, not only on account of the extent of the conflagration, but because the Federals, wild with joy at the bonfires they had lighted, pierced the hose and disabled the engines.

Report of Investigation Committee.

Before morning, on the 18th, the greater portion of the city was a heap of smouldering ashes.

Most of its inhabitants?old men, women, and children?passed that winter night unsheltered from wind and cold.

And General Sherman rode through the streets that night and looked on.

That General Sherman did not issue direct and open orders for the destruction of Columbia we are willing to admit; but that he knew what work would be accomplished by his army, burning with an insatiable desire to wreak vengeance upon South Carolina; that he countenanced the vandalism of his troops, is undeniable.

Otherwise, not only would there have been no ambiguity about the order to burn, but a positive order not to burn would have been issued.

Invading columns, such especially as composed the notorious 15th Federal Corps, require no prompting to be aware that, in military discipline as well as in law, what is not prohibited is allowed.

Among the witnesses summoned?so to say?by General Sherman in support of his allegation that the Confederate cavalry, and not his troops, caused the destruction of the capital of South Carolina, is General O. O. Howard, who commanded the right wing of the Federal army at that time.

General Sherman in his Hartford speech said: Mr. Davis was not in Columbia during that fire, nor was General Hampton.

I was, and so was General 0. 0.

Howard * * * and fourteen thousand honest, good, true Union soldiers. * * * The fire in Columbia, on the night of February 17th, 1865, in my judgment, then and now, was caused by particles of burning cotton. * * * The cotton was unquestionably set fire to by the Confederate cavalry, etc. General Sherman is unfortunate in the selection of his witness, for we have it from the Rev. P. J. Shand, who was in Columbia at the time of its destruction, and saw and personally felt the effects of the ruthlessness of the enemy, that, in November, 1865, upon his visiting General Howard, at his headquarters in Charleston, on matters of business, the latter stated to him, in the presence of a friend, that though General Sherman did not order the burning of the town, yet, somehow or other, the men had taken up the idea that if they destroyed the capital of South Carolina it would be peculiarly gratifying to General Sherman.

The Rev. P. J. Shand's testimony before Investigation Committee. And upon another occasion, two years later, in the presence of the Hon. James L. Orr, then Governor of South Carolina, afterwards United States Minister to Russia, and of General John S. Preston, also of South Carolina, General Howard distinctly stated to General Hampton, referring to the burning of Columbia, that no one was authorized to say that the Federal troops did not burn Columbia, as he saw them doing so in numerous instances, and in various localities of the town.

See letters of Hon. James L. Orr and of General John S. Preston, in Appendix.

The italics are ours. But, what is still more striking, is the fact that General Sherman himself admitted that the burning of Columbia was the act of his own troops, though he endeavored to screen them from odium by declaring them mad and irresponsible from the effects of liquor.

To the Rev. A. Toomer Porter, in the bright light of the burning city, and on the day following to Doctor Goodwyn, he said that, owing to the indiscretion of their Governor and Mayor, who had allowed hundreds of casks of whiskey to be left in the evacuated city, his men had got so drunk as to be entirely beyond his control.

Pointing to the ruins surrounding him, he remarked, And this is the result.

There was no allusion made to General Hampton, to accident, or to cotton, says Doctor Goodwyn.

See, in Appendix, extracts from the Rev. A. Toomer Porter's and Dr. Goodwyn's testimony, as given before the Investigation Committee. That allusion was an after-thought, prompted, as General Sherman himself admits, by his desire to shake the faith of his [General Hampton's] people in him, for he was, in my opinion, boastful, and professed to be the special champion of South Carolina.

From General Sherman's Memoirs, vol.

II., p. 287. From General Sherman's Memoirs, vol.

II., p. 287.

But the unconscious admission of General Sherman that Columbia was destroyed by the Federal troops is not confined to what has just been stated.

In his Memoirs (vol.

II., p. 349), alluding to the death of Mr. Lincoln, of which he apprised General Johnston in his first interview with the latter, on the 17th of April, 1865, he says: Mr. Lincoln was peculiarly endeared to the soldiers, and I feared that some foolish woman or man in Raleigh might say something or do something that would madden our men, and that a fate worse than that of Columbia would befall the place.

This is significant, and shows conclusively: that it was the men of the Federal army who burned Columbia.

Madden the same men in Raleigh, and Raleigh will suffer a like fate to that of Columbia.

This is clearly the meaning of General Sherman's words.

When, to gratify their Commander-in-chief, the men of the 15th Federal Corps, who generally did their work up pretty well, had wreaked vengeance all night upon the defenseless people now in their power, General Sherman, satiated at last with what he himself termed a horrible sight,

The Rev. A. Toomer Porter's testimony. issued peremptory orders to turn out the guard and stop the burning and pillage then going on. In spite of the alleged drunkenness of the Federal forces, which has been denied by many a credible witness, so good was their discipline, so complete the control of their officers?and so obedient these to General Sherman?that scarcely an hour and a half had elapsed after his orders were given before quiet reigned throughout the city.

When, in General Sherman's opinion, it became time to put an end to what Mr. Whitelaw Reid has called the most monstrous barbarity of that barbarous march ;

From Mr. Whitelaw Reid's work, Ohio in the War. when he thought that even the capital of South Carolina had been sufficiently scourged, he issued the order, which was immediately and unhesitatingly obeyed.

In proof of the stern discipline exacted by the officers of General Sherman's army, it may be stated here that nine Federal soldiers who, in various places, still loitered in the streets and disregarded the order, were, in the presence of many a citizen and by-stander, mercilessly shot dead.

We do not deny that some of the cotton piled in the streets of Columbia was set on fire and actually burned on the 17th of February; but what we assert is, that it was after?hours after? the city had been evacuated by the Confederate troops; and that it was the work of General Sherman's own men. They could not carry the cotton with them or use it; and whether on their march through the streets into which the cotton-bales had been rolled, or while reclining against them during their halts, with lighted cigars and pipes, unintentionally or by design, unquestionably they caused the cotton to ignite.

This was easily effected, because the cotton was badly packed, and protruded from the bales in many places.

The citizens, unhindered by the soldiery, quickly extinguished this fire.

The general conflagration of the buildings, shown to have been the premeditated work of the Federal troops, was, by understanding, begun at dark; and, fanned by a sharp wind blowing from the west, soon reached the cotton, setting it in a blaze, thus increasing the conflagration in that part of the city.

The Appendix to this chapter contains the proof of what is here alleged.

So does the following letter, written, in 1866, by General Wade Hampton to the Hon. Reverdy Johnson, then a Senator in the United States Congress:

wild woods, Mississippi, April 21st, 1866. To Hon. Reverdy Johnson, United States Senate:

Sir,?A few days ago I saw in the published proceedings of Congress that a petition from Benjamin Kawles, of Columbia, S. C., asking for compensation for the destruction of his house by the Federal army, in February, 1865, had been presented to the Senate, accompanied by a letter from Major-General Sherman.

In this letter General Sherman uses the following language: The citizens of Columbia set fire to thousands of bales of cotton rolled out in the streets, and which were burning before we entered Columbia.

I myself was in the city as early as nine o'clock,

Were this true?as it is not?General Sherman would have entered Columbia before the Confederate troops left it. We have already shown at what hour the evacuation took place; when Generals Beauregard, Hampton, and Butler withdrew; when the Federal forces took possession; and when? hours afterwards?General Sherman rode in. The Report of the Investigation Committee, ordered by the Legislature of South Carolina, clearly establishes that it was between the hours of 2 and 3 P. M. that General Sherman made his appearance in Columbia. and saw these fires, and knew what efforts were made to extinguish them, but a high and strong wind prevented.

I gave no orders for the burning of your city, but, on the contrary, the conflagration resulted from the great imprudence of cutting the cotton-bales, whereby the contents were spread to the wind, so that it became an impossibility to arrest the fire.

I saw in your Columbia newspaper the printed order of General Wade Hampton, that on the approach of the Yankee army all the cotton should thus be burned, and, from what I saw myself, I have no hesitation in saying that he was the cause of the destruction of your city.

This charge, made against me by General Sherman, having been brought before the Senate of the United States, I am naturally most solicitous to vindicate myself before the same tribunal.

But my State has no representative in that body.

Those who should be her constitutional representatives there are debarred the right to enter into those halls.

There are none who have the right to speak for the South; none to participate in the legislation which governs her; none to impose the taxes she is called upon to pay, and none to vindicate her sons from misrepresentation, injustice, or slander.

Under these circumstances I appeal to you, in the confident hope you will use every effort to see that justice is done in this matter.

I deny, emphatically, that any cotton was fired in Columbia by my order.

I deny that the citizens set fire to thousands of bales rolled out into the streets.

I deny that any cotton was on fire when the Federal troops entered the city.

I most respectfully ask of Congress to appoint a committee, charged with the duty of ascertaining and reporting all the facts connected with the destruction of Columbia, and thus fixing upon the proper author of that enormous crime the infamy he richly deserves.

I am willing to submit the case to any honest tribunal.

Before any such I pledge myself to prove that I gave a positive order, by direction of General Beauregard, that no cotton should be fired; that not one bale was on fire when General Sherman's troops took possession of the city; that he promised protection to the city, and that, in spite of his solemn promise, he burned the city to the ground, deliberately, systematically, and atrociously.

I therefore most earnestly request that Congress may take prompt and efficient measures to investigate this matter fully.

Not only is this due to themselves and to the reputation of the United States army, but also to justice and to truth.

Trusting that you will pardon me for troubling you,

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Wade Hampton.

It is needless to add a word more to show upon whom rests the responsibility for the burning of Columbia.

In vain will General Sherman attempt to wipe this stain from his reputation as a military commander.

His wisest course would have been to maintain absolute silence concerning all that refers to Columbia, trusting to the effects of time to soften, in the minds of his countrymen, the ignominy of having designedly connived at the destruction of a surrendered and, therefore, defenceless city.

Chapter 47:

General Hardee's despatch of the 3d of March to General Johnston.


despatch of the 4th.

failure to follow General Beauregard's instructions.

General Hampton forms a junction with General Hardee on the 10th.

General Hardee retires towards Averysboroa.

General Sherman's entire Army marching on Goldsboroa.

General Johnston at Smithfield.

is attacked on the 15th, near Averysboroa, by two Federal Corps.

enemy repulsed.

General Hardee falls back towards Smithfield.

General Johnston determines to attack General Sherman's exposed flank.

battle of Bentonville.

success of the Confederates.

distinguished conduct of troops of the Army of Tennessee.

number of General Johnston's troops at the battle of Bentonville.

Confederate loss.

probable loss of the enemy.

junction on the 24th of Generals Sherman and Schofield.

General Beauregard repairs to Smithfield on the 25th.

on the 26th he returns to Raleigh.

his various telegrams, suggestions, and orders.

General Johnston's despatch to him of the 30th of March.

General Beauregard declines the command of Western Virginia and East Tennessee.

various and contradictory reports of threatened raids by Stoneman's and Grierson's commands.

General Beauregard determines to repair to Greensboroa.>

On the 3d of March, General Hardee, from Cheraw, S. C., forwarded this telegram to General Johnston:

The enemy changed position yesterday, advanced on Chesterfield Courthouse, and crossed Thompson's Creek, above that point, late in the afternoon.

I am evacuating Cheraw, and shall move to Rockingham, where I hope to receive your instructions.

General Butler thinks army of Sherman is moving on this place, or on Rockingham.

On the next day (4th), from Rockingham, he telegraphed General Johnston as follows:

The enemy pressed us closely yesterday morning, on leaving Cheraw, and it was with great difficulty that the bridge over the river was destroyed.

It was, however, effectively destroyed; but the enemy succeeded in laying a pontoon, and at last accounts (9.30 this morning) had crossed a brigade.

Most of my command will reach this place to-night.

I brought off all of the supplies that my transportation?which is in a wretched condition?could admit of. In obedience to General Beauregard's instructions of 24th ultimo, I shall move towards Greensboroa to-morrow.

I had made arrangements to move by Fayetteville, but received a despatch from General Bragg stating that Schofield was moving up the west bank of Cape Fear River.

His despatch contradicting this report was not received until yesterday, when my troops and trains were moving on the Rockingham road, and I had ordered the destruction of all bridges on the Fayetteville road.

Sherman, I think, will march to Fayetteville, to form a junction with Schofield and to obtain supplies.

General Hardee here refers to General Beauregard's instructions of the 24th of February, but omits all mention of those of the 26th, which were full and explicit, and intended to meet every exigency which might arise.

See these instructions, in Appendix. made a great mistake in not adhering to them, as he himself must have seen, before his forces reached Rockingham.

Much time and many supplies would have been saved had he adopted the course marked out for him. General Beauregard, in several despatches to General Johnston, frankly?and, we think, properly?censured General Hardee's failure to follow his instructions.

He even sent him a direct order to march at once on Fayetteville, if possible; and if not, on Raleigh.

See Appendix.

Owing to unavoidable delays and high-water General Hampton and the cavalry with him could only form a junction with General Hardee, at or near Fayetteville, on the 10th of March, just before the enemy crossed the Cape Fear River, at Cedar Creek, Fayetteville, and Elliott's Ferry, seven miles above.

On the 11th the troops under General Bragg were on their way to Goldsboroa from Kinston, where the Federals had been strongly reinforced from Wilmington.

They had been beaten, on the 8th, by General Bragg, with Hill's and Hoke's forces, and suffered a loss of about fifteen hundred prisoners and three field-pieces, exclusive of a large number of killed and wounded.

It was a creditable affair to the handful of Confederates who took part in it, and we must say that Major-General Cox and the three Federal divisions under him displayed lack of vigor in their resistance.

General Hardee now retired towards Averysboroa, leaving a brigade behind Silver Creek, to hold the enemy in check.

This force was subsequently withdrawn, and replaced by dismounted cavalry, which occupied the slight works there thrown up by the infantry.

On the 14th the enemy attacked the works sharply, but was repulsed, and fell back about four miles. There he was reported to have received supplies, by the river, from Wilmington.

General Beauregard was anxious that General Johnston should now immediately concentrate his forces against Schofield, and defeat him before he could effect his junction with the main body of General Sherman's army.

Circumstances and the views of the General commanding, which, in that respect, differed from those of General Beauregard, prevented the execution of the suggested movement.

On the 15th of March, General Sherman's entire army had crossed Cape Fear River, and was on its march to Goldsboroa.

His four corps advanced in the following manner: the 17th on the right, the 15th next in order, the 14th and 20th on the left, with the cavalry in close supporting distance to that flank.

General Johnston, believing that the enemy might be inclined to move on Raleigh as well as on Goldsboroa, had collected a portion of his forces at Smithfield, while General Hardee was on his way from Fayetteville to Raleigh, with part of his cavalry on the road leading to Raleigh, and part of it on the Goldsboroa road.

On the 16th, at a point five miles south of Averysboroa, He was attacked by the two Federal corps under General Slocum and by Kilpatrick's cavalry.

General Hardee had posted his force in two lines.

On the first was formed Colonel Alfred Rhett's brigade of Regulars, from the defences of Charleston, supported by a battalion of light artillery and some of Hampton's cavalry.

That line was attacked by Jackson's division, a part of Ward's, and by a portion of Kilpatrick's cavalry, in two successive assaults and a movement in front and flank.

After repulsing with slaughter two attacks and maintaining the front line for several hours, the command fell back to the second line, which General Hardee held, driving back the enemy.

General Sherman speaks of this defence as stubborn.

Our loss was computed at five hundred.

That of the enemy, according to prisoners' accounts, amounted to thirty-two hundred. General Sherman, in his Memoirs, gives the casualties on the Federal side at twelve officers and sixty-five men killed, and four hundred and seventy-seven men wounded; a serious loss, he adds, because every wounded man had to be carried in an ambulance.

Sherman's Memoirs, vol.

II., p. 302. General Johnston, in his Narrative of Military Operations, criticises General Sherman's report, and says that if his soldiers were driven back repeatedly by a fourth of their numbers, with a loss so utterly insignificant, then General Sherman's army had been demoralized.

Johnston's Narrative of Military Operations, p. 383.

General Hardee, now fearing an attempt to turn his left, and knowing his incapacity to resist the odds against him, fell back, in the night, towards Smithfield.

On the day of this occurrence, and with a view to avoid all misunderstanding among subordinate commanders, General Beauregard was officially announced as second in command to General Johnston.

The latter's telegrams to General Beauregard, dated March 20th, 21st, and 23d, speak of the encounter with the enemy at Bentonville, and give the various incidents of that fight?the last of the war, in the east?and one which was much to the honor of the Confederates.

Taking advantage of the fact that General Sherman's left wing was at some distance from the right, General Johnston, on the morning of the 19th, determined to strike a blow while he had the chance to do so. Of that determination, and of the manner in which it was carried out, General Sherman says:

I have always accorded to General Johnston due credit for boldness in his attack on our exposed flank at Bentonville; but I think he understates his strength, and doubt whether at the time he had accurate returns from his miscellaneous army, collected from Hoke, Bragg, Hardee, Lee, etc.

This last expression of opinion was evidently given in extenuation of the failure of the Federals to withstand the attack made by the much inferior force opposed to them; for, further on, General Sherman also says:

General Sherman's Memoirs, vol.

II., p. 306. With the knowledge now possessed of his small force, of course I committed an error in not overwhelming Johnston's army on the 21st of March, 1865.

Without attempting to discuss what General Sherman could or could not have done, had he known the real weakness of the Confederate troops in his front, we merely add that they were even weaker than he supposed them to be, for neither General S. D. Lee's forces, nor General Cheatham's, nor even Generals Wheeler's and Butler's cavalry, were with General Johnston at the time.

General Hardee was hurriedly marched to Bentonville, and, as soon as his troops reached that place, the battle opened.

It lasted until evening.

The enemy was driven a mile from his intrenchments, one of his corps was routed, and three of his guns were captured.

He rallied on fresh troops, however, and then attempted the offensive, which the Confederates successfully and easily resisted until dark.

Nothing more was done that night.

The next morning the entire Federal army was in front of General Johnston's forces, and intrenched.

The 15th Corps had moved from the direction of Goldsboroa, on our left flank and rear, necessitating, on our part, a change of front to the south.

All further attack being impossible, General Johnston merely held his position to cover the removal of his wounded and occupy the enemy.

On that and the following day (20th and 21st) several assaults were made by the enemy, but they were invariably repulsed.

The troops of the Tennessee army, said General Johnston, in one of his despatches to General Beauregard, have fully disproved the slander that has been published against them.

Such well-deserved testimony in their behalf must have been most gratifying to their old commander, who, having so often tested their mettle, knew that even at this dark hour of our struggle, and after they had been so hardly tried, there were no better troops in the Confederate service.

What might not have been the result of the battle of Bentonville, if to Bragg's and Hardee's forces, and to the small portion of the Army of Tennessee there present, had been added two corps of the Army of Northern Virginia; or if, without them, General Johnston's forces had really amounted to 49,868 men, as General Badeau asserts, in his Military History of Ulysses S. Grant!

Vol. III., p. 432.

The effective strength under General Johnston, at the battle of Bentonville, did not exceed 14,100 men. General Butler's division of cavalry, posted to watch General Sherman's right column, took no part in the action; nor did, General Wheeler's forces; nor did the 2000 men of the Army of Tennessee, under General Cheatham, who only arrived on the 20th and 21st, and had nothing to do during the first day's encounter.

Johnston's Narrative of Military Operations, pp. 392, 393. The Federal army, on the other hand, must have numbered at least 60,000 men. Half of it?or the whole left wing, composed of two corps?was engaged on the 19th; and the other half?that is to say, the two corps forming the right wing?appeared on the field, and participated in the fight, on the afternoon of the 20th.

Johnston's Narrative of Military Operations, p. 393.

The Confederate loss was as follows: killed, 223; wounded, 1467; missing, 653; making an aggregate of 2343.

Ibid., p. 393. We took 903 prisoners, but were unable to ascertain the full extent of the enemy's casualties.

From the appearance of the field and the language of the Federals it largely exceeded 4000.


On the 24th the junction of Generals Sherman and Schofield, at Goldsboroa, was an accomplished fact.

While apprising General Beauregard of it, General Johnston, after disposing of his troops to the best advantage, anxiously awaited the arrival of General S. D. Lee's forces, and urged all possible rapidity in his movements.

That gallant officer, not then entirely recovered from his wound received at the battle of Nashville, was doing his utmost, in the face of untold difficulties, to press forward his heterogeneous and hastily gathered command.

On the 25th General Beauregard repaired to Smithfield to confer with General Johnston, and ascertain in what way he could aid him most effectively, and whether his presence might not be beneficial with the troops in the field.

General Johnston assured General Beauregard that his services, at this juncture, were more valuable where He then was than at any other point, and that, from rumors of the probable movement of some of the enemy's cavalry, his personal direction, at Greensboroa or Salisbury, might soon be required.

He therefore, without further delay, returned to his headquarters at Raleigh.

The following telegrams forwarded by him to General Johnston and others will show how actively engaged he was in preparing troops for the front, and how, as usual, he was alive to the minutest necessity of the situation:


Raleigh, N. C., March 27th, 1865. Colonel Alfd. Roman, A. A. G., etc., Augusta, Ga.:

Send unarmed troops as rapidly as possible, properly organized.

Subsistence will be collected, as soon as practicable, at Newberry or Alston, on Broad River.

Thence troops must march to Blackstocks or Winnsboroa.

Major McCrady, at Charlotte, will keep you advised of condition of Charlotte Railroad and of bridge at Alston. G. T. Beauregard.


Raleigh, N. C., March 27th, 1865. General Jos. E. Johnston, near Smithfield, N. C.:

Middle and West Georgia, with Tennessee, form one Department.

Cobb is in command of portion of Georgia referred to. Hill commanded remainder belonging to Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Best present arrangement would be to divide Georgia in two districts, under Mackall and Fry; the whole being under Cobb, or higher officers, if they can be had. G. T. Beauregard.


Raleigh, N. C., March 27th, 1865. General Jos. E. Johnston, near Smithfield, N. C.:

General Lee

General S. D. Lee. reported on 25th, from Pinckneyville, he will strike railroad at Catawba Bridge.

Why so high He does not state.

Colonel Roman reports yesterday from Augusta he will forward shortly eighteen hundred men, fully armed and equipped.

He says arms and accoutrements are now exhausted there.

General Holmes states that arms he had were issued by Colonel Hoke, at Charlotte, to Army of Tennessee. G. T. Beauregard.


Raleigh, N. C., March 27th, 1865. General Jos. E. Johnston, Smithfield, N. C.:

On reconsideration I would suggest that each of the States embraced within your proper geographical Department shall form a separate military district, under a Major-General, reporting direct to you, with such subdivisions in each as may be found necessary, under carefully selected officers. G. T. Beauregard.


Raleigh, N. C., March 27th, 1865. General Jos. E. Jqhnston, near Smithfield, N. C.:

For information relative to troops of Army of Tennessee left in Mississippi, see my endorsement of March 5th on Major-General Stevenson's letter of February 27th.

Sharp's and Brantley's brigades must be with Lee's forces now on their way to join you. G. T. Beauregard.


Raleigh, N. C., March 29th, 1865. General Jos. E. Johnston, near Smithfield, N. C.:

General Taylor reports Canby's army attacking Mobile from eastern side, and heavy force of Thomas's cavalry moving down through North Alabama.

I wonder if Minerva has stamped on the earth for our foes? G. T. Beauregard.


Raleigh, N. C., March 29th, 1865. Major-General J. F. Gilmer, Chief-Engineer, C. S. A., Richmond, Va.:

General Cobb and Mayor of Macon having represented iron referred to cannot be taken without serious injury to public service and to that city, I have authorized General Cobb and Colonel Meriwether to select the road from which iron should be taken forthwith. G. T. Beauregard.


Raleigh, N. C., March 29th, 1865. Lieut.-General S. D. Lee, Chester, S. C.:

Send wagon-train by most direct route (dirt road) to Raleigh.

Send your artillery to Yorkville, or best point on Broad River, for supplying men and animals.

Report point selected. G. T. Beauregard.

On the 30th, General Johnston, by telegram from Smithfield, informed General Beauregard that a raid, reported to be Stoneman's party, four thousand strong, was on the point of reaching Lenoir's Station, and that he should communicate with Brigadier-General Bradley Johnson, at Salisbury, or, if necessary, go to that point himself, and issue all orders required to meet the emergency.

General Beauregard was already advised of the rumor, and had been in correspondence with General Bradley Johnson on the subject.

As a provision against the danger threatening Lenoir, he had also telegraphed General S. D. Lee, at Chester, S. C., to stop part of his forces at Salisbury, to meet and defeat the enemy.

In his answer to General Johnston he acquainted him with the various dispositions he had taken, and assured him he would certainly go there, should the necessity arise.

On the same day (30th) a hurried despatch was received by General Beauregard from General Johnston, emanating from the Commander-in-chief of our armies, General Robert E. Lee.

A new and unforeseen danger had arisen in Western Virginia and East Tennessee, to guard against which the War Department and General Lee were, at that moment, embarrassed and distressed to no inconsiderable degree.

It was an additional complication in our grave and perilous situation; a crisis requiring, it was thought, the greatest promptitude, skill, and energy.

Again, as in so many other instances during the course of the war, a call was made upon General Beauregard.

The despatch we refer to was in these words:

Smithfield, March 30th, 1865. General G. T. Beauregard:

Following despatch just received: Can General Beauregard be spared for command of Western Virginia and East Tennessee?would the duty be agreeable to him??R. E. Lee.

General Lee apprehends movements in that direction by Thomas. J. E. Johnston.

Without hesitation General Beauregard forwarded the following answer:

Raleigh, N. C., March 30th, 1865. General Jos. E. Johnston, near Smithfield, N. C.:

My preference is to remain with you as at present, for I could scarcely expect, at this juncture, to be furnished with a force at all commensurate with the exigency, or able to make headway against the enemy, reported advancing from East Tennessee towards Southwestern Virginia.

A mere territorial command, substantially bereft of troops, and in which I could render no positive service, would not be agreeable, for I could not hope to be effective, whereas here I may be useful. G. T. Beauregard.

Thereupon General Johnston telegraphed:

I have received your despatch in reply to General Lee's offer, and read it with great pleasure.

I shall forward it with the same feeling.

It now appeared that the raiding party mentioned above consisted of Terry's force, not Stoneman's. General Beauregard was advised to verify the fact, through General Martin, at Asheville.

Shortly afterwards General Johnston again telegraphed that Brigadier-General Bradley Johnson reported Stoneman's cavalry to be moving on the railroad, and desired that, for the present, troops should be ordered to stop at Greensboroa and Salisbury.

And it might be well, he thought, for General Beauregard himself to go as far as Greensboroa?all of which He was preparing to do when He received the despatch.

Ferguson's cavalry was, at the same time, hurried on from South Carolina.

On that day (31st) General Beauregard also received from General Featherstone, of S. D. Lee's troops, at Salisbury, the information that he had two brigades with him, and another expected the next morning, as well as Johnson's battalion of artillery; with all of which he would begin to fortify at the bridge.

He added that scouts were scarce, and not very reliable, but that the reports made, such as they were, indicated a movement on the Danville Railroad, by Stoneman or Grierson; and, further, that he counted upon a regiment of cavalry in the course of the next night.

General Beauregard, thereupon concluded to stay at Greensboroa, which he knew to be a central point, until events should, assume a more definite shape, and, meanwhile, to examine into the defensive condition of the place.

He reached Greensboroa late that evening.

Chapter 48:

Strength of the Federal Army at Goldsboroa.

General Sherman's reasons for remaining there two weeks.

position of the Confederate forces.

General Beauregard's command extended on the 1st of April.

dispositions taken by him.

General Lee's withdrawal from Petersburg.

evacuation of Richmond.

General Beauregard returns to Greensboroa.

Receives despatches from Mr. Davis on the 4th and 5th.

goes back to Raleigh on the 7th, and to Smithfield on the 8th.

the President urges him to come to Danville.

surrender of General Lee's Army.

President Davis goes to Greensboroa.

General Beauregard awaits him there.

interview between them on the 11th.

President Davis's despatches of that day.

General Beauregard's orders to Generals Lomax, Walker, and Bradley Johnson.

President Davis summons General Johnston to Greensboroa.

he Arrives on the 12th.

conference between the President, his Cabinet, and the two Generals.

General Johnston reluctantly authorized to treat with General Sherman.

General Johnston forwards letter to General Sherman on the 14th.

incident mentioned of silver coin transferred to General Beauregard.

General Sherman's answer to General Johnston.

troops ordered to halt at all points.

General Beauregard's suggestion to General Johnston concerning negotiations.

General Breckinridge present on the second day of the conference.

agreement entered into between Generals Johnston and Sherman on the 18th.

General Breckinridge communicates paper to President Davis.

his delay in answering.

letter of General Breckinridge to President Davis.

his final answer to General Johnston.

despatches from General Sherman.

death of President Lincoln.

what the South thought of it.

General Breckinridge's telegram of April 24th.

General Johnston's answer.

negotiation renewed between Generals Johnston and Sherman.

they meet again at Durham's Station.

terms agreed upon, April 26th.

General Johnston ignorant of the whereabouts of President Davis.

responsibility of concluding terms thrown upon Generals Johnston and Beauregard.

President Davis's efforts to organize a cavalry escort.

circular of General Johnston to his Army on April 27th.>

At this stage of the military operations just described the main body of the Federal army, united at Goldsboroa, consisted of its right wing, under General Howard, aggregating 28,834 men; its left wing, under General Slocum, aggregating 28,063 men; its centre, under General Schofield, aggregating 26,392 men, exclusive of the artillery, numbering 2443 men, with 91 guns; and the cavalry division, under General Kilpatrick, with an effective strength of 5659 men; making a grand aggregate of 91,391 men.

General Sherman's Memoirs, vol.

II., p. 334. Our addition differs from that of General Sherman, though made up from aggregates furnished by him. He finds 88,943?a difference of 2258.

It is easy to perceive that the error is not ours. This estimate does not include General Stoneman's force of cavalry, amounting to 4000, then operating around Greensboroa and Salisbury, and which, though not originally belonging to General Sherman's army, was then under his command.

General Sherman's Memoirs.

See his answer to General Johnston, vol.

II., p. 347

For about fifteen days after its junction with General Schofield this army remained quiet near Goldsboroa, preparatory, as it appears, to the effort General Sherman was about to make to place it north of Roanoke River, and in full communication with the Army of the Potomac.

Ibid., vol.

II., p. 341.

The small Confederate army, under General Johnston, stood between the two roads leading to Raleigh on the one hand, and to Weldon, on the other, so as to be ahead of the enemy on whichever line of march he might adopt, and in order, also, to be able to unite with the Army of Northern Virginia, in case General Lee should favor such a movement, although it was now, probably, too late to carry it out successfully.

The position was wisely selected.

Wheeler's cavalry was stationed north, and Butler's south, of the enemy's camps surrounding Goldsboroa.

On the 1st of April, owing to a despatch just received from General Lee, empowering him to assume command of all troops from Western Virginia and Western North Carolina within his reach, General Beauregard left Greensboroa for Salisbury.

His purpose was, if possible, to confer with Generals Lee and Johnston relative to the actual condition of affairs, and the best disposition to be made of all available troops, from Salisbury to Greensboroa.

As Salisbury appeared to be less threatened than Greensboroa by the enemy's cavalry?Stoneman's?reported to be advancing from Mount Airy and Wytheville, in West Virginia? General Beauregard ordered three brigades, under Featherstone, Shelly, and Gowan, with two light batteries, to move, without delay, in the direction of Greensboroa, whither he returned the same evening.

Soon afterwards, Stoneman appearing more directly to threaten Danville, which was then defended by a mere handful of troops, under General H. H. Walker, General Beauregard sent him Shelly's brigade, of some six hundred men, three batteries from Hillsboroa, and also ordered thither General Wheeler's cavalry, which had been sent by General Johnston to aid in the projected movement to oppose Sherman.

Just at this time occurred the too long delayed and now inevitable evacuation of Richmond (April 2d), which, in General Johnston's opinion, necessitated the recall of Wheeler's force, as General Sherman, altering his purpose to form a junction with General Grant, might be tempted to march at once upon Smithfield and Raleigh.

Colonel J. F. Wheeler's cavalry was allowed, however, to proceed to Danville, where the Confederate Government had now determined to take temporary refuge, supposing? and indeed knowing?that General Lee, upon his retreat from Petersburg, would endeavor to reach Danville with his army.

Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, vol.

II., p. 668.

The line of our defences around Petersburg was broken on the 2d of April, in the morning, and our troops were compelled to fall back on their inner works, thus making the evacuation of the city a mere question of hours.

General Lee had advised that Richmond should be evacuated simultaneously with the withdrawal of his troops that night ;

Ibid., vol.

II., p. 661. and President Davis, informed of the disaster, began immediate preparations for his removal and that of the heads of the various State Departments from the capital of the Confederacy.

He says: The event had come before Lee had expected it, and the announcement was received by us in Richmond with sorrow and surprise; for, though it had been foreseen as a coming event which might possibly, though not probably, be averted, and such preparation as was practicable had been made to meet the contingency when it should occur, it was not believed to be so near at hand.

Ibid., vol.

II., p. 656 And here it is appropriate to say that, far from lamenting the abandonment of Richmond, to which it had clung with such blind pertinacity, the Government should have ordered it weeks, if not months, previously, when the military necessity for such a movement was clearly indicated as the best?and perhaps the only?method of salvation.

An effort to concentrate, at this late hour, when every avenue of retreat was closed and the enemy had formed his junction and accomplished his purpose, was vain and useless.

When this sad news reached General Beauregard?who on the day previous had received a confidential intimation of it?he was bitterly grieved; all the more, because he saw what the necessary result must now be. He was thoroughly convinced that the present hopeless strait could have been avoided had his counsel prevailed, when he urged the withdrawal of a portion of General Lee's army to strike Sherman's columns, then far from their base; and even later, about the 21st of February, when he again strenuously advised concentration at or near Salisbury, with a reinforcement of twenty thousand men from Generals Lee and Bragg, to defeat Sherman first, and attack Grant afterwards.

The battle of Bentonville had proved to General Beauregard that the spirit of the Confederate troops was unbroken, and that, with approximate equality in numbers, those troops could achieve victory.

It was now plain that the grand drama which had lasted for four years was fast drawing to an end. But he resolved, nevertheless, not to relax his efforts to uphold the cause until the last hour.

On his return to Greensboroa, General Beauregard was greeted with kindness by its leading citizens, especially ex-Governor Morehead, whose hospitality he accepted, for himself and staff, during the remainder of his stay in that town.

A system of light defensive works was now devised by General Beauregard for the protection of Greensboroa, which had become an important depot of supplies.

The troops temporarily detained there were called out to construct these defences, in which he caused to be placed a few field-pieces, procured from Hillsboroa, where they then lay, unsupplied with horses and of no use.

The reports concerning Stoneman's raid indicated that he was moving from Wytheville, along the Virginia and Tennessee railroad, with a force of cavalry, variously estimated at from four to eight thousand men, and some light artillery; that a portion of this force had been thrown well out on his right flank, towards Wilkesboroa, Jonesville, Madison, etc., committing depredations on its way, and threatening the railroad from Salisbury to Danville, via Greensboroa; hence great alarm was felt in all these towns.

On the 4th of April, General Beauregard received a telegram from President Davis, and another on the 5th, both from Danville, making inquiry concerning the movements of the enemy, and approving the forwarding of cavalry, which, he said, would be of special value to that place, with the infantry already on its way to it. He also stated that he had had no news from General Lee for several days.

Neither General Johnston nor General Beauregard were better informed as to the movements of the Army of Northern Virginia, concerning which the greatest anxiety prevailed in all quarters.

Danville, now the temporary seat of Government, would have been guarded with the utmost care, in order to tranquillize Mr. Davis, had not the enemy's movements, since the fall of Richmond, required the presence of all our available forces with General Johnston.

This was explained to the President by a despatch from General Beauregard, dated Greensboroa, April 5th, 1865.

The greatest energy was now used to hurry on the returned troops of Hood's army coming from Chester.

Fifteen hundred of them had left that place on the 6th, on their way to Smithfield.

And there being, in appearance, no further immediate danger threatening Greensboroa, General Beauregard, upon inquiring whether he should remain there and await other developments, received the following answer:

near Smithfield, April 6th, 1865. General G. T. Beauregard:

It is not necessary to remain longer.

No news from General Lee. J. E. Johnston.

General Beauregard consequently returned, on the 7th, to Raleigh, which was, properly speaking, his headquarters at that time.

He was anxious to see and confer with General Johnston about the disastrous events which, from all sides, were now crowding upon the country; and, on the 8th, he started for Smithfield, where he and General Johnston exchanged views.

He returned during the same evening to Raleigh.

On the day following this telegram, in cipher, was handed to General Beauregard:

Danville, April 9th, 1865. General G. T. Beauregard:

General Walker, commanding here, desires your presence, in view of the probable concentration of forces from Thomas's army against this place at a very early period, and I think your services here will be more useful than at any other point on the railroad line.

Please make the greatest possible despatch in coming, as a revision of the defensive lines is desirable. Jeffn. Davis.

Before General Beauregard had had time to decide upon any course of action a second despatch came to him, in the following words:

Smithfield, April 9th, 1865. General G. T. Beauregard:

The President wishes you to go to Danville immediately, to talk with him of general operations. J. E. Johnston.

This indicated great anxiety on the part of the President; and though he knew that the alleged danger of an attack by General Thomas's army on Danville, at that time, was purely imaginary, General Beauregard took immediate steps to obey Mr. Davis's behest.

He was on the point of starting, when he received from Colonel Otey, his Adjutant-General, at Greensboroa, the news of the capitulation of General Lee and his army on that day. The surrender of such an army, under such leaders, must necessarily cause discouragement and despair to settle upon the country.

It was easy to see that the remaining Confederate forces, wherever they might be, would soon have to follow the example of General Lee's army, as our resources were small in comparison with those of the enemy, which seemed to be steadily increasing, while ours were no less steadily diminishing.

Such were General Beauregard's thoughts, as he journeyed over the road to Greensboroa, on his way to Danville.

Before reaching his destination, and supposing that the news from the Army of Northern Virginia might have caused other dispositions to be taken, he inquired (April 10th) of General Walker, if his presence was still necessary at Danville.The answer he received was an affirmative one; but almost at the same time came the following despatch from Colonel McLean, A. Q. M., in charge of the President's party:

The President started for Greensboroa at 10 h. this evening, and would be glad to see you on his arrival.

Please give me every information about raiders.

Are Greensboroa and road now safe?

General Beauregard's immediate answer was:

Will await here arrival of President.

Road between this place and Danville safe.

Raiders are at or near Salem.

He then without delay telegraphed General Ferguson to hurry up with his cavalry brigade, from High Point, as fast as he could.

The need of cavalry was greatly felt at that hour, not only to oppose the enemy, but to obtain trustworthy information.

General Beauregard had mostly to depend for the latter on the scouting parties, organized by him out of such volunteers as he could find, and sent in every direction.

In view of General Beauregard's repeated changes of locality, from Salisbury to Raleigh, and his expected trip to Danville, he had concluded to establish his headquarters, for the future, in a box-car, so as to be always ready to move, at a moment's notice.

He gave orders accordingly, and was provided with three boxcars, one of which he used as his office, bedroom, and diningroom, the other for the movable portion of his staff, and the last for the horses.

On arriving at Greensboroa he had these three cars put on a side-track, near the depot.

Early in the morning he was informed that the President's train, carrying himself, his Cabinet, and the Government officers, had arrived during the night, and was then close to his own. He crossed over to Mr. Davis's car, and, upon entering it, was struck by the helpless appearance of the gentlemen assembled there.

A warm welcome was given to General Beauregard, who could hardly find time to answer the rapid questions that were poured from all sides upon him, especially by the members of the Cabinet, with whom He was but slightly acquainted.

The President soon afterwards made his appearance.

He also extended a cordial greeting to General Beauregard; and, taking him aside, questioned him closely and anxiously about current military events.

The facts were far from encouraging, and General Beauregard had a gloomy account to give.

He stated that Sherman, after the battle of Bentonville, had moved to Goldsboroa, where he had formed a junction with Schofield, and had re-supplied himself with all He required, and was now advancing with fully ninety-one thousand men on Smithfield, where was the greater part of General Johnston's force, amounting to less than twenty thousand infantry, and some four thousand cavalry, which had to be much scattered, in order to cover his front and flanks and protect his communications; that a very strong force of the enemy's cavalry,.under Stoneman, was reported to be moving along the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, having already reached Wytheville, Christiansburg, and Salem, whence he was threatening our lines of communication, from Salisbury to Danville; and that he feared, every moment, to hear of his having broken these lines at some important point; that he, General Beauregard, was collecting at Salisbury, Greensboroa, and Danville all the remnants of the Army of Tennessee, still coming in, in small fractions, to rejoin their commands; that he was endeavoring to assemble the convalescents and furloughed men, as well as all the stragglers and deserters he could reach; that he was in great need of cavalry with which to defend our communications and ascertain the movements of the enemy, all his scouts and couriers being persons too old or too young to be very efficient, who had patriotically offered their services, furnishing their own horses and equipments; that he was, however, daily expecting General Ferguson's brigade of cavalry, which was coming from Augusta, Ga., as rapidly as possible, and, in all likelihood, would reach Graham that day.

General Beauregard, in his conference with the President, also told him that, from Macon, General Cobb reported that the enemy's cavalry had penetrated North Alabama, from the Tennessee River, threatening Tuscaloosa, Selma, and Montgomery; while another force of cavalry, supported by infantry and artillery, was advancing, through North Georgia, on Atlanta, Columbus, and Macon, where He, General Cobb, had but few troops, principally local and State reserves, to oppose to them.

He reported further that General Taylor confirmed the news of the Federal advance on Selma and Montgomery, and feared a movement from the Mississippi River, Memphis, and Vicksburg, through the interior of Mississippi, towards Okalona and Meridian; that a determined attack was soon to be expected on Mobile (as reported by General Maury, commanding there), from New Orleans and Pensacola, where there was a large increase of Federal troops; to oppose which General Maury had but an insignificant force under him.

General Beauregard also said to Mr. Davis that the picture he presented to him was most gloomy, but that he thought it his duty to attempt no concealment of the truth, so that the President might have a clear knowledge of the situation, and be prepared for the inevitable.

President Davis lent an attentive ear to the account thus given of the hopeless condition of the Confederacy, but appeared, nevertheless, undismayed.

He said that the struggle could still be carried on to a successful issue, by bringing out all our latent resources; that if the worst came to the worst, we might, by crossing the Mississippi River, with such troops as we could retreat with, unite with Kirby Smith's army, which He estimated at some sixty thousand men, and prolong the war indefinitely.

General Beauregard did not expect, and was amazed at, this evidence of visionary hope on the part of the President.

He admired his confidence, but inwardly condemned what to him seemed to be a total want of judgment and a misconception of the military resources of the country.

The President on that day (11th April), after his interview with General Beauregard, sent three telegrams to General Johnston, by way of Raleigh; one to General Walker, at Danville; and one to Governor Vance, also at Raleigh.

They fully indicate the state of Mr. Davis's mind at the time, and need no commentary:


Greensboroa, N. C., April 11th, 1865: 12 M. General J. E. Johnston, Headquarters, via Raleigh:

The Secretary of War did not join me at Danville.

Is expected here this afternoon.

As your situation may render best, I will go to your headquarters immediately after the arrival of the Secretary of War, or you can come here.

In the former case our conference must be without the presence of General Beauregard.

I have no official report from General Lee.

The Secretary of War may be able to add to information heretofore communicated.

The important question first to be solved is, at what point shall concentration be made, in view of the present position of the two columns of the enemy and the routes which they may adopt to engage your forces before a prompt

The telegram in our files has the word prompt, as we have given it, instead of proposed, as written in Mr. Davis's book.

The meaning of the despatch is not altered by the use of either word. junction with General Walker and others?

Your more intimate knowledge of the data for the solution of the problem deters me from making a specific suggestion on that point. Jeffn. Davis.


Greensboroa, N. C., April 11th, 1865:3.30 P. M. General J. E. Johston, Headquarters, via. Raleigh:

The enemy's cavalry, in small force, this morning cut the Danville Railroad, ten miles from here, and, as reported, moved eastwardly.

Lest communication should be lost, I telegraph to say that General Beauregard proposes, after General Walker shall join him, which will be ordered to commence forthwith, to unite with you at the Yadkin, in front of Salisbury.

And this seems to me to be the most easy method, if pursued, of effecting the proposed junction. Jeffn. Davis.


Greensboroa, N. C., April 11th, 1865. General J. E. Johnston, Headquarters, via Raleigh:

Despatch of 1.30 P. M. received.

Secretary of War has not arrived.

To save time and have all information it is probably better that you come here.

In that event you will give the needful instructions to your second in command, and, if circumstances warrant, suspend the movement suggested in despatch of 3.30 P. M. for a time, which will enable you to communicate from here with that officer, or to indicate that the line has been broken by the enemy, so as to interrupt communication. Jeffn. Davis.


Greensboroa, N. C., April 11th, 1865. General H. H. Walker, Danville, Va.:

The movements of the enemy in Eastern North Carolina indicate the necessity for prompt movement on your part to make a junction here with General Beauregard, and then with General Johnston, on the Yadkin, in front of Salisbury.

You will keep in communication with General Beauregard, on whose information the supposed necessity for your immediate action is based. Jeffn. Davis.


Greensboroa, N. C., April 11th, 1865. Governor Z. B. Vance, Raleigh, N. C.:

I have no official report, but scouts, said to be reliable, and whose statements were circumstantial and corroborative, represent the