[NOVEMBER 17, 1864.]
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond:
I see no special need for a brigadier of artillery here. I asked for one to command seven battalions of reserves, a good disciplinarian and instructor. General Lee has sent Colonel Connally with North Carolina volunteers.
[NOVEMBER 17, 1864.]
Colonel JOHN B. SALE,
Military Secretary, Richmond:
Colonel Anderson should inspect the commissary, ordnance, and medical departments in Richmond, and in the order named ascertain my status. See my letter of 14th before asking any order. It may be that I am relieved.
[NOVEMBER 18, 1864.- For Lee to Seddon, reporting capture of enemy's picket-line on Pickett's front, see Part I, p. 854.]
Richmond, Va., November 18, 1864.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to state that notwithstanding the vigilance of the enemy we have managed, from time to time, to transfer to their rear torpedoes; but many abortive attempts thus to destroy their shipping before I came here - but one success, I believe, in the James River - have rendered them so watchful that I almost despair of accomplishing anything that way now, with the obstructions in the river and guards to their vessels. It has had one good effect, however, in causing the enemy to watch the river-banks with thousands of their soldiers, who might otherwise be employed against us. We have relied somewhat necessarily upon the " Singer torpedoes," which were located at spots visited by the boats of the enemy, but, as before reported to the engineer bureau, with no adequate results, leading to a doubt of their efficiency in salt water where barnacles and young oysters abound. Our operations have been mainly directed to the James, Pamunkey, and Chickahominy Rivers, and some attempts made in Appomattox with torpedoes. When I left Richmond for Wilmington, in the fall of 1862, we commenced planting submarine mortar batteries in the James, and it is much to be regretted that the officer who relieved me in the submarine defenses did not continue their use, as these, the enemy report, being of a nature they could not remove, kept them out of Charleston harbor. Our efforts for the defence of this place have been directed lately to planting subterra shells between our lines of abatis at our works commanded by General Barton. We have planted at this date 1,298 subterra shells so protected by tin covers inverted over them as thoroughly to shield them from the effect of rain and increase the area of the primer, and might thus be put at the bottom of the river without deteriorating their efficacy. For the protection of our own men, immediately in rear of each shell, at a distance