CHARLESTON, S. C., November 30, 1862.
Brigadier General W. S. Walker, Pocotaligo:
Please inform me appearance of enemy's fleet at Hilton Head. If all be quiet, resume normal condition of troops.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
CHARLESTON, November 30, 1862.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN, Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I would respectfully present my report on the progress of the work on marine torpedo ram for the fourth week of its construction, ending November 29, 1862. During that period the workmen have ben engaged in planking the exterior and ceiling the interior of the vessel, in preparing the clamps on which to place the deck timbers, now ready to go into position.
After making many ineffectual efforts to obtain a supply of iron for casting from official sources, and finding it absolutely impossible to procure by purchase any considerable quantity in this city, I sent an agent to the plantations on Cooper River to arrange with the planters for the purchase of such scrap iron as may be in their possession.
My agent has just returned, and has reported that he has obtained about twenty-five tons, deliverable at the landings on the river. I have also received information of a further supply to be delivered at the railroad depot at Camden, S. C., and have ordered its transportation to this city. These supplies will no doubt be sufficient to accomplish our purpose.
A special agent sent by me to Wilmington to examine the boilers belonging to Government at that place and to ascertain everything concerning them, also to make careful inquiry as to whether a proper engine and boilers may be obtained from other sources in that city, has not yet reported.
In obedience to the instructions of the general commanding I addressed a communication (November 26) to Captain John McCrady, chief engineer of Georgia, in reference to obtaining all necessary information as to the dimensions, &c., of engines, boilers, shafting, and propeller of steam-tug Barton, at Savannah; also to make inquiry of Brigadier-General Mercer if said vessel could possibly be spared from her present service. No reply has yet been received to my letter. In connection with this matter it may be proper for me her to state that Commander Hartstene has addressed me a note, stating that if the engine, &c., desired can be obtained, to give the ram good speed, he would volunteer to take charge of her. He has expressed a deep interest in the undertaking, and I believe his cool judgment and determination would aid to a great degree in obtaining a successful issue to the enterprise.
In conclusion I would beg to say that all the practical difficulties that presented themselves on a close and careful investigation of the design have been satisfactorily overcome, and I now feel assured of success. This assurance is greatly strengthened by the confidence expressed by every one associated with me in the work.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRANCIS D. LEE,
Captain, Engineers, Provisional Army Confederate States.