officers of neutral nations never have been mediums of communication for the authorities, military or civil, of this Confederacy, the practice of allowing the enemy to communicate with this port by flags of truce on any pretext whatever at the present juncture should be put a stop to.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant
R. S. RIPLEY,
CHARLESTON, February 27, 1863.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN, Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I am desirous of making some experiments with torpedoes, for the purpose of ascertaining the direction of the forces consequent on explosions when accomplished against a vessel's side and 7 fleet below the surface of the water.
I am induced to believe that the entire force will be expended through the side of the vessel, for the reason that this is the only compressible substance in constant with the torpedo, the water surrounding it being perfectly non-compressible and not yielding except by actual displacement, which requires a certain lapse of time to overcome inertia of rest, a period most probably greater than will be required for the burning of a charge sufficiently great to burst in the side of the vessel. I have nearly completed all the arrangements necessary for making the experiment, and now only need a hulk to operate upon.
Should this hypothesis be substantiated by actual experiment, then torpedoes, fired by percussion and borne at the extremities of spared suspended below small boats, may be advantageously used against the enemy's vessels, including iron-clads.
I have prepared several torpedoes to make the test, and their design being novel and perhaps interesting, I would be glad to submit one of them to the examination of the commanding general at any time that may be named.
Arrangements have been made to attach one of these torpedoes to the iron-clad Chicora.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRANCIS D. LEE,
Captain of Engineers.
HDQRS. THIRD MILITARY DISTRICT SOUTH CAROLINA, Pocotaligo, S. C., February 27, 1863.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,
Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose memoranda of operations contemplated in Third Military District, with detailed instructions to commanding officers, between the Coosawhatchie and Savannah Rivers.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. S. WLAKER,
Additional instructions will be sent. Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffords' instructions for the movement of retreat, indicated in memoranda, were sent to him last July.