The board met pursuant to the above order.
Present: Brigadier General R. S. Ripley, president; Brigadier General James H. Trapier, Brigadier General S. R. Gist, and proceeded to the consideration of the points to which attention has been called.
The board have the honor to submit the following report thereon, as follows:
FIRST AND SECOND POINTS.-The board find from the papers submitted by the chief of artillery and ordnance, which are appended, marked A,* and from the knowledge of some of the members, that various requisitions were made for the supply of heavy ordnance, chiefly for the defense of the outer harbor, and especially for armament of Battery Bee, after the 1st of June, 1862, by direction of Major-General Pemberton, then in command of the department of South Carolina and Georgia. Much dependence was placed upon a chain and boom obstruction then being constructed by the order of that officer, which it was hoped and believed would successfully detain an attacking fleet under the fire of the heavy forts at the mouth of the harbor. About the 1st of October it was demonstrated that the chain and boom, upon which much labor had been expended, would prove a failure, and a communication from the chief of artillery to the Ordnance Department at Richmond, approved and indorsed by the commanding general, was forwarded, calling for fifty-one guns-10-inch columbiads. A copy of the indorsement appended, marked B.* The number of guns which it was understood were to have been furnished under requisitions from Major-General Pemberton was ten 10-inch columbiads which, added to the requisitions last mentioned for the inner harbor, would include sixty-one 10-inch columbiads, with their ammunition, exclusive of a number of 10-inch seacoast mortars.
In view of the novel and formidable character of the attack proposed by the enemy the board are of opinion that the guns called for by these requisitions are and have been necessary for the efficient defense of the harbor.
From the records of the ordnance officer of the First Military District it appears that since the 1st of June, 1862, there have been received seventeen 10-inch columbiads, two 42-pounder banded and rifled guns, two 7-inch banded Brooke guns, two 12-pounder banded and rifled gun, and eight 10-inch sea-coast mortars. Considering that the 42-pounder banded and rifled and the 7-inch guns are equivalent to a 10-inch columbiad when they may be in certain positions, it appears that of the principal requisitions sent in there remains a deficiency of thirty-eight 10-inch columbiads still unfurnished. These and the 12-pounder rifled and banded are, however useful, not to be depended on for positive defense against such an attack as is contemplated.
A strong additional security to this harbor would be a few guns of such caliber as it is believed the enemy will bring to the attack. Authority had been obtained some three months since to have one or more 15-inch guns cast at the Charleston Arsenal works. It is believed that most of the iron has been procured and that most of the appliances have been furnished, but from some untoward disagreement between the superintending mechanics and the ordnance officers the progress of the work has been delayed, if not indefinitely postponed. It will be be well, in the opinion of the board, that the work should be pressed