CHARLESTON, April 12, 1863.
Messrs. ORR AND BARNWELL,
Confederate States Senators, Richmond:
Have advised a secret expedition which will shake Abolitiondom to foundation if successful. My hopes are strong. I regret much Lee's torpedo ram is not finished. It is the greatest invention of the day.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
April 13, 1863.
Captain JOHN R. TUCKER,
Commanding Naval Forces Afloat, Charleston, S. C.:
CAPTAIN: Our intention of attacking the enemy's iron-clads last night having been disappointed by the departure of his monitors for the south, I beg to propose that we should attempt to destroy the Ironsides, just outside of the bar, and raise the blockade, as follows:
To-night, or as soon as practicable, to move out with four or five of our harbor steamboats and blockade runners (burning anthracite coal to avoid making smoke), having each in town four of the spar-torpedo row-boats; these must be accompanied by the two gunboats, moving in a direction nearly opposite to the supposed position of the Ironsides. So soon as the first line of steamers shall have arrived close enough to distinguish well (without itself being seen) the lights or positions of the blockaders the torpedo boats must be cast loose, the two first on the left to attack the first light or enemy's vessel in that direction, the next two the second light, the third two the third light, &c., toward the right, thus using these torpedo boats as flankers to the gunboats. Simultaneous with this attack the two gunboats should make at once directly for the position of the Ironsides, sinking the latter as soon as practicable.
The small boats will make for the nearest point of shore immediately after their attack and then retire to the protection of the forts; the two gunboats will remain outside long enough to effectually raise the blockade in such a way that it cannot this time be gainsaid; they should not, however, remain long enough to be overpowered by the return of the enemy's monitors.
With proper precautions in the details of this expedition I have no doubt, captain, of its entire success. General Ripley, commanding this district, will furnish you all the assistance in his power.
I remain, respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
SIGNAL OFFICE, April 13, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
Have obtained key to signals of enemy. Can read many dispatches of the fleet, but am watchful of deception. Will send you key.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
Respectfully submitted to the President.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.