ENGINEER BUREAU, June 23, 1863.
Respectfully returned to the Adjutant and Inspector General, whose attention is invited to the foregoing indorsement of the Honorable Secretary of War.
J. F. GILMER,
Colonel of Engineers and Chief of Bureau.
ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, June 24, 1863.
Respectfully referred to General G. T. Beauregard, commanding.
By command of Secretary of War.
H. L. CLAY,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, DEPT. OF SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA, Charleston, S. C., June 6, 11863.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have received a paper from Captain Cheves, covered by one from Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, in reference to preparation of batteries on Morris Island.* Referring to my letter of May 24, it will be seen that my intention was then announced of ordering such work, and the reasons were indicated.
About the 10th of March last, it was determined by the commanding general to have the southern end of Morris Island fortified and armed. This was before the occupation of Folly Island by the enemy. Details were furnished from Colonel Graham's regiment; the armament was sent over and some progress was made, but it was slow in the extreme. One reason, I am satisfied, was the carelessness and inattention of the engineer officers. Who was first in charge of the construction of the detached batteries I do not know, but I am aware that several times the working parties were at their posts, and no engineer officer was present to direct their operations. Colonel Graham reported to me several times that the engineers officer often left the work for days together. The batteries were, after some weeks, placed under Captain Cheves, and some progress was made. Meantime, before the batteries were finished, the attack of the 7th of April took place, and the enemy occupied Folly Island. Soon after the repulse of the main attack, they commenced fortifying Folly Island, opposite Schooner Creek, another creek emptying into Folly River north of it, and across the neck separating the main island and Little Folly. These indications of a permanent occupation, and preparations for an attack, led me to watch the progress of our own works. Repeated visits showed but little progress, and, finally, finding that more than two months had elapsed while the works had been in charge of the engineers and the batteries not preparated for service, while the enemy's works were shadily progressing, I determined to have the works which the engineers would not or could not do accomplished by some who would and could. After sending Captain [John C.] Mitchel over to see the state of things, and to prepare for doing the work, Colonel Harris and Captain Cheves called on me with suggestions in regard to the matter. Feeling satisfied that, if left to no other
*See pp. 956, 970-972.