ers punished; but when a dispatch goes out of their jurisdiction I see no remedy for the punishment of delinquencies, as they are beyond my control.
A dispatch was sent by Captain De Jarnette to Captain S. S. Lee, commanding Drewry's Bluff Battery, on the 26th instant, as follows: "The enemy in force opposite O, " which meant Hog Island, between Bermuda Hundred and Gill's. The letter was changed to J, which meant Brandon. Captain Chatard, in command at Drewry's Bluff, Captain Lee being sick at Richmond, telegraphed to him that the enemy was landing in force opposite Brandon. This, you will readily perceive, distorted the dispatch amazingly, and was the cause of much undue excitement and some little confusion. Captain Lee sent the dispatch to General Elzey; he sent a dispatch to General D. H. Hill that the enemy was landing at Brandon, 7, 000 strong. I investigated the matter, and I believe the blame for the affair is in proper channel.
I would here take occasion to report that the commanding officer at Chaffin's Bluff demands that it is his right to see all dispatches passing through his post. I respectfully protest, for the following reasons:
1st. That it is in direct violation of General Orders, Numbers 40, May 29, 1862, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, Richmond.
2d. That it is also in direct violation of printed regulations of my corps, duly approved by the commanding general, Robert E. Lee.
3d. It is in direct violation of the oath of secrecy of the signal corps.
4th. It is calculated to create delays in the transmission of messages.
5th, and lastly. I contend that no commanding officer of any post has a right to stop message in transit to his superiors.
In consideration of these circumstances, I respectfully request that the Department may take such action in the matter as they deem the circumstances in the case set forth fully merit, by issuing an order defining the status of signal stations when located at posts, &c.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. MILLIGAN,
Captain, Comdg. I. S. C. and S. O., Dept. of N. C. and S. Va.
Wilmington, July 3, 1863.
General BEAUREGARD, Charleston:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I return your letter to General Johnston, which I have read with great pleasure and profit. Excuse my delay. I have been out for a day or two on the Sounds. Although not sufficiently familiar with the theater of operations in the west, as you are, to be able to decide on the merits of the particular lines of operations proposed in your letter, your plan has my entire admiration.
With able officers to carry out its details, there were and are troops enough in the field to execute it to the letter. Should it be liable to failure, it would only be in the inefficiency of subordinate generals, for it is surely a correct and comprehensive application of the true principles of war, the massing of forces on the decisive points, dividing the enemy, and beating his columns successively.