War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0645 Chapter XL. BOMBARDMENT OF FORT SUMTER, S. C.

Search Civil War Official Records

[Indorsements.]

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH MILITARY DISTRICT,

Charleston, December 14, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded. I would respectfully call attention to the conduct of the signal corps on Sullivan's and James Islands and request that official notice be taken of the matter.

ALFRED RHETT,

Colonel, Commanding.

DECEMBER 15, 1863.

Have the conduct of the signal corps referred to inquired into at once. Have the names of the officers and the telegraph operator, referred to by Colonel Elliott, mentioned in orders, for coolness and zeal.

G. T. B. [BEAUREGARD],

General, Commanding.

December 13.-The steamer did not communicate last night, her commander alleging as a reason the heavy weather, which was, however, not bad enough to prevent the passage of the guard and telegraph boats.

During the middle and latter portion of the night the wind subsided and a more passable opportunity could not have been obtained. I am surprised that movements of importance should be left to the discretion and final decision of irresponsible and timed steamboat captains.

The passage can be made with little risk by running down on the Sullivan's Island side until the light is shut in and then turning for the fort and keeping in its shade until the wharf is reached.

I sent by the guard-boat last night the report of yesterday morning and the day before.

The passages are cooling slowly; the gorge wall is much sunken in over the exploded magazine.

We have no ration for to-morrow. No fire engine has come. I would like the garrison reduced to the original number, to-night, if convenient.

The action of the waves has made the slopes inaccessible at present, through at the loss much valuable material. No firing yesterday.

[Indorsements.]

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH MILITARY DISTRICT,

Charleston, December 13, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded, with the request that an officer be put in charge of these boats, at least until the emergency os over.

ALFRED RHETT,

Colonel, Commanding.

HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,

Charleston, S. C., December 13, 1863.

Approved, and respectfully referred to Major [Hudson] Lee for his information and immediate attention.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

General, Commanding.