War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0689 Chapter XL. SINKING OF CONFEDERATE TRANSPORT SUMTER.

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tuted, so as to leave no doubt as to whose duty it was to give the notice.

the papers submitted to me seem to place this duty upon the officer charged with he transportation.

I have the honor to return herewith the papers bearing upon this subject which have been submitted to my notice.*

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. F. GILMER,

Major-General, Second in Command.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD,

Commanding Department.

[Indorsement.]

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

Charleston, S. C., September 24, 1863.

It is apparent the cause of the disaster referred to rests mainly on Major Pringle, post quartermaster in charge of the transportation that night, who has already been admonished on the subject from these headquarters on the 11th instant. Major Pringle's zeal, energy, and valuable services in keeping up nightly communications with Morris Island, from the 10th of July last to the 7th of September, especially during the night of the evacuation of the island, alone shield him from trial by court-martial for neglecting to communicate by telegraph to the batteries on Sullivan's Island that his transport steamer was about to return into the harbor, passing outside of Fort Sumter. The loss of the boat and of several valuable lives were necessarily the consequence of his oversight, and should admonish him that vigilance and presence of mind are as indispensable as zeal and energy to those placed in responsible positions.

G. T. BEAUREGARD,

General, Commanding.

Numbers 2. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Roman, Assistant Inspector-General, Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

ASSISTANT INSPECTOR-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

Charleston, S. C., September 6, 1863.

GENERAL: After a careful examination of the evidence offered by Colonel Butler and other officers of Fort Moultrie; of Colonel Rhett, in command of Fort Sumter; of Lieutenant-Colonel Dantzler, of the Twentieth South Carolina Regiment; of Major Pringle, assistant quartermaster, and others, in connection with the sinking of the steamer Sumter, on the morning of the 31st of August last, by the batteries of Moultrie, I have the honor to report as follows:

That many unfortunate circumstances seem to have concurred on the night of the 30th of August to render almost unavoidable the loss of the steamer Sumter and of the lives of several of our men.

First. The want of a regular system of night signals between our transports and our harbor batteries.

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*See the reports and their inclosures following.

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44 R R-VOL XXVIII, PT I