being built, an additional force is to be put upon it. I have respectfully to state that I shall, upon proper requisition, furnish all the force and material under my control to carry out the orders, wishes, or views of the commanding general.
The point in the report or communication of Lieutenant-Colonel Roman, however, which calls for notice at my hands, particularly, as commanding officer of the First Military District, is his review of my conduct in causing the batteries at the south end of Morris Island to be placed in proper condition for service, by Captain Mitchell, engineer officer in charge of works on Morris Island, Mr. L. Cheves, and without consultation with engineers, &c.
Before noticing this matter, Lieutenant-Colonel Roman gives his opinion on the duties of the engineer officers, which, I beg respectfully to suggest, appear to be rather negative than positive. It appears, according to Lieutenant-Colonel Roman, that the engineer officers are not to be expected to give any direct orders as to details constructions, and that they have no right to give such orders. I opine, however, that it is their duty to lay out the work in accordance with directions which have been given by superior officers, and to see that its nature is understood. In regard to the averments made in my letter of the 24th of May, concerning the works on Morris Island, in which it was stated that one reason for the delay in constructing them was the carelessness or inattention of the engineer officer in charge, my grounds for making this averment were that on several occasions-one in particular, in which I was accompanied by General G. W. Smith-I saw a party of over 50 men, with an officer, ready to go to work, but without directions. Not a stake was placed, not a line was stretched, and on inquiring of the officer in charge, I was told that no engineer had ever informed them of the work to be done, and that he did not know what he was to do, and this was when the enemy was in our harbor and on Folly Island, and about a month after the work, which was neither extensive nor difficult, had been ordered and approved by the commanding general. That time I directed the work myself. Calling upon Colonel Graham, he told me that he had never been informed by the engineer officer of the work to be done, although it was to be executed by his troops, and was in his command, and that he had not seen him for some days. All that he knew of the fortifications, details, &c., had been learned from myself. Calling on Mr. Cheves, at Battery Wagner, he knew nothing of the work, it not being under his charge. Reporting it to the engineer office in Charleston, it was learned that all the works on Morris Island had been placed under Mr. Cheves. Subsequent visits showed certain works of small magnitude progressing without any information of the nature of the works being communicated either to myself or the commanding officer of the island, while matters essential to the service of the batteries were utterly neglected until, about the 24th of May, it was found that the enemy was gaining upon us, and that the works so far as progressed with were useless for want of completion. His guns were mounted, and I had no right to believe were not ready for service. Ours i knew were not ready, and I took the action indicated in my letter of the 24th of May.
This letter Lieutenant-Colonel Roman has especially misapprehended, and has based a criticism on my military conduct upon such