misapprehension, station I have been guilty of a palpable violation of General Orders, Numbers 95, from the headquarters of the department, current series of 1862. It is regretted by myself, since this criticism has been sustained by the commanding general, that Lieutenant-Colonel Roman had not made some allusions in his strictures to Special Orders, Numbers 56, of the current series of this year. Following the instructions of that order, as well as the requisitions of necessity, the batteries at the southern end of Morris Island being unfinished and unprepared, I caused them to be put in order with such force as was at my disposal. Whatever changes were absolutely necessary were reported to the headquarters of the department. With regard to removing Mr. Cheves from the charge of the works, I have the honor to state that he was removed from the charge of the works, I have the honor to state that he was removed from the charge of no works on which he was engaged. Personal observations and the reports of the commanding officer informed me that nothing had been done to the batteries for several days, and but little for some weeks. I applied for Mr. Cheves to report to me for this special work, and I desired him to report to me because the work was to be done by officers and soldiers, was necessary, and I wished to be certain that it should be at once completed. No answer was returned, and in conversation with mr. Cheves, he declined to go on with it or furnish any assistance. Subsequently he reported that he had been virtually displaced and had applied his force to other works on Morris Island and the bridge, which was perhaps fortunate, as these had been so long unfinished and unattended to as to furnish incontestible proof of the inability of the engineer corps to the work with which they were charged. Mr. Cheves' subsequent conduct in discharging the men who were employed has met the approval of the chief engineer and that of the commanding general, though I cannot but believe without the full knowledge of the facts of the case. From statements of Lieutenant-Colonel Yates and other officers, and from what I know to be the case, the ground of his abandoning his work being the want of shelter for his employes, the necessity was doubtful. I cannot but think that the action appeared very much as evincing a disposition to prevent any one else from finishing necessary works upon which he had been engaged in dilatory action for months without completion.
The opinion is expressed in the communication of Lieutenant-Colonel Roman that my action in causing work, which had not been finished by the engineer for twelve weeks from the time it was ordered, to be done by troops under Captain Mitchell, delayed it.
With a high appreciation of the military experience, knowledge of locality and resources, as well as the talent for readily understanding the facts of a case relating to military defense possessed by the inspector-general, as his information was derived from engineers and employes, without consultation with those whose reputations and lives are more or less involved in the delays and negligence of the construction, I must respectfully state that I prefer in such a matter to be guided by the results of my own observation and the reports of military officers cognizant of the daily progress.
Mr. Cheves and the engineers made no effort to erected magazines and complete the batteries. The reason which they gave was the want of transportation. Lieutenant-Colonel Roman adopts their excuse, and apparently did not ascertain how much they had. To show the state of the case, and as an example of the extent to which the inspector-general examined into the matter before giving his opinion, I have the honor to inclose two memoranda from the quartermaster's