War of the Rebellion: Serial 047 Page 0167 Chapter XL. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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department, showing the boats used by the engineers exclusively daily from the 1st of March to the 10th of June, and the number used by the quartermaster's department for the same time. The average of boats used by the engineers, it will be seen, is 3.64, more than Lieutenant-Colonel Roman recommends should be furnished them. By the quartermaster's department an average of 2.25 was used, showing an excess for the engineers; and besides, the quartermaster's boats have transported during that time no inconsiderable portion of their material, including all the lumber used in the magazines under discussion.

Another difficulty suggested by mr. Cheves was that after the timber was on Morris Island he could not transport it to the position of the magazine, because his mules were not fed. From inquiries made of the quartermasters having the matter in charge, I believe that there has always been a supply of corn on Morris Island, although not always equally distributed, the transportation having been sometimes interfered with by the weather, and the boats being in use by the engineers. Other animals did not suffer, and although Mr. Cheves expressed the opinion had some weight with Captain Mitchell, the effort was made and the work completed.

With regard to the delay suggested by Lieutenant-Colonel Roman, I beg respectfully to state that Captains Mitchell commenced his work about the 1st of June, no answer having been received to my communication of the 24th of May; had his magazine completed, his batteries in order and supplied by the 11th, opened fire on the 12th, which has been continued from time to time with the effect of giving a check to the enemy's works and reconnaissances on Little Folly, and interposing a strong obstacle to the passage of the enemy in that direction.

With full respect for the opinion of the inspector-general, my own is that had the matter been left as it was the works would not have been done at the present time. So far as the reinstating of Mr. Cheves to the superintendence of the works on Morris Island is concerned, or rather his returning to the duty which he abandoned, he having removed himself from such works as he was engaged on, I have no objections, but trust, however, that the work will be done in reasonable time, and its delays be for such reasons as will admit of no doubt of their necessity.

There are some matters, connected with the performance of engineer duties in this command, to which I beg respectfully to call the attention of the commanding general. Lieutenant-Colonel Roman, in his report, mentions district engineers, &c. Now, under the present arrangement for that duty, engineer offices appear to consider themselves absolutely independent of instructions from, or the views or wishes of, the district commander and the commanding officer of forts and works. Up to this time I have not received from the chief engineer, or any other, any plan, drawing, or description of works, or repairs of works, which are going on under that corps within my command. Orders, Numbers 95, direct that these works shall be done only under orders from department headquarters, except under certain contingencies, and they have apparently been so interpreted as to lead to engineers withholding from officers who are to man and defend the works, and to be held responsible for them, information respecting such operations as are going on within their commands.*


*See Jordan's indorsement, p. 168.