War of the Rebellion: Serial 047 Page 0178 S.C. AND GA.COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E.FLA. Chapter XL.

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correct the erroneous impression produced by the "memorandum of the number of steamboats turned over exclusively to the engineer department each day since the 1st of March 1863," to which Brigadier-General Ripley refers in his communication of the 25th ultimo, and the latter to correct "inaccuracies and implications" bearing on Mr. Cheves, both personally and officially, in the same communication, to both of which I respectfully invite the attention of the general commanding. General Ripley has not, as he asserts, received form me any plan, drawing, or description of works, or repairs of works, which are going on under the engineer corps within his command, and this assertion conveys to me the first intimation since my arrival here in October last that he desired me to do so, and I may therefore justly infer that he has heretofore attached no consequence to what he now considers a grievance. Moreover, I always communicated freely (verbally) with General Ripley, until his attack on my department in his letter of the 24th May, in regard to all the works in his district, in which he evinced to me he felt any interest, with the exception of the "exterior protection to the walls of Fort Sumter," and I never had an intimation, by order or otherwise, that any other communication was desired, or deemed necessary for the public service.

Believing that all other points of General Ripley's communication have been fully met and answered in the previous correspondence arising from his letter of the 24th May, I deem it unnecessary to again refer to them.

I have the honor to be, yours, very respectfully,


Lieutenant-Colonel, and Chief Engineer.


JULY 5, 1863.

Order the engineer department to keep a journal of the number of boats employed from the quartermaster's depot, and the number of hours each one is employed per day on engineer duty. The quartermaster's depot will do likewise.

I see no reasons for changing the views expressed in my indorsement of Jun 30, 1863, on Brigadier-General Ripley's letter of June 25, 1863. These papers will be filed away.


General, Commanding.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]


Charleston, S. C., July 3, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel D. B. HARRIS,

Chief Engineer Department:

COLONEL: In reply to the "memorandum of the number of steamboats turned over exclusively to the engineer department each day since the 1st of March, 1863," I would state that no boat was turned over exclusively to this department, subject to any order from this office; that the nature of the work on the rope obstruction, torpedoes, and the transportation of material to Fort Sumter, being such as to demand the use of the boat for a succession of days, the boats were allowed to continue on the duty by the quartermaster in order