to render daily requisitions for transportation unnecessary, but were subject to his hourly call, as a number of instances of which he availed himself testify, without even the knowledge of the department.
As to all other applications of the steamboats for transportation by this department, I positively assert that the boats have not been officially controlled for a day by this office; that the transportation has only been required, and whether that transportation has been met with unnecessary delay or waste can be answered by the quartermaster, under whose command they run. I know that they have taken as much as twelve days to make a single trip to James Island, and incredible periods to other points. The causes of these delays are not inquired into by this department, as it was not its duty. The captains are presumed to report daily their occupation to the quartermaster from whom they receive their daily orders, which is sufficient evidence that no transfer has been made. The memorandum simply shows that the quartermast has applies these boats to transportation on account of this department (some of them used, probably, only a few hours of a day). Whether that number was necessarily employed, or the amount of transportation necessarily expended, is his, and only his, duty to answer.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. H. ECHOLS,
Major, and Chief of Engineers, South Carolina.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
CHARLESTON, July 4, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel D. B. HARRIS,
Engineer-in-Chief, Department South Carolina, &c.:
COLONEL: Referring to Brigadier-General Ripley's communication of June 25, I deem in impertinent to do more than correct inaccuracies and implications bering directly on myself personally or officially. I regret the inevitable length of my remakes, which i have studied to condense.
On the "one occasion" cited, when it was reported to me by General Ripley that a fatigue party at the south end of Morris Island were without instructions and did not know what to do, the general forgets that, while I did probably reply that "I knew nothing of the work, it not being under my charge," excepting very lately and temporarily during illness of the proper officer, I did also emphatically add (so emphatically that I afterward reproached myself with rude vehemence) "their not knowing what to do is a mere pretense to cover their laziness. They do know perfectly well what to do." I immediately rode to the ground, taxed the officer in charge with the mispresentation, and then learned that a junior officer had been allowed to withdraw a portion of the detail to another work which he knew nothing about, and where ha was in fact doing worse than nothing.
The general denies that I was removed from the charge of any works. I have never, unless inadvertently, affirmed it, but only that all the available labor for their prosecution was abstracted from me, and that an artillery officer was charged by General Ripley with the execution of my duties. It is alleged that, "in conversation with Mr. Cheves, he declined to go on with it or furnish any assistance." I certainly had no such conversation with General Ripley. With