Captain Mitchell, I unreservedly declined all official co-operation in the execution of his orders to supersede myself, but freely advised with him personally, and communicated the tenor of all my official instructions, which he made a point of following wherever his orders permitted. Colonel Graham was never officially informed by me of the work I was ordered to do, but all inquiries were freely answered. It is true that these were not frequent, and that I did not press the subject on his attention. It is true, also, that many days together elapsed without my seeing Colonel Graham, but I was daily at my work, and very rarely, elsewhere, absent from my quarters. If "nothing had been done to the batteries for several days, and little for several weeks," it was imply because everything ordered was already done, except the magazine, for which I had no material, and the detail was then employed under my advice, at Colonel Graham's request, on work necessary in the availability of a considerable line of rifle-pits previously executed by himself without consultation. I respectfully insist that, except this magazine, no work ordered more than twenty-four hours previous was "unfinished and unprepared" on the 24th May, or has been finished or prepared since.
The magazine, which Captain Mitchell commenced about the 1st of June, was unfinished and in precarious state when fire was opened on the 12th, and is not finished yet, though now quite serviceable. I had the honor of assuring General Ripley, before any symptoms of his dissatisfaction had been betrayed to me, that with proper material I could finish the same in a week. I do not mean to impeach the diligence or efficiency of Captain Mitchell's exertions. the delay was unavoidable from the quality of the materials. The general's definite charge of a captious temper and sinister purpose compels me to notice his remarks on my conduct in discharging my men for want of shelter. Lieutenant-Colonel Yates never had one of my men employed on Morris Island, and sheltered in tents or otherwise. The tents with which Colonel yates intended to shelter these men wee sent to him on that day and for that purpose. My reply to Colonel Yates' proffer of the house for a day or two was not a refusal, but a denial that he or I could alter or set aside Colonel Graham's peremptory order. The offer of Captain Chichester, which I am alleged to have rejected, was a mere suggestion that "perhaps he might rake up a tent or two in the garrison," and has proved so delusive that the garrison has since borrowed two of the tents assigned to me, on the plea of the extreme destitution of its men. Finally, before acting on Colonel Graham's order, I called on him, suggested in the most conciliating manner what appeared to me his mistake, and earnestly solicited an order less peremptory, that the point of difference might be consider without inconvenience or mortification to eighter party.
Engineer in Charge, Morris Island.
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, Numbers 241.
Charleston, July 5, 1863.
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II. The commanding officer of Morris Island will cause an armed reconnaissance under Lieutenant-Colonel Yates, with a proper force,