CHARLESTON, S. C., July 23, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
Am willing to run risk of using that 7-inch Brooke gun from Savannah. Please have it transferred immediately.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
CHARLESTON, July 23, 1863.
Brigadier General R. S. RIPLEY,
Commanding First Military District:
GENERAL: I made the best examination in my power of the flats between Morris and James Islands, without finding them as favorable for the passage of men on foot as I had hoped.
That portion more immediately in rear of Sumter is sandy and firm, while that between Shell Point Battery and Morris Island, and south of that line, is soft with mud and shells. The line run was directly from Cumming's Point, a little north of the first creek, near where a pile now stands, to Shell Point Battery.
For the first half of the distance I found more than 5 feet, then 4, 3, and 1 1/2 feet, at 7 p. m., June 21. I have seen more than one person who has walked it, and a greater familiarity with the place may yet show a route which will be of service until near Cumming's Point, where boats must be used.
As boats must be used for a portion of the way for men, and all of the way for supplies, I looked for and found a sheltered creek, the first west of Shell Point Battery, in which boats can lie perfectly out of sight of the enemy.
From this place they can drop down in the night on the ebb, and cross on the most direct line, over water usually not rough, assisted by a gentle current over the flats. The current near Morris Island runs very rapidly, and all the work to be done near that point will require strong authority, judgment, energy, and no little sailor skill.
In view of the importance of this work, and the difficulty of the want of many to select from, which has always attended such work in our harbor, I would advise that Captain John Flynn and Mr. George McMillan be at once employed, and authorized to employ, at the highest pay, or at a rate sufficient to secure the best men, in every sense of the word, for the work.
These men should be kept, under strict authority, near their boats and out of sight of the enemy, and as they pass by the mouths of creeks from which an enemy might come, a military or naval guard should be placed for their protection.
LEWIS M. HATCH.
P. S. - The necessity for previous practice very important, that they may become very familiar with every shoal-point and current.
Approved; and let Colonel Hatch be put in charge of the whole, and report for orders to General Ripley.
G. T. B. [BEAUREGARD.]