CHARLESTON, S. C., August 17, 1863-9.30 p. m.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
Severe bombardment, lasted from 6.30 a. m. to about 1 p. m., when enemy's fleet withdrew from contest, with one monitor out of the six apparently disabled. Wagner and Gregg unimpaired. Sumter still in reliable fighting condition; four guns disabled; western quarters destroyed; gorge wall pitted in many places, but not cracked; parapet of same badly injured in several places; same with northwest face by reserve of fire of heavy Parrott guns from land batteries about 2 1/2 miles distant, which occasioned nearly all the damage.
Total casualties reported: Captain Wampler, an able, accomplished engineer, killed; 3 officers slightly wounded; 6 privates killed and about 25 wounded.
This is the thirty-ninth day of the siege. We have cause to be satisfied with the result.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
CHARLESTON, S. C., August 17, 1863.
Honorable JOHN SLIDELL,
C. S. Commissioner, Paris, France:
DEAR SIR: I take advantage of a lull in the terrible bombardment, which has been progressing ever since this morning, to write you a few lines via Wilmington, Mr. Seixas having telegraphed me there would be an opportunity to send off my letter in a day or two.
The enemy commenced his operations against this city on the 10th of July,but has not yet accomplished much. He has not yet, however, put forward all his strength. Whether we will again be able to defeat him is still a mystery. He has immense advantages over us in the way of numbers, ordnance means, and materials, but the race is not always to the swiftest and victory to the strongest.
As it is evidently to the interest of England that we should mutually destroy each other, and the policy of the European powers that the Union should never be reconstructed, is it not then our true policy to take advantage of our late reverses to speak out boldly and fearlessly to France, England, and Spain, and to inform them that unless we are immediately recognized we shall take steps to put an end to this exhausting struggle, and reassert at once the Monroe doctrine, and in the course of time proclaim the independence of the Canadas and of Cuba. All of which we shall be able to effect when once reunited. Nations, like individuals, are only influenced by their own interests. Hence let us shape our course accordingly. Not that I am, however, in favor of reconstruction. I would sooner die!*
* * * * * *
Your sincere friend,
P. S.-The enemy got a foothold on Morris Island on the 10th ultimo, in consequence of nearly half a of the troops of this military department having been sent west to the assistance of Vicksburg, contrary to the protest of General Beauregard, who maintained that
*Some purely personal matter omitted.