War of the Rebellion: Serial 047 Page 0316 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

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batteries, which seem to annoy him much. Thirty-pounder Parrott guns are much needed here. This is much fifty-first day of enemy's operations on Morris Island.



Charleston, S. C., August 30, 1863.


Flag-Officer, Commanding C. S. Naval Forces Afloat, &c.:

SIR: The letter bag of the U. S. gunboat Ottawa, it appears, was lost overboard, floated ashore, and fell into our possession, with letters of as late date as yesterday, from her captain (Whiting) and other officers.

It seems, on the 26th instant (last Wednesday night), there was a mature, deliberate plan to enter the harbor with the iron-clad fleet and two gunboats, of which the Ottawa was to be one, and another commanded by Captain Creighton, the purpose being to remove the obstruction, pass in, and shell the city. It was seriously attempted, a detachment of boats being in advance, under Ensign Porter, and the vessels only returned, say all officers and men, because of the heavy wind and rain storm which came up after they had penetrated well into the harbor. Las night, weather permitting, the attempt was again to be made.

This is assuredly important information. Thus forewarned in this timely was, we should be forearmed, and seek to convert the next attempt into a disaster, or, at least, be so guarded as to ward off the possibly of a successful issue to our enemy.

Will it not be best that the Juno should be used now as a guard boat, to give us timely notice of the approach of another expedition, signals therewith should be so arranged that our land batteries on all sides could be warned in time.

I will direct Brigadier-General Ripley to confer with you, and arrange such measures of precaution as you may be able to undertake.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


General, Commanding.


Charleston, S. C., August 30, 1863.

Brigadier General R. S. RIPLEY,

Commanding First Military District:

GENERAL: In consequence of the revelation of the U. S. gunboat Ottawas' mail bag, it behooves us to be on the alert, and to be prepared for another such attempt as that which was made by Admiral Dahlgren, on the 26th instant (Wednesday night), to pass the obstructions and force his way into this harbor.

The commanding general has addressed Flag-Officer Tucker on the subject, and he also desires you to see and arrange with that officer for a guard-boat (Juno, if possible), which shall be so placed at night as to secure timely information of an advance of the enemy. He thins that vessels prepared with light wood or resin should