ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 216.
Richmond, Va., September 11,, 1863.
XXVIII. The brigade of Brigadier-General Wise will proceed without delay to Charleston, S. C., and report for duty to General Beauregard.
By command of the Secretary of War:
WAS DEPARTMENT, C. S.,
Richmond, Va., September 12, 1863.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Commanding, Charleston, S. C.:
GENERAL: Brigadier General B. H. Robertson, who has been relieved, at his own request, from the command of a brigade in General Lee's army, has desired permission to report to you to assign him to some appropriate command. I am not aware that any such exists in your department, and, in according the permission, I would not have you to understand that it is expected by the Department that you will find for him a command equivalent to his rank. I leave to your own you doubtless know, he is an officer of the old service, and has the repute of being an able organization of cavalry forces.
Your obedient servant,
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
CHARLESTON, September 12, 1863.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, and Chief of Staff:
SIR: In reference to the manufacture of material for incendiary shells, permit me to observe, there are a few primary chemical substances which form the basis of chemists' operations and the means of making the endless number of chemical products used.
The thee leading mineral acids and the two alkalies are absolutely required before any progress can be made, in the laboratory of the chemist, the artisan, or the manufacturer. The want of these substances has paralyzed enterprise in every direction, and is the cause of many of the wants, as well as the exorbitant exactions, under which the Government suffers. The evil is greater than soporifically appears, and it will increase in proportion as we are served from foreign markets. It is now nearly a year and half since I first called the attention of the then general commanding to these facts, as bearing on the military works under my charge. I represented, in general terms, the practicability of establishing the necessary works and the sufficiency of scientific knowledge. The views I then expressed, I believe, were submitted to the Department of War. I now beg permission to call your attention to the same subject, in reference to the manufacture of material for the incendiary shells proposed. The basis of this material is, and always must be,