phosphorus, alone or in combination. No other substance known is comparable to it.
The manufacture of it is easy in simple. The only chemical required is sulfuric acid, and with this in abundance, the supply of it may be without limit.
Of all the chemical substances above referred to, there is none so generally important as sulfuric acid; it is necessary to the existence of chemistry and of the arts depending on it. Now, the price of this material is at the present time $7.50 per pound, and the price of it at the manufacture is 5 cents. The cost here is one hundred and fifty times greater than at the manufactory.
The price of phosphorous in European markets is about $1 per pound. The price of it here is $20, and if a demand is made by the Government, there can be no doubt that, as the supply is limited, as no extensive orders have gone out, and as importation is becoming more difficult, the price of it will rise to $200 per pound.
This will not be simply the result of extortion, for, as the quantity diminishes, its actual value in domestic life will warrant the payment of such prices. I still adhere to the opinion given by me formerly, that it will be better to import such materials when practicable, but the practicability of it is now very uncertain, and is becoming more so daily.
I have the honor to be, &c.,
J. R. CHEVES.
SEPTEMBER 26, 1863.
Referred, through the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, for the consideration of the proper bureau.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
OCTOBER 1, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel ST. JOHN:
This matter of phosphorus shells has engaged my attention. Can we venture to use sulfuric acid enough to make 10,000 pounds?
Respectfully returned to Chief of Ordnance, with the information that 10,000 pounds of sulfuric acid will make 1,800 pounds of phosphorus, from which it would appear best to important, as suggested by yourself.
I. M. ST. JOHN,
Chief of Niter and Mining Bureau.
Respectfully returned to General Beauregard.
Fifteen hundred pounds of stick phosphorus have been ordered from Nassau and Bermuda.
Colonel, and Chief of Ordnance.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT,
Charleston, S. C., September 12, 1863.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN, Chief of Staff, &c.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a copy