CHARLESTON, S. C.,
September 16, 1863.
General S. COOPER:
All comparatively quiet since last report. Enemy still working actively on Wagner and his other batteries. We are doing likewise on Sullivan's and James Island works. Another attack on Moultrie must soon be expected.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., September 16, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 1st instant has been received. I desire you to assure the President that the utmost economy, consistent with the safety of Charleston, shall be practiced here in the consumption of ammunition; but the only way of retarding the enemy's operations is to fire upon his working parties whenever they show themselves in day-time, and occasionally during the night.
Stringent orders have been given to that effect, and I will see that they are strictly adhered to.
In a battle with the iron-clads, the orders are to fire only when they are within good range, and then to concentrate, as much as practicable, on the foremost one the fire of all the batteries.
With regard to the bursting of the heavy rifled guns referred to, the quality of their metal sufficiently explains the accident, together with the long range they must be made to reach, in order to retard the construction of the enemy's batteries.
A material economy of powder and projectiles could be easily attained if better fuses could be furnished by the Ordnance Department. Its attention has been called several times to this deficiency, but no improvement whatever can be seen in those lately received. I am informed that not one-fifth of those used burn properly, whereas the enemy's shells seldom fail to explode at the right time.
I have ordered a Board of Artillery Officers to report on the quality of the fuses furnished. The report will be sent to the War Department as soon as received.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Referred by Adjutant and Inspector General to Ordnance Bureau.
SEPTEMBER 26, 1863.
The Niter and Minning Bureau has been informed of 1,000 tons of iron deposited at depots awaiting shipment to the arsenals which supply Charleston.
The Quartermaster's Department has been advised of the fact.
I. M. ST. JOHN,
Lieutenant Colonel, and Chief of Niter and Minning Bureau.