SEPTEMBER 26, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to the President.
With your approval, the plan suggested by General Rains will be attempted, at least to some extent, and without anticipating the full success predicted, it is hoped the plan my prove advantageous in delivering us from the destructive raids recently adopted, as a system, by our unscrupulous foes.
J. A. SEDDON,
SECRETARY OF WAR:
I have confidence in the efficacy of subterra shells against cavalry under the circumstances indicated. We have no power to appoint officers for that service, but to a certain extent the proposition might be tested by details for temporary duty, and to that extent the proposition is approved.
J. D. [DAVIS.]
CHARLESTON, September 23, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel J. R. WADDY, Chief of Ordnance:
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report on the armament of the batteries at Fort Johnson, Simkins, and Cheves:
The Tower Battery, fronting the harbor about 400 yards to the west of Fort Johnson, at present mounts three 10-inch columbiads and one 7-inch Brooke. The platform of the last piece is out of level.
The magazine of this battery is not yet completed, as the economy of ordnance and ordnance stores depends upon the construction of magazines. I believe it is within the province of an inspector of ordnance, and his duty, to mention such defects in the construction as his judgment dictates, and this I do with great diffidence, being assured from the splendid and unsurpassed engineering on Sullivan's Island, that what faults there are to report has been due to the immense pressure upon the energies and resources of the accomplished corps now, on duty in this department.
The magazines of these batteries, excepting Battery Cheves, were planned before the fall of Morris Island. The doors of all (too low and cramped) are now exposed to a reverse fire, and there is danger of an explosion at any moment from the enemy's shells. In the same way are the guns exposed to both reverse and enfilade fires from the want of traverses, as a shell was lodged in reverse fairly into the gun chamber.
Battery Cheves is for the present silent. The five guns in this battery I recommend be immediately and thoroughly repaired before it again opens fire.
Pierce Numbers 1 has both the rear eccentric wheels off.
Pierce Numbers 2, same, with elevating screw damaged and nearly useless, platforms out of level.
nos. 3 and 4 both require bushing; Numbers 4 without eccentric wheels. The carriage of Numbers 5 should be condemned.
At least thirty sheepskins for sponges should be furnished these batteries. Gun levels, quadrants, and other necessary implements wanted at Battery Cheves, as all the equipments were lost in the late lamentable explosion of the magazine.