October 1, 1863.
Charleston, S. C.:
SIR: I have received the shells to be prepared with incendiary materials, and have them in the hands of the workmen. I find that a very large quantity of powder is used as a bursting charge. My object being to introduce as large a quantity of composition as possible, I will reduce the burning charge to about 1 pound of powder for the 32-pounder shells. I regret that the books give no information as to the minimum that will burst these shells, therefore the use of them ought to be preceded by one or two experiments.
I beg that you will observe that I engage in this work at my own risk, that I am obliged to advance money, and that I derive no profits from it; that in the long term that I was engaged in the service, I never received one cent of the public funds, not so much as even a transportation ticket. Now, this is, under the circumstances, as it should be, and as I desire it to be; but I have to remonstrate that when I advance money I have no direct means of reimbursement; that for hired labor and material used in the service, I have at times been thousands of dollars out of pocket, which I could only recover by delays and ingenious efforts to accommodate irregular proceedings to the routine of the bureau. This is not as it should be. If you prefer having the work in hand done under the eye of the ordnance department, it will be necessary to put me in communication with some one here, who will be authorized to provide me the required material and labor; or, if you desire me to complete the work independently, I must beg that you will designate some department or officer in Savannah, by whom the shells may be received when finished, and who will redound to me the cost on delivery.
Since my visit to Charleston, in consequence of the scarcity and cost of phosphorus, I have given my attention to the combinations that may be made with it, and think I have succeeded so far as to produce one in which only a sixth art is phosphorus, the rest being pitch and sulphur, and that this compound is not inferior to the pure material.
Supposing, then, that 1,000 pounds of phosphorus can be obtained, it will serve for 6,000 12-pounder shells, or about 2,000 32-pounder rifled shells.
I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN R. CHEVES.
Camp Wappoo, S. C., October 1, 1863.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,
Chief of Staff, Charleston, S. C.:
GENERAL: I beg to inform you that depredations of every sort are complained of in the neighborhood of the encampment, and that the most stringent order have been issued, and will be enforced with rigid strictness, but that owing to the scarcity of provisions among the citizens, especially of animal food, the slaves of citizens, who are served with rations of potatoes, trade with the soldiers, either for money or for meat, vegetables, fowls, eggs, &c., and as long as this