War of the Rebellion: Serial 047 Page 0398 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

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at a coup de main elsewhere. It behooves therefore, the Department that such arrangements as circumstances allow should be adopted to guard against the contingency of an attack on Wilmington. General Whiting has, therefore, been provided with Martin's brigade, and, in addition, has been instructed, in the event of certain intelligence being received of any contemplated land attack on him, to call on you for the prompt return of Clingman's brigade to him.

I have the request that, as far as may be practicable without disturbing your plans of defense, you hold Clingman's brigade so prepared that on such call it may be thrown rapidly to Wilmington, and that in the event of General Whiting's making the requisition, it may be sent to his re-enforcement without delay. He will be cautioned not to make the demand unless satisfied that the enemy's forces are being withdrawn from before Charleston for attack on him.

Very truly, yours,


Secretary of War.


October 7, 1863.

Major General DABNEY H. MAURY,

Mobile, Ala.:

Steam torpedo cigar-boat attacked Ironsides. Torpedo exploded at right time, but no damage is apparent; charge too small and too near surface of water.



Charleston, S. C., October 7, 1863.

Brigadier General R. S. RIPLEY,

Commanding First Military District, Charleston, S. C.:

GENERAL: Mr. W. H. Seward, United States Secretary of State, in a circular of the 12th August last, addressed to his diplomatic agents abroad, says, relative to the defeat of the enemy's iron-clads on their attack of Fort Sumter, that-

An attack by the fleet made on the 7th day of April last upon the forts and batteries which defend the harbor, failed because the rope obstructions in the channel fouled the screws of the iron-clads and compelled them to retire, after passing through the fire of the batteries.

Those vessels bore the fire of the forts, although some defecates of construction were revealed by the injuries they received. The screws passed through an unexampled cannonade with singular impunity. Not one life was lost on board of a monitor.

I desire you, as commander of the military district, and Colonels Rhett and Butler, commanding, respectively, Fort Sumter and the batteries on Sullivan's Island at that time, to inform me whether the statement of Mr. Seward is correct, that the attack of the 7th of April last failed, after the iron-clads had passed the fire of our batteries, for the reason given by him, and whether the enemy met with no loss on that occasion.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


General, Commanding.