one of the monitors. I made known my plans to Captain Mickler, who agreed to go and take his men. The attempt of Lieutenant Glassell on the Ironside has frustrated all our plans in that quarter. So the only feasible chance, if any, is to go outside and attempt the destruction of one of the blockading vessels. With that view, I have spoken to Captain Gray to pu three of his sensitive tubes in each of my torpedoes.
The men of Captain Mickler's company, 12 in number, are willing to go with the lieutenant and myself. I telegraphed to Captain Mickler to be here by Saturday, if he was well enough; his coming is not certain.
The greatest difficulty has been the boats; Major Pringle has two that were ordered to be sent to Fort Sumter; they are the only ones I know that will answer the purpose. If I could get the use of them for the night, they could be returned.
The plan now is this: To have two torpedoes, each containing 150 pounds of rifle powder, connected by a rope 300 feet long, floated by corks; the torpedo to be sunk 8 feet and floated so by a buoy. In approaching a vessel, they are not to be let go until very near, and, almost to a certainty, the rope will cross the anchor chain. The tide forces the torpedoes against the vessel with force enough to explode the sensitive tubes. I have a pilot to take the boats over the bar; go out to sea on ebb tide, returning on flood; take the first opportunity. Saturday night or Sunday will be the best time. After that the flood tide makes too late in the morning, and there would be no favorable time until the next moon.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. PLINY BRYAN,
Captain, and Assistant Adjutant-General.
OCTOBER 8, 1863.
Approved. Issue necessary orders.
G. T. B. [BEAUREGARD],
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF MIDDLE FLORIDA,
Quincy, October 8, 1863.
Major LAMAR COBB, Assistant Adjutant-General:
MAJOR: I desire to call the attention of the brigadier-general commanding to the present condition of the people of Apalachicola, and to the probable distress which will result to them from closing up Moccasin Creek, as represented in the accompanying letter from Mr. Thomas Orman,* a citizen of that place. The statements which he makes are substantained by other information which I have received, and I earnestly ask, for this matter, such consideration as it seems to demand. In connection with thus, I feel it to be my duty to state that from my knowledge of the river as far as Fort Gadsden, and from personal observation of that portion at which the obstructions are placed, I do not believe that the closing of Moccasin Creek will add materially to its defense. Virginia River is closed only by driftwood and fallen timber, and at high stages of the water Gum Swamp will afford a ready passage for launches.
*See p. 389.