Two of the most important points to be guarded are the crossings at or near Tucker's, leading directly to Branchville and Raysor's, on the road from Walterborough to George's Station. Other points will be examined by you, viz, Appleby's Bridge, May's Ferry, Wiggins' Bluff, &c.
Before deciding upon positions to be occupied, you will get information from reliable sources as to the direct and cross communications south of the Edisto, and the practicability of obstructing or destroying such as may enable the enemy to turn points otherwise favorable to defense.
You will examine the ground in the vicinity of Branchville, noting carefully all the topographical features and the approaches from the south.
The works contemplated must be planned to resist cavalry, infantry, and light pieces of artillery.
You will receive instructions from Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, chief engineer of the department, in reference to their construction.
Colonel L. M. Hatch, who is familiar with the country, will accompany you, and, by his local knowledge, will be able to give you much assistance in making the rapid reconnaissance desired.
As soon as you have collected the information, as indicated in the foregoing instructions, you will report to me at Charleston, by telegraph, stating the point on the railroad where I can join you.
By order of Major General J. F. Gilmer, second in command:
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
CHARLESTON, October 15, 1863.
Captain A. N. TOUTANT BEAUREGARD, Aide-de-Camp:
CAPTAIN: Accompanying this note please find a hasty sketch* of my device of cigar steamer for carrying spar torpedoes, which you would oblige me by submitting to the inspection of the general commanding. In several respects it varies from the original device, and I believe is far more effective. I have increased the size of the torpedo, and have given it greater submersion.
That a fleet of these little steamers is capable of destroying the enemy's iron-clads is not only my opinion, but the conviction of every naval officer with whom I have conversed. Commodore Tucker has informed me that the greatest anxiety to volunteer for this service has been expressed by the officers and men of his command.
I hope, if the Government will not act promptly, that I may be allowed to devote a portion of my attention to the carrying out of several private projects which have been proposed.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRANCIS D. LEE,
Captain of Engineers.
HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, October 15, 1863.
The general commanding would like much to have one dozen, at least, of these boats for the defense of the coast of his department,