piece. He also wishes platforms laid in the other two batteries in the direction of Sullivan's Island Bridge, each for one 32-pounder, rifled, and one carronade and shell gun. The latter guns are already there.
The 32-pounder battery (rear of Secessionville) will be arranged for barbette instead of naval carriage.
A new battery for two guns in advance of Battery Beauregard must be constructed immediately, a position for another gun in the former battery, and an embrasure opened for the east gun in Battery Rutledge, to sweep the beach between this battery and Battery Beauregard. Should any buildings interfere with the cross-fire of these batteries, they must be removed.
Finally, he directs that rope obstructions shall be prepared for the Stono at Battery Pringle.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Chief of Staff.
CHARLESTON, October 24, 1863.
Captain JOHN FERGUSON:
DEAR SIR: I have for the last two years been perfecting a new mode of naval attack, on which I had hoped to make a reputation as a military engineer. The great object I had in view in developing my plans was to defeat the enormous naval power of the enemy by a simple, cheap, and readily accomplished device. I first demonstrated, and afterward proved by actual experiment, that torpedoes borne at the extremities of spars may be exploded against the vessels of the enemy with little danger to the boats carrying them. I have designed a variety of vessels adapted for this especial purpose, and have fallen on the cigar form as one giving greatest speed, and offering the least vulnerable surface above the water line. I have also desired a variety of torpedoes, and arranged various modes for firing them. out of all of them I have selected the one now in general use by our gunboats as best offering the advantages sought, viz, certainty of fire, security against moisture, and safety in handling. This latter requisite I have laid great stress upon, inasmuch as the torpedoes had frequently to be placed in the hands of parties who would not exercise those proper cautions which a more delicate arrangement may require.
General Beauregard, impressed with the importance of the device proposed by me, has and again addressed the authorities at Richmond, urging the construction of vessels to carry out my designs, but the Government is unwilling to do anything until some success is accomplished. Now, on the failure or success of any enterprise against the enemy hinges the action or refusal to act on the part of the Government, and at the same time my own professional reputation. For these reasons, I cannot deem it fair and proper that at this time the device or plan of any other person should be incorporated with mine without my sanction. I cannot deem it fair and proper that another party should take up my design, advanced as it is to, or nearly to, a perfect invention, and undertake to change or modify it in any way whatsoever without my approval and sanction. I conceive that it must be to detriment of the public service if any or every person (none of whom could have possibly bestowed on