the subject the long and careful study that I have) should be permitted to use, and perhaps abuse, my invention by incorporating with it their, perhaps, crude or inapplicable devices.
As I have before stated, my motive is far higher than pecuniary gain, and for this motive I am willing to labor on and give gratuitously the fruit of my labors to the Government, or to individuals working for the public good.
I have been induced to address this communication to you, having learned that you had made application to other parties for torpedoes, fired in a mode differing from mine, to be applied to small cigar steamer after my mode, already commenced by you. I have been instructed by General Beauregard to see General Rains in person, and will present him a copy of this letter. I will also send a copy to General Beauregard.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRANCIS D. LEE,
Captain of Engineers.
COLUMBIA, S. C.,
October 24, 1863.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Commanding Dept. S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C.:
GENERAL: During my recent visit to Europe, from where I have just returned, I became so convinced of the fact that you did not have nearly enough heavy guns for the successful defense of Charleston, if vigorously attacked on all sides at once, that I could not resist the impulse to travel out of my line and try to arouse a number of our citizens now in europe to that fact, and endeavored to raise means to send a number on immediately Unfortunately, I failed in my object. But I gained some information about guns, in my investigation, that I thought might be of some importance, and have transmitted the facts to Colonel Gorgas, at Richmond.
The main facts are these: That ten guns of 9-inch and ten guns of 110 inch cast-steel, of the Blakely pattern, can be had immediately. They are a good gun, and will penetrate two plates, each of 4 inches thickness.
Second. That the Armstrong gun can be gotten, through a friend, in any number. Sir William Armstrong does not wish his name to appear, in consequence of his relations to his own Government.
Permit me, as a citizen of Charleston, to express my hearty admiration of the gallant manner in which you have so long held at bay the hosts of our savage foes; and trust and say I believe, under God, you will continue to hold the soil on which our homes are planted even if those homes are leveled to the dust.
I hope to be in the city shortly, and will take pleasure in waiting upon you.
It will take some month or two for me to close up my present transactions with the Government.
Trusting this may find you well, I am, dear general, truly and sincerely, yours,
P. S.- If I am right about the guns, why should not our Government send for them at once? The siege of Charleston will last long enough to want them.