OFFICE CHIEF ENGINEER, Charleston, October 28, 1863.
Assistant Adjutant-General, and Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: In the absence of Colonel Harris on James Island, I have the honor to forward, for the information of the commanding general, a copy of a report of this date from M. J. Fraser Mathewes on the condition of the rope obstructions of the harbor.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. G. CAMPBELL,
Lieutenant, and Assistant to Chief Engineer.
CHARLESTON, October 28, 1863.
Colonel D. B. HARRIS,
Chief Engineer, Dept. S. C., Ga., and Fla.:
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that I made an examination of the rope obstructions yesterday, and found them apparently in the same position as when laid. I did not detect the absence of any of the sections, but was unable to examine as thoroughly as I might have in consequence of the heavy and continuous fire on Fort Sumter from Morris Island and three monitors. The strength of the rope of which the obstructions are made must necessarily be impaired somewhat by several months' immersion in the water. That part of the harbor between Fort Sumter and Sullivan's Island left unobstructed is immediately next to Battery Bee, and to close which would require about eight or ten of the sections now on hand, but I would state that at this part of the channel, it being the deepest, the strength of the tide is by far the greatest, carrying all drift timber and other matter in that direction, and when the gap in the obstructions for vessels to pass was left next to Fort Sumter and sections were left across this part of the channel, they were invariably carried away as often, as put down and renewed, by the drift matter becoming entangled in them, breaking the anchor chains, chafing the ropes, &c.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. FRASER MATHEWES,
In Charge of Harbor Obstructions.
HDQRS. DEPT. S. C., GA., AND FLA., Numbers 223.
Charleston, S. C.., October 28, 1863.
I. Fort Sumter is hereby detached from the First Military District, and attacked to the Fifth Military District. The infantry garrison will be furnished from the commands now embraced in the Seventh Military District, relieved as heretofore at regular intervals.
* * * *
By command of General Beauregard:
JNO. M. OTEY,