War of the Rebellion: Serial 047 Page 0504 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

Search Civil War Official Records

The enemy's iron-clads being invulnerable to shots above water beyond 800 yards, they should be attacked below water. The best way to accomplish this is by means of swift sea-going steamers, capable of traveling 10 or 12 miles and hour, shot-proof above water and armed with Captain F. D. Lee's submarine repeating spar torpedo, which is both simple and certain in its operation. Not one of his submarine torpedoes has yet failed to explode on striking a resisting object. The experiment of the David, a small cigar torpedo-boat, against the New Ironside, Shows the effect of a 70-pound torpedo, only 6 feet below water, on the thick sides - over 5 feet - of that sea monster. Since the attack, about one month ago, the New Ironside has not forced one shot, notwithstanding the renewed bombardment of Sumter has been going on twenty days and nights, showing evidently that she has been seriously injured. Moreover, she has left her anchorage only once for about half an hour, when she returned to her former position, abreast of Morris Island. It is stated that a proper sized steamer, 400 or 500 tons, built like a blockade runner, but made shot-proof, and armed with one of Lee's repeating submarine torpedo apparatus, could be built, in about three months' working time in England, for men sum of about $250,000.

I venture to say that with one those vessels here, the blockade of Charleston could be raised in less than one week, and the army of Gillmore captured very shortly afterward. Half a dozen of these steamers would raise the blockade of our Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and enable us to recover the navigation of the Mississippi River. Indeed, a few years hence, we will ask ourselves in astonishment, now it was that with such a great discovery, offering such magnificent result, we never applied it to any useful purpose in this contest for our homes and independence. It is evident, according to Lord John Russell's own views, that those steamers can be constructed in England, as shot-proof, unarmed blockade runners, without incurring the risk of being seized by the English Government.

G. T. BEAUREGARD,

General, C. S. Army.

HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,

Charleston, S. C., November 15, 1863,

Colonel D. B. HARRIS,

Chief Eng. Dept. S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C.:

COLONEL: I am instructed by the commanding general to direct as follows:

That the water front of Secessionville shall be so fortified as to prevent the possibility of the garrison being driven away by a surprise or by a concentrated attack by the enemy's gunboats.

For the armament of any new batteries that you may find it necessary to construct, you will please consult the chief of artillery, to ascertain the number of guns that may be still available.

A bridge must be constructed as soon as practicable to connect the rear (west) of Secessionville with the new lines. Meantime, a foot-bridge should be built at once.

Finally, please have the re-entering angle between Redoubt Numbers 1 and Secessionville made strong enough to resist any attack.

respectfully, your obedient servant,

[THOMAS JORDAN,]

Chief of Staff.