so different from that indicated, I deem it my duty to bring the matter again to the notice of the headquarters of the department in the manner which I have done.
The action of the engineer department certainly contributed but little to the protection of the south end of Morris Island, although months were afforced them. It is true that the ultimate cause of our weakness in that direction can be traced to a different source; yet the full share of the responsibility for the loss of those points which we have hitherto the sustained, the annoyance and injuries now being inflicted on Charleston, and the danger to the people and the cause which must attach to those who neglected a palpably necessary work, and, moreover, interfered to prevent its execution by other.
That such a course of events should not obtain with those points of vital importance now in our possession, and especially with those in my command, some change in the system at present pursued, I believe, should be adopted. Hence the protect which I have made in the early part of this communication, and which I have the honor respectfully to renew.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. S. RIPLEY,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT,
Mount Pleasant, November 23, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Brigadier-General Clingman, Colonel D. H. Hamilton, and Colonel L. M. Keitt, sub-divisional commanders, who are requested to indorse hereon whether or not the remarks in regard to the operations of the Engineers contained in the within paper are not sustained by the facts which have come under their observations within their several commands.
R. S. RIPLEY,
Sullivan's Island, November 24, 1863.
In compliance with the desire of the district commander, I have respectfully to state that I have long been satisfied that the interest of the service would be greatly promoted by the Engineers being subject to the direction of the commander of the district or post, who is more likely to know what is necessary for its defense than his subordinate in military rank. Had such a system prevailed on this island, I am convinced that its defenses would have been far more advanced than they are, notwithstanding the large amount of labor available here. It is not, I presume, necessary for me to state the numerous facts observed which lead me to the expression of this opinion, embracing, in some instances, cases of misapplication of labor, but more generally of extraordinary failures to call it into exercise.
T. L. CLINGMAN,
HEADQUARTERS OUTPOSTS, SULLIVAN'S ISLAND,
Battery Marshall, November 24, 1863.
Respectfully returned, with the remark that, so far as the Engineers' work at Battery marshall is concerned, I would respectfully