state that it has been conducted in a most dilatory manner, and that the work still remains in an unfinished condition, much impairing the effectiveness of several guns for immediate service. Nor do I consider the new work which has been commenced with a detail of soldiers as calculated to add at all to the protection of Battery marshall from a flank and reverse fire.
D. H. HAMILTON,
Mount Pleasant, November 27, 1863.
I believe that the remarks contained in the within communication, in reference to the Engineers, are just, as far as the facts come within the sphere of my observation.
L. M. KEITT,
HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., January 6, 1864.
This paper is respectfully returned to Brigadier-General Ripley, because the subject-matter in the main cannot legitimately enter into a communication from him to these headquarters.
Brigadier-General Ripley, in connection with allegations against staff officers on duty with the department headquarters, may not properly and elaborately impeach the orders, measures, plans, and general conduct of operations for the defense of Charleston by the commanding general.
Brigadier-General Ripley may properly bring to the notice of the commanding general any lack of energy or intelligence on the part of officers, which has observed within the limits of his command, or he may prefer, of course, specific charges against Colonel Harris, or other staff officers, which shall be brought to the issue of a court-material, but it is not his province or his right to arraign in the general way the policy and measures of the commanding general, who consequently regrets to observe the spirit of this communication. The constant pressure of current matters connected with the defense of this department has prevented action on the communication at an earlier moment.
By command of General Beauregard:
Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH MILITARY DISTRICT,
Georgetown, November 23, 1863.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,
Chief of Staff, &c., Charleston, S. C.:
GENERAL: In reply to the circular from the headquarters of the department, dated the 11th instant, I have the honor to report as follows:
There are within the limits of this military district four ports into which steamers of light draught may run. Of these, the one possessing the greatest advantages is that of Georgetown.