To the eighth interrogatory: Two companies of the First South Carolina Artillery, as before stated, held the southern batteries Four companies of Colonel Graham's regiment were on picket and guard near Oyster Point, and the remainder of the regiment, with the detachment of the First South Carolina Regular Infantry, were near the northernmost of the southern batteries. When the enemy threatened Oyster Point, the whole of this force Colonel Graham reports as having advanced to the support of his troops in that direction. It was intended that Nelson's battalion should support the batteries and the advanced troops, as soon as it had arrived.
These dispositions were made by Colonel Graham. I had visited the island during the night of the 9th, and conferred with Colonels Graham and Yates. An officer was in waiting all night at the landing to conduct nelson's battalion to its position, if it bad arrived.
To the infantry interrogatory: From such reports as I have received, I believe the batteries to have been unsupported, except by their extra cannoneers, until late in the action, when two companies of Nelson's got up and rendered some support.
To the tenth interrogatory: It has been reported to me that the enemy formed after landing, under cover of his artillery, threw out his skirmishers and advanced in line of battle, from his two points of landing, his force at each point being, as heretofore stated, from 2,000 to 3,000 at Oyster Point, and about 1,000 or 1,200 on the south beach in front of the batteries.
To the eleventh interrogatory: According to my information, the troops held the force at Oyster Point in check, and prevented their advance on the main island until the landing on the beach and the storm of the batteries, when they gave way, I believe without orders, except from those officers in the immediate vicinity of the positions successively overpowered.
To the twelfth interrogatory: When our troops fell back, the enemy was advancing, as I am informed, in line, in all numbering, say, 3,000, and receiving re-enforcements.
The thirteenth interrogatory has been answered in the reply to the fourth.
In conclusion, I beg to state, that the batteries on the south end of Morris Island were simple, detached works, without communications, and separated from each other in some aces by intervals of 200 or 300 yards, and that from the time they were commenced in March until their capture, no very vigorous measures were carried out by those in whose charge they had been placed by the commanding general to make them tenable by a small force against such an attack as was made upon them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. S. RIPLEY,
Charleston, S. C., december 9, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Colonel Harris, chief engineer, for his remarks on answered of General Ripley to sixth interrogatory, and on his statement after answering thirteenth interrogatory.
By command of General Beauregard:
Lieutenant-Colonel, and Assistant Inspector-General.