War of the Rebellion: Serial 065 Page 0179 Chapter XLVII. OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, ETC.

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end of this time the steamer had recovered her position abreast of the fort. The night was perfectly calm and clear, and there is no possible excuse for the neglect of the signal.

From what I have seen of the working of this corps I would respectfully suggest that efficiency would be more certainly secured if the punishment was inflicted upon the operator, who by proper attention can always insure the vigilance of the reporting sentinels. I understand that there is a want of operators for the military telegraph line, and that many stations are supplied as Fort Sumter is, with only one officer. I would recommend that to each office one or more enlisted men may be assigned, who shall be instructed in the calls for that office, which a person of ordinary aptness for such matters could learn in a few days. In this way the attention of the office could be aroused at any time, which will into be the case if left to the wakefulness of a single person. I have had frequent opportunities of observing the working of the system since my residence at this post, and am confident that the proposed plan will answer.

Three blockading steamers this morning. In other respects report same as yesterday. Ironsides kept revolving light going all night; 42-pounder was placed upon the berm yesterday evening ready for shipment.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. ELLIOTT, JR.,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Lieutenant S. C. BOYLSTON.

FORT SUMTER, January 11, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report that Lieutenant Kemper, with 38 men, relieved Captain King, 40 men, last night. There are visible this morning the Ironsides, 3 monitors (the fourth may be concealed behind the other shipping) 2 mortar-boats, 3 gun-boats, 10 sailing vessels inside, 2 steam blockaders and 4 sailing vessels outside, and 8 sailing vessels and 6 steamers in Light-House Inlet. Yesterday afternoon the 30-pounders at Gregg fired 9 shots, 7 of which struck.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. ELLIOTT, JR.

Lieutenant S. C. BOYLSTON,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

SUMTER, January 12, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report that the thick weather will not permit an observation of the fleet this morning. I was unable to discover the fourth monitor yesterday. A quantity of old iron was shipped by the steamer last night; a 42-pounder lies ready for shipment when the flat shall be sent.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. ELLIOTT, JR.,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Lieutenant S. C. BOYLSTON,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.