HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH, Hilton Head, S. C., July 31, 1864.
Referred to Lieutenant McGinness for his information. Varnish for the shells should be sent to the Northern District.
J. G. FOSTER.
ORDNANCE OFFICE, HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE SOUTH, Hilton Head, August 3, 1864.
As soon as received, Captain Parrott's letter to the major-general commanding, recommending that the interior of his shells be coated with lacquer or varnish, a copy was made and forwarded through the ordnance office, Morris Island, to the chief of artillery Northern District. An abundance of lacquer has long since been sent to morris Island and the ordnance officer has been directed to send a supply of it to the batteries. A portion of the 12 shells herein mentioned were varnished by my own hands. I stood over the man until he had completed the balance, and I venture to say that had I not done so even this small number would not have been tried. Why were there not more varnished by the officer commanding the work (Putnam), as plenty of material remained, and give the suggestion a fair trail? I requested the chief of artillery that morning, after I had these shells varnished, to have others prepared in the same way, using lacquer. I respectfully submit that too little interest is manifested by the commandants of batteries in the working, care, and management of their guns, and that this fact more than any other accounts officers. The 300-pounder was not intended to be mounted; it was sent up to replace the one which was then mounted and which has since burst. I have made application to department headquarters for an experiences mechanic to be detailed from the engineers for the purpose of rebushing guns whenever they may require it. This was returned disapproved.
JOHN R. McGINNESS,
First Lieutenant and Chief of Ordnance, Dept. of the South.
AUGUST 5, 1864.
Copy of Lieutenant McGinness' indorsement to be sent to General Schimmelfennig, to be furnished to Colonel Ames and the officers of the batteries.
J. G. FOSTER,
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF FLORIDA, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH, Jacksonville, July 27, 1864.
Colonel WILLIAM H. NOBLE,
Commanding U. S. Forces at Baldwin:
COLONEL: In consequence of orders received from department headquarters directing troops to be sent from this district to Hilton Head, the expedition to Marion and Alachua Counties is deferred. You will retain all the troops you have at Baldwin except the Eighth