War of the Rebellion: Serial 066 Page 0345 Chapter XLVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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Private A. H. Martin, of Company A, Sixth Battalion Florida Volunteers, is ordered to report, through Colonel Harris, to you as a guide.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. CALL,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

CHARLESTON, March 9, 1864.

Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I would respectfully call your attention to the accompanying copy of communications, the originals of which I have retained. I have also sent a copy to Flag Officer Tucker.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

FRANCIS D. LEE,

Captain of Engineers.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

CHARLESTON, March 8, 1864.

Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: It is reported that on Saturday night, March 5, 1864, Engineer Toombs, C. S. Navy, in charge of the cigar torpedo steamer David, struck an armed vessel of the enemy in the North Edisto, but failed to destroy her in consequence of the torpedo not exploding. As this occurrence may disturb the confidence heretofore felt in the torpedoes prepared by me, I deem it due to myself to state that about 10 days since I saw Engineer Toombs, and in the presence of Mr. Theodore Stoney distinctly told him that the torpedo then on the David could not be relied upon, it having been exposed for the last six months to every vicissitude of weather and climate. I further told him that I would furnish to the vessel a new torpedo, thoroughly tested, and that could be relied upon. Notwithstanding this advice, Mr. Toombs went on the expedition above reported without the slightest knowledge on my part, and carrying the old torpedo. Under these circumstances it is scarcely necessary to ask why the expedition proved fruitless. The most common precaution indispensable to the proper use of all fire-arms, i. e., not rely on a charge of long standing, has been here neglected.

With the facts as above stated it may readily be determined whether the disaster may be most fairly attributed to a failure of the torpedo prepared by me, or to a willful disobedience to common sense instructions on the part of Engineer Toombs.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

FRANCIS D. LEE,

Captain of Engineers.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

CHARLESTON, March 9, 1864.

I deem it proper for me to state that the above letter was submitted to me on the morning of the 8th of March by Captain Francis D. Lee, and upon its perusal I did state that the facts therein re-