War of the Rebellion: Serial 066 Page 0632 S. C., FLA., AND ON THE GA. COAST. Chapter XLVII.

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Major M. A. Pringle, quartermaster, Messrs. Corry and Toutant (clerks), and myself all witnessed the interview between General Ripley and Major Lay.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


First Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp.


Charleston, S. C., September 27, 1864.


GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date making certain inquiries as to my personal knowledge of Brigadier-General Ripley having been intoxicated or under the influence of liquor since June 30, 1863.

In reply I must say, that on the morning of the 2nd of July, to the best of my knowledge, I believe Brigadier-General Ripley to have been so much under the influence of liquor as to materially interfere with his capacity for command. The circumstances under which I saw Brigadier-General Ripley were these: At an early hour on the morning of the 2nd of July last, the alarm was given that the enemy were advancing on James Island. As soon as made known to the major-general commanding, be sent me immediately with important orders to General Ripley. I hastened to General Ripley's house in Rutledge street, and was told by a servant that the general was not at home I then returned to the quarters of the major-general commanding and reported to him that General Ripley could not be found. A few moments after I went to the headquarters of the First Military District, and there I met Brigadier-General Ripley. I spoke to him, gave him the orders from Major-General Jones, and it was during this interview that I came to the conclusion that General Ripley was under the influence of liquor. I am unable to give any other evidence that he (General Ripley) was drunk, except that I believe him to have been so from his boisterous manner, excited tone, and general appearance. After leaving General Ripley I came into this office where I met Captain Warwick, aide-de-camp, and I then mentioned to him that I thought General Ripley to be unfit to command. He (Captain Warwick) said to me that he had also seen General Ripley and that that was his impression also.

In conclusion I state that after leaving these headquarters I returned to Major-General Jones' quarters, corner of Vanderhorst and Pitt streets, and there met Major John F. Lay, inspector-general of this department, and then and there mentioned to him my belief as to General Ripley being drunk. Major Lay said to me, "I will report it to the major-general commanding," which he afterward did.

I am, general, with high respect, your obedient servant,



[First indorsement.]

CHARLESTON, S. C., September 29, 1864.

Respectfully submitted to His Excellency President Jefferson Davis for his information.

It is evident from the within communications that Brigadier General R. S. Ripley cannot be intrusted at this critical time with so im-