portant a command as the First Military District of this department (comprising the city and harbor of Charleston), which offers such great temptations and facilities for indulging in his irregular habits. The past efficient services of Brigadier-General Ripley may entitle him still to some consideration at your hands. I therefore respectfully recommend that he may be ordered to active service in the field, where time, reflection, and a stricter discipline may have their favorable influences over him. Should this course be approved, I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that a temporary commander is much needed at present for Elliott's brigade, of Johnson's division, at Petersburg, Va. Brigadier-General Ripley might be assigned to that brigade until the return of either of its former gallant commanders, Brigadier General W. S. Walker or Stephen Elliott, jr.
To supply the place of Brigadier-General Ripley in the command of the First District (after consultation with General Lee before leaving Petersburg, Va., and after mature reflection since my arrival here) the only officer I can safely recommend for so important a position is Colonel D. B. Harris, of the Provisional Engineers, a distinguished graduate of West Point of the year 1832, and a gallant, zealous, and faithful officer, who has taken an active part in this war from the first Manassas to the present day. He is thoroughly acquainted with the defenses not only of this harbor, but of the whole department, and cannot but be an intelligent and reliable adviser to Major-General Jones whenever his services in that respect might be required. I therefore earnestly recommend him for the position referred to with the rank of brigadier or even major-general, so as to enable him to have the command over any brigadier who might be sent with re-enforcements to the First District.
Major General Samuel Jones, to whom I have shown the letters from Lieutenants Fraser and Warwick, remembers the fact that it was reported to him at the time stated that, in the opinion of those officers, Brigadier-General Ripley was too much excited by liquor to be relied on, but from his conversation with them as to the particulars of General R.'s manner and conduct, his knowledge of the general, and his experience as judge-advocate of the difficulty of convicting officers of intoxication, he was satisfied that a charge to that effect could not have been sustained before a court, and therefore thought it best not to prefer the charge.
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
OCTOBER 7, 1864.
In connection with the report of General Beauregard on the state of affairs as Charleston.
OCTOBER 17, 1864.
Respectfully returned to the President.
Taking into consideration the report of General Beauregard, and the subsequent report relating to Mrs. Mason, which exhibit in the first instance an arrogant insubordination on the part of General Rip-