a possible early attack on Wilmington to open some other channel of communication with the islands adjacent to our Atlantic coast, that I would be glad to have your report on the soundness of the suggestion of the Messrs. Lamar. To a very limited extent, the ports of the Florida coast have been used.
JAS. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
CHARLESTON, S. C., October 19, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: General Beauregard recommended, after a careful investigation into affairs here, that Brigadier-General Ripley should be relieved from duty in this department, and that Colonel D. B. Harris, of the Engineers, should be promoted and assigned to duty in his place. When I reached here Colonel Harris was ill with yellow fever, and has since died. On the 6th instant I received from General Beauregard the inclosed telegram* recommending, in the event any misfortune should happen to Colonel Harris, the promotion of Colonel Rhett or Colonel Butler to the command of the First Military District. I know so little of these officers that I am unable to decide on their respective merits, or whether either be fit for promotion. Colonel Rhett is the senior. The Department will recognize the necessity of my having for so important a command an officer of experience, energy, and ability. I concur with General Beauregard in recommending that General Ripley be relieved.
W. J. HARDEE,
RICHMOND, VA., October 19, 1864.
General W. J. HARDEE,
Charleston, S. C.:
Your telegram to the President on the 5th received. You have since reported the death of Colonel Harris. Do you still desire postponement of action contemplated in regard to the commander of Charleston Harbor? And if so, your reasons therefor are requested.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
CHARLESTON, October 19, 1864.
General S. COOPER:
I desire no further postponement in regard to the commander of Charleston Harbor. I had written you on the subject before your telegram was received, and inclosed you telegram from General Beauregard recommending Colonel Butler or Colonel Rhett.
W. J. HARDEE,