War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0979 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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the charge, nor could the charges be successfully place beneath them with the means at my disposal. The only course left was to place them as low as possible alongside the hulls. The first charge of eighty pounds was exploded near the bow of one of the vessels filled with brick, which moved her bodily twenty feet, tearing down the piles and discharging part of her brick cargo; with twenty-five-pound charges she was then broken up and hauled to the banks. Vessel Numbers 2 was removed in, the same manner, but with less powder, not being so thoroughly filled with brick. The gun-boat Cotton was found loaded with hear heavy machinery; rather than risk the chances of dropping this in the bayou, we removed her stern only. In this case one charge of eighty pounds was used inside her hull with good effect, considering the shallow water only six feet in depth. Small charges of twenty- five pounds alongside the fragments completed the removal. The gunboat Hart also had her machinery on board and three large boilers which were under water, securely bolted to her hull and connected with large boiler-iron pipes. We succeeded in placing a charge of fifty pounds under these the farther end from shore. By this explosion they were torn from their fastenings and landed near the bank of bayou, besides shattering the hull. Our next charge of 200 pounds was placed alongside, directly amidships in water nine feet in dept. This removed her center from side to side completely, and her ends were rapidly hauled near the bank. This cleared the bayou, and rendered it navigable for our steamboat transportation. In removing these we expended 750 pounds of powder and used three cups of Grove battery to ignite the charges. Our conducting wires were 2,000 feet in length, the electric current passing from this over a small platina wire fixed a cartridge in the case containing charge. This conducting wire is part of a lot captured in New Orleans of Confederate manufacture, rather imperfect, and intended for exploding torpedoes in the Mississippi River. In compliance with the order of Major-General Banks, the U. S. Military Telegraph Department has furnished the necessary apparatus, material and superintendence for this work. The colored regiment, Colonel Robinson commanding, rendered the most willing and efficient aid.

I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, A. Q. M., and Asst. Supt. U. S. Mil. Telegraphs.


NEW YORK, November 7, 1863.


General Supt. U. S. Mil. Telegraph, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication with the inclosed "Beardslee's Military Telegraph" pamphlet.

He commenced by asserting that " a portable telegraph has long been a desideratum," which "because more apparent during the early stages of the rebellion," and that " the then known system of telegraphing was tried with indifferent success." Admitting this, we start from the same point with the same a facilities for establishing portable lines, but with the possession of a most perfect instrument in our favor. "Galvanic batteries adapted to active service in the field" are not only possible but accomplished facts. They are light, simple in construction, and can be transported on pack animals. In the Department of the Gulf we have 'soldier" operators, and the