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[79] shore, where, if necessary, to save itself from pursuit, it can be stranded; otherwise, it will return to the rendezvous at Cummings's Point. Care should be taken to have a proper understanding with commanding officers of the batteries in that vicinity, so as not to be fired into.

I feel convinced that, with nerve and proper precautions on the part of your boats' crews, and with he protection of a kind Providence, not one of the enemy's monitors, so much boasted of by them, would live to see the next morning's sun.

Please submit this letter to Captain Tucker, and assure him that whatever assistance I can give for this expedition, the success of which must contribute so materially to the safety of this city, will be freely and heartily furnished.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

But, ‘as ill-luck would have it,’ says General Beauregard, the very night (April 12th) on which the attack was to have been made some of the monitors were sent to Port Royal for repairs, and the others to the North Edisto. The Ironsides was still with the blockaders, however, and, as General Beauregard looked upon her as ‘our most dangerous antagonist,’ he determined to strike her a blow—destroy her, if possible—and so raise the blockade, on that occasion, as to forbid all denial of the fact. Captain Tucker was again ready to execute General Beauregard's plan, which had assumed much larger proportions than heretofore, when, at the eleventh hour, as it were, a telegram was received from the Navy Department, at Richmond, ordering back to that city the officers and men of the ‘special expedition’ who had been sent to aid in the defence of Charleston, and under whose charge—our own ironclad boats joining in—was to lave been placed that hazardous but, at the same time, very tempting enterprise. General Beauregard did all he could to retain their services, but without success.

He had also, and for the third or fourth time, appealed to the War Department for the completion of the ‘marine torpedoram’ so often referred to in a preceding chapter. To General Cooper, on the 22d of April, he wrote as follows:

* * * It will be remembered that the work was undertaken with the understanding that the sum of fifty thousand dollars would be supplied by the State of South Carolina, and such material as the Navy Department had available. The money has been received, and is exhausted. Some materials have been furnished by the Navy Department, but, thus far, the substantial assistance of iron-plating has been denied, and hence the progress in the work has been incommensurate with its importance, and very far behind what I was led to expect when I was induced to undertake the construction.

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