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The stake is manifestly a great one, worthy of a small risk. For its accomplishment, one vessel, such as the Juno, provided with the spar-torpedo, with two or three officers and a few men, it is believed, would be as effective, at night, for the end in view as a flotilla of vessels, so arranged, of the same class.

If, however, the results of your experiments are sufficiently adverse to the prospect of success with the contrivance, I must beg to be advised of the fact, to the end that I may not permit the expectation of assistance to enter further into my plans of defence; but if, on the other hand, the experiments remain satisfactory, permit me to say, the time is rapidly passing away when that assistance can be of any avail or value.

One monitor destroyed now will have greater moral and material effect, I believe, than two sunk at a later stage in our defence.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

This urgent appeal would have met with a ready response from the commander to whom it was made, for he was not only willing but anxious to take an active part in the contest about to be renewed with increased vigor by the two opposing forces. He was compelled to remain passive, however, and to admit his impotency to be of any assistance, owing to the excessive draught of his ironclads, their want of motive power, and consequently of speed, and the short range of their guns, which could not be sufficiently elevated, on account of the small size of the portholes. This was the substance of Commander Tucker's answer. It left General Beauregard entirely powerless to contend against the enemy's turreted fleet, and led him to consider the possible necessity, erelong, of withdrawing our forces from Morris Island. He therefore instructed General Ripley to prepare suitable means of transportation, by boats, barges, and flats, to be collected with as little delay as possible, and held in readiness in the immediate vicinity of Fort Johnson.

The following orders to the Commander of the First Military District, and many others already produced, show the minuteness of the instructions given him by the Commanding General, who planned and caused to be erected most if not all the works adopted for the protection of the city and harbor of Charleston:


Headquarters, Department S. C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S. C., July 18th, 1863.
Brig.-General R. S. Ripley, etc., etc., etc.:
General,—The General Commanding desires that the Shell Point Battery shall be occupied to-night, and placed, as far as practicable, in condition for

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R. S. Ripley (2)
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