critical juncture, even for the space of twelve hours, unless you attack much importance to it, and cannot visit Savannah.
The number of troops recently received by me in a comparatively unorganized condition, and the changes now suddenly made in the posting and disposition of them to meet the movement of the enemy, together with the great pressure at this moment on each department of the staff, will necessarily cause delay in furnishing you with an accurate and forward statement of the troops, guns, ammunition, &c., under my command. In the mean time I have the pleasure to state, for your information, that my command consists of about 5,500 men, mustered into the service of the Confederate States, and distribute along the coast. About 2,000, under command of Brigadier-General Mercer, are stationed at and near Brunswick. The remainder, say 3,500 men, are on this side of the Altamaha River, and all but 500 of this number within 20 miles of Savannah.
Having to-day ordered up all the troops from Tybee Island (about 1,000), I will have about 2,800 men near the city that can move promptly, exclusive of 450 at Fort Pulaski and 200 at Green Island battery, on Vernon River, protecting an important landing about 12 miles in rear of Savannah.
Of the 5,500 troops under my command, about 500 are cavalry and the rest infantry, with the exception of three field batteries (two of these pieces were sent to Hilton, with the re-enforcements to General Drayton, and lost.)
The cavalry are very well mounted and armed; the light batteries have a limited supply of horses, and but moderately well drilled. The infantry are made up chiefly of raw troops, though all substantially armed; about 2,000 of them are very well drilled and disciplined.
As all the volunteer corps in and about Savannah have been mustered into service, they are included in the 5,500; but there are about 3,000 men, armed after a fashion, under State organization, now in camp on the line of railway, and can be called to Savannah in a few hours. With the assistance of the naval officers we are now blocking up the channel in several places, and hope for good results.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. R. LAWTON,
COOSAWHATCHIE, November 10, 1861.
Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR:
Dispatch from Governor Pickens received. Am I at liberty to employ troops in South Carolina and Georgia passing through the States to Virginia?
R. E. LEE.
RICHMOND, November 11, 1861.
General R. E. LEE,
Coosawhatchie (via Pocataligo):
You are authorized to use the entire resources of South Carolina and Georgia that are under control of the Confederate Government for your defense, whether troops, munitions of war, or supplies of every kind.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Acting Secretary of War.