War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 1238 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,

Richmond, Va., February 21, 1865.

General R. E. LEE,

Commanding, &c.:

An operator of the telegraph line, Wilmington, says:

Enemy's iron-clads shelling our last remaining battery, three miles from city, still pressing Hagood back. Hoke holds his position.

This may have an important bearing upon the movement of troops in South Carolina, and their transfer by Wilmington. Give the necessary information. General Beauregard's last telegram is from Chester. Enemy bearing upon that place, and only six miles north of Monticello.

J. C. BRECKINRIDGE,

Secretary of War.

CHESTERVILLE, February 21, 1865.

(Received 12 noon.)

President JEFFERSON DAVIS,

Richmond, Va.:

Should enemy advance into North Carolina toward Charlotte and Salisbur, as is now almost certain, I earnestly urge a concentration in time of at least 35,000 infantry and artillery at latter point, if possible to give him battle there, and crush him, then to concentrate all forces against Grant, and then to march on Washington to dictate a peace. Hardee and myself can collect about 15,000, exclusive of Cheatham and Stewart, not likely to reach in time. If Lee and Bragg could furnish 20,000 more the fate of the Confederacy would be secure.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

CHESTERVILLE, S. C., February 21, 1865.

General R. E. LEE, Richmond, Va.:

At request of Governork Magrath and the commanding officer of State militia (about 500 strong), I have allowed those forces to move east of Catawba River for protection of that portion of the State. They were unwilling to cross into North Carolina. This reduces my infantry to about 2,500 men.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

ROCK HILL, S. C., February 21, 1865.

General R. E. LEE, Richmond, Va.:

Your dispatch received. My course as to the South Carolina militia was based on the report of Governor Magrath that they would not* cross the State line, and of General Garlington, that his troops (men between the ages of fifty and sixty, and boys under seventeen) were completely exhausted, and unable to continue the march. They remain still in the field, however, under that officer. Please inform me what other course adopted.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

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*See Beauregard to Hampton, 22nd, p. 1256.

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