dum of the troops in General Evans' district.* I shall do everything my power to furnish his troops and give him every information and facility. The Laurens battalion moved yesterday,but I fear that the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Regiments will not be ready for service for some days.
Referring to a letter of former date from General Lees, in which I am directed to give my attention to extended operations to meet the predatory excursions of the enemy (supposing the Stono fleet to have demonstrated his abandonment of an attack on Charleston), I beg to say that I shall do so to the utmost of my ability. The enemy will hardly attempt any such incursions between Charleston and Stone, the limit of my command, and, if he does, the locality is pretty well guarded. Northward there is but little to attract for plunder until he gets to Bull's Bay; thence to the limits north, the States country, it is very difficult of approach on account of the intricate navigation; it is rich, however, and invites attack on that account. I have there only the newly-raised command of Major Edward Manigault. I intend to re-enforce it by Lieutenant-Colonel Moore's battalion (made up of the extra companies of Orr's regiment) as soon as it is armed completely; Lieutenant-Colonel Moore is endeavoring to raise his battalion to a regiment, in which I hope he will succeed.
I also inclose a memorandum of the troops in the Second Military District.* The force is nominally large, and would allow re-enforcement of other points, but from the peculiar position, and the character of the country, which does not admit of celerity of movement without an almost unprecedented amount of land water transportation. These facilities I shall of course endeavor to improve, but with the crippled mechanical resources of this city it may take some time. Brigadier-General Evans wrote to me day before yesterday requesting that I would place a steamer at his disposal for the ferry at John's Island; I have done so. Meantime I have been informed that there is a steam-flat nearly completed, which will cost about $4,500. I have ordered her inspected, and were John's Island in my command should have her employed as a ferry-boat. The ferry is in bad order, and it will be difficult to make a rope ferry of it on account of the diagonal position of the landings.
The State Troops Rifle and Seventeenth Regiment South Carolina we will probably break up as soon as they are called in, and we shall probably get one respectable well-armed regiment from them. It would facilitate its formation if those troops could be relieved as soon as possible after the Sixteenth and Seventeenth South Carolina Volunteers take the field.
The lines on James Island, were the troops in readiness to occupy them, might be considered finished. As they are not, 50 or 100 hands for three or four days will be necessary to put the works in a little pernancy. The lines on Christ Church will be done in the course of three days, and will be quite strong; Lieutenant Blake has carried them quite down to the inland navigation covering the landing. One company of Hatch's regiment has been ordered to take post as a lookout on the islands to the northward of the city, to give notice of the approach of an enemy and protect, as far as possible thereby, the rice-boats coming from Santee. It seems to me important to get as much of rice to market as may be, should our communication be in danger of being interrupted.
The lines on the Neck are progressing but slowly, for want of the
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