Coosawhatchie, December 27, 1861.
General R. S. RIPLEY,
Commanding, &c., Charleston:
GENERAL: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 25th instant, inclosing a memorandum of the troops under General Evans, and desire to express my gratification at the steps taken to re-enforce and support that officer.
Should you find that the enemy intends a movement against Charleston through the Stono approaches, I desire that you will resist him with all your available force and support General Evans should he be compelled to retire upon you. In the event of the two commands uniting on duty, as the senior officer of course you will direct the operations of the whole. General Evans has been directed in case of necessity to close the avenue through Church Flats; I request you to afford him every facility in completely obstructing it at the proper time.
Please inform me whether Major Edward Manigault's battalion has entered the Confederate service for twelve months or for the war. If for the letter period, it might be united to Lieutenant-Colonel Moore's battalion, and, by the addition of the two companies reported by Colonel Preston to have been mustered in for the war by him, would form a regiment for the war. In that even I should apply to the President for the appointment of a colonel for the regiment. Should Manigault's battalion be not enlisted for the war, could you not attach companies raised for the war, which I learn from the governor have been sent to Stevens' Legion, so as to form a regiment? All the companies could then be armed with the Enfield rifles by Colonel Preston, and placed under the command of Colonel Carter L. Stevenson (formerly of the old service), or such other officer as the President might think proper. Should detached companies be sent to you by Colonel Preston, mustered into the Confederate service either for twelve months or for the war, I desire you to collect them into battalions and regiments according to their period of service, and place them under the command of such field officers as are at your disposal until their regular field officers are appointed. According to my understanding of the act of the legislature of South Carolina of December 7, 1861, the First Regiment Rifles South Carolina Militia, Colonel Branch, and the Seventeenth Regiment South Carolina Militia, Colonel De Treville, being part of the Fourth Brigade, will not be disbanded on being relieved from service. I do not see, therefore, how the formation of a regiment can be facilitated by relieving them, as you propose, after the Sixteenth and Seventeenth South Carolina Volunteers take the field. As the aggregate strength of the two regiments as reported by you will only make one regiment, namely, 854, should you be able to unite them you are authorized to relieve them from duty for that purpose when their services can be spared.
The measures taken by you to secure the delivery of the rice crops are judicious, and I hope you will do the same to insure supplies of other provisions, corn, provender, &c.
I beg you to use every exertion to complete the line of defenses around the city, and hope you will get a sufficiency of hands as soon as the Christmas holidays are over, and desire that you will take the necessary steps for this purpose.
I will write to the Ordnance Department to see if nothing can be done in supplying Major White's battalion with artillery. As soon as the