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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 14, Part 1 (Secessionville)
Page 594 COAST OF S. C., GA., AND MID. AND EAST FLA. Chapter XXVI.

of the 19th and 29th ultimo,* but their contents have received the careful attention of General Lee and myself. We both concur with you in opinion as to the importance of the preservation of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. It is believed that the cavalry under Colonel Walker, and such infantry force as is available, will be, as you intimate sufficient for its protection against the present force of the enemy, and that the troops retained in and near Charleston will be able to hold the harbor and the portion of the road near it. General Lee is of opinion that experience has proved it to be easier to defend a railroad by massing troops at salient and commanding points to repress the attack of the enemy and strike him if he advances than to extend the force along the whole line.

With respect to the regiment of Colonel Dunovant, their excellent condition and discipline would doubtless have rendered their services very valuable in the operations here, but the designation of the troops to be sent from South Carolina was left to the discretion of the general commanding the department, and for the reasons given above as making it desirable to have them here it was probably deemed important that they should not be removed from your coast.

If guns can be procured it will undoubtedly be advisable to reoccupy the batteries for the defense of the Santee. With respect to the reoccupation of Cole's and Battery Islands, the opinions of military men are so different that I should be unwilling, while at a distance from the locality, to decide the question. The matter may be left open for further consideration or for the decision of a new commander.

Regarding the removal of the present commanding general, I am desirous of obliging you and would be glad also to secure the services of General Pemberton elsewhere. I have found that it would be easier to relieve him from his present command than to replace him. I have tried to get a competent officer, whose assignment to the position would be satisfactory, and will not relax my efforts to that end. My own confidence, however, in General Pemberton is such that I would be satisfied to have him in any position requiring the presence of an able general.

I established martial law in South Carolina very reluctantly, after being repeatedly importuned to do so. I entirely agree with you that the civil authorities should be restored to their uninterrupted functions as soon as it is possible to do so, and have telegraphed to General Pemberton to inquire if martial law cannot now be suspended, excepting at military camps and on the islands occupied by troops.

The importance of accumulating labor during the present season for completing the defenses of Charleston cannot be overestimated, and I am glad to learn that it has received your attention and assistance.

Very respectfully, yours,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

STATE OF S. C., ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE,

Charleston, August 11, 1862.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Bladen Springs, Ala.:

DEAR SIR: Your letter of 1st instant# did not reach here until to- day, which will excuse, I hope, the apparent delay in the reply.

---------------

*Not found, but see Pickens to Pemberton, August 18, p. 598.

#Not found.

---------------


Page 594 COAST OF S. C., GA., AND MID. AND EAST FLA. Chapter XXVI.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 14, Part 1 (Secessionville)
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