them to organize regiments as fast as possible. The backwardness in entering for the war is indefensible, for whether it lasts twelve months or twelve years, it cannot be arrested, and all or epledged to its termination. I have information of the troops in and about Charleston, of those under General Drayton, those along Charleston and Savannah Railroad, and in the district of Georgetown. If there are any others that you are aware of I s hould like you to make an inspection and report of them. My great desire is to get a force in the field to resist the landing of the enemy, and to confine him if possible to his ships. They are in great force, and we have nothing to opposte them. But we want artillery, infantry and cavalry, armed and instructed, commanded by the best officers, and I must request you to use every exertion to organize them.
I am, &c.,
R. E. LEE,
Coosawhatchie, December 3, 1861.
Messrs. WM. ELLIOTT, EDMUND RHETT, and LEROY YOUMANS,
GENTLEMEN: I had the honor to receive the resolution passed by the citizens of Beaufort District at their meetin at Coosawhatchie on the 1st instant, requesting me to establish martial law over the sea-coast of South Carolina within limits. The present condition of things, in my opinion, does not render such a course advisable. There is as yet no operation of the enemy to justify the interruption of the civil laws, and though many of the citizens of the State are necessarily engaged in military duties, there must still be sufficient to attend to its civil service. In no part of the Confederacy has it yet been found necessary to arrest the due course of the laws of a State. It should only be resorted to as a last extremity, which I do not see has yet arrived in South Carolina.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
Coosawhatchie, December 5, 1861.
His Excellency F. W. PICKENS,
Governor of South Carolina, Columbia:
I have had the honor to receive Your Excellency's letter of the 2nd instant, and am highly gratified at your report of the condition of efficinecy and instruction of General De Saussure's brigade. I am very much obliged to you for the statement of soundings at the entrances of the inlets and bays of the coast of the State. I hope the battalions and regiments you are organizing will soon be ready for service in the field, where they are now much wanted. Unless these troops have entered the Confederate service for the war I shall not be able to comply with Your Excellency's request of giving Enfield rifles to the flanking companies of the regiments, since my instructions from the War Department restric their issue to troops for the war. Should there be sufficient remaining after arming the regiments which I hope are now being organized by Colonel Preston, it will give me pleasure to furnish rifles to the two flanking companies of the regiments of Colonels De Saussure and Dunovant, in accordance with your request. The