be enforced in every department and the most rigid accountability required of its officers. I have not been able to get an accurate report of the troops under my command in the State. I hope it may be as large as you state, but I am sure those for duty fall far short of it. For instance, De Saussure's brigade is put down at 3,420 men. When last in Charleston (the day inquired) I was informed that in one regiment there were 110 men for duty in camp on the Race-Course and in the other about 200. Colonel Branch, I am told had only about 200 men with him at Rockville, though I have had no official report of his retreat from there.
The companies of mounted men in the service are very much reduced. The Charleston Light Dragoons and the Rutledge Mounted Rifles, have about 45 men each. The companies of Colonel Martin's regiment are very small. One of them-Captain Fripp's-reports 4 commissioned officers, 9 non-commissioned officers, and 19 privates. It is very expensive to retain service companies of such strength, and I think all h ad better be reorganized.
I have only on this line for field operations Heyward's, De Saussure's, Dunovant's, Jones', and Edwards' regiments from South Carolina and Martin's cavalry. General Ripley writes that Elford's and Means' regiments are poorly armed and equipped and at present ineffective, and that the organization of the troops thrown forward on James Island is so brittle that the fears it will break. The garrisons at Moultrie, Sumter, Johnson, and the fixed batteries-the best and most stable of our forces-cannot be removed from them; neither can those at Georgetown, and should not be counted among those for operations in the field
You must not understand that this is written in a complaining spirit. I know the difficulties in the way, and wish you to understand them, explain them to the governor, and, if possible, remove them. Our enemy increases is strength faster than we do and is more enormous. Where he will strike I do not know, but the blow when it does fall will be hard.
I am, &c.,
R. E. LEE.
Coosawhatchie, December 24, 1861.
General A. R. LAWTON,
GENERAL: Your communication of 23rd instant* has been received. The general commanding is glad to learn that instructions have been given to officers commanding batteries to withhold their fire till the enemy's vessels are within effective range of the guns, and trusts that this practice will in all cases be strictly adhered to. The general hopes that the threatening approach of the enemy's boats will stimulate the officers and the troops of your district to press forward the projected earthworks and defenses to a speedy completion. As no further re-enforcements can be spared to send to you, it will be necessary, should your command require strengthening, to call upon the governor of the State of Georgia.
The general has been informed that three 32-pounders are on their way from New Orleans, and as they will probably be sent by Augusta, he is desirous that you should make arrangements to have them forwarded from that place to Savannah. Two of them will be sent to Gen-