HEADQUARTERS SOUTH CAROLINA,
September 1, 1861
Honorable L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War:
SIR: Colonel Gregg has two companies here, and desires that they may be received for the war into his regiment. As the law only admits of ten companies to a regiment, I refer the matter to you, and request an immediate decision, as I desire orders extended to these two companies. If agreeable to you I should most cordially assign these companies to his regiment, as he is a colonel of great experience and of the most distinguished standing. If there is any officer to whom twelve companies could be intrusted, then I should urge most respectfully the permission for Colonel Gregg. I shall not be able to arm them, as we have not a single arm to spare out of this State, and I am now remodeling the old arms picked up in the country, so as to try and be able to get arms for the forty-two companies now in camp under your requisition. You recollect you directed them to be formed into regiments and to elect their field officers. One of these regiments has done so, and the others will in a few days.
The President has telegraphed me to retain Colonel Orr's regiment for our coast defense. The exposed coast of North Carolina will now be in possession of the enemy, and it endangers our whole defenses.
Under these circumstances I would respectfully urge that Colonel Gregg's regiment be ordered to our coast, for the season is just approaching when an invasion may be anticipated, particularly after our recent disasters on the defenseless coast of North Carolina. If you were to order Colonel Gregg's regiment into this State I presume his commission given by the President would be of older date than any volunteer regiment in the State, and, if so, it would make him the ranking colonel, and his experience would this give confidence to the country.
I shall also place Colonel Dunovant and his regiment, recently organized under your requisition for the 3,000 under orders for our sea-coast. I can arm and equip his regiment. Colonel Orr's I have already armed and equipped, and I will go on to arm the others as fast as I can, and if you inform me immediately that Colonel Gregg's regiment will be stationed in South Carolina, I will try and arm these two companies now here for his regiment if you decide to receive them. Please inform me by telegram. With Orr's, Dunovant's, and Gregg's regiments I would feel safe, as I have a stationary force organized in the city of Charleston of 3,000 well armed and trained men, ready to act, besides Colonel Heyward's State regiment, now in actual service on the Beaufort coast and at the batteries recently erected.
I have also Colonel Manigault's State regiment on the coast of Georgetown, above Charleston, and in the batteries. I have ordered another State regiment of well-trained men, under Colonel Hagood, into the forts at Cole's Island, on the Stono, 25 miles from Charleston. These three colonels are thorough military men and of the highest standing and military education. I have also six companies of infantry (regulars) on Sullivan's Island, and four of the battalion of regular artillery in Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie. I have ordered five months' supplies into the former, to stand a siege, if necessary, and am raising two new artillery companies to put into it, but in the mean time will order other companies into it for the present. Besides Colonel Hagood's regiment, now in the forts on Stono, I have there three regular companies of infantry and the battalion of regular dragoons, mustered in as infantry, under Major Lucas, so that I have in the forts and islands around