Charleston about 1,800 men, all well drilled, and a reserve in the city of about 3,000. This, with the State regiments under Colonels Heyward and Manigault, constitute about 7,500 men, and the additional regiments of Colonels Orr, Dunovant, and Gregg would make good 10,000 men. With this force, and ten cavalry companies I have on the coast and the reserves of about 3,000 men at the two camps of instruction, I think I could feel safe for the present. I am thus particular in details that you may understand our position and let the President know it. All I beg is an answer as soon as possible, so that I amy act as soon as possible.
I also earnestly beg, if possible, that you will order me, if you have it at Norfolk, 40,000 pounds of cannon powder. I loaned the governor of North Carolina 25,000 pounds, and also the governor of Florida, for Fernandina and Saint Augustine, 5,000 pounds, besides what I sent to Memphis, Tenn. If I could be sure of getting 40,000 pounds as a reserve for Charleston, I would immediately order a full supply of cannon powder for about 100 guns I have now on our coast below Charleston. As it is, I fear to drain Charleston entirely. I bought for the State last December and January about 300,000 pounds from Hazard's Mills, in Connecticut but I have distributed all of it but about 40,000 pounds, and used a great deal in our batteries in the harbor of Charleston. Please let me know immediately as to this point.
I now desire to get from you permission to raise for the war another regiment of rifles, and I think, if you give me the power, I can get it up with men who will arm themselves from our private rifles and arms in their own hands. I think I could make a choice regiment, and with little or no expense as to arms, and selected from men who would incur the necessary expenses, and, if, you will give me the power to do so, and for me to appoint the field officers, and even the company officers, I could select men who were graduates of our State military institutions and of West Point, and I could select officers who are now in our regular State forces, and in the first volunteer regiments now in Virginia, to put in position. I would do so, because our regular forces and our forces in Virginia are only for one year, and most of their terms will expire in January and February next, and I desire to secure in advance, the services of their officers "for the war," as many of them have been in the late United States Army, and all of our regular forces have military education. I know them, and could make selections of officers for companies that would advance the public service greatly.
Please let me know on this point as soon as you can, and I will then proceed, in a quiet way, to raise a rifle regiment for the war, with officers all selected with an eye single to secure military education and qualifications. I would also desire to raise two full companies of cavalry, to be attached to it of men who would arm themselves.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
F. W. PICKENS,
HDQRS. PROVISIONAL FORCES, DEPT. OF S. C.,
Charleston, September 1, 1861.
GENERAL: I have the honor to request that authority may be given me to provide the force necessary for the defense of the batteries now being finished at different points of the coast. For this I think the following will be necessary.
1st. Authority to muster into service for the war, for special duty on the coast, a force not exceeding, 1,500 men.