tions which have been made by the staff officers, attended to by my order,and which I have the honor to inclose, that most readily dispensed with is that of the Ordnance Department. Most of the material can be provided for by the guard service, but for various articles it would be well to have a fund for special purposes of coast defenses.
The estimate for the Quartermaster's Department will be wanted especially to carry out the purposes mentioned in the third paragraph.
I have to request that the inclosed special requisitions be submitted with this communication for such action as may be deemed most proper by the Department.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. S. RIPLEY,
SEPTEMBER 5, 1861.
The original letter of General Ripley of which this is a copy has not yet been received at this office. The subject is, however, of such importance as to require immediate action, and hence this paper is respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS, S. C., September 2, 1861
Honorable L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War:
DEAR SIR: In my letter of yesterday I urged you to send back Colonel Gregg's regiment to this State for the coast. Upon further reflection I withdraw any request of the kind, and leave it entirely to your own judgment as to the whole matter. You know the general plans and our resources, and I do not. I desire, therefore, now to leave the matter as to the disposition of Colonel Gregg's regiment entirely to your own judgment, and hereby withdraw any request of mine on that point. If you will immediately authorize me I can raise many more companies for the war, and put them at the two camps of instruction, and perhaps it would be better for the President to appoint all field officers, or, if he will leave the appointments to me, I will make them from graduates of West Point or our own military academies, or from officers who have shown merit in the regiments now in Virginia whose terms of service will begin to expire in January and February next. I could also take officers from the regular forces now in this State whose terms will expire about February next, and thus save all our best officers by their appointment in forces for and during the war. If I can have discretion of this kind, I can then at these camps increase our forces greatly for the war, and as our twelve-months' volunteers return from Virginia, I can catch nearly all of them immediately and save the best of their officers. Please give me an early answer on this point. The four regiments at the camps at present are electing, as you have, in yours of the 15th of July last directed that they should do.
But all to be received after this, I desire field officers to be appointed either by the President or named by me and confirmed by the President or in any way the President thinks proper.
I have four very fine cavalry companies in camp, and would be glad if you would allow me to name a major to command them.
I desire you to give permission for me to raise two full regiments of