prepare to meet them in the field. They have landed on Hilton Head. Their fleet is in Port Royal Harbor. Four of their gunboats are reported to be approaching Beaufort. I fear there are but few State troops ready for the field. The garrisons of the forts at Charleston and Savannah and on the coast cannot be removed from the batteries while ignorant of the designs of the enemy. I am endeavoring to bring into the field such light batteries as can be prepared.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
RICHMOND, November 9, 1861.
Columbia, S. C.:
General Lee is in command of the department embracing South Carolina and Georgia, as well as Eastern Florida. this was done in order to enable him to concentrate all our forces at any point that might be attacked. It is not necessary to send you regiments from this distance, but we will order more troops to your aid from North Carolina. your may retain all armed troops in South Carolina and all unarmed troops that can be made useful in batteries. General Lee has full power to act, and it would be well to send him a copy of this dispatch, that he may not scruple in using all the means of the Government with his reach for your defense.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Acting Secretary of War.
CHARLESTON, November 10, 1861.
SECRETARY OF WAR:
Circumstances may soon arise to make it necessary that martial law should be proclaimed in this city. I ask for authority to take the step.
J. H. TRAPIER.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF GEORGIA,
Savannah, November 10, 1861.
General R. E. LEE,
Coosawhatchie, S. C.:
GENERAL: I had the honor to receive yesterday your letter of the 8th instant,* covering extract of Special Orders, No. 206, from headquarters of the Army [A. and I. G. O., November 5, 1861].
Permit me to express my extreme gratification at the contents of this extract, which assures me that I am to have the benefit of your military skill and experience in the present emergency; no one can appreciate the necessity for such assistance more than I do. I earnestly desire a personal interview with you at the earliest practicable moment, and trust that it may be in your power to visit Savannah, if only to remain here one night and return to Carolina the next morning. The present arrangements of the railway trains will make it very convenient for you to accomplish such a visit. It would afford me great pleasure to call on you at your present headquarters and there conferee fully with you, but scarcely fell justified in absenting myself from my command at this