this order they have continued in service. Last week, however, an order arrived from Governor Milton to disband them, they - the battalion - regarding that they were not in the State service but in the Confederate service. In the mean time the Port Royal affair occurred on Thursday last. The United States was vessels are in sight every day, though not more than one at a time, evidently reconnoitering our coast and condition. This battalion of four companies on Saturday offered to go in the service in any shape I might name, but if not mustered at once they would leave the island or accept a proposition which had been made by an officer in Georgia to receive them the into service in Georgia. It is only one mile and a quarter from this (Amelia Island) to Cumberland, in Georgia. The four companies composing this battalion - Captain Buckman's, Richards', Brinks', and Kendrick's - are well drilled. They are armed with muskets, and I supplied them with five field pieces, and since have received from our Government two beautiful 6-pounders, rifledbore field pieces, carrying some 12 or 14 pounds elongated shot and shell. Places in this situation, in imminent peril, with only in the aggregate of the Third Regiment at this post, 659 men, no soldier that I could call from other posts, I have mustered these companies into the Confederate States service as light infantry, and will accept two companies more, making in all six companies in the battalion for twelve months from the 28th day of September last, the day on which four of the companies were received by General Grayson.
I have also notified proper parties that horses will be received on the same terms as in the cavalry service for the purpose of working the field artillery. I am fully aware that it is irregular to use infantry as field artillery; still, the regiments which I have the honor to command were mustered into the service as light infantry, and now they are converted into heavy artillery in part. I would ask that this battalion be increased into a regiment. We want them; we really needed them. This island is 20 miles long on the sea-shore. I have, exclusive of the battalion, only 659 soldiers to defend it. When in surf-boats a landing can be effected anywhere, and small gunboats can come in in the rear from Georgia or from the south end, there should be here at least 2,000 troops, stationed here permanently. Allow me also to state that I do not believe it possible to rise ten men in this State who will enlist for the timer of three years or during the war. This was strong reason why I ordered this battalion to be mustered into the service. I find, sir, that it will not do to rely on State troops to defend our country. There should be but one system of defense, and that should be originated and organized and systematized by the Confederate States Army. I hope, sir, that my course will receive the sanction of the Government which I have the honor to serve, and I assure you nothing was ever more painful to me in my life than this o f being so situated when I left compelled to act without having the proper authority; and I beg leave to refer your to Messrs. Ward, Morton, and Owens - our Delegates in Congress - who know my character, and that it is not my disposition or nature to assume unauthorized and undelegated power. Should the Government sustain my acts in this matter it will be a source of pleasure and gratification, but if condemned, then my mortification will be most acute. Still, I will have the consolation of knowing that I was actuated by the purest and most patriotic motives. Ex-Senator Yulee and every man with whom I have had any conversation say that my course was dictated by necessity; still I hope soon to have your approval.
My adjutant, Lieutenant J. O. A. Gerry, will inform you particularly as to our defenses, ammunition, &c. We have at this point, the northeast