the daily tides. The first point would be 10 miles above the present position, leaving many plantations below it entirely exposed.
I can use these guns to greater advantage on the main than at any point on the banks of the Santee. At present my entire available force is employed in the completion of the south and Cat Island redoubt.
I desire to call the attention of the general commanding to a matter, and in the absence of any instructions on the subject the officers under me commanding at the different posts in this district immediately on the coast that, should it be apparent that the enemy intend to make an effort in force to occupy any portion of this coast and it be evident that they will succeed in establishing themselves or actually succeed in doing so, they direct the rice planters to destroy all the rive and provision crops on their plantations; and, in the event of their failing so to do, to cause it to be destroyed themselves as a military necessity; the negroes to be removed also by force, if necessary.
With a view to this, I sent to each rice planter on the adjacent rivers some three weeks since a circular recommending that provision be made with as little delay as possible for the probable removal of their negroes, with subsistence for one year, to different points inland, not less than 15 or 20 miles from the coast, the plantation flats and boats with which each planter is supplied readily furnishing the transportation by the rivers, beyond the reach of their gunboats and vessels; also informing them that I would endeavor to make such arrangements that, on their requiring it, a military force would be finished them to insist on obedience on the part of the slaves to their masters' orders.
In many instances these suggestions have been complied with, and such arrangements are being generally made. Over two-thirds of the rice crop of the State is made in this neighborhood, and as the entire crops are in the different barn-yards, it would be disastrous in many ways should our enemies ever succeed in possession themselves of so large an amount of provisions, particularly valuable to them for reasons too numerous to mention here.
So satisfied am I that our true policy is to destroy all we cannot remove or hold, that unless otherwise directed I shall carry out the instructions that I previously mention having given. I do not, however, intend that they shall take possession quietly or without a struggle while I have the means of opposing them.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. M. MANIGAULT,
Colonel Tenth Regiment, Commanding First Military District.
RICHMOND, December 7, 1861.
I have ordered three regiments - two of Tennesseeans and one of Virginians - to your State. Several more will follow. Two batteries of flying artillery have been sent and one more will follow, and one regiment of Mississippians have been ordered to Savannah. Your are kept in constant remembrance.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.