Coosawhatchie, December 7, 1861.
General R. S. RIPLEY,
Commanding, &c., Charleston:
GENERAL: I have read with attention your letter of the 5th instant. I regret to learn that the Marion Light Artillery is not yet prepared for the field. Went it is ready please inform me whether it will be required in the vicinity of Charleston.
Unless more field artillery can be obtained, it will be almost impossible to make head against the enemy, should he land in any force. I understand from your letter that the Washington Artillery is only temporarily in Confederate States service, and suppose, therefore, cannot be calculated upon for general service. Being partly equipped by the State and partly by the Confederate States causes embarrassment in supplying it with necessary articles. It is very desirable that the battery should enter the Confederate service so soon as to be rendered as efficient as possible.
The defense of the rivers Ashepoo, Paw Paw, and Combahee, for the protection of the railroad, is of the greatest importance, and I trust may brew speedily accomplished.
As the positions occupied will be on the main, the withdrawal of the troops, in case of necessity, can be easily effected. Moreover, the protection of that section of the country, upon [which] you rely for subsistence, is very desirable. The only difficulty I see to the measure is the want of troops to insure successful resistance should the enemy land in force. The three rivers being defended as proposed, the passage through Dawho and at Church Flats being obstructed, preclude the enemy's approach to the railroad. It would be also desirable to prevent his occupation of Edisto, but whether fixed batteries can now be erected of sufficient strength I think is doubtful. It will also, I fear, be impossible to obtain the regiments which you think necessary for the purpose. I can learn of no regiments in South Carolina entering the service. Several have been offered to me from other States, but they are all unarmed, and I have none for them.
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS, No. 4. Coosawhatchie, S. C., December 7, 1861.
I. The recent inspection by the medical director of the department discloses the existence of much sickness among the troops. No special means can be devised for banishing measles, but catarrhal affections, pneumonia, and rheumatic complaints are produced, in many instances, by had selection of sites for camps. They should always be located on high and dry ground, exposed to the healthful influences of the sun. It is believed that typhoid disease is developed by the close air of tenths, the want of personal cleanliness, the neglect of proper police, and the prolonged occupation of the same ground of encampment. commanidng officers are particularly desired to establish proper sinks, emote from the tents, and to cause the daily removal of all garbage and offal. The tents must be frequently emptied and ventilated and the bedding thoroughly aired and cleared. A proper attention to these measures on the part of commanding and medical officers will do much to mitigate disease and promote the health and efficiency of the men.
II. The commanding general finds in necessary to urge upon the officers