you will think it needless for me to recite, I would respectfully urge that I be furnished with precise orders to destroy all the buildings that can afford shelter and comfort to the enemy. I desire also again to request of the general that I may be allowed to bring back Blain's company from Cumberland. The captain and colonel are both anxious that this company should not be withdrawn from my command, and its anomalous position will be fruitful of embarrassments, without, as it appears to me, any corresponding benefit. In this connection I would respectfully submit that General Trapier is much better able to supply a garrison for Cumberland than I am to spare a good company from this military district.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. MERCER,
HDQRS. SECOND MILITARY DISTRICT SOUTH CAROLINA,
Charleston, February 16, 1862.
Captain W. H. TAYLOR,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Savannah, Ga.:
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 14th, relating to the re-enforcement of General Evans. I have taken steps to re-enforce him with all I can muster on short notice. Nelson's battalion will be sent out as soon as possible, but I regret to state that Captain De Russ' or De Pass' company has not yet filled, and that the rest are suffering from disease.
On the other hand, Gadberry's and Moragne's, and Keitt's people are rapidly recovering. Keitt received arms yesterday. Clement Stevens' regiment is filling up, and General Gist is using every exertion to reorganize the troops of the city. He has three companies of cavalry here, which I shall endeavor to have equipped and make use of. Two companies of Black's cavalry have also reported lately, which will join the headquarters of the regiment as soon as they can be equipped.
I have respectfully to request that Captain Childs may be authorized to issue or purchase arms for the troops for the war upon my requisition. There may be one or two more cavalry corps offering for the war, and there are a good quantity of Colt's pistols and rifles still for sale in different hands. Captain Ap C. Jones, of Black's regiment, has found about 20 army revolvers and some 10 Enfield rifles, which have been in the hands of merchants and gun-dealers for some time. He has purchased them, trusting to have his purchase authorized.
I yesterday sent Captain Walker, assistant adjutant-general, to confer with General Evans. He brought back with him the man reported as a spy. I inclose his statement, and although by no means a man of unimpeachable veracity, I think he told nearly all he knew. As he is not entirely reliable, however, and it has occurred to General Evans that he may have been set at liberty in order to act as a spy and gain information for the enemy, I have to request instructions as to whether I shall hold him confined or release him. The works on the lines are nearly completed, but require dressing.
I am employing a force on the inundation in Saint Andrew's, which will be done in a few days. Have also started to place a fixed battery on the middle ground between Castle Pinckney and Fort Johnson. The water is but about 8 feet deep, and the timber caissons can be ballasted with the rubbish of the late fire. The idea was suggested by the neces-