general of Georgia. In reply I received a printed copy of Gov. J. E. Brown's speech to the State troops at Savannah on the 15th instant, which General Wayne says "develops his [the governor's] policy with regard to their continuance in service," and adds, "if they do not revolunteer within the week, as set forth in his speech, he will replace them by an equivalent force of new volunteers."
On the 7th instant I had a personal interview with Governor Brown, when the subject was discussed more at large. In conversation the governor authorized me to say that he did not think more than 3,500 of the State troops now in service could be counted upon at any one time within the next two or three months for the defense of Savannah. My own opinion is, after a great deal of inquiry, that even this number is an overestimate. I am convinced that there is a general indisposition to re-enter the State service, though the governor thinks differently.
I did not in any manner enter into the question of the comparative advantages or disadvantages of the organization of State troops for local defense; my object being entirely to ascertain how far I could rely on such forces to make up the requisite numerical strength for the protection of the city and State.
Allowing the estimate of Governor Brown to be correct, the effective force will be diminished by 4,000 at least for several months to come.
I do not consider the present strength as more than adequate to the defense, but the direct purpose I have in view is to bring to the notice of the department the fact that this strength is daily diminishing, and that, should the exigencies of the service elsewhere demand the withdrawal of troops from this department, it will become necessary to abandon at least a part of our line of defense and with it some of the approaches to the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. In view of the possibility of these exigencies, I am taking measures to secure an uninterrupted communication between the two cities, by requiring a connection to be made through Augusta of the Waynesborough, Augusta and South Carolina Railroad. I consider the connection referred to a military necessity, and I believe it to have been so regarded by General Lee, as I know that the desired it to be made. Some difficulties, however, as to the particular route intervened to prevent it, and, the general leaving the department about that time, no steps were taken to enforce it.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. C. PEMBERTON,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA, Pocotaligo, April 1, 1862.
General HENRY C. WAYNE,
Adjutant and Inspector General of Georgia:
SIR: As the term of service of the Georgia State troops is about to expire, I would be glad to know the views of his excellency the governor in regard to that force, now forming so large and important a part of the army intended for the defense of Savannah and Georgia.
If it is the intention of the State government to continue the present or an equivalent force in service, it may be unnecessary for the Confederate Government to furnish more regiments. It is very desirable that this matter be determined without delay, as the safety of the city may depend upon prompt action.