my active city I am convinced that religion creates the strongest tie between servant and master, and that the ministry thereby constitute the strongest police of municipal and of domestic order. So long therefore as the subduing restraints of Christianity are kept vigorously at play among the colored people we may except to check insubordination that must ensue should they be thrown on the community inflamed with false hopes of liberation, of left to congregate in idleness, or to seek employment in villainy. My mind was profoundly called to this subject, and I have made extraordinary exertions to keep this religious element at work in my charge, composed of about 2,000 colored members, who worship in the same church with a veru large white communion. A most gracious work is now progressing among them; many have been converted and many added to the church. The same work is going on in two other large Methodist churches in the city. Our meetings begin at 8 o'clock, p.m. and continue to 9.30 o'clock, and I suppose 2,000 or 3,000 worship every night in our churches under the supervision of white persons.
Without presuming to counsel one in whom the custody of our beloved city is so well reposed, permit me respectfully to suggest, should martial law be prolained, no action be taken to curtail the religious privileges of our colored population. Allow them to meet as usual, and I think they will be more contended, quiet, and loyal. We must trust God, who can overrule storm and subdue the proud waves beneath our feet.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your humble servant and colaborer in the cause of our bleeding country.
JOHN T. WIGHTMAN,
Pastor of Trinity Church.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA,
Charleston, May 2, 1862.
CHARLES MACBETH, Esq.,
Mayor of Charleston:
DEAR SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday's date, in which you say that you "deem it absolutely necessary that I (you) should be informed of your (my) intended course of action in the event of the enemy's gunboats passing our forts and presenting themselves in front of the city." You then add, "Oblige me therefore by informing me whether in such an event you (I) intend to make any resistance in the city itself, or whether you (I) would pursue the course adopted by General Lovell, of New Orleans-that is, retire with your (my) troops and leave the city in the hands of the civil authorities," &c.
In reply to these inquiries I can at present only say that in all probability martial law will be proclaimed within a day or two in this city and in the neighboring country. I shall then advise the withdrawal of women and children, as it may become necessary to defend the city. I cannot at this time express my intentions as to the course to be pursued in the event of the enemy's gunboats passing our forts and presenting themselves in front of the city. This calamity may not occur at all; it may be very remote; it is possibly near at hand. The circumstances of to-day may be materially changed before the enemy is prepared to make his attack. The force at my disposal may be some