HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF S. C. AND GA., No. 173. Charleston, S. C., September 24, 1862.
I. Major General J. C. Pemberton is relieved from duty in this department, and will proceed to obey paragraph XVI, Special Orders, No. 218, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, Richmond, Va., September 12, 1862.
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By command of General Beauregard:
Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
Charleston, September 29, 1862.
DEAR GENERAL: I inclose the within to you, being a letter from myself to General Lee, dated May 23, and one from him in reply, dated 29th May, containing an order to General Pemberton relating to the defense of Charleston. I most respectfully call your attention to these letters.*
It strikes me that the defense of Charleston is now of the last importance to the Confederacy, and in our very full interview yesterday I took the liberty of urging that Fort Sumter was the key to the harbor, and in fact was almost absolutely essential to enable the South to have any communication with the foreign world. I called your attention most respectfully to the state of the garrison and the great importance of securing an able and experienced commander for it.
The recent difficulties amongst the field officers and the death of the two senior ones in command, and the probable suspension, at least for a time, of the other field officer from actual command, makes it of the deepest interest to the State and to the country at large to have an artillery officer of high rank immediately appointed to the command of that fortress. You will see by mine, inclosed, of the 23rd of May, that I called the attention of General Lee to the situation of the garrison then, and I trust you will excuse me now for again urging upon your attention at this time the same views. The State feels a deep interest in it, and the Executive Council recently unanimously passed a resolution requesting me to address you on this subject. In addition to all I said yesterday I now desire to state these views more specifically in writing.
I am rejoiced to see you here again, as there is no general who could have been selected to whom South Carolina would look with more confidence for her defense than to yourself. Our whole coast involves the most complicated difficulties in defense, and all the highest range of science in war is required to make that defense successful.
Feeling the greatest confidence in your abilities, and well knowing that this position is eminently suited to your peculiar talents and scientific knowledge, it affords me the greatest pleasure to co-operate with you in anything that you may suggest, and to offer you all the resources of the State that I may be able to command.
I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration of esteem, your most obedient servant,
F. W. PICKENS.