The commanding general desires particularly to impress upon you his inability to re-enforce your command at present. It is an axiom of war that "no work is sufficiently strong to resist of this city require a force of 18,500 infantry and at least ten light batteries. In lieu of that force, only 12,695 infantry [of which a portion are unreliable troops] and eight light batteries compose its present garrison. If one portion of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad is worth guarding, the rest has the same claim; hence, if 1,000 men are sent to the Third District, and thus weakening the already too small forces absolutely required for the defense of Charleston, invites an attack from the enemy before these troops from those districts could possibly be recalled. The question, then, arises whether it is better it and Savannah. The commanding general cannot hesitate in the selection.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Chief of Staff.
Brigadier General W. S. WALKER,
Commanding 3rd Mil. Dist.of South Carolina, Pocotaligo, S. C.
NOVEMBER 28, 1863.
P. S.-Since the date of this circular, Clingman's brigade [1,810 effectives] has been ordered to North Carolina.
G. T. B.
ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, Richmond, December 26, 1863.
GENERAL: I send you, by direction of the President, the inclosed letter from W. F. Robert,* and have to request from you an early answer by telegraph to the indorsement of the President thereon. It has been intimated here that you propose abandoning your present line of defense, and to establish a new line farther in the interior. You are further requested to state if this be so, for the consideration of the President.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Adjutant and Inspector General.
[Indorsement No. 1.] DECEMBER 30, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to the President. The inclosed telegraphic dispatch is the only response I have received to the letter addressed on the 26th instant, copy of which is herewith, covering his letter of November 29, to which he refers in the dispatch.
Adjutant and Inspector-General.
[Indorsement No. 2.]
Answer not satisfactory. I require a specific reply.
J. D. [DAVIS.]