city in Saint Andrew's Parish, reporting direct to these headquarters. The quartermaster's department will furnish General Wise with guides and transportation, if needed.
By command of General Beauregard:
JNO. M. OTEY,
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S.,
Richmond, Va., September 21, 1863.
Honorable W. PORCHER MILES,
Charleston, S. C.:
DEAR SIR: As usual, I have to regret and apologize for my delay in responding to your last letter of explanation, both as to the defenses of Charleston and the purposes of your former communication, which you think I misconceived. I immediately directed a copy of your letter to be made out, that I might send it, but in the press of other official engagements, which at the time were very numerous, the matter escaped proper attention, and only now has had misconceived the spirit and purpose of your letter, though I think on reading it, and remembering that it was addressed to me in my official character, you will conclude I could not well do otherwise than reply in somewhat the spirit I adopted. Had you written me personally the same matter, or had it been the subject of conversation, I certainly should not have felt wounded or bound to make any counter statement, but how could I do otherwise than repel the intimation, officially presented, that the extreme danger ot which Charleston is exposed was due to the withdrawal of troops by the Department, against the earnest protest of the military commanders. The complaint, too, though delicately presented, that the veteran soldiers of South Carolina should be devoted to distant service, and not allowed to defend their native soil, required at my hands some response that might justify the action of the Department. You may be apprised I had no feeling of personal irritation, nor any pleasure in the task to indorse the letter I wrote. It gives me real satisfaction to be informed that you had not intended to cast responsibility on the Department, or make complaint of its course in the disposition of the South Carolina troops, and, with that knowledge, I regret having been led to say or write anything painful to you or to the sensibility of the general commanding. I have, as you must well know, the deepest interest, as well as a personal feeling, in the defense of Charleston, and, perhaps, on that account I have felt too sensibly the seeming ascription to my official action of the dangers menacing it.
Very cordially, yours,
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HDQRS. DEPT. S. C., GA., AND FLA, Numbers 189.
Charleston, S. C., September 21, 1863.
* * * * *
IV. The First Regiment of Artillery, Colonel John A. Wagener; the Sixteenth Regiment, Colonel Edward Magrath, and the Eighteenth
24 R R-VOL XXVIII, PT II