War of the Rebellion: Serial 047 Page 0381 Chapter XL. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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the commanding general. Of these, two regiments have been in nominal service for over one month in this command; and the return for the 25th of September shows an effective total present of 999, with an aggregate of 1,806, a proportion not often to be found in regiments which have been for a long time in service. These have been just embodied; have been quartered in healthy and comfortable localities, and, having been unarmed, have been subjected to no duty except the ordinary drills without arms, and undress parades.

Very frequently from each regiment, surgeon's certificates of disability come in by scores; and from such observations as I have been able to give, they appear to be well founded. I believe that their number will increase indefinitely so soon as the regiments are ordered on service.

In one regiment, it has been reported that one-fourth of its strength has not yet joined; and I fear much that sending parties to apprehend the delinquents would only result in indefinitely increasing the number of absentees. There are now subject to issue by the ordnance officer of this district, about 400 Austrian rifles and abut 150 sets of equipments. When this supply will be increased I cannot say.

In view of the comparatively small number of these regiments with their colors, and the probability of a continued diminution from disease and other causes, from the difficulty of arming and equipping, the amount of subsistence which they consume, and especially the almost utter hopelessness of making them into good troops, I respectfully submit whether it would not be better to cause those persons subject to conscription to be enrolled at once, assigned to the regiments from South Carolina now on duty in this department, and that the remainder be discharged the service and returned to their homes. I believe that the service which they will render in attending to their private affairs and the negro population will be of more importance than any that they will render as soldiers. Meantime they swell the aggregate and apparent force, adding nothing whatever to our real strength.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. S. RIPLEY,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Indorsement.]

HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,

Charleston, September 28, 1863.

Respectfully referred to the War Department, to show the condition of the State troops I have to depend upon for the defence of this place.

The arms at present available in the department must go first toward arming those troops which have been longest in the service, including many of those lately sent from Virginia, as the reports of inspection shortly to be forwarded to the War Department will show.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

MEMORANDA FOR THE INFORMATION OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL.

HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,

Charleston, S. C., September 28, 1863.

Castle Pinckney.-Saturday afternoon, September 26, visited Castle Pinckney, accompanied by Colonel Harris, chief engineer. Piles