I am encouraged to make this application from some recent information that there are other North Carolina cavalry troops which may be secured by you.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
[G. T. BEAUREGARD,
CHARLESTON, S. C., October 27, 1863.
Major General J. F. GILMER, Second in Command, &c.:
GENERAL: In accordance with orders from you, I have made a reconnaissance of the country from the South Carolina Railroad Bridge across the Edisto to Ridgeville. The most important points, in my estimation, of defense for the railroad from Charleston to Augusta, are the railroad bridge over the Edisto River, 4 miles above Branchville, toward Augusta; Raysor's Bridge, over the same river, ont he road between George's Station and Walterborough, and Four-Hole Bridge, over the Four-Hole Swamp. For the defense of Branchville, in case the river should be passed below, a line can be taken up on a small creek that cuts the public road three-quarters of a mile from Branchville, in the direction of Charleston. For the defense of these positions it would be advisable to station two companies of infantry at the railroad bridge, tow companies of infantry at Raysor's Bridge, two companies of infantry at Four-Hole Bridge, over Four-Hole Swamp. the remainder of the regiment, four companies, to be stationed about a mile from Branchville, on the road to the New Bridge. I would also recommend that a platoon of cavalry be stationed at Gioham's Ferry and a platoon at Appleby's Ferry. The two companies of infantry at the railroad bridge would be stationed on the right of the river, to protect the bridge against an enemy advancing either along the right bank of the Edisto or from the Salkehatchie. The two companies of infantry at Raysor's Bridge would guard against an enemy attempting to strike at George's Station by the roads leading from the landings between Jacksonborough, on the right bank of the Edisto, and Tar Bluff, on the left bank of the Combahee. The two companies of infantry at Four-Hole Bridge would dispute the passage of the Edisto at Gioham's Ferry against an enemy advancing along the right bank of that river, and would threaten his flank if he attempted to march by the road from Willstown to destroy the railroad bridge 2 miles above ridgeville and across Four-Hole Swamp. The four companies of infantry stationed 1 mile from Branchville, on the road to the New Bridge, would guard the bridge against an enemy advancing on the right of the Edisto, and defend the line of swamp crossing the public road three three-fourths of a mile from Branchville. This force could also, by means of an engine kept at Branchville, with a sufficient train, be sent to re-enforce the points along the line wherever they may be needed. The platoon of cavalry stationed at Gioham's Ferry would guard that position from surprise by a force approaching on the right bank of the Edisto, and patrol the roads below Raysor's Bridge and to the east of Walterborough. The platoon of cavalry at Appleby's Bridge would defend that position and patrol the roads above Raysor's Bridge and those running along the Saklehatchie.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ROBT. H. BARNWELL,
Captain of Engineers.