[Sub-Inclosure No. 3.]
RICHMOND, VA., September 25, 1863.
His Excellency JOHN MILTON:
GOVERNOR: I have the honor to return the inclosed letter from General Howell Cobb, addressed to you, and to inform you that Colonel Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance, had been directed to furnish 2,000 Austrian arms to the ordnance officer of the troops recently commanded by General Cobb.
Colonel Gorgas reports that he can also furnish by the 1st of October two or three heavy guns, to be used in holding Apalachicola.
Very respectfully and truly,
HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA, Charleston, S. C., October 28, 1863.
Major General J. F. GILMER,
Second in Commanding, Dept. S. C., Ga., and Fla., Savannah, Ga.:
GENERAL: On examination I find that General Mercer has now thirty-four companies in his command, on duty as heavy artillery, while the number of companies here for manning all the batteries around Charleston does not exceed thirty-eight. Of course to man all his batteries on the most efficient footing, he has not too many, indeed, not as many as it would be desirable for him to have, but relatively it would a appear that his force of heavy artillery is too large, and may be reduced without material detriment, when we consider the demands of the service elsewhere in the department, and the chances for operations, or the risk of any serious movement for the reduction of Savannah, at least without some notice. Accordingly, Company E, Twelfth Battalion Georgia Volunteers, has been ordered here to join the rest of the battalion, and it will be well to see that it is replaced by a company of Olmstead's regiment. First Volunteers, Georgia, as there is one company of that regiment already there, and it is desirable to have homogeneity in the composition of these garrisons. There are, moreover, three companies (F, H, and I) of the Fifty-fourth Regiment (Way's) Georgia Volunteers in the District of Georgia, two of Rose Dew and one at Beaulieu, on heavy artillery duty, which, I have suggested to the general, ought to be brought here for James Island, and consolidated with the other six companies for infantry service. Therefore, the general commanding instructs me to lay the matter before you, to investigate whether these companies may not be replaced either from Gordon's or Olmstead's regiment, and ordered here without material risk of exposing Savannah to fall by a coup de main.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Chief of Staff.
CHARLESTON, S. C., October 28, 1863.
Brigadier General H. W. MERCER,
Anderson's whole regiment and Villegue's battery will march en route for Adams Run without delay, halting at headquarters of General Walker, Third Military District, for further orders.
Chief of Staff.