In the event I am unable to get a thoroughly competent officer, I do not wish any sent, as I am not anxious to have any addition to those already here. Under authority of General Cobb, two new organizations are now going on, one a cavalry regiment, to be commanded by a Colonel Hood; the second, an battalion for heavy artillery service, to be commanded by a Major Bonaud. The muster-rolls have not been sent on. I can find no evidence in this office that General Cobb had the power to authorize such raising of new troops, but, of course, believe he had such authority from the Government. In any event, I recommend that the officers and men of these organizations of proper age be conscripted, the balance be disbanded.
The act of Congress known as the conscription act was suspended in this department last January by General Cobb. I am of opinion that the enforcement of the act would be advantageous to the country, and agreeable to all the people whose good opinion is at all worth cultivating. I shall write to General Pillow to ascertain if his jurisdiction extends over this department, and, if so, invite him to send the proper officers to enroll the subjects of this act.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. M. GARDNER,
ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, November 11, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
H. L. CLAY,
NOVEMBER 13, 1863.
Such officers of the staff as are not needed may, of course, be relieved, but those required must remain attacked to their command. In this spirit I refused to transfer his staff with General Cobb. General Gardner may select the best, but I cannot send new.
General Cobb was authorized in the district of country where the conscription act was suspended to form new organizations. In good faith those begun should be completed; then the suspension of the conscription law recalled, and the conscript officer put to work. I concur in the policy of this.
J. A. SEDDON.
CHARLESTON, S. C., November 4, 1863-6.30 p. m.
Brigadier General JOHNSON HAGOOD,
Royal's, James Island:
Have you a guard-boat in Light-House Creek, toward Black Island, to watch approach of enemy in that direction? Garrison of Secesionville to Rayn (left inclusive) is favorable to a night attack at high tide.
G. T. BEAUREGARD,