HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA, Charleston, S. C., November 11, 1863.
Colonel A. H. H. DAWSON,
MY DEAR SIR: By the indorsements on your letter of the 6th instant, you will see that however badly fed the garrison of Sumter may be, their rations are larger than at any other out in the department. I make it a point to visit the place occasionally, and I never heard any complaints as to the quantity or quality of the rations.
I am aware that these are not equal to what they should be in ordinary times, but if we look at our own firesides, we will find that our families are deprived, in many instances, of even the necessities of life. I can assure you that at present I am more concerned about the want of shoes, clothing, and blankets for our troops than about their want of food. With rice and corn we cannot starve, but without those other articles, our sufferings may become intolerable. I am doing all that I can to procure them for the troops of my department, but I cannot yet say with what success.
We have nothing new here, excepting that the enemy's firing on Sumter seems to be gradually diminishing from day to day. I hope its power of endurance will finally discourage the enemy in his efforts to take it.
Yours, very truly,
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
HDQRS. DEPT . SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA, Charleston, S. C., November 11, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel G. W. LAY,
Conscript Bureau, Richmond, Va.:
MY DEAR COLONEL: Your favors of the -- and 7th instant have been received. I see no necessity for addressing Dr. Bagley on the subject referred to. My letter to Bragg was not a confidential one;* hence I have shown it to many of my friends, and I have no objection to your doing the same, with proper discretion.
I regret to see that I am again to be a military prophet in our western operations. Would to God it were otherwise! I sincerely hope, moreover, that I will not be withdrawn from here before my task is accomplished to be sent there when it shall be too late. General Lee is the only one who could go there with all the chances of success, for to the prestige of his name he would add the good wishes of the Government; hence, if any one is the ben sent there, he is the man.
The demonstrations of Made in Virginia ought not to deceive a child. He merely wants to prevent the execution of what I recommended on the 7th ultimo.
He has sent three corps to Rosecrans, and Lee has sent only one to Bragg; then why cannot Lee, who would have defeated Made on more favorable ground at Gettysburg, spare one or two corps more, and still be as strong on the defensive as Made? But, after all, I have not time to attend to other people's business; hence I must close.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
P. S.-I regret to hear of your brother's continued ill-health. Although anxious to have him back here, he must not return until perfectly well.
*See October 7, p. 399.