report my own action subsequent to my last communication on the subject. I continued to push forward couriers into the mountain passed and throw out mounted pickets on fleetest horses in every direction, penetrating the bordering counties of North Carolina by every road that I deemed it possible for even the lightest artillery to advance. I had and advance guard of Boykin's men thrown out, holding the main body in reserve to move to any threatened point of danger, and called for volunteers amongst the citizens here, at Pendleton, Pickens, and Walhalla, as well as upon the country generally. The call was responded to by many, but I regret to add that many, very many, other citizens held aloof under the pretense that the cry was "false," a "hoax," "humbug," &c. So soon as I became satisfied that the enemy had retired or were not advancing my movements were stopped, couriers and pickets recalled, and Boykin's company ordered back to camp.
It is my duty to communicate to you, general, that it is my opinion now, and was from the first, that this movement of the enemy, which was a slow and cautions one, was a mere feeler - a reconnaissance, to enable them to judge what could be done on a dash, and that there is really more danger two or four weeks at two months from this time than there was a few days ago; and it is further my duty to say that the development made by this alarm has proved to my mind conclusively that it will not do to depend upon the impulse of the people and unorganized masses, however handsomely they may turn out in point of numbers. Every effort during the past week has been made by the intendant of thus town to raise and organize a company of home guards whose services should be tendered for local defense, but the moment that it was ascertained the enemy were retiring, or rather that they were not advancing, all interest ceased, and his proclamation has been treated with the most profound indifference. A few men enrolled themselves and Saturday, the 13th, was fixed to assemble, organize by election of officers, &c. Not a man turned out and nothing has been done. The only power under my control in addition to Boykin's men, who muster 99 rank and file on the roll, is about 40 conscript, who are only a quasi organization (designated a military patrol) under the instructions of the Conscript Bureau, sanctioned by the War Department, at this place; about 15 or 18 in Picens, 6 in Anderson, about 10 in Spartanburg, and 3 in Union District, with, perhaps, in the several districts named, about 18 to 20 disabled soldiers furloughed and assigned to duty here for the arrest of stragglers, deserters, and evaders of conscription. These forces, except Boykin's company, are scattered over a wide expanse of territory and are two-thirds of their time in the saddle. It would require at least three days to assemble them all at one point either to advance and attack or to defend. I the enemy advanced through Cherokee or Macon Counties in North Carolina to Walhalla much damage might be effected there before I could possibly get even a small force together to meet them, and it will not do strip this place of defense.
The large interests, both public and private, at this point are the great attraction, and more real injury could be inflected upon the Government and the people by the destruction of Greenville, its large workshops, manufacturing establishments, railroads, State armory, &c., than at any point west of Raleigh. Columbia, and Augusta. I would therefore, general, earnestly call your attention and that of the commanding general to the absolute necessity of