I cannot agree with Major Guerin that this deplorable state of affairs is due to any "virtual" suspension of the power to impress subsistence consequent upon General Orders, Numbers 144, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, series 1863, but to the lack of administrative capacity on the part of Major Guerin, and the want of suitable agents to reach the supplies in hands of original owners or growers and producers, who will compete with middlemen or speculators. This, and not paragraph II, General Orders, Numbers 31, reproduced in General Orders, Numbers 144, series 1863, is the real reason why, at least, a more abundant supply of meat has not been accumulated. These middlemen purchase with the same currency which Major Guerin regards as another source of his difficulty.
The fact is, I am obliged to ask that some one in whose business capacity and ability to develop the resources of the country I can have more confidence than I have in Major Guerin may be sent to relieve him. I may be mistaken about him, but submit that it must be for the good of the service that some one more acceptable to me should occupy his position.
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
HDQRS. 6TH MIL. DIST., DEPT. OF S. C., GA., AND FLA.,
January 5, 1864.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD,
GENERAL: Your order to send another company of infantry (one acquainted with the practice of heavy artillery) to General Robertson's command somewhat embarrasses mine. According to your orders, the nineteen companies of the Twenty-sixth and Fifty-ninth [Virginia] are posted from the Wappoo to Meggett's and on John's Island; the ten companies of the Fourth [Virginia Heavy Artillery] are posted from Meggett's to Willstown, and two of the ten companies of the Forty-sixth were sent to General Robertson, and the other eight companies were kept as a reserve here at Adams' Run. This enabled me to concentrate a battalion at least at any point on the front lines of this district. But since the engineer has taken 100 men from the eight companies of reserve here, and will take some 75 or 100 men more from Church Flats for fatigue parties, and General Robertson takes another company, I will be left with no reserves at Church Flats and with only 250 men here. To remedy this deficiency of force in this district, where the various posts are distant and much separated, the defensive works ought to be pushed as rapidly as possible. But the engineer has not the tools and implements necessary to begin the works. He has no axes and no transportation. I have made requisitions for them, and so has he, he reports, in vain. I ask for your orders to have 150 spades or shovels and 50 axes and 2 wagons sent to these headquarters for engineer uses as early as practicable. I have ordered my quartermaster again to apply for them.
With the highest respect, your obedient servant,
HENRY A. WISE,