HDQRS. DEPT. OF S. CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA, Charleston, February 25, 1864.
I am disposed to concur in the views of His Excellency the Governor with respect to utility of a suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in the district in question.
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
[Inclosure No. 1.]
HEADQUARTERS, Marianna, Fla., January 20, 1864.
His Excellency JOHN MILTON:
SIR: On yesterday Samuel T. Russ, of Washington County, was here and went to the camp of the Fourth Florida Battalion and held a conversation with Commissary Sergt. Joseph Carroll, his son-in-law, and carried off his clothes with him. Last night Carroll deserted from camp, having borrowed Lieutenant Everett's mare, and has not been overtaken yet. Russ is the father of Lieutenant Russ, who deserted to the enemy. Hid daughter, Mrs. Marshall, and son, Jim Russ, have all gone to the enemy some weeks since. Russ, I am satisfied, is in full communication with the enemy, and has been for four months. I am satisfied that there are men in this and adjoining counties who are engaged daily in reporting lies with a view to make soldiers in this section desert. The corn and supplies are withheld from soldier's families in order to cause disaffection and desertions.
I am satisfied that most of the deserters in this section are going daily to the enemy, and that more desertions will take place from the forces here. Many of the infantry have not been paid or furnished with any clothing in some six and ten months; they are poor men, and their families are in great need of corn and the necessaries of life. Unless something is done in this section shortly I fear this section will overrun by the enemy or employ a much larger force than the Government can well spare for this section. I would respectfully suggest that the writ of habeas corpus be suspended in the western part of this State, and my object in writing you is to call your attention to the state of the country. Many families who reside upon the coast and adjacent thereto, through whom constant communication is held with the enemy, should be removed, but with the writ of habeas corpus in force the military will be involved in lawsuits all the while. I trust you will give the matters mature reflection and act on my suggestion or any other way that will give a remedy.
I am, very respectfully,
J. F. McCLELLAN.
Governor JOHN MILTON,
I am directed by the lieutenant-colonel commanding to ask you if, under the circumstances herein stated, it would not be right for him to arrest Samuel T. Russ immediately. Please give him your