MOUNT PLEASANT, S. C., April 5, 1864.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that I visited Sullivan's Island and the posts adjacent on the 2nd and 4th, and propose to assume command of the First Military District this evening. Should it be the desire of the commanding general to give any special instructions I shall be happy to receive them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. S. RIPLEY,
APRIL 5, 1864.
Brigadier General R. S. RIPLEY,
Commanding First Mil. Dist., Mount Pleasant, S. C.:
Your letter of yesterday [to-day] has been received. I have no additional instructions to give for the proper management of your military district. I hope to be able to return you soon one of Brigadier-General Evans' regiments, which you will use to the best advantage to guard and defend your district. It is reported the enemy is again preparing and expedition against this place or Wilmington. Due vigilance should be kept until this blow shall have fallen on the point selected by him. I shall inspect your district as soon as present circumstances will permit.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
CHARLESTON, S. C., April 6, 1864.
Major General W. H. C. WHITING,
Commanding, &c., Wilmington, N. C.:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I construe the circular you refer to as you do yourself, that is, it makes the position of servanted officers much worse than before. I have just telegraphed the Department to know what those officers located in deserted district were to do for rations for their servants. They cannot employ soldiers as servants and cooks; hence, what are they to do if they have to attend themselves to those menial occupations? They must then give up their duties as officers. The thing is so grossly absurd and outrageous that I will pursue it no further. Is Grant going to try Richmond again? "Whom the gods wish to destroy," &c. I think his present preparations are mere feints, but should he intend to attack Richmond, then you have nothing to fear from Burnside, who will co-operate with him from Norfolk or Albemarle Sound and Weldon. We will soon know the truth, however, for such large bodies of men cannot be moved about without indicating where they are going. Moreover, if Grant understands anything about the art of war it is the first and most important of all its principles, i. e., concentration of masses against fractions; he cares very little about the other two.
Yours, very truly,
G. T. BEAUREGARD.