Charleston, May 17, 1864.
HIS HONOR THE MAYOR OF CHARLESTON:
SIR: I am in great need of the services of a few additional troops to serve until others that I have ordered up arrive. I have the honor, therefore, to ask that you will place at my disposal for service on James Island as many of the Fire Battalion as you can spare. I assure your honor that if they are placed at my disposal I will not keep them an hour longer than necessary.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF S. CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., May 18, 1864.
Commandant C. S. Naval Forces Afloat, Charleston, S. C.:
SIR: Under urgent calls from the War Department, I have been obliged to send off all my available troops to Virginia. The garrisons in the batteries surrounding the harbor are consequently reduced to such an extent that I cannot muster sufficient men to man all the guns in position. Under these circumstances I am induced to ask you to render me all the assistance and co-operation that lies in your power, and to request that you will make such arrangements as may insure the safety of the harbor by calling upon the officers and men under your command to exercise increased vigilance and extra exertions in their duties. To show you how pressing I consider the exigencies of the occasion, I have this afternoon ordered a battalion composed of detailed men (including all the clerks in my headquarters) to James Island, now without any infantry garrison.
I beg you will regard this as strictly confidential.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT,
Mount Pleasant, S. C., May 18, 1864.
Captain H. W. FEILDEN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Charleston, S. C.:
CAPTAIN: During my temporary absence last evening, an order was received by telegraph directing the Eighteenth Georgia Battalion to be sent to the city for movement, &c. At the time the battalion was on duty, a good portion being on picket and the remainder at the guns and mortars of Battery Marion. If would have taken much time to have prepared the battalion for movement, and moreover the guns would in effect have been abandoned, unless it had been relieved by other troops, and the force at my disposal is stretched to such an extent that relief from this command is out of the question. Colonel Keitt telegraphed to me for instructions. I directed him to send the steamer to the city and retain the troops.
I must believe that some misapprehension exists with regard to these troops. They have been on duty as artillery nearly since the