three of four days, 235 detached and detailed men and officers left here to join their commands in Virginia. Read's and Buist's companies have been serving heavy batteries here. They may be useful on like service in Virginia.
CHARLESTON, S. C., May 31, 1864.
Governor J. E. BROWN,
Within the last ten days the Yankee fleet at Hilton Head has increased from fifty-three to ninety-two. It may foreshadow an attack on Savannah. Have you any State available for service there? If so, please let me have them.
EXECUTIVE DEPT., STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
Columbia, June 2, 1864.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I feel it my duty to the State to bring to the notice of the Confederate authorities some facts very important to be borne in mind at this time. South Carolina does not, as do Georgia and North Carolina, and perhaps other States, claim the exemption of militia officers and the ordinary magistrates of the country and some less numerous officials. The militia officers and magistrates alone would make some 2,500 exempts who are now bearing arms in the Confederate service. In the large States of Georgia and North Carolina there are probably from 5,000 to 7,000 militia reserved to those States from these sources alone. Moreover, I think I may safely say no State has sent more fully than this her conscripts into the field, and has so large a proportion of her arms-bearing population in Confederate service. You will thus perceive that the able-bodied laboring white population between the ages of eighteen and forty-five in those districts having but few slaves, are almost to a man in the field. I had determined to bring this state of facts to your notice to-day, with the view of urging upon you again the propriety of furnishing at this juncture some troops from the South Carolina forces for the protection of the mountains, when I was informed that three regiments of the force, to be commanded by General Chesnut, are called for to repair to Charleston.
The statement I have made above shows you that in the districts having mainly white population, there is no one left but the small proportion of the citizens under eighteen and over forty-five to raise supplies for themselves and the people whose labor has gone into the service of the country. If these troops called "reserves" are now called out, there will be great suffering next year, and in view of the loss of upper Georgia, possible starvation. Even now many of the districts of this State have not the means of subsistence for the population, and have to be supplied from other districts.