WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., June 24, 1864.
His Excellency M. L. BONHAM,
Governor of South Carolina, Columbia, S. C.:
SIR: A reply to your letter of the 2nd instant, urging the importance of allowing the reserve classes to remain at home, has been delayed by my wish to submit the matter to the President and receive the benefit of his instructions. The views of the President are expressed in the following indorsement, which he has placed upon your communication:
The views of the Governor would be readily accepted if the basis on which they rest was correct. It is because we cannot send troops from the army to protect the coast that we, of necessity, and I hope temporarily, call for reserves. Frequent reliefs of those furnished will diminish the evil, but, under existing circumstances, the use of the reserves to aid in the defense of the frontiers of South Carolina is a necessity.
In this opinion I am compelled by the exigencies of the service to concur. While appreciating fully the liberality with which South Carolina has contributed of means and men to the cause, and feeling deeply the importance of fostering all our means of production and supply, I can only say that as soon and as far as our ruling military necessities will allow my efforts will be exerted to restore the reserves to their usual avocations.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF S. CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., June 24, 1864.
Commanding District of Georgia:
GENERAL: Your communication of the 22nd instant, received this morning, has been laid before the major-general. It contained the first intimation that had reached these headquarters of the order assigning Brigadier General H. R. Jackson, of the reserves forces of Georgia, to duty with you.
In reply to your inquiry, I am directed to say that the act, under which the reserves forces are organized, expressly provides that they are for local defense and State service, and are not to be ordered beyond the limits of their State. The same limitation, of course, applies to the general officers commanding such troops, and you will at once perceive the practical difficulties which might at any moment arise if such officers were assigned to territorial command, and our officers of the Provisional Army, C. S., subject to be ordered to any point within the limits of the department assigned to the command of this department by the Secretary of War, and responsible for the safety not only of that portion of Georgia over which his command extends, but for the safety of South Carolina and Florida also. The major-general commanding cannot admit that the distribution of territorial commands, made by his orders or subject to his approval, can be changed by the order of General Cobb