lutely needs, 2,000 negro men, and has but 9 furnished by the State agent; he finds it impossible to hire. At least 200 are required at Fort Sumter, and there and not a dozen there. The recent heavy rains have greatly damaged many of the works, and the longer they are allowed to remain unrepaired, the more difficult and expensive the repairs become. The enemy daily shells Secessionville, and through the frames of bomb-proofs have been erected for over a month they still remain uncovered, and the soldiers who are performing most arduous duties are constantly exposed to the fire of the enemy, simply because we have not the labor to construct the necessary defensive works. Under these circumstances, as I cannot order the impressment of negroes in those States which have taken action on this subject, I must urge that the necessary steps be at once taken to supply Major Echols, the chief engineer, with 2,000 men, assuring Your Excellency that this is, in my judgment, indispensably necessary for the successful defense of Charleston against a continued and determined attacking force. I cannot myself secure this labor, and must therefore place the responsibility upon the State authorities. May I ask early reply to this communication. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Savannah, Ga., June 29, 1864.
Your order to send the Fourth Georgia Cavalry to General Johnston has been received, and instructions have been sent to have it carried out. The departure of that regiment, without replacing it by other forces, would, as you are undoubtedly aware, leave the southwestern part of Georgia, from the Ogeechee to Saint Mary's, without a single soldier, excepting the garrison at Fort McAllister, one company of reserves, and one of artillery. The regiment is so scattered that it will take some time to collect all the companies.
For the more complete equipment and arming of the men, and to give greater protection to the railroad against raiding parties, which might land at various eligible points between the Ogeechee and the Altamaha, some now watched by pickets and others unguarded, I had ordered six companies to be concentrated at some point in Liberty County. I suppose by this time those companies have been collected and are in motion in this direction from the other side of the Altamaha, which concentration will facilitate the movements now ordered. But the other four companies are so much scattered it will take time to collect them. Shall I send on the six companies and not wait for the concentration of the whole regiment? I ask this because the telegram of General Cooper implies a concentration before leaving.
To guard against the ill effects upon the planting interests along the coast by the sudden withdrawal of the Fourth Regiment, I have directed that three companies of the Third South Carolina Regiment, now in the Third Military District of South Carolina, which were sent from Georgia to re-enforce Colonel Colcock's command, at