coast of Florida and the interior protected against the destructive raids of the enemy; the fisheries and the productive lands of the interior made available to their utmost capacity; the railroad system, so far as it is valuable to us, preserved, and the inestimable resources of the peninsula, in meats and sweets, be rendered available to their utmost capacity.
I have taken the liberty of addressing you directly upon this subject, presuming, perhaps, upon my long acquaintance with you, personally and officially, feeling assured that you would place an estimate, not unworthy the importance of the subject, upon any suggestions or recommendations that I may make.
I send this communication directly to you by the hands of Lieutenant-Colonel McDonald, whom I have advised to visit Richmond, not only for that purpose, but to communicate in person with you upon the state of affairs in this military district, I, at the same time, send forward a duplicate of it through the regular channels.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN K. JACKSON,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF S. CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
August 14, 1864.
Captain N. SOULE,
CAPTAIN: You have asked me for my opinion in regard to the men belonging to the First South Carolina Artillery who refuse to do duty in that command and also touching the men who are under sentence of ball and chain for a term and are now in jail. In reply thereto, I would respectfully suggest:
First. That the men of the First South Carolina Artillery remain where they are until their cases can be disposed of by the military court to which changes against them have ben referred for trial. These men have been offered every inducement consistent with good discipline to persuade them to return to their duty, and they still insist on what they consider to be their rights. Any compromise with them now or yielding to their demands will destroy the First South Carolina Artillery, as all the other men of that command are in the like position, and are only waiting the result of this contest with their comrades. I believe that when the court decides that they are wrong and inflicts severe punishment on one or two of them, the others will immediately and willingly return to duty.
Second. The sentences of courts-martial should be literally carried out, and when it is ordered that the convict should wear ball and chain at the camp of his company it is not lawful for him to be confined in jail. The design of punishment is not only to reform the offender, but by the example to deter others from the commission of the like offense. It seems to me neither is accomplished by leaving the convict in jail. The idle soldier would rather be there than exposed to the labors or dangers of the field, while his comrades are in utter ignorance of his fate. All these men should therefore be ordered to their companies, where the sentences pronounced against them should be rigidly enforced.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. GILCHRIST.