Summervile, December 1, 1864.
Major General SAMUEL JONES:
Will be in Charleston at 1 o'clock to-day with 2,000 men.
L. S. BAKER,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
Charleston, December 1, 1864.
General ROBERT RANSOM,
Charleston, S. C.:
GENERAL: Yours of this morning has been laid before the major-General commanding. He directs me to say in reply that no answer was made to the communication referred to because he supposed that you understood, from verbal statements, that it was impossible to give you the men or labor called for. The evils alluded to in connection with the present system of obtaining labor are patent, and have been made the subject of many communications to the Governor of this State and the Department at Richmond. It seems, however, that they are beyond the control or correction of the major-General commanding. By reference to the act of Congress authorizing the impressment of slaves you will observe that it can be done in such States as have legislated on the subject only under the State law, and as South Carolina has provided for this subject her law must govern. By its terms the impressment can be made for thirty days only, and the slaves must be discharged at the expiration of that term. The disregard of this provision in some cases in regarded by Governor Bonham in his late message as one of the main reasons to which he attributed the failure in term of service required, and asks the Legislature to correct them. It is to be hoped that this will be done. Under existing orders from department headquarters the chief engineer has control of and is responsible for the efficient working of these slaves. He was notified this morning that 2,000 would be here during the day, and of that number as many as the exigencies of the service elsewhere allowed will be assigned to your sub-district.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. S. STRINGFELLOW,
MONTGOMERY, December 2, 1864.
(Via Savannah. Received 4th.)
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General:
Telegram of 30th received here on my way to Mobile. I shall repair forthwith to Atlantic coast.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
C. S. HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE WEST,
Montgomery, Ala., December 2, 1864.
General E. KIRBY SMITH,
Commanding Trans-Mississippi Department:
GENERAL: You are probably aware that the Army of Tennessee, under General J. B. Hood, has penetrated into Middle Tennessee as