Of any force which you may send I am very anxious that the brigade of General Conner, a part of General Kershaw's division, should be a part of it, and sent as soon as possible. I would be much rejoiced if General Kershaw with his division could be spared to us. But if that is not practicable I greatly desire the brigade of General Conner. The presence of General Conner with his brigade would greatly tend to inspire confidence and excite hope.
You, of course, are much better informed of the number of troops on our coast and in the city of Charleston than I am. You are also aware of the necessities at other points which may control you; but it is considered that the force on the coast is not sufficient to make effectually resistance to General Sherman. If that is so, Charleston falls; if Charleston falls, Richmond follows. Richmond may fall and Charleston be saved, but Richmond cannot be saved if Charleston falls. If now I urge upon you the concentration of all available strength for the defense of Charleston I will be acquitted of all selfish consideration when I venture to remind you that two years ago, when it seemed as if then a necessity was about to arise in which you would be forced to decide between Charleston and Richmond, I gave you then the assurance of my support, however feeble, in sustaining you in the destruction of Charleston if it would accomplish the end we then desired. Now, however, I presume that, as between these places, there is no doubt that, if unable to save both, Charleston is that which from every consideration we must prefer to save. To save it we must have troops. It is in this connection that I must bring also to your attention the vital consequence of attending at once to Branchville as a place to be fortified and to which troops should be sent. Its strategic importance I am sure is too manifest to require from me any urgency in bringing it to your notice. There are to works there which are of the slightest consequence. I understan making; it is difficult to understand why they were not made before this time. You will not understand from this that I wish to indulge in censure or criticism, but to indicate to you that a position of the utmost consequence is not prepared for resistance to the attempt which may be reasonably supposed will be made to posses it. If that attempt should be successful our future will be greatly clouded.
I view of these difficulties I must freely confer with you as to the expediency of adding the services of such State officers as are connected with the State government to those which the engineer officers of the Confederate Government may be now endeavoring to render. I am sure that, with the spirit which prompts me and them, there cannot be conflict or confusion, and that great success will be gained which results from united action. In this connection also suffer me to make another suggestion. The number of detailed men in the State is considerable. It has been supposed that they are not liable to militia duty. It maters little how that may be, except in this respect: that their absence from all appearance of military service by so much diminishes the influences with which I am now attempting to quicken and excite our people not only to effective resistance, but to that confidence in the success of that resistance which will assist me in my efforts and sustain them in their conduct. If when the militia was paroled and inspected the detailed men were also to be paroled, I am quite sure of the effect. I would be no interference with the command of them by Confederate officers; it would not interfere with their business, for it would not occur more than once or twice, and then only for a few hours, and the effect would be, I am sure, beneficial.