HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE WEST,
December 27, 1864.
Lieutenant General W. J. HARDEE,
Commanding Dept. of S. C. GA., and Fla., Charleston, S. C.:
GENERAL: I am instructed by the commanding general to direct as follows:
First. That you make silently and cautiously all necessary preparations for the evacuation of Charleston should it become necessary, taking at the same time the proper steps to save the garrison of the different works. Detailed and confidential instructions should be given as to the spiking, by means of rat-tail files, all heavy guns and such others as cannot be moved; for disabling carriages, chassis, and batteries.
Second. That the infantry and cavalry of your command be organized forthwith into brigades and divisions, under good commanders; that all the troops be supplied with knapsacks, haversacks, canteens, blankets, and shoes, and that ample transportation be supplied, as also ammunition for small-arms and light batteries.
Third. That all light batteries be organized into battalions of three batteries each, one battalion being attached to each division, the others in reserve, under the chief of artillery.
The battalion attached to division, although under the orders of the division commanders in battle and on the march, will nevertheless make all their returns and reports to the chief of artillery, and all correspondence relative to the organization, equipment, and interior management of battalions will pass through the same channel. Such batteries will only be under the orders of the chief of artillery when in permanent camp or winter quarters. The commanding general also directs that should field officers be needed for the battalions you will apply by telegraph to the War Department and request immediate attention.
I have the honor to be, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO M. OTEY,
CHARLESTON, December 27, 1864.
Honorable j. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
Florida has been cut off in great part from these headquarters, and needs an officer of experience to command there. General Jones can be spared for this purpose. Will your order him?
W. J. HARDEE,
POCOTALIGO, December 27, 1864.
Direct a detachment from your command, consisting of four commissioned officers and forty men, to proceed at once to Ferebee's place, between Great Swamp and Grahamville, there to meet S. F. O'Neil, of commissary department, to assist in collecting cattle.