here with the light batteries. I would respectfully suggest that it would be well, under existing circumstances, that the larger portion be removed to some interior point, not only on account of safety, but for convenience to forage, &c. After the departure of General Young and the trains and troops of the army Augusta will be uncevered. Nothing will be left but Cumming's small brigade of Georgia Reserves and Browne's Reserves. On the 28th [25th] instant Governor Brown sent a dispatch to General Fry, notifying that he intended withdrawing his militia; and on Sunday, the 26th. without any notification, the militia abandoned the lines and left. I telegraphed Governor Brown on the subject, but received no answer. I send you copy of communication from him to you on this subject. In this state of affairs it would be better to remove the artillery. All the artillery companies left in Mississippi have gone to Mobile, under orders form Lieutenant-General Taylor, except five companeis sent to Demopolis. The order for its reorganization General Elzey informs me he did not receive, and was not aware of its existnce until I called his attention to it and gave him a copy. The railroad has been completed to Atlanta from West Point, and I have directed Major Hottle to transfer his force to the east of it and work eastwardly, until he meets Captain Grant. Captain Grant reports that he cannot complete the work until the middle of April. The bridge over the Alcony will be finished in ten days. I should be glad to have your views in relation to the ammont of stores to be kept on hand in this section, and the best pointsfor their loction; what lines of route are most likely to become important, in order that repairs may be looked after. Under existing circumstances, the route from Washington to Abbeville seems to have lost some of its value. The reconnaissance of that route shows the dirt raod to be very bad and at present impracticable. I would call your attention to the fact that the gauge of the West Point and Montgomery road is the narow one. It is highly important that this be remedied. There is no commanding officer at Columbia, and great confusion exits there. Beyond there is no courier-line. I have ordered colonel Rudler to that place as commandant, with instructions to establish a through line.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEORGE WM. BRENT,
Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
CHARLOTTE, N. C., March 4. 1865.
Major E. WILLIS,
Chief Quartermaster, Chester, S. C.:
Troops, wagons artillery, and caissons must move from Chester to Salisbury without reshipment at this place, Trains will be sent as soon as possible. Remain at Chester until troops commence leaving and things are working systematically, and then proceed to Salisbury and arrange there, and push them ahead as rapidly as possible. Is Ayer with General Stewart?
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
[MARCH 4, 1865. -For Wheeler to McClellan (three dispatches), reporting operations, see Part I, p. 1124.]