If you will accept such a company will be kind enough to inform Joshua S. Swift, esq., Plymounth, N. C., and he promises to raise a company if he can get the arms. You will pardon the anxiety we feel on the subject. We have applied to other authorities nearer home, but so far no officer has been with us to inquire into our situation and direct our defenses. Guns were promised fro the fortification of the Roanoke River, but none have been sent, and no effort seens likely to be made; and therefore I, in behalf of those intersted, apply directly to you, with the hope you will give the necessary directions. Our people are willing to work or fight, but they need a head to plan and direct. It is, as a we think, highly important to prepare, and fully preparation may prevent an attack.
Very respectfully, yours,
HEADQUARTERS STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
October 2, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
Acting Secretary of War:
SIR: I most respectfully suggest that when our troops in Virginia go into winter quarters, if the country becomes frozen up our regiments may be permitted to return to winter them in our piney woods, as it will be much cheaper for the Government and more healthy for our men. Even if they were in the lower part of North Carolina it would be better than where they are, for with the speedy transportation on our railroads they could at any moment be returned to any point where any sudden emergency might require them. If such a plan is entertained by you at all I would be glad to be informed in time, so that I might prepare proper places for their winter quarters, and I would also accumulate supplies in advance at State expense, so that they could be furnished as Confederate authority might afterward require; and by doing this it would relieve your Department from many details and arrangements that would have to be made in advance, and you would than only use what provisions you might need and the balance I would retain still at the expense of the State, ly paid for what you might need for a longer or a shorter period. If any such arrangement is to be made, of course I would desire to be informed of it in time so as to make all proper arrangements. Large bodies of troops could be wintered in our piney woods, or in the lower part of North Carolina, at far less cost than on the frontier of Virginia, and with much better health. By the Government taking possession and control of the railroads they could risk a large force withdrawn from the Potomac, if the winter is severe and the country frozen in.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. W. PICKENS.
RALEIGH COURT - HOUSE, October 2, 1861.
General J. B. FLOYD:
DEAR SIR: I send Adjutant Hill in advance of regiment to make his report and also to bear this communication. I have to report, general, that I have made the best progress I possibly could, and have this morning reached this place, where I am compelled to camp in order