men, well armed and equipped, in the city, of the State volunteer corps. These men are the best trained troops in the State, and are in many respects equal to regulars. I have had them in service all the winter, and hold them now under strict orders to move at any moment.
Under the scientific examinations of General Beauregard I have ordered the State engineers to commence forts at Hilton head and Bay Point, the entrance to Beaufort Harbor. Since your judicious appointment of Major Trapier, at my urgent solicitation, I have ordered all officers to act in concert with him. I desire to order the Fourth or the Sixth Regiment down to those points to protect the erection of the works agreed upon. I have erected two forts or redoubts at Edisto and have two companies of State troops in them. This is an important entrance, as the n feet deep, and if the enemy were to enter there they would annoy us exceedingly by their approaches to Charleston toward the Ashley River and the Long Bridge. I have besides these ordered a regiment, under Colonel Heyward, who is a graduate of West Point, into encampment at Grahamville, on the Beaufort coast, and also a regiment on the Goergetown coast, under General Manigault, who is an officer of experience. These two regiments are under State authority and expense.
If any disaster happens to our troops in Virginia I am willing to order the Fourth Regiment, all equipped, to make a reserve, and to go immediately to the scene of action, but I would be glad to have from you a certain acknowledgment that if I am invaded int he fall, after cool weather sets in, I may order back immediately some of the regiments I have sent to Virginia for the defense of our coast, if it should appear to be necessary, and of course such orders to be issued by you at my request. I can get men a plenty, but the difficulty will be as to arms, and as I have sent off with the regiments to Virginia 7,000 fine arms, and also 6,000 to Florida, 2,000 to Tennessee, and 1,000 to Lynchburg, you will perceive that I shall be scarce of arms, particularly when you know that I have armed 1,800 men in the two new regiments mentioned before on the sea-coast besides. This would make in all about 20,000 stand of arms that I have furnished. This would were but 16 [16,000] stand of arms in the late U. S. arsenal, and only about 9,000 of them were really efficient arms.
Colonel R. H. Anderson, for many years an officer in the late U. S. Army, is in command of all the forces in and about Charleston. I make this statement of our military position in this State because I desire to act to support their defense of our common country. I have no means of accurate information, but it strikes me if Virginia has as many troops enrolled and ready for action as is reported, then immense expense might be saved in using them, and not drawing many more men from the remote Southern and weaker States. I hope I will receive from your Department a direct approval of my retaining the Fourth and Sixth Regiments in the positions I have indicated, and that they will not be moved without my approbation. If we should meet with disaster in Virginia, as I trust we will not, then in that case I would be willing to move forward one of these regiments to your support, if desired. Colonel Hampton's Legion is just moving on to Virginia, and Colonel Orr has also raised a noble rifle regiment, all ready to move, and is now in Richmond arranging to take them on, and when these get there we will have nine full regiments in Virginia. Our sea-coast is extensive and quite exposed.