men mustered into service should be first supplied with arms before privileges should be granted to other gentlemen with special commissions to raise men and regiments and arms given out to them in advance before a single company is organized, much less mustered into service. If this system is pursued it will discourage all legal organizations, and the Government will have to support the expense of unarmed regiments already mustered into service, while individuals will hold arms to be used upon the uncertain contingency of raising regiments. I sent in the spring to Florida 6,000 muskets, 1,000 to Tennessee, and 1,000 to Lynchburg, Va., besides ammunition of all kind to different States. I also sent cannon of large caliber to North Carolina, with 25,000 pounds of powder, shell, &c., at the request of the Governor of that State. I also sent early in the spring, at the request of the mayor of Memphis, cannon to Tennessee, with artillery officers and ammunition, and had them placed in battery on the river above Memphis. I only mention these things because I expected to be able to supply arms besides to our own troops; but I have sent about 12,000 arms into Virginia with our different regiments, and am now compelled to arm our reserves of State troops along our coast with 5,000 stand, besides including our regular enlisted troops and ten regiments now on active duty-camp and garrison-in all 15,000 more. I am now endeavoring to call in all the old arms in the State belonging to disorganized companies, so as to have them repaired and made fir for active service. I hope in this way perhaps to be able to put some kind of arms into the hands of most of the companies recently mustered into Confederate service in this State. I fear that I will not be able, however, to furnish for the last thousand. I mention these things freely to you, because it will be absolutely necessary now to retain four of these recent regiments in this State. I fear that I will not be able, however, to furnish for the last thousand. I mention these things freely to you, because it will be absolutely necessary now to retain four of these recent regiments in this State for the winter, unless all indications of invasion on our coast shall pass off. I would therefore be very glad if you would give me the assurance that I shall be allowed to retain these four regiments I am now arming and equipping in the State, unless you can certainly furnish me with arms for others I can call out. Be so kind as to answer me on this point.
I would further call your attention to the important fact that our regiments in Virginia are only for twelve months and their terms will expire in the spring. So, too, of the regular enlisted forces of this State now on garrison duty on our coast. Their terms will expire early in the spring. They have been transferred to Confederate service, and I suppose perhaps the best battalion of artillery in the Confederate service is included among these troops. The fact is that some such force is absolutely essential to the large fortifications in our harbor and on our coast, as volunteers are unfit for that kind of duty. If it is not in your power to re-enlist these men for the war, and you give me any assurance that, if I get the Legislature to authorize me to re-enlist them, you will receive them from my hands into Confederate service, or rather merely continue them in their present service, I will attend to it particularly at the next meeting of our Legislature, which will be early in November. I incurred already large expenses for this recruiting service, which of course have never entered into the accounts against the Confederate Government, and I am willing to encounter any reasonable expense again if you will only give me the assurance that these forces will be continued as they now are, or if you think proper to issue orders to General Ripley to re-enlist them,