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[18] communication to General Beauregard asking that reinforcements should be sent him to remedy the evil, and, as far as possible, secure that region of country.1

General Beauregard's answer was as follows:

Headquarters, Dept. S. C. and Ga., Charleston, S. C., Oct. 8th, 1862.
Col. W. S. Walker, Comdg. Third Mil. Dist., McPhersonville, S. C.:
Colonel,—Your letter of 3d instant, with its enclosures, has been received. Your instructions to the Commanding Officer at Hardeeville and to your pickets are approved of; hone more in detail can be furnished you from here. Our means are so limited at present, that it is impossible to guard effectually the whole country and line of railroad, from here to Savannah, against a determined attack of the enemy; but we must endeavor to make up in zeal and activity what we lack in numbers. I shall, however, send you a light battery of artillery, to be posted by you wherever most advantageous. Being still unacquainted with the district of country under your command, I must rely greatly, in this and other corresponding matters, on your judgment and thorough knowledge of its topography. * * *

Respectfully, your obdt. servt.,

The forthcoming chapter will show what occurred in Colonel Walker's district a fortnight after this letter was written. In the mean time it is proper here to remark that on General Beauregard's arrival in Charleston he found no regular system by which news of the movements of the enemy along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia could be ascertained with any degree of certainty, and he determined to correct so great a deficiency in the service, rendered all the more necessary by the fact that his Department, as will soon be seen, had just been enlarged.

The system inaugurated may be thus explained: He established signal (flag) stations at the most important points along the coast of South Carolina (from Georgetown), Georgia, and Florida, where the enemy's ships or fleets could be observed. An exact register was kept in his office of all Federal vessels plying along the coast and their precise whereabouts. Whenever any change took place among them it was reported at once to Department Headquarters, and a minute account kept of it. And when an accumulation of the enemy's ships occurred at any point, indicating an attack, the small reserves General Beauregard had at Charleston or Savannah

1 See Colonel Walker's letter, in Appendix to this chapter.

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