I received your favor, dated the 5th inst. Upon Gen. Williamson's frequent representation to me, that he could not keep his men a day longer in camp, and upon telling me he thought it would be best for the service to discharge them, and suffer them to go home and send down others in their places, as the relief had absolutely refused to come, I accordingly issued an order for their returning home this day. I know they would go without my leave, had I not done it; (their number 726). I have sent four pieces of artillery to town, by Major Grimkie. We shall have two left, which will be quite sufficient for our little army. I shall also order the arms down, about 300 stand. I wrote you that I would order Sumner's brigade to Portroyal-ferry, since which I think they will be as useful here at present as marching them to that place, especially as I am informed by two deserters who came in last night, and who left the enemy two days ago, that they are on St. Helena-Island and their shipping lay in the sound. I will endeavor to keep pace with the enemy; I have sent Col. Pinckney, with about 250 men, to reinforce that post at Portroyal-ferry, and to take command there. General Sumner has applied to me
On Gen. Williamson's men being permitted to go home, to prevent the disagreeable neeessity of their leaving camp without orders I have requested the general (as I know his influence over these people) to return to that part of the country, and to send out the reliefs as soon as possible, which he has promised to do. I will be much obliged to you to request of the Governor to have some large flats stationed at Ponpon, Ashepoo and Combahee rivers, to facilitate the marching of troops through those parts of the country; it seems to be absolutely necessary, as they are now obliged to go many miles round.