Correspondence from R. Saxton to Edwin M. Stanton
BEAUFORT, S. C., January 25, 1863
Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War :
DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report that the organization of the First Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers is now completed. The regiment is light infantry, composed of ten companies of about eighty-six men each, armed with muskets, and officered by white men. In organization, drill, for the length of time it has been in service, discipline, and morale, this regiment is not surpassed by any white regiment in this department. Should it ever be its good fortune to get into action, I have no fears but it will win its own way to the confidence of those who are willing to recognize courage and manhood, and vindicate the wise policy of the Administration in putting these men into the field and giving them a chance to strike a blow for the country and their own liberty. In no regiment have I ever seen duty performed with so much cheerfulness and alacrity, and as sentinels they are peculiarly vigilant. I have never seen in any body of men such enthusiasm and deep-seated devotion to their officers as exists in this; they will surely go wherever they are led; every man is a volunteer and seems fully persuaded of the importance of his service to his race. In the organization of this regiment I have labored under difficulties which might have discouraged one who had less faith in the wisdom of the measure, but I am glad to report that the experiment is a complete success. My belief is that when we get a footing on the mainland regiments may be raised which will do more than any now in service to put an end to this rebellion. I have sent the regiment upon an expedition to the coast of Georgia, the result of which I shall report for your information as soon as it returns. I have the honor also to report that I have commenced the organization of the Second Regiment, which is to be commanded by Colonel Montgomery.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,