HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S.C., September 1, 1863.
JOHN S. MCDANIEL, Kingstree, S.C.:
SIR: I regret that you have found planters so ready with excuses for not furnishing labor to defend Charleston. May God grant that, in seeking to avoid furnishing a fourth of their labor, at this momentous juncture, they do not materially contribute to the loss of the whole.
If unable to find road commissioners who will loyally assist you in your duties, call on the planters to give you, in good faith, a list of their able-bodied male negroes between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, and, also, a statement of what amount of labor they have severally furnished on the works in South Carolina. Every man in the district must be required to send one-fourth, including that already furnished.
Should you find, after trial, that this does not work, take one-fourth, irrespective of former contributions, excepting from those who voluntarily furnished labor at my call, last February and March.
Working on railroads cannot be taken as ground of exemption.
Negroes found in your district, refugees, of course must fare the same as others. Send back all negroes who have run away from the works.
I repeat, as far as practicable, impress the slaves of those who hitherto have not furnished labor.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Chief of Staff.
SOURCE: United States War Department. THE WAR OF THE REBELLION: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.