Milledgeville, Ga., November 29, 1862.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Comdg. Dept. of S.C., Ga., and Fla., Charleston, S.C.:
GENERAL: The General Assembly of this State has just passed an act authorizing me to place obstructions in the navigable streams of this State against incursions of the enemy and to hire or impress slaves to perform the necessary labor. As I desire to preserve and cultivate the most cordial relations between yourself as the commander of the military department in which Georgia is embraced and myself in carrying out the provisions of said act, I propose to furnish the laborers by hiring or impressing them as contemplated in the act, and putting them under officers and engineers detailed by you for that duty, and to give the whole planning, supervision, control, and execution of the work to such officers and engineers as you may order on such duty. I make this proposition, as it may be difficult for me to procure the services of competent engineers, and to avoid any conflict which might ensue in having the obstructions put in the rivers between State and Confederate officers or any other conflicting interests. Should you take charge of and execute the work I will cause all the laborers to be furnished at such points as you may designate, and will expect the Confederate Government to pay the expense of the slaves, including hire, subsistence, transportation, &c., on terms somewhat similar to those on which the laborers are furnished to General Mercer to finish the fortifications at Savannah, in obedience to his requisition made on the State for laborers. Be pleased to communicate with me on the subject.
The places in the streams where obstructions shall be placed will be selected by your engineers or officers.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOSEPH E. BROWN.
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.