eHistory logo Primary Sources Section
Primary Sources Home | Search eHistory

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

You are currently in Volume VI | Pages range from 1 to 894

Go to Page (current volume):  
Index | Previous | Next
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 6, Part 1 (Fort Pulaski - New Orleans)
Page 202 Chapter ,XV. COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND MIDDLE AND EAST FLA.

is not a healthy climate; not near as healthy as the Potomac. The actual temperature has but little to do with it; it is the deadly malaria that arises from the swamps and the very sudden changes from hot to frosty cold. The mortality here is alarming. considering the season of the year. I have not directed any temporary barracks, and of course they will not be constructed without directions from Washington. The hospital will not cost much. It is to be single story and very temporary.

Beaufort will answer for the sick we may have there, but it will be absolutely necessary to have one here, especially in the summer, and this point must we occupied, for the whole safety of the harbor depends on it and bay Point. The thing was so absolutely necessary, that I gave Captain Saxton his directions, I presume, before he wrote to you on the subject. It will cost but little more than an ordinary stores-house of the same dimensions.

Our labor here is enormous. Thus far the negroes have rendered us but little assistance. Many come and run off. They have not yet been organized to an extent we desire. The large families they bring with them make a great many useless mouths., before long-after they have consumed all they have on the plantations-they will come in grater numbers, and no doubt will give us many laborers; but where we get one good, able-bodied man, we have five to six woman and children. They are a most prolific race.

In fitting out this expedition an opportunity for marching rapidly into the interior was not anticipated. The object was to seize on two important points of the coast and hold them for the protection of our blockading squadron. Therefore no more transportation was taken along than sufficient for the purpose of wood, water, and drayage of quartermaster and commissary stores, and only boats enough to assist in landing. Indeed, the number and description of boats I had nothing to do with; that was left to Captain DuPont. I have always regretted this, as we would have been far better off had we relieved entirely on ourselves and not t trust to the Navy. I am at times perfectly helpless without the Navy, and had I ot depended on them, I have a doubt but we would have been able to land at the time of the fight, and, if not assisted in reducing the work, at least have taken the whole garrison prisoners.

Captain DuPont always insisted that he would able to and would put us ashore, but two things prevented: First, the loss os all ferry-boats; and, second, his failure to supply, me, according to promise, with oarsmen from his ships. I repeatedly asked him, when in New York, if there would be any unertainity in his fulfilling that promise, and if there were the least I desired to known it then, in order to take measures to provide for it in time. He repeatedly assured me there was none, and that he would see that I was landed. So you see that I have been completely at his mercy. I never wish gain, general, to co-operate. It is a thankless task.

As it turned out, I was compelled to agree not to attempt a landing. Had I know how think were to turn out, I should have made quite different arrangements in may things, and among them, should have come down here equipped perfectly, independent of the Navy.

We have now a wide field before us, but we want boats, cavalry, and more force. The enemy's line extends from the Ossabaw Inlet through Savannah and upon the railroad beyond Pocotaligo, and we have to choose on which point of that extended and well-garrisoned line to make a main attack, which point must depend on the amount and description of means at our disposal.


Page 202 Chapter ,XV. COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND MIDDLE AND EAST FLA.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 6, Part 1 (Fort Pulaski - New Orleans)
Index | Previous | Next
This symbol external link icon indicates an external link
All images and content are the property of eHistory at The Ohio State University unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © 2014 OSU Department of History. All rights reserved. [citation and copyright information]
eHistory icon