Soldiers! You are contending against an enemy who depreciates your manhood, who denies that your prowess is equal to his. Belie this sentiment, or you will disgrace yourselves and your nativity.
By order of Brigadier General T. W. Sherman:
L. H. PELOUZE,
Captain, Fifteenth Infantry, Actg. Asst. Adjt. General.
Port Royal, S. C., November 9, 1861.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report the arrival at this place of all the vessels which I chartered in New York, having on board General Sherman's entire command, with the greater part of the supplies. For your approval of the care exercised in the selection of vessels for the transportation of troops, I wish to mention that we rode out one of the severest gales which have occurred on this coast for a long time without losing a single man.
The fleet Hampton Roads on the 29th of October. On the 1st of November it encountered a heavy gale, which scattered it in every direction. The quartermaster's steamer (Winfield Scott, Captain Seldy) lost all her cargo, and was so much injured that she can never leave this port. The quartermaster's steamer (Union) with stores, it is reported, went ashore on the South Carolina coast, and was lost; her crew taken prisoners. The steamers Peerless and Osceola, sent by Colonel Tompkins from New York, with cattle, were lost. The crew of the Peerless was saved. The steamer Belvedere, from Baltimore, with horses, was compelled to put back to Hampton Roads, having thrown overboard a portion of her horses. On the 3rd of November the fleet arrived at this place. It gives me great pleasure to report that so far the expedition has been a complete success. We are now in complete possession of the finest harbor in the South, where the largest ships can enter and ride at anchor in safety. In the heart of the richest part of the cotton district, with direct and easy communication by water inland with Charleston and Savannah, it possesses unrivaled advantages for a quartermaster's and naval depot, and in the future a great commercial city must grow up here.
A place of such importance cannot be held for any great length of time without large re-enforcements. All the stores have now to be landed through the surf; a laborious, tedious operation, detaining these large ships a long time in discharging their cargo. Economy requires that a substantial wharf should be built. I have made a requisition on Colonel Tompkins for a steam pile-driver and scow and the plank necessary to cover the pier. If this meets your approval, I hope that Colonel Tompkins may be directed to send them as soon as practicable.
The water ships have arrived. The brilliant victory gained by the naval fleet enabled the troops to land much sooner than was expected when the request for water was sent, and rendered our wants in this respect less pressing than they would have been under other circumstances. An abundance of good water can be had by sinking wells.
In order to insure regularity and promptness in forwarding supplies to the troops, I would respectfully call your attention to the propriety of keeping two or three first-class steamers like the Atlantic and Baltic running constantly between this place and New York.
Contraband negroes are coming in in great numbers. In two days