War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0192 COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND MIDDLE AND EAST FLA. Chapter XV.

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Washington, November 27, 1861.

Brigadier General THOMAS W. SHERMAN, U. S. A.,

Port Royal, S. C.:

SIR: Your letters of the 11th,* 15th, and 17th instant have been received. Four additional regiments have been ordered to join your command. The General-in-Chief desires you, through your quartermaster, to seize all cotton and other property which may be used to our prejudice. The cotton and such other articles as may not be required for the use of your command will be shipped by return transports to the quartermaster in New York, there to be sold on public account. The services of negroes will be used in picking, collecting, and packing cotton, as well as in constructing defensive works, & c. Private property of individuals should not be interfered with, unless it be of military utility under the circumstances you mention, and you will be justified in taking measures to prevent pillage or any outrage so far as the exigencies of the service will permit, no matter what relations the persons or property may bear to the United States Government.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,




Hilton Head, S. C., November 27, 1861.


Washington, D. C.:

SIR: For the want of an engineer officer (one being sick, one engaged on a reconnaissance on Saint Helena Sound, and the remaining one necessarily employed here) I went down to Tybee Island last evening, and this morning made a sufficient reconnaissance of that island as to ascertain its general topography and the range of the enemy's guns on Fort Pulaski. I find it not impossible to reduce Pulaski from this island, though it will be a work of time. Mortar and breaching batteries may be constructed so as not to be very seriously annoyed by their guns. I find that their casemate guns will hardly range to the island, while their barbette guns will explode shells upon the island with certainty and considerable accuracy. A further reconnaissance will be made as soon as an engineer officer can be spared.

Not hearing from the Department to-day as to our future operations, (as the Bienville has just returned), I shall have to act from my own judgment alone, or be the cause of a delay in operations that will militate seriously to our disadvantage on account of the rapidity of time that must be made use of to avoid being caught by earliness of spring. In order, therefore, to meet the wants of the operations of this portion of the Army, I have to request that as much cavalry, not exceeding a regiment, ten regiments of infantry, and one regiment of regular artillery be sent here as soon as practicable. The steamboats, ferry-boats, and small boats required were mentioned in my letters of the 17th and 21st. It would be of the greatest advantage in having a small force of regular infantry to leaven the mass of raw volunteers of which this command is composed.

I have also to call the attention of the Department to the proportions


* See capture of Fort Walker, & c., p. 5.