of two vessels remains in the harbor. After a short time this force might, I believe, be still reduced, but for the present I cannot think it advisable.
I shall therefore, unless instructed to the country, send one regiment back to Hilton Head as soon as the Saint John's expedition returns, and other projects, if determined upon, shall be accomplished, remaining here myself till I hear from you that my services are needed elsewhere.
The people still remaining generally express their gratitude for the unexpected good treatment they experience at our hands and for the protection expended to their property, and profess a desire to have friends return to their homes.
Perhaps a liberal course toward these people may have a happy effect in the State at large, in proving to the inhabitants that we do not come amongst them with the designs against their persons and property which their leaders and their public journals have so falsely charged against us.
In pursuing this course I shall be careful to omit no precaution necessary to the full security of the command against any acts of the people by which intelligence can be conveyed to the enemy to our injury.
I desire to be distinctly understood that, white I propose to remain here in command till I receive your orders, I shall be much disappointed if I am kept here while active operations are being prosecuted elsewhere. Forty-eight hours will suffice to bring me to Hilton Head, or any intermediate point, after your orders are issued.
I inclose a copy of a report from Lieutenant Tardy* in regard to the condition of Fort Clinch, which agrees perfectly with the results on my own hasty examination of the work. I will call upon him for estimates for its improvement to the extent he suggests. The batteries on the seaward side of the fort, containing places for ten guns, need not be occupied by us.
I also send a copy of the report of a reconnaissance made by Captain Sears * of the enemy's defenses of the southern end of Cumberland Island. I have not had time to give them a personal examination.
I propose sending back one section of Captain Ransom's battery, perhaps both.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. G. WRIGHT,
HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY CORPS,
Port Royal, S. C., March 9, 1862.
To the ADJUTANT-GENERAL U. S. ARMY,
Washington, D. C.:
SIR: From the reports of Brigadier-General Wright, copies of which I herewith inclose,+ you will perceive that Amelia Island has been occupied by our forces without resistance.
It is my desire to carry out the views of the Government as to the occupation of this coast in the most judicious manner.
With the force now at my disposal, and without any plan of operations into the interior, I propose to occupy only some, of preventing the
* Not found.
+ See report of March 5, p. 96, and letter of March 7, p. 239.