than to any other in this command for the patient labor and unceasing vigil he has given in its organization and instruction.
At the commencement of the firing immediate steps were taken by Surg. A. J. Foard, medical director, in accordance with previous instructions, to remove his sick and stores to a place of security already prepared in anticipation of this outrage upon our hospital flag. By the activity and energy of this indefatigable officer every patient and every article of value had been transferred before any damage occurred. After superintending this important duty he joined me in the field. The high professional attainments of this admirable officer, united to his gentleness of manner, kindness of heart, and untiring zeal, peculiarly adapt him for the very important post he fills with so much credit to himself and satisfaction to this Army. To his labors have been entirely due the admirable arrangements by which the sufferings of our sick have been so greatly alleviated. To him and to the officers of his department generally, to Farther Point and our good Sisters of Charity, who have labored in our hospital without money and without price, the Army and the country owe a debt of gratitude.
At the close of the engagement on Saturday night Major Thomas M. Jones, commissary of subsistence, with my approbation, volunteered to go to the assistance of Colonel Villepigue at Fort McRee, who was well-night exhausted by his painful wounds, anxiety, and long-continued watchfulness. His services were of the utmost importance in restoring the fort to its defensive condition, and in constructing an additional outwork, which it is hoped will render it less assailable in future. Colonel Villepigue, in his report, pays a just tribute to this excellent officer, whose sense of duty rose far above all personal considerations.
This would seem not an improper occasion to place on record and expression of the admiration and gratitude I feel for the noble, self-sacrificing spirit which has ever pervaded the whole of this gallant little army. Called suddenly from home, without preparations, to serve an unorganized Government, in the midst of a country destitute of supplies, it has patiently, and without a murmur, submitted to privations and borne labors which never can be appreciated. Consigned by fate to inactivity when their brothers elsewhere, later in entering the service, were reaping a harvest of glory, they have still nobly sustained their commander, and maintained a well-deserved reputation for discipline rarely equaled, never surpassed. With a people capable of such sacrifices we may defy the world in arms.
But in giving this praise to human virtue let us not be unmindful of an invisible Power, which has ruled all things for our good. The hand of disease and death has been lightly laid upon us at a place and in a season when we had reason to expect much suffering and great mortality. And in the hour of our trial the missiles of death, showered upon us by an infuriated enemy, respecting neither women, children, nor the sick, have been so directed as to cause us to laugh at their impotent rage. Verily, "Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,