JUNE 28-JULY 7, 1862.-Evacuation of James Island, S. C.
Numbers 1.-Major General David Hunter, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the South.
Numbers 2.-Brigadier General Horatio G. Wright, U. S. Army.
Numbers 1. Report of Major General David Hunter, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the South.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., July 10, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that the delicate operation of withdrawing our forces from James Island, the reasons for which step were given in my letter dated the 27th ultimo,* has been successfully accomplished, without injury to a single man or the abandonment of one pound of public property. The main portion of our forces are now aggregated at this point, North Ediston, and Beaufort, all possible precautions being taken to secure their health and comfort, and with results fully meeting my most sanguine expectations. No epidemic fevers have yet appeared in any portion of the command, though the great number of men prostrated on Jame Island by bilious and low typhoid fevers and the increasing sick list, attributed to malarial debility, gave warning of what we might have expected had the occupation of our position there been continued.
I have concluded to retain for the present at Beaufort the 2,000 troops under Brigadier General J. M. Brannan, originally brought up from Key West and the Tourtugas to take part in the attack on Charleston. Garrisons of abundant strength were left behind under my direction by Brigadier-General Brannan, and as the health of the troops retained at Beaufort stood undoubtedly in need of renovation, and as there are better opportunities for regimental and more especially brigade drill at that point, the advantages of this course are obvious. Should there by any serious threatening of foreign innervation, however, these troops will be immediately returned to their respective stations; but in the absence of any pressing cause of their return to Key West and the Tourtugas the climate of Beauftor, salubrious par excellence, recommends it during the sickly moths now approaching. It is, moreover, a central point, from which, if necessary, the troops can be transported in any direction with the facilities of water transit.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
Numbers 2. Reports of Brigadier General Horatio G. Wright, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
James Island, S. C., June 29, 1862.
MAJOR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the letter
*See p. 43.