War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0346 COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND MID. AND EAST FLA. Chapter XXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

transportation. And the first part of my project, to have been executed in two days, is not yet accomplished in six, and for the latter I cannot now take 2,000 men with our two or three small steamers here, instead of 5,000 or more, as I need for safety. The consequence is that this movements, which was to have been a surprise, is undoubtedly now known by the enemy and may be defeated, or can be accomplished only at the probable cost of a large sacrifice of life, or it must be abandoned and Charleston still held by the rebels, and all because our means of movements are to be decided upon and taken away from us by the quartermaster's department in New York, where our necessities cannot be known.

To one other point I would respectfully ask your attention, and that is the furnishing of light felt hats for the troops here. From the first week after my arrival I saw the indispensable necessity of this to save our men from suffering, band the chief quartermaster forwarded a requisition for 15,000 of such hats, which have again been asked for without our receiving them, though now some six or seven weeks have passed, and the greatest heats of the Southers sun now are intending, and the men have no head covering but those little cloth caps.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. BENHAM,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,

Edisto Island, S. C., May 24, 1862.

Colonel T. WELSH,

Commanding Forty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers:

I am instructed by the general commanding to direct you to detail one company form your command and embark them, with two days' rations and with arms, on the steamer Honduras, to-morrow morning, with instructions to the officer commanding to proceed to Otter Island and take on board the horses, ammunition, shot, shell, implements, and all other property remaining there. The gun carriages must be brought off, and the guns also if possible. Should the officer in charge find himself unable to put the guns on the steamer he will bury them in the sand, first clearing all negroes from the vicinity, in order that his operations may not be witnessed. He will locate the spot in which the guns may be buried in such a manner that they may be readily found hereafter from his description of the locality. The steamer will stop on her way to Otter Island at the mouth of the Edisto River to take in tow certain scows, which will be brought down.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. W. FOSTER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, NORTH. DIST., DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,

Fort Pulaski, May 25, 1862.

Captain H. F. HAWKES,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, &c.:

I regret to report the failure of an attempted attack upon the enemy's pickets last night. All my preparations were made yesterday; boats were prepared and the men detailed. From the completeness of the arrangements I had every reason to hope that a serious alarm would