Rivers, near Georgetown, there is said to be 4,000,000 or 5,000,000 bushels of rice. It is important that we should have this rice, and still more important that the enemy should be deprived of it.
The Navy have also possession of Saint Simon's Island, Ga., where they have a flourishing negro colony, and Captain Godon, of the Navy, who has command there, can at any time occupy Brunswick.
I think it a great mistake to suppose that military operations cannot be carried on here in the cumber. Occupying three island along the coats we necessarily move by water, and our men are all the better for a little occupation and a change of scene. With the necessary steamers, now almost entirely taken from us, and a few thousand additional troops, we could soon have Charleston, Georgetown, Bull's Bay, Brunswick, Savannah, Saint Mary's, and Jacksonville, Occupying thus the whole coast, the slaves would flock into our posts, and the enemy be thus injured as much as in any other way. According to my experience they would rather lose one of their children than a good negro.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Edisto Island, S. C., June 3. 1862.
Captain A. C. RHIND,
U. S. S. Crusader, Senior Naval Officer, Edisto Island, S. C.:
CAPTAIN: After the departure of the larger portion of the troops there will remain at this place as its garrison the Fifty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, one squadron Massachusetts cavalry, and two pieces of field artillery, with a detachments of the Third Rhode Island Regiment to serve them.
I have advised Colonel White, the commanding officer, not to attempt with his force the occupation of the whole island, but to hold the depot of supplies near the wharf only. This he can do easily, with the efficient aid you will afford him with your vessels against any force likely to be brought against him.
In this connection I beg leave to express the obligation the Army force is under for the valuable assistance received from you and the vessels under your command in crossing the troops and making the preparations for landing.
Captain Gillis, of the Hale gunboat, rendered most valuable assistance in the construction of the landing on Seabrook Island; indeed without his aid it would have been impracticable to have built it with the limited means at my command.
Since the crossing commenced, The Planter, attached to your command, has done a large part of the work of carrying over the troops. Acting Master McDougal, in command of her until about noon to-day, has exerted himself to the utmost of forwarding the transfer of the force to the other bank of the Edisto.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. G. WRIGHT,