HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Legareville, S. C., June 7, 1862.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs., &c., steamer Delaware:
SIR: The acting brigade commissary of my staff has been engaged during the entire day in getting subsistence on shore, and reports to me that after working until after dark he has found it impossible to land sufficient to provision the command. He says he has had all the assistance needed in the way of a working force, and he has had, further, the authority to take and use any or all the public boats this side of the Stono River, so that neither the want of boats nor men has retarded his operations .
The trouble he reports to be the difficulty and almost impossibly of getting the boats on shore on account of the strong current on the Stono River, the bad character of the landing on the river, and the long time needed for getting to the wharf in the Aberpoolie.
All this, he suggests, may be avoided by having a steamer to tow the loaded barges from the transport to the last-mentioned landing, and, approving the suggestion, I have the honor to recommend that a steamer be designated for this service. It ought not to require to exceed half an hour after receiving notice that the lighters are ready.
Unless this facility be afforded I fear I shall find myself unable to execute the general's order to have two days' rations always on hand.
At the last report one lighter was struck in the mud near the landing, which will be unloaded and ready to return to the transport by daylight. Orders have also been given to have both the large lighters loaded up as soon as possible to-morrow and to await alongside the transport for a tow.
Please submit this at once to General Benham for this action.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. WRIGHT,
HDQRS. NORTHERN DIST., DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
On board U. S. transport Delaware, Stono River, S. C., June 8, 1862.
Captain PERCIVAL DRAYTON,
U. S. Navy, Senior Naval Officer:
CAPTAIN: I have the pleasure of inclosing you an extract of the orders I have issued for the arrangement of our forces here for the movement which I except to take place either to-night or to-morrow, Monday night, by which you will see what we are to attempt.
It is the wish of General Hunter, as you were kind enough to offer your assistance, that you would have one or two small gunboats on our right that may bear upon or toward Secessionville, and one small boat up the Aberpoolie Creek, just opposite the upper part of Legareville, to protect that place form destruction, as we have been obliged to reduce our force to the minimum there, and that the remainder of your vessels, as many as you should see fit to spare for the purpose, should be in the upper part of the reach above Grimball's or rather above Newton's Cut, to make as much of a demonstration or an appearance of an attack against Fort Pembeton as possible, while they may also be able by their fire to prevent our left flank or rear from being attacked by the bridge over Newton's Cut.