intimated to you in a previous letter my fears that this expedition would fail in consequence of my being stripped of transportation by the Quartermaster's Department, and I have not the least doubt if we had the steamers belonging here and those for which I have applied that we should to-day be in possession of Charleston. Without this transportation our different points are not in supporting distance of each other and we are entirely at the mercy of the enemy, being liable any day to be cut off in detail. I deem it a duty I owe to myself frankly to state our situation, as i have before frequently done, that reverses many not be attributable to me. W now hold the should western portion of James Island, within 5 or 6 miles of Charleston, ready to advance upon that city as soon as re-enforcements arrive. I most earnestly beg for re-enforcements, and I still more earnestly beg for the transportation necessary to enable the different parts of my command to support each other. Being in small commands and on islands, without this transportation we are entirely at the mercy of the enemy.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JUNE 17, 1862.
Referred to the Quartermaster-General.
By order of the Secretary of War:
C. P. WOLCOTT,
Assistant Secretary of War.
Washington City, D. C., June 19, 1862.
Major General D. HUNTER,
Commanding Department of the South:
SIR: Your letters of 31st May and June-have been received.
Your instructions at the time of your departure did not require any movements against Charleston, but committed a large discretion to you, to be exercised on your own responsibility.
Your letters of the 3rd and 22nd of April and 14th of May informed the Department that you designed to hold simply a defensive position unless re-enforced, and for that your force seemed to be considered adequate. On the 30th April you were informed that no re-enforcements could be sent.
The letter of the 31st of May was the first intimation to the Department that you had changed your plans and contemplated offensive operations against Charleston and Fort Sumter. The reasons for this change in your plans and what force you deemed requisite for success not having been communicated, the Department is unable to judge of their propriety.
The letters of the Quartermaster-General and Adjutant-General (of which copies are herewith inclosed) in relation to the complaints against them will, I hope, satisfy you that there has been no disposition in any branch of this Department to withhold support and assistance from you.
Your letters afford no indications as to the amount of transportation you require, nor whether the movement against Charleston and fort Sumter is designed to be made with a detachment or with your whole force.