War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0357 Chapter XXVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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You should also at once drive out of your lines all persons, without reference to sex, who have not taken and shall refuse to take the oath of allegiance.

The general commanding, reposing much confidence in your judgement, gives you a large and liberal discretion in reference to all acts that may be necessary for the vindication of the laws within your district, and guarantees you a frank support in any acts within the limits of a reasonable discretion.

It is not his wish, however, that the death penalty should be inflicted on prisoners captured without express orders from these headquarters. The battery way will be to iron all malefactors and send them here for disposition under the necessary guard.

You will report frequently and fully all action taken by you under the terms of these instructions.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

CHAS. G. HALPINE,

Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. U. S. FORCES, DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

James Island, S. C., June 20, 1862.

Major General D. HUNTER,

Commanding Department of the South, Hilton Head, S. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 19th instant, assigning me to this command, directing that no advance should be made without express order; to select a neck of land a short distance in advance of the old battery, where I can have a flanking fire from the gunboats on the Stono and on the creek; and to fortify it strongly; and in case I deem the present position untenable, to make all the necessary disposition for abandoning James and John's Islands.

I have no reason to think that the occupation of James Island, with our present force even, is now untenable. Every indication is to the contrary. We can hold on for a long time, if it be necessary, against any force that the enemy is believed to have in our vicinity, and we can only be reached by batteries which the enemy must yet establish, his present ones not being within effective range. I am speaking now of the position occupied by the present camps; but I infer from your letter of instruction, though it is not explicitly stated, that you desire the camps at Grimball's to be moved down toward the old battery and joined to those of General Stevens' division.

Every preparation for this removal will be made, such as selecting the new line of defense, positions for camps, and removing the stores to the old battery, so that no delay shall occur in the execution of the order, if I have rightly interpreted it. I am by no means certain that the transfer of this force is either judicious at this time or intended by you, and as I can send the Delaware to-night so as to be back to-morrow night, before any actual move of the force could be made, I have decided to do so, and ask your further instructions.

Such a movement would, I have no doubt, be deemed by the enemy an indication of weakness on our part, which would embolden him to advance, while he will scarcely attack us in our present positions for some time.