War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0374 COAST OF S. C., GA., AND MID. AND EAST FLA. Chapter XXVI.

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WASHINGTON, D. C., August 13, 1862.

Major General D. HUNTER,

Commanding Department of the South:

GENERAL: The general-in-chief directs me, in reply to your communication of the 31st ultimo, addressed to the Secretary of War, to inform you that no re-enforcements can at present be sent to the Department of the South.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. C. KELTON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., August 14, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to report that I have received your telegram ordering the First Massachusetts Cavalry to Fort Monroe. This leaves the Department of the South without a mounted men, and compelled the abandonment of three of the five sea islands, now under a fine state of cultivation, to the enemy. The moral effect of thus abandoning these beautiful islands, after having occupied and cultivated them, will, in my humble opinion, be greatly more injurious to ours cause than any benefit which can arise from increasing General McClellan's force by the small number which can be sent from this department.

We have already abandoned James Island, Edisto Island, and Daufuskie, and we shall now have to leave Saint Helena, Ladies, Port Royal, Paris, and Spring Islands, all under a fine state of culture. Abandoning these fine islands to the enemy after having them planted and promising the negroes protection is a very sad termination to our exertions in this department. But with the constance diminution of my force I am left no other alternative.

As we have to guard the whole shore of our islands vedettes are particularly wanted. I have not now a mounted man to send on express in the department.

The beautiful town of Beaufort, so necessary to our hospital purposes, will be a great loss to us.

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

D. HUNTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

AUGUST 22, 1862.

Refereed to Major-General Halleck, general-in-chief.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

BEAUFORT, S. C., August 16, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: I very respectfully but urgently request of you authority to enroll as laborers in the employ of the Quartermaster's Department