enforcements ordered to this department from North Carolina, I have received from General Henry M. Naglee a further communication, certified copy of which is inclosed herewith.
On this further communication it can only be necessary to remark that as General Foster reported to me verbally on his arrival, and as it never entered my mind that he could put upon his position (which I regarded as that of a guest), in my department, the interpretation now manifest in his orders to General Naglee, I never thought while he was here of raising any question with him as to the status of the troops sent by Government to re-enforce my command. As the troops had been sent for service in my department, I no more thought of formally assuming command of them than of assuming command of a detachment or regiment arriving at these headquarters from any of the outlying posts. Moreover, my ranking General Foster would have precluded any suspicion that such a claim as is now made could have been conceived, while the peculiar circumstances under which General Foster was here, on my invasion, caused me to be perhaps overscrupulous in taking any steps that might be construed into a too-hasty assumption of my rightful authority.
General Foster reported verbally the strength of his command immediately on arriving, and day after day I was expecting that he would, of his own motion, cause the staff officers of Generals Nagolee's and Ferry's divisions to send in the proper reports. At length, upon the 9th, my assistant adjutant-general reporting that he could not make up his department returns (prescribed by general orders of the War Department to be made upon the 10th, 20th, and last days of each month), for the reason that Generals Naglee and Ferry had not reported the strength of their commands, I ordered him to make application to General Naglee, as the senior officer of the re-enforcemets, it having been reported to me that General Foster had already left here on a reconnaissance to Charleston. I have entered into these particulars only to remove the misconception under which General Naglee evidently labors, and which is shown in his letter, to the effect that I had deliberately abstained from raising the question of command while General Foster was here.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
HDQRS. DETACHMENTS EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Harbor of Port Royal, February 11, 1863.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Tenth Army Corps:
COLONEL: I would respectfully submit the following statement:
General Foster, prior to his departure, ordered that "during his temporary absence his detachment should be kept distinct" and detached from those of the Tenth Army Corps, and stated that he had come to South Carolina for an especial purpose, and that as soon as that was accomplished, if not before, it would return to his department; that his absence, caused by the necessary delay of the Navy, would be short, and that it was expressly understood between "General Hunter and himself that the immediate command of the force to operate in the present expedition was to be in his hands, in accordance with the wish of the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton."