War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0404 Chapter XXVI. COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND MID. AND EAST FLA.

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desicion require modification of the letters to General Hunter of 15th and 16th?

Very respectfully,

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., February 17, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit herewith certified copies of a formal protest received from Brigadier-General Naglee against my assumption of command over the re-enforcements orders by Government to this department,* together with my reply thereto. This correspondence so fully sent forth the issues raised and the manner in which they have been met as to require no further explanation.

In cannot be necessary to call your attention to the extraordinary character of the position assumed by General Foster or to the impossibility of conducting any military movements successfully with two generals in separate and in independent commands over the active columns.

Apart from this difficulty I am happy to state that my official relation with Brigade-General Naglee have been thus far very satisfactory, although certain of the staff officers left behind by Major-General Foster on his going North have attempted to interpose technical objections and misconstructions in the execution of my necessary orders.

I find, with the exception of General Naglee's division, that the re-enforcements received from North Carolina are in a greatly demoralized and undisciplined condition, and are far inferior on the average to the original troops of this department, who during the long and for the most part peaceful period of their service here have attained very high excellence in all soldierly qualities of drill and discipline. It is therefore my intention to place the least desirable regiments of the re-enforcements in the garrisons and forts of the department, taking with me to the attack on Charleston only my best and most reliable troops.

All the ordnance, ordnance stores, &c., for the expedition will be on board the transports this evening, ready to sail at an hour's notice for Stono Inlet, which be the immediate base of operations, being in the vicinity of Charleston and affording a secure and commodious anchorage.

All our preparations are now complete, and in fact could have been completed on twenty-four hours' notice at any time within the last fourteen days. We only await the readiness of the Navy, and with the additional iron-clads which have been ordered to report to Admiral S. F. DuPont there can be no doubt but that a glorious success will await our efforts.

I further inclose copy of General Naglee's reply to my letter and of General Foster's confidential instructions to General Naglee.

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

D. HUNTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

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* See Naglee to Halpine, February 11, p. 398.

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