War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0408 Chapter XXVI. COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND MID. AND EAST FLA.

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sail on the following day) I mentioned the circumstance of keeping the command distinct. This is important, became it may be necessary in the emergency of an attack on New Berne, N. C., to recall the whole force to North Carolina at the shortest notice.

I now write this note to inform you in confidence that it is understood by General Hunter and myself that the immediate command of the whole force to operate in the present expedition is to be in my hands.

This is also the wish of the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton.

Of course in my absence, after the opening of the operations, you will be second in command only to myself of the operating force.

In haste, very respectfully and truly,

J. G. FOSTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

P. S.- If the Navy happens to be ready to move before I return you will have all the necessary preparations made and the troops of the corps embarked; and if the Navy moves, move your command in conjunction with them and operate as agreed upon verbally.

Yours, &c.,

J. G. FOSTER.

FORT MONROE, February 18, 1`863.

General H. W. HALLECK,

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

GENERAL: I have received your dispatch. Upper the circumstances I think it will be for the best for me not to return to South Carolina. I shall therefore, agreeably to your permission, return to New Berne at once.

J. G. FOSTER,

Major-General, Volunteers.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, February 18, 1863.

Major-General FOSTER, Fort Monroe, Va.:

As you decide not to return to South Carolina, General Hunter has been authorized to remain General Neglee in command of the detachment of your corps or to relieve, as he deems proper. In all other respects the instructions remain as before.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

WASHINGTON, February 18, 1863.

Colonel TOWNSEND, Fort Monroe:

It is the wish of the Secretary that you proceed to Hilton Head and ascertain the condition of affairs so as to be able to report to him on your return.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.