War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0421 Chapter XXVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

March 6, 1863.

Admiral S. F. DuPONT,

Commanding S. A. B. Squad., Flag-ship Wabash, Port Royal Harbor:

ADMIRAL: I am sending Colonel Higginson, commanding First South Carolina Brigade, to execute an important mission in the southerly part of this department, and have to beg, if consistent with your views of the interests of the service, that you will give the colonel a letter to the officers of your squadron on duty opposite the Florida coast to render any assistance in their power that shall not interfere with your other duties.

I have the honor to be, admiral, with very sincere esteem, your obedient servant,

D. HUNTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., March 6, 1863.

Brigadier General JOSEPH G. TOTTEN,

Colonel and Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you that Lieutenant Walker McFarland, U. S. Engineers, arrived at this place last night, in conformity to Special Orders, Numbers 104, from the headquarters of this department (a copy of which accompanies this letter), and addressed to me a copy of a communication from yourself, dated March 25, 1862, and a protest by himself, * in accordance with your instructions to him in that communication. Copies of these leaf-mentioned papers are inclosed herewith.

There has been no want of conviction on my part as to the paramount importance of Key West and the necessity of completing its defenses. An additional regiment has very recently been sent to strengthen the garrison of that post and of the Tortugas, and a competent officer of the regular service has been ordered there as director of artillery. Full instructions as to the great consequence of these works have been communicated to the commanding officer and his attention turned to every measure that has suggested itself to my mind as to defense.

It was delieved that Lieutenant McFarland could be spared for a week or ten days to assist in the attack upon Charleston, which will probably involve operations of delicacy and skill too great to be devolved upon any single officer unaided, no matter what his ability may be, and the pressing nature of necessity that could not be put aside induced the shortest possible method of arriving at the point desired.

Any desire to interfere with your plans is therefore disclaimed, and Lieutenant McFarland will be ordered to return to Key West as soon as the emergency has passed by; but it is earnestly requested that you will permit him to remain here during this emergency, in which his service will be as indispensable perhaps as at any other point.

I am add that it is understood from Lieutenant McFarland that his short absence from his station will, in view of the arrangements made by him, not be any material detriment to the public good.

Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

D. HUNTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

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* Not found.

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