War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0431 Chapter XXVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., March 20, 1863.

General JOSEPH G. TOTTEN,

U. S. Engineers, Washington:

GENERAL: I have the honor to call your attention to the fact that the extent, condition, and importance of the permanent fortifications of this department would seem to demand the supervision of an officer of the Engineer Corps.

The very important works at Key West and the Tortugas are still in an incomplete condition as to construction and armament, and the work at Fernandina is under charge of an officer of the Volunteer Engineers.

It is respectfully requested, therefore, that Colonel J. C. Duane, chief engineer of this department, be appointed inspector of such works.

I have the honor to be general, with very high esteem, your most obedient servant,

D. HUNTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., March 23, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

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

GENERAL: As an old soldier you must be fully aware that all the trouble in this department has resulted from the astonishing fact that 10,000 men were sent here without any written orders, and, so far as I can learn, without any orders at all, but all evidently holding the belief that they were not to be under my orders. Yet I am gravely reminded in your letter of the 16th February that-

If the plans of the Government should fail to be carried out for want of harmony those who have engendered and fostered animosities and jealousies will incur a very serious responsibility.

I am also informed in your letter of the 15th of February as follows

But whole command remains as a distinct organization, with its own officers, as assigned by its proper chief, the commend itself, so long as it remains in your department, will be subject to your orders.

I was thus saddled with pro-slavery generals in whom I have not the least confidence and who were encouraged by orders from Washington to protest against my authority. Under these circumstances I think the country will desire 'if the plans of the Government should fail to be carried out for want of harmony" that the blame will attack at Washington, and that the people will determine that "those who have engagered or fostered animosities" do not reside in this department. And how can you hold me wholly responsible for the conduct of generals in whom I have no confidence, when every act of the authorities in Washington has tended to disorganize and demoralize my command? I do not say this, genera, in anger, but in sorrow. I may fall at Charleston, and I deem it a duty I owe my friends to have this simple statement of facts on record.

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

D. HUNTER,

Major-General, Commanding.