War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0432 Chapter XXVI. COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND., MID. AND EAST FLA.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, S. C., March 27, `1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

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

GENERAL: I have the honor to report the last of the iron-clads (the keokuk) has arrived, and that I have sent a brigade of troops to occupy North Edisto; also a regiment to occupy Cole's Island, at the mouth of Stono Inlet.

All the troops designed to take part in the expedition are in complete readiness to move whenever the necessary repairs and additions to the iron-clads shall have been made. The navy transport Ericsson has returned, I am informed, with all the requisite material for punishing forward promptly the completion of the monitors, and I hope by the middle of next week that the joint expedition will be under way.

I have ordered up here all the troops who were temporarily occupying Jacksonville, Fla; also five companies of the Seventh Regiment Connecticut Volunteers from Fernandina, and five companies Seventh Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers from Saint Augustine.

There is nothing further of interest to report. The health of the troops continues excellent, and those from North Carolina Have much improved in discipline. Deserters continue to come in from the mainland, and all speak of the great scarcity of provisions amongst the rebels. I have the honor to be, general, with the highest esteem, your very obedient servant,

D. HUNTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton, S. C., March 28, 1863.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.;

SIR: I am impelled by a sense of duty to call your attention to the condition of affairs at key West, more especially in regard to the political sentiments and attitude of certain civil officers who are the representatives of Government at that post. Key West being no longer under my jurisdiction I can only lay the matter before you, assured that it will receive the action needed. If the place were still within my department the evidence to my mind is so clear and the culpability of the officers so flagrant that I should not hesitate to take the responsibility of relieving the loyal residents of the island from the incubus of having such unfit men in positions so powerful for evil.

From all the evidence before me, evidence extending back to my earliest connection with this department, and constantly increasing in volume and directness, I have been forced to regard judge mavin as a man in active sympathy with the rebellion, and who is only restrained from taking sides avowedly with treason by the consideration that he can best serve it under the violated sanctity of the United States ermine.

I have received evidence which I cannot mistrust that there is now in the hands of certain leading secessionists at Key West either a duly certified copy or the original of a letter from Judge Mavin to the rebel authorities at Montgomery, written in the early part of the rebellion, stating that he only held the United States court at key West until they should have nominated and sent his successor, and there is proof