Washington, April 14, 1863.
General HUNTER and Admiral DUPONT:
This is intended to clear up an apparent inconsistency between the recent order to continue operations before Charleston and the former one to remove to another point in a certain contingency. No censure upon you or either of your is intended. We still hope that by cordial and judicious co-operation you can take the batteries on Morrison Island and Sullivan's Island and Fort Sumter. But whether you can or not, we wish the demonstration kept up for a time for a collateral and very important object. We wish the attempt to be a real one (though not a desperate one) if it affords any considerable chance of success. But if prosecuted as a demonstration only, this must not become public, or the whole effect will be lost. Once again before Charleston do not leave till further orders from here. Of course this is not intended to force you to leave unduly exposed Hilton Head or other near points in your charge.
P. S. -Whoever receives this first please send a copy to the other immediately.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., April 15, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit herewith certified copy of the official notice served upon me by Admiral S. F. DuPont of his intention to withdraw the iron-clad squadron from the attack upon Charleston:
Without desiring to go over the ground which General Seymour, my chief of staff, has doubles already explained to your in full by work of mouth, I have the honor to report that Stevenson's brigade of 2,000 men occupied Seabrook Island, commanding Edisto Haror, and that the Stono Inlet is held by the brigade of General
Vogdses of Folly Island, with one regiment on Cole's Island.
The remaining troops of the recent expedition returned safely to Port Royal Harvor without the loss of a name or a pound of stores. The troops are in good spirits, regarding the postponement of the expedition as merely a brief delay while certain necessary alterations an repairs of the iron-clads are being made.
On my return here I found officers from North Carolina, who represented urgently and earnestly that Major-General Foster, with 1,600 men, was besieged in Washington, N. C., and in danger of being captured by General Hill, of the rebel service, who was said to have 15,000 men between Washington and New Berne. It was further represented that 7,000 men has been collected by General Palmer and were marching to General Foster's relief, thus reducing the garrisons of New Berne and Morehead City and several other important posts to an aggregate of less than 3,000 men. Under these circumstances, having no immediate need General Hackman's brigade, consisting of four regiments, I assumed the responsibility that brigade to New Berne, with orders to take part in the service of relieving Major-General Foster