HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., May 4, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to request that orders may be immediately issued for the return to this department of the troops sent under command of Brigadier-General Heckman, U. S. Volunteers, to the relief of Major General John G. Foster in North Carolina.
These troops were sent under circumstances fully set forth in the special order, of which certified copy is herewith transmitted;* and certainly, taking all the surrounding facts into view, it was to have been fairly hoped that Major-General Foster would not require any orders from the War Department for their return.
The sending of these troops, from the apprehensions it created in the minds of the enemy, has been of the utmost service to the Department of North Carolina, and I have now to beg your interposition that this volunteered act of assistance upon my part may not be turned to the detriment of the public service in this department by the failure of Major-General Foster to appreciate my motives and reciprocate the sentiment of public duty exhibited in sending this brigade to his relief.
Under orders of the Government to renew active operations against Charleston, and only waiting from day to day the readiness of the admiral (only delayed for the necessary repairs of the iron-clads), I certainly cannot afford to lose permanently from my small command the services of General Heckman's brigade, more than 2,500 strong. In sending them I overlooked, in my anxiety for the public interests, the many and gross discourtesies received from Major-General Foster during his brief sojourn in this department. I have now to ask of you, confident that my request will be liberally met, that General Foster may be directed to do justice in this matter and return my brigade.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
MAY 12, 1863.
Referred to the general-in-chief to make such answer and order as in his opinion the service may require.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
[MAY 4, 1863.-For Hunter to Governor Andrew, in reference to negro troops, &c., see Series III.]
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH, No. 35.
Hilton Head, S. C., May 5, 1863.
I. In conformity with section 11 of the act approved July 17, 1862, entitled "An act amend the act calling forth the militia to execute the
* See Special Orders, No. 190, p.440.