remaining posts of this department, to penetrate into Georgia, produce a practical dissolution of the slave system there, destroy all railroad communication along the eastern portion of the State, and lay waste all stores which can possibly be used for the sustenance of the rebellion.
My troops are in splendid health and discipline, and in my judgment are more thoroughly in sympathy with the policy of the Government than any other equal body of men in the service of the United States to-day. With the exception of one brigadier-general and one colonel commanding a brigade there is not an officer of any consequence in the command who is not heart and soul in favor of prosecuting this war by any and every means likely to insure success.
Only once liberate me from enforced waiting on the action of those who, I fear, are not likely to do anything, and I promise you that I will give full employment to twice or thrice my number of the enemy, and that while Rosecrans threatens Bragg in front I will interrupt his communications, threaten his rear, and spread a panic through the country.
In this connection I would ask, if possible, for a regiment of cavalry, and that the brigade sent by me to the relief of Major-General Foster may be ordered back from North Carolina. If no cavalry can be spared me, that 500 horses and 1,000 saddles and equipments may be sent to me immediately. Also that the pickets drawn for by my chief of ordnance may be supplied immediately; the weapons being the simplest and most effective that can be placed in the hands of the slaves who are liberated in our march into the interior.
In conclusion, I would again call attention to my request to be endowed with the same powers intrusted to Adjutant-General Thomas for raising colored regiments and giving commissions to their officers. I think this of the utmost importance, as each commission promptly given to a deserving non-commissioned officer or private has the effect of conciliating the sentiment of the regiment from which the appointee is taken, and it is of the utmost importance that the experiment of colored soldiers should have the hearty acquiescence of the troops with whom they are to serve.
I deem this matter of os much importance and am so weary of inactivity that I send this letter by special steamer to Fortress Monroe, and have instructed the captain of the vessel to wait for your reply.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
I send this letter by Captain Arthur M. Kinzie, one of my aides-de-camp, who will await your answer and return immediately by the steamer which bears this to Fortress Monroe.
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH, No. 40.
Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., May 22, 1863.
I. The major-general commanding desires to call the attention of all officers and men in this department to the paramount necessity of observing rules for the preservation of health during the warm months, upon which we have now entered. There is less to be apprehended from battle than disease; the records of all campaign in climates such