HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., June 3, 1863.
Major General D. HUNTER,
Commanding U. S. Forces, Hilton Head, S. C.:
GENERAL: In the absence from these immediate headquarters of General Beauregard it is my place to ask your attention to the following:
Brigadier-General Walker, commanding C. S. forces Pocotaligo, represents that it has become the practice, whenever he has occasion to communicate with the military authorities of the United States in his quarter by flag of truce, to receive the flag by a detachment of negroes, commanded by officers belonging to regiments of negroes, which of course debars us from further communication. On the other hand, when the flag originates with the United States authorities it is borne and escorted by detachments of white soldiers and officers of white regiments. The virtual effect of which is apparent to exclude us from all communication by flaggs of truce, while our enemy retains that privilege by compliance in the composition of the escort of his flag with our regulations. I cannot believe that this is your actual intention, that is, that you have determined by the obnoxious complexion of the detachment sent to receive our flags to reject all flags of truce from our side, while exercising the privilege of the flag of truce to its fullest extent on your own side. Therefore am I induced to present the matter frankly and plainly for your consideration, and to ask to be made acquainted with your future intentions in the premises.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Chief of Staff.
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJT. GEN'S OFFICE, No. 249.
Washington, June 3 1863.
* * * * *
V. By direction of the President Major-General Hunter is temporarily relieved from command of the Department of the South, and will report to the Adjutant-General for special duty in Washington. Brigadier General Q. A. Gillmore is assigned by the President to the temporary command of the Department of the South.*
By command of Major-General Halleck:
J. C. KELTON,
NEW YORK, June 4, 1863.
Captain G. V. FOX,
Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C:
MY DEAR SIR: I learn by conference with Admiral Foote that fifteen or twenty days may possibly elapse before he can start South. As I expect to start by Monday next at furthest, and as it may be of vital importance for us to secure a lodgment on Morris Island before its defenses, now rapidly progressing, are complete, I respectfully request
* Under this order Hunter was relieved by Gillmore June 12, 1863.