War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0190 S. C. AND GA. COAST, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XI.

Search Civil War Official Records

the Navy Department as part of the history of the capture of the Atlanta, and also copy of letter from the Honorable Gideon Welles to me, announcing that my request would be complied with.

I would also state-a fact not appearing in Admiral DuPont's letter-that the Weehawhen was towed to the scene of conflict by an army transport steamer, and the same was, I think, but am not sure, the case with the Nahant.

I would add that the deserters from whom the information relative to the Atlanta was obtained came within the lines of Colonel William B. Barton, commanding the Forty-eighth Regiment New York Volunteers, and were by him promptly forwarded to me for examination, their statements when taken down being at once transmitted to Fleet Captain C. R. P. Rodgers, South Atlantic blockading squadron, who instantly, on the receipts of the information, applied to me as chief of staff for Major General David Hunter, commanding Department of the South, for the use of one army transport steamer, certainly, and, I think, of two, for the purpose of towing the monitors Weehawken and Nahant to Warsaw Sound.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

CHAS. G. HALPINE,

Major, and Assistant Adjutant-General of Volunteers.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief, U. S. Army.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

NEAR WILMINGTON, DEL.,

January 8, 1864.

Colonel CHARLES G. HALPINE, &C.:

COLONEL: A friend has called my attention to an omission in my official report of June 17 to the Navy Department, to be found in public document recently published.

I omitted in that letter to state the source of the information which had led me to believe the rebel iron-clad Atlanta was preparing for a raid and about moving.

This most important fact was sent off by you to the fleet captain, Commander C. R. P. Rodgers, after you had closely interrogated certain deserters just in from Savannah. I acted instantly on your letter, relieving Captain John Rodgers from a court-martial of which he was a member and ordering him to proceed with the monitor Weehawken in all haste to Warsaw Sound. I sent a similar order to Commander [John] Downes [jr.] of the Nahant, then lying in North Edisto, who proceeded also to Warsaw with the utmost dispatch.

So important did I consider the information transmitted by you, that I not only acted on it instantly, as above stated, but, if I remember rightly, I wrote a note to thank you for your prompt action in the matter, but for which very different results might have occurred. How I committed the oversight not to mention officially this opportune public service, so valuable to me as the commanding naval officer on the coast I can only account for by great pressure of business, and great haste in order to avail myself of a departing mail.

I seize this opportunity, not only to rectify this omission, but to state also how often I had occasion to recognize your intelligent and