HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., June 15, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have made a reconnaissance of Morris Island and its surrounding next to Folly and James Islands. General Vodges is in command on Folly Island. All his arrangements thus far have been defensive. He will openly continue in that attitude; but I have directed him to plant behind the sand-hills on the north end of Folly Island (secretly and without being seen by the enemy) batteries that will be able to dismount, in one hour, all the enemy's guns on the south end of Morris Island.
The enemy are constructing a causeway from James to Morris Island across the marsh. I look upon this as unimportant as against any udder attempt to get a lodgment on Morris Island, as success would place the causeway under our control.
I have not fully sounded the navy as the co-operation that may be expected from them in getting upon Morris Island. Probably nothing will be done by them offensively until the arrival of Admiral Foote.
Colonel Montgomery, with 1,500 colored troops and some artillery, now occupies Saint Simon's Island, and will be directed to make raids from that point, and occupy the enemy in that direction. He will be able, I think, to keep many, if not all, of the Georgia troops in that quarter.
As nearly as I can ascertain, there are about Charleston, for its defense, some 10,000 or 12,000 troops (mostly South Carolina militia_, and there are about an equal number of Georgia militia available for the defense of Savannah. Major Duane started north in the Arago yesterday.
The day after my arrival here, General Saxton applied to be relieved from the command of troops, which was done.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Q. A. GILLMORE,
[P. S.]-I have made application to the Adjutant-General of the Army for another engineer officer.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE SOUTH, Numbers 51.
Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., June 19, 1863.
I. First Liet. Guy V. Henry, First U. S. Artillery, is announced as acting chief of artillery, on the staff of the brigadier-general commanding, during the absence of Captain John Hamilton from the department, and will be respected and obeyed accordingly.
II. Copies of all orders issued by post commandants in future will be forwarded at their dates, or as soon thereafter as practicable, in separate series, on full sheets of letter paper, or as printed, to these headquarters.
By order of Brigadier General Q. A. Gillmore:
ED. W. SMITH,