HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE SOUTH, Numbers 474.
In the Field, Morris Island, S. C., August 12, 1863.
I. The troops belonging to Brigadier-General Gordon's division will be disembarked as fast as they arrive on Folly Island, and will report to Brigadier-General Vogdes, commanding that post.
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By order of Brigadier General Q. A. Gillmore:
ED. W. SMITH,
Major, Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Saint Augustine, Fla., August 13, 1863.
Major E. W. SMITH,
MAJOR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding, that I arrived here and assumed command Sunday, the 2nd of August, 1863. Up to this time, good order and quiet have prevailed.
In the main, I have followed the course marked out by my predecessor,, Colonel Hawley, and have had but little difficulty, save in the issuing of rations to destitute citizens and in making the proper distinctions in granting permits to persons desirous of purchasing. In the case of those destitute, I had left me no complete list of a late date, in being omitted in the hurry of their departure, but, with the copious notes left in my possession by Colonel Hawley, I issued rations with the greatest discretion. In regard to those purchasing, the instructions were discretionary. I learn, upon inquiry, that at this time there are no stores in the town where supplies can be purchased. This makes it necessary for me to grant a little more indulgence. Some of the storekeepers who have formerly had supplies of this nature are expecting more soon. Another reason for this excess in issue is that the season for vegetables has passed. In September, those owning plots will commence planting.
On last Thursday, there appeared at the outer pickets, with a flag of truce, a young man-Mr. C. Leonardi-his sister, and cousin. He desired the protection of our flag, as a sergeant and some men were in search of him for the purpose of conscription, agreeably to the late proclamation of Jefferson Davis. He had been in the rebel service at the opening of the war, but had obtained his discharge, on the ground of being a minor. It was for the reason of his being in the service that his mother, sister, and cousin were placed outside of our lines, so I am informed. As far as the young man was concerned, it seemed to me perfectly proper to admit him, as it has been the custom of the Government at all times to grant protection under similar circumstances. The condition of the family where they were obliged to locate themselves has been represented to me by some of the oldest citizens, in whose statements Colonel Hawley told me I could rely, as being most miserable. In fact, they state themselves that they were almost destitute, being unable to obtain but very few of the necessaries of life. The mother is quite an elderly lady and an invalid. Our surgeon, who visited her, reports that the case in one requiring immediate care and attention. This lady is the mother-in-law of Lieutenant Tardy, U. S. Engineers Corps. They were admitted.