OFF MORRIS ISLAND, September 10, 1863-3.20 p.m.
I hope you can spare the Ben De Ford. That the risk is great there is no doubt, but if successful it should pay. I want to begin as soon as you can turn her over to me, and will return her the next day, if possible.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH, In the Field, Morris Island, S. C., September 10, 1863.
Brigadier General ISRAEL VOGDES,
Commanding U. S. Forces, North End Folly Island, S. C.:
GENERAL: The brigadier-general commanding directs me to inform you that during his temporary absence from his headquarters, the forces on Morris and Folly Islands will be under the command of Brigadier General A. H. Terry.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ED. W. SMITH,
FLAG-STEAMER PHILADELPHIA, Off Morris Island, September 10, 1863.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Commanding Confederate Forces, Charleston, S. C.:
SIR: I have received a copy of a communication from your chief of staff to the commander of Fort Sumter, in regard to alleged discourtesy to flag of truce sent by you to me. You are altogether misinformed. The steamer sent by you was guilty of impropriety, in entering much farther within our lines than was necessary for its purpose, and no doubt received notice to that effect. General Gillmore complained to me on the spot, that his batteries were being exposed to the view of those on land, and I observed the fact myself. This was rather sharp practice, which your officer omitted to make known to you.
On the other hand, when a flag of truce was sent by me in relation to the firing at our men in the water, I noticed its being fired at so often that I was puzzled to know what it meant. No doubt you were not cognizant of these facts, but you ought to have been so before asking explanations. Now, the fact is, that under existing circumstances all communications are limited to the wants of prisoners, and there I am willing to leave them. If you choose to listen to the pretexts of those who carry your flags of truce, and trump up allegations of discourtesy in order to cover their own practices, so be it, though the result will be hard on our prisoners, who receive letters, clothing, and money.
Your own men will not suffer, for their comforts are better attended to with us than if they were not prisoners. I shall continue to send flags of truce when the necessity arises. You may refuse them or not.