I will add that the nomenclature of these regiments is not a matter to which I attach very much importance. It has been suggested to me that they be added to the organization of United States colored troops, un as much as the men composing them are drawn from different States, and it is urged that the present designation seriously interferes with recruiting in Florida and Georgia.
If the above proposition be approved, I respectfully request that authority may be granted me to carry it into effect, and that any new regiments of colored troops that may be raised in this department be designated as United States colored troops, with their appropriate numbers.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Q. A. GILLMORE,
FOLLY ISLAND, S. C., December 15, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to submit, briefly, for your consideration, two projects for operations in this department in case it be determined not to meet the altered condition of affairs before Charleston, and wait further in order to co-operate with the navy there. If I felt at liberty to leave this vicinity, I would not deem it necessary, in the absence of any instructions from you, to ask them at this time, but would assume the responsibility of acting as my judgment might dictate. I feel myself tied to the original programme, however, although the conditions of the problem have undergone material modifications since the outer line of defenses was broken by the reduction of the works on Morris Island and the demolition of Fort Sumter. In order to co-operate with the fleet now, with a promise of success, I must work on James Island from the Stono, or on the mainland from Bull's Bay, directly in the teeth of the enemy's means of concentrating forces by railroad. No such operations were originally contemplated. Positions on the shore of the inner harbor that I could once have seized and held, after the iron-clad, got secure possession of the inner waters, now bristle with guns, and I must approach them by land, by a siege of the outer line of land defenses. To carry out such a project, not contemplated up to this time, would require large re-enforcements to my command.
While I submit this subject for your consideration, I am fully aware that no such operations were intended when I cane here either by myself or the War Department. With the forces now at my disposal, I would respectfully suggest one of two operations, viz:
(1) The capture of Savannah by surprising the enemy's batteries on Saint Augustine Creek. The admiral will co-operate with me without instructions. I will not go into details. I would propose to take command in person. Should the surprise fail, I would not push the attack against a concentrating enemy, and no serious loss need be feared. I would then take a portion of the force prepared against Savannah, and with it (2) operate in Florida and recover all the most valuable portion of that State, cut off arch source of the enemy's supplies, and increase the number of my colored troops. I will not go into detail.
9 R R-VOL XXVIII, PT II