practice is allowed by citizens it is difficult to distinguish between purchases and depredations.
It is respectfully suggested that some department orders may be published to owners of slaves, guarding against this trade with them without proper permits.
Through the parish of Saint Andrew, the commands from James Island, John's Island, and all west of these headquarters, pass now promiscuously, and it is impossible to ascertain what men-of what command in many cases-in is who commit the depredations. It is respectfully suggested that orders may be issued empowering this command, through, which the others have to pass to and from Charleston, to require passes from the officer and men of other commands.
There is reason to believe that at times deserters pass through this parish from the other commands, who can be easily sopped by demanding their passes under proper regulations.
I have also to state that men of my command pass to Charleston without passes, or with forged ones. I respectfully ask that stringent orders may be issued to the guards at the bridge to closely examine the signatures on every pass, and to the provost-marshal to have all such men found in Charleston arrested and sent to me, without delay. Two men from Company F, Fifty-ninth Virginia, went away on yesterday and the day before, and have not yet returned to camp. I forwarded a description of them with the papers this morning. They are reported as having gone to Charleston.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HENRY A. WISE,
GREEN POND, October 1, 1863.
General W. S. WALKER,
Commanding Third Military District, McPhersonville:
GENERAL: I returned yesterday from a fruitless attempt to reach Otter Island. After visiting Hutchinson Island, and finding no one on it (a small steamer at the landing), was about to proceed to Otter Island, when we discovered two sail-boats coming directly for us. We went up Otter Creek and ran into a small inlet in the marsh. Two large sail and two 8-oared boats passed within 15 or 20 feet of us, loaded with negro troops, evidently hunting us. One negro was heard to say, "They might have gone in here." They kept up a continual fire of rifles while in chase. Believing too strict a watch would be kept up, I coincided with the desire of my 3 men, and returned to this point.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. B. BELL.
CHARLESTON, S. C.,
October 3, 1863-7 a. m.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
Enemy has reopened in earnest against Sumter, thus far without damage. He is strengthening his position on Morris Island, indicating permanent occupation. Second Blakely gun was partially tried