command and relieve Brigadier-General Scammon, whose health is very much impaired by his imprisonment, and was entirely broken down by exposure while in command of that district. As soon as General Scammon's health will permit he will go to Florida, which change is urgently recommended by the surgeon, to take command of that district.
In the District of Beaufort and Hilton Head everything remains in a quiet state, the troops being occupied in strengthening and improving the defenses and in drilling.
In the Northern District the work of strengthening and improving the batteries continues with unabated industry. Everything else is in a satisfactory state.
The general health of the command remains. The yellow fever has not made its appearance yet, and owing to the strict sanitary and quarantine regulations established, and to the fact of the season being well advanced, it is not expected.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff.
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH, Numbers 153.
Hilton Head, S. C., November 7, 1864.
The following summary of evidence relative to the attack on Forts Johnson and Simkins in July last is published for the information of the command. Its publication has been delayed by the illness and prolonged absence of Brigadier-General Schimmelfennig, who was originally charged with the investigation:
At 2 a. m., July 3, 1864, the Fifty-second Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Colonel Hoyt, and the One hundred and twenty-seventh New York Volunteer Infantry, Major Little, with 60 men of the Third Rhode Island Artillery, left Paine's Dock, Morris Island, in boats, and under orders to take Forts Johnson and Simkins. They were to cross Charleston Harbor till opposite the beach between the forts, then move by the left flank, pull vigorously to land, and assault with the bayonet. Clear and precise instructions were given to all concerned. The only signal of retreat was to be sounded on a bugle in possession of Colonel Hoyt. The pilot failed to find the passage through the bar near Fort Johnson, but a narrow channel was at last discovered near shore. Through this many of he boas had passed, when, by day breaking, the enemy opened a heavy fire, which was, however, almost entirely harmless, passing far overhead.
The boats commanded by Colonel Hoyt, Lieutenant-Colonel Conyngham, Captain Camp, and Lieutenants Stevens and Evans, all of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania, rowed rapidly to the shore, and these officers, with Adjutant Bunyan (afterwards killed) and 135 men, landed and drove the enemy, but, deserted by their comrades, were obliged to surrender to superior numbers. Colonel Hoyt bestows unqualified praise on the officers and men who landed with him; of them, 7 were killed and 16 wounded. Colonel Hoyt himself deserves great credit for his energy in urging the boats forward and