of the 9th. General Ripley's line were not attached, but they were constantry exposed to attack, and the reduction of his forces to re-enforce General Taliaferro imposed greatly increased vigilance on him and his officers, which was met by them with alacrity. My staff officers performed their various duties with zeal and intelligence.
I am much indebted to Flag Officer J. R. Tucker for his ready and efficient co-operation. Besides his vigilance in watching the approaches to the harbor, he placed at my disposal a naval battalion, armed as infantry, Lieutenant Dozier, C. S. Navy, commanding, which served well and faithfully in the works on James Island; and he also re-enforced Fort Johnson with a small detachment.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
General SAMUEL COOPER,
Adjt. and Insp. General, C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.
CONFIDENTIAL CIRCULAR.] HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE SOUTH, Hilton Head, S. C., June 29, 1864.
The following instructions will govern commanding officers in the conduct of their troops on board transports and in disembarking the same:
I. The men composing each company will be kept together at all times. Upon approaching land or going up a narrow river the company will immediately form, facing outward, and stand under arms, the men being fully equipped and ready to disembark without breaking ranks.
Company commanders must remain at all times with their companies, except when out of sight of land, when they may retire to the cabins.
II. Proper means of exit on each transport must be prepared to facilitate the disembarkation. Strong stairs must be ready to be placed at each gangway, forward and aft, at a moment's a warning.
III. Two non-commissioned officers must be placed at each gangway to assist in disembarking the troops, and to pass to them their muskets and knapsacks. Strong gang-planks must be prepared and placed near each gangway, ready for immediate use.
IV. The signal for starting will be the American flag under the Union jack at the fore, on the steam transport Sylph, the flag-ship of Brigadier General John P. Hatch. Each brigade headquarters will repeat the signal for sailing immediately after being hoisted on the flag-ship. The transports will sail in the following order: Brigadier General John P. Hatch, on transport Sylph, followed by transports containing the Hilton Head troops; Brigadier General W. Birney, on transport N. P. Banks, followed by transports containing the Florida troops, with the Thirty-fourth U. S. Colored Troops; Brigadier General R. Saxton, on transport Flora, followed by transports containing the Beaufort troops. The several brigades must keep together as much as possible, also the vessels comprising each brigade, in order that they may be distinguished. The speed of the vessels to correspond with the slowest sailing transport of each brigade.