War of the Rebellion: Serial 065 Page 0531 Chapter XLVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

plot among the garrison at Rose Dew, the purpose of which was to abandon the post at Rose Dew with arms, ammunition, &c., to win over the troops at Beaulieu if possible, to advance toward Savannah, taking with them the Terrell Artillery at White Bluff, whose adhesion was considered certain, also some State troops camped on the Skidaway road, and to come to the camp of the Fifty-seventh Georgia, upon whom they seemed to rely as ready to join them, the whole to make their way to the interior of the country, their avowed purpose being to induce by their example as many of the troops as possible to imitate them and by refusing to bear arms any longer "to put an end to the war." The plot was to be executed on last night. I immediately send Captain W. T. Taliaferro, my assistant adjutant-general, to Beaulieu and Rose Dew to investigate the matter. In the mean time an order was sent from district headquarters for the arrest of Private Coleman, Company F, Fifty-fourth Georgia, and he was sent on to the barracks at Savannah. From the result of investigations made by Major Hartridge, commanding at Rose Dew, and Captain Taliaferro it became evident that the plot, which at first appeared so improbable, did really exist.

On yesterday I ordered about 300 men from the First Georgia Regiment and the First Florida Battalion, under the command of Colonel Olmstead, First Georgia, to repair to the causeway connecting Rose Dew Island with the mainland and cut off the communication between the two. Captain Guerard's battery of artillery was ordered to support him. One hundred and fifty men from the Sixty-third Georgia Regiment, under Major Allen, were ordered to report to Colonel Olmstead. These movements of troops were made ostensibly for the purpose of meeting some demonstrations of the enemy by way of the Ogeechee.

No attempt of any kind was made on last night by the garrison at Rose Dew. The arrest of Coleman and the concentration of troops has evidently frustrated the design, but from the report of Sergeant Hinson to Captain Tanner (Jackson Guards, at Rose Dew), the attempt was not given up until late yesterday evening. Another non-commissioned officer confessed last night to Captain Tanner that nearly the whole company had agreed to go off that night. All the parties concerned were pledged to secrecy by an oath.

A board has been ordered by district headquarters to investigate further into the matter. The troops sent to Rose Dew to check any attempt will remain there until further orders. I would respectfully offer the following suggestions:

First. That a court-martial be convened forthwith for the immediate trial of the parties implicated; that the proceedings of this court be revised at once by the proper authority and the sentences be immediately carried into effect. A terrible and very prompt punishment is indispensable in such an extreme case.

Second. That the troops at Rose Dew be removed from that post and their place supplied by others upon whom reliance can be placed.

Third. That the Fifty-seventh Georgia Regiment be transferred either to the Army of Tennessee or of Virginia. The spirit of this regiment (the Fifty-seventh Georgia) is bad. The troops say that they have never been properly exchanged, and the impression prevails, probably with good reason, that they will not fight if brought before the enemy. They are demoralized by the influence of home, to which they are too near, their friends and relatives persuading them that they have not been properly exchanged and ought to be at