War of the Rebellion: Serial 066 Page 0260 S. C., FLA., AND ON THE GA. COAST. Chapter XLVII.

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stores (iron), were referred to Major-General Halleck, Chief of Staff, who returned them with the following indorsement:

AUGUST 26, 1864.

By direction of General Grant, General Foster has been repeatedly ordered to confine himself to the defensive, and to send north all troops not required for holding his present position without offensive operations.

Requisition disapproved.

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General and Brevet Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, S. C., August 28, 1864.

Brigadier General JOHN P. HATCH,

Commanding District of Florida, Jacksonville, Fla.:

GENERAL: I am instructed by the major-general commanding to acknowledge the receipt of your letter* of the 19th instant giving the particulars, in part, of the unfortunate affair at Gainesville, Fla, in which we lost so many officers and men. Your letter* of the 23rd instant was received same day, giving further particulars of the disastrous affair, and requesting that a further re-enforcement of cavalry be sent to you from without your district.

The major-general commanding directs me to say that all the cavalry that can possibly be spared from the other districts, in fact almost all in the department, is now in Florida. Officers and clerks have been dismounted in order to send you 30 extra horses. No further loss of animals can be replaced.

In regard to the establishment of new posts in your district the opinion of the commanding general has been fully given in former letters to you. The major-general commanding defers to any difference of opinion with the commanding officer of the District of Florida, who must regard himself as responsible for any unfortunate losses arising from variation of orders from these headquarters.

In regard to ports of entry, these, when once established, have to be maintained by the Government at all hazards for the benefit of all nations. Jacksonville is not considered a good defensible point, and the Government will not undertake to hold it as a port of entry. Fort Clinch is a fortified point intended to be held always by the U. S. Government. It is the only really proper pint for a port of entry in Florida, except it might be Saint Augustine. Fort Clinch has an interior water communication to Jacksonville, which will allow the exit of produce. The major-general commanding is willing to recommend Fort Clinch or Saint Augustine as ports of entry, but no other ports in Florida.

In regard to the retention of the Island City the major-general commanding directs me to say that the Neptune and Wyoming are much better boats and will be sent to replace her. The repeated losses of boats in Florida create a feeling adverse to sending other that the oldest and least valuable boats to that district.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. M. BURGER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

*See Part I, pp. 427, 429.