tial, and in such cases it [is] never safe to print. I have known for some time that we have spies among us, who have not as yet been detected, hence the necessity for extreme caution. In addition to the above order I would like you to give detailed orders to each of the advanced batteries, Putnam, Chatfield, Seymour, and Strong, as to what their garrisons, both ordinary and increased (as t night), shall do in case of attack. The main and vital point in all the latter instructions will be to do the best under all circumstances, but under no circumstances to forget that their imperative duty is to hold their own work beyond peradventure.
Every officer and man in any work of ours who may be surprised or taken will be held in the lowest possible estimation thereafter, and will be condemned for extreme inefficiency or cowardice. These latter orders had better perhaps be given in manuscript.
Yours, respectfully and truly,
J. G. FOSTER,
P. S.-Let the orders be, in case of attempted escape or rescue, to shoot down every rebel found outside the stockade.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF FLORIDA,
Jacksonville, September 19, 1864.
Captain W. L. M. BURGER,
CAPTAIN: The scouts sent by me into Georgia five weeks since returned this morning. They report that in Clinch County deserters and others are banded to resist being placed in the rebel army. Daily conflicts take place between them and the militia. A captain of militia was lately killed in one of these fights. They also report that there are at present but 600 men at Savannah for its defense. They also report 600 at Altamaha bridge. Several hundred of our prisoners are reported as confined in Savannah. An expedition from Darien could destroy the Altamaha bridge, threaten Savannah, and then destroy the road toward Thomasville, retreating to the mouth of the St. Mary's River. The scouts are very anxious I should march from here direct via King's Ferry and destroy the road. I have not, however, the troops to do it.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. P. HATCH,
Letter of acknowledgment for signature. Cannot send troops to do what he suggests. Am ordered to stand strictly on the defensive.
J. G. F.
HDQRS. NORTHERN DISTRICT, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
Morris Island, S. C., September 20, 1864.
Colonel C. H. VAN WYCK,
Fifty-sixth N. Y. Vols., Commanding Post of Morris Island, S. C.:
COLONEL: The brigadier-general commanding has received information that a flag of truce will communicate with the enemy in