there. The enemy have left very few troops in that quarter. I know of five brigades of Beauregard's men that have come here, and deserters from regiments recently from James Island say that very few troops are left there. Five thousand good troops can, in my opinion, be safely drawn from the Department of the South. The Fifty-second Pennsylvania and One hundred and fourth Pennsylvania were under orders to come with me, but I consented to leave them until they could be spared. They belong to a brigade, the rest of which is now here. A word in regard to matters here: No one is more mortified than myself at the unsuccessful result of operations here. With a force of 3 men to the enemy's 2, we have not only failed to retain an offensive attitude at all, but are now on the defensive, with an enemy fortified in our front between us and the railroad.
I am deeply chagrined at the tone the public press has adopted toward General Butler, and the manner in which they try and mix me up with it. I never authorized a word of news to be published. I have given General Butler a most cordial support throughout, and he knows it. The battle of Drewry's Bluff was a disaster to us, the history of which will be written at no distant day. I am proud of the part my command took in that action. Erroneous reports of the movements of the enemy elsewhere was the cause of the retreat at a time when there seemed to be no necessity for it. What I most regret is my loss in men (3,927 since we landed here) without adequate compensation. The Eighteenth Corps have lost about 2,000 more. I am told nearly 6,000 in all. I commenced to write about troops that may be taken from the Department of the South, but have run into other matters unintentionally. There is a long story to be told of operations here, but I cannot act the part of historian now.
Most truly, yours, & c.,
Q. A. GILLMORE.
GENERAL BUTLER'S HEADQUARTERS,
May 30, 1864 - 10.45 a. m.
I observe the colored brigade is encamped on the left of Kautz's command. Your attention is called to the order which provides they shall be encamped in the rear of Brooks' right in the open field, as much out of range as may be.
B. F. BUTLER,
MAY 30, 1864 - 8.20 p. m.
GENERAL: I inclose to you a note* received to-day from Admiral Lee, and my reply* thereto. I would suggest to you the propriety of sending the 20-pounder Parrott gun battery to the right, selecting a good position for it to aid in any attack upon the gun-boats. By a little arrangement of the other artillery, it can be made serviceable on your right and front if needed there. It may be necessary
* See p. 368.
24 R R - VOL XXXVI, PT III