through which is only a bridle path, and in the skirt of which are our pickets. I have ordered nearly all the force from Boyd's Neck to this position, and also some 30-pounder Parrotts, with which we can reach the railroad, even should our men not succeeded in gaining it, as I hope they may, as also the bridge over the Coosawhatchie. Our position is strong, the spirit of the troops excellent, and the landings and means of communication good. The naval force, under orders from Admiral Dahlgren, nave co-operated cordially and efficiently both by water and land. The reports received from prisoners and deserters relative to General Sherman's movements are very conflicting. A lieutenant who deserted on the 4th reports that General Sherman was in sight of Savannah. There can be no doubt that he is nearing Savannah, as all the deserters and prisoners who have recently come in agree that troops are leaving Charleston and Augusta for Savannah.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
Major General H. W. HALLECK, U. S. Army,
Chief of Staff, Armies of United States, Washington, D. C.
Numbers 2. Report of Brigadier General John P. Hatch, U. S. Army, commanding Coast Division. HDQRS. COAST DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH, Deveaux's Neck, S. C., December -, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the movements of this division from the date of its embarkation at Hilton Head to the close of the action at Honey Hill:
The force collected from different points in the Department of the South, with the addition of a small brigade from the navy, numbered, including all arms, about 5,500 men, organized as follows: Two brigades of infantry, commanded by Brigadier General E. E. Potter and Colonel A. S. Hartwell, Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers; Naval Brigade, Commander George H. Preble, U. S. Navy, commanding; portions of three batteries light artillery, Lieutenant Colonel William Ames, Third Rhode Island Artillery, commanding. It was embarked on the evening of the 28th November, with the intention of landing at Boyd's Neck at daylight the following morning. My command of the force was to commence after landing. At 2. 30 a. m., the hour previously designated, the signal for sailing was given from the flag ship of the department commander. The transports immediately got under way; but soon after, a dense fog covering the river, some came to anchor, others continuing the advance grounded, whilst others, by a mistake of the pilots, were taken up the Cacaos instead of the Broad River. The pilot of my own steamer advising me to wait daylight, I did so, and consequently it was from that transport the first troops commenced landing, at about 11 a. m. The steamer Canonicus, containing engineer troops and material, was unfortunately one of the transports that had gone up the Cacaos by mistake, and did not arrive at Boyd's Neck until about 2 p. m. This caused a delay in building the necessary landing to enable the artillery and means of transportation to be dis-