CONFIDENTIAL.] HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., November 25, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, U. S. Army:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your confidential letter of the 13th,* which was received on the 22d, after the sailing of the Arago.
I am preparing to carry out your instructions. Although my disposable force is very small, I think I can do what is required. I shall move on the night of the 28th, and make my attack on the next day. I shall continue to attack whether I succeed in the first attempt or not, and do the enemy as much damage as I can until I see General Sherman.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF FLORIDA, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
FOURTH SEPARATE BRIGADE,
Jacksonville, Fla., November 25, 1864.
Colonel J. C. BEECHER,
Commanding Thirty-fifth U. S. Colored Troops:
COLONEL: You will embark on board the Delaware to-morrow morning at 3 o'clock, will your regiment rationed and equipped, as ordered by verbal order from these headquarters. The companies at Batteries Foster and Hatch and at Yellow Bluff are to accompany you. Orders have been given to the companies at Yellow Bluff to be in readiness. Three companies of the Thirty-fourth U. S. Colored Troops will be placed on the Mary Benton, and the remainder of said regiment on the Delaware. Lieutenant-Colonel Marple will make his headquarters on the Mary Benton. The detachment of Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry will be on the Mary Benton, and the battery of Third New York Light Artillery on the Wyoming. All the troops have been notified in regard to their being in readiness, and you will assume command of such troops as soon as you get on board. Immediately on all being on board, of which you will be notified by a staff officer from these headquarters, you will proceed with all dispatch to the mouth of the river and take on board your steamer the two companies of your regiment at Yellow Bluff, cantoning the commanding officer left there, in the name of the general commanding, to be very vigilant. After receiving these companies on board you will proceed over the bar on the evening tide, and once outside you will keep as near the other steamers as possible, and proceed to Hilton Head, reporting on your arrival there to Major General J. G. Foster. Your attention is called to Revised Army Regulations relative to troops on board transports; and in embarking and proceeding down the river you will be as quiet in transit as possible, not allowing any beating of drums or loud talking or huzzaing, keeping the men as much out of sight as possible.
By order of Brigadier General E. P. Scammon:
THOMAS J. ROBINSON,
Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
*See VOL. XXXV, Part II, p. 328.