SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS COAST DIVISION, NO. 13.
Deveaux's Neck, S. C., December 22, 1864.
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II. The Seventy-fifth Regiment Ohio Volunteers is hereby ordered to proceed to Hilton Head, S. C., and report to department headquarters for orders. Transportation will be furnished by some boat returning to Hilton Head, S. C.
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By order of Brigadier General J. P. Hatch:
LEONARD B. PERRY,
First Lieutenant, 55th Mass. Vols., and Actg. Asst. Adjt. General
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, DISTRICT OF BEAUFORT,
Beaufort, S. C., December 22, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, U. S. Army,
Commanding Army of Occupation, Savannah, GA.:
GENERAL: I would respectfully suggest that a large number of contrabands might be sent to Saint Simon's Island, GA., and Edisto, S. C. There are a large number of vacant houses on each of these islands and a regiments of colored troops could hold them securely. These islands have both been occupied by our troops, but were vacated in 1863 by order of General Hunter, then commanding this department. I presume there are no rebels on either of them, and it would require but a small force to hold them securely. If one of the colored regiments now at our front in the vicinity of the railroad could be sent to occupy these islands, they perhaps might aid your operations as much as they are now doing. I very much regret, General, that my power to relieve you of the burden of these people is not equal to my inclination, but I have no means as all under my control. Even a small steamer sent to me by the War Department for special service, the control of which is absolutely essential to this service, has been taken from me by General Foster. I greatly fear that if these contrabands are sent to this post there will be much suffering among them, as I have neither men nor means at my command to provide them with shelter. With this statement of my situation and of facts as they exist at present, which I deem it my duty to make, I beg to assure you, General, that I am prepared to do all that you may in this matter, and am ready to report to you to Savannah for the purpose, or anywhere else you may desire. Every cabin and house on these islands is filled to overflowing-I have some 15,000. It has occurred to me that I might render you more service by coming to Savannah. I shall be governed entirely by your wishes or orders in the case.
I am, very respectfully,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
HEADQUARTER MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Savannah, GA., December 23, 1864.
General J. D. WEBSTER,
DEAR GENERAL: Major Dickson arrived last night, bringing your letter* of the 10th of December, for which I am very much obliged, as it