open fire with the same object, and, in fact, do most of the firing. If this arrangement meets the approval of the major-General commanding, it will be continued for the present, not expending more than about twenty-five shots during the twenty-fourth hours. Arrangements have finally been completed for the transfer of Mrs. Thomas and daughters to the enemy's lines from the right of Cole's Island to-morrow, the 31st instant.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.
By signal from Fort Ripley to Castle Pinckney, December 30, 1864.
What is the news?
Castle Pinckney to Fort Ripley.
No papers received this a. m. News last evening that the enemy's forces ashore were badly cut up by the guns of Fort Fisher. They are probably below the fort.
HDQRS. NORTHERN DISTRICT, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
FIRST SEPARATE BRIGADE,
Morris Island, December 30, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel A. G. BENNETT,
Commanding Post, Morris Island, S. C.:
COLONEL: Information having been officially received at these headquarters of the destruction of the iron-clads at Savannah, the brigadier-General commanding directs the precautions recently adopted for defense against the same may be relaxed, and citizens who have been detailed on guard duty in this district will be relieved therefrom.
I have the honor to be, Colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. W. DICKINSON,
Captain 21st U. S. Colored Troops and Actg. Asst. Adjt. General
WASHINGTON, D. C., December 31, 1864.
I learn from a letter of General Foster that all able-bodied negroes brought in by Sherman are to be shipped to City Point. Permit me to suggest that they be armed, organized, and used in the Department of the South during the winter. Our experience is that negroes brought North during the cold Weather, from a warm climate, are almost useless; moreover, they suffer much from cold. To send them North at the present time would create a panic among them, and prevent others from coming in from the interior of the country. Rebel papers are already harping on this point in order to frighten their slaves. The Secretary of War and General Meigs concur in these views.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.