War of the Rebellion: Serial 092 Page 0847 Chapter LVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

Washington, December 31, 1864.

Major-General FOSTER,

Savannah, GA.:

GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs that the order to send able-bodied or other negroes from your department to City Point be suspended, and that you organize all you can get for service there. You will give them the proper regimental and company organization, muster them into the service of the United States, and appoint their officers provisionally, reporting these appointments for confirmation. You will also arm and clothe them, and have them carefully drilled and exercised. They will soon be of service for the defense of your fortifications. It is presumed that you will find among your officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates men desirous of and competent for commands in colored regiments. If General Sherman has not left this will be submitted to him. It would be well to circulate a notice that you will receive, pay, clothe, and arm all able-bodied negroes who will join you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HDQRS. SIGNAL DETACHMENT, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, S. C., December 31, 1864.

Captain W. L. M. BURGER,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to state that I have just received a message from Captain Bachtell, chief signal officer with General Sherman, that the line is open to Savannah by telegraph from here to Braddock's Point and by signal from there to Savannah. The stations between Fort Pulaski and Savannah are over low, marshy ground, and the communication will, I fear, often be interrupted by mist and fog.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JESSE MERRILL,

Captain and Chief Signal Officer.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, S. C., December 31, 1864.

Lieutenant General W. J. HARDEE,

Commanding Confederate Forces, Dept. of S. C., GA., and Fla.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to request that you cause one of your staff officers to meet Lieutenant-General Woodford, of my staff, at Port Royal Ferry, S. C., on Wednesday, January 4, proximo, at 2 p. m., for the purpose of receiving several communications and mails for prisoners of war. Unless I hear from you to the contrary, I shall consider that the time and place of meeting are agreeable to yourself.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. G. FOSTER,

Major-General, Commanding.