Major-General Foster, who states that he has given the three gentlemen permission to go to New York to await the decision of the Department. The permission they desire cannot be granted, and the Secretary of War directs that no deputations of this kind be allowed to go North from Savannah. All matters which need to be considered and decided here can be submitted in writing through the proper channels.
Your obedient servant,
C. A. DANA,
Assistant Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., February 17, 1865.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff, U. S. Armies, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have had time enough to look about me, and am now enabled to state what the most pressing wants of this department are. I shall confine myself in this letter to one single point. The Union sentiment in Georgia is in danger of dying out for want of nourishment. it is my earnest desire to foster it to such an extent that the people will be induced to give free expression to its themselves. With the exception of the city of Savannah and its environs within the picket-line, we hold no more territory in that State than we did before General Sherman's march through it. I want a few more troops, say 4,000 or 5,000, 1,000 of which should be cavalry or mounted infantry. I firmly believe that they could be of more service here than in any other portion of the country. I wish to operate in Georgia in a manner partly civil and partly military before the people have time to recover from the panic and the sense of subjugation which now exists. During the progress of extensive military operations in South Carolina and North Carolina great things could be accomplished in Georgia with a very small force of mounted troops. I respectfully request that this matter may be brought to the attention of the Secretary of War, and recommenced to his favorable action.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Q. A. GILLMORE,
FEBRUARY 22, 1865.
Respectfully referred to Lieutenant-General Grant with the remark that General Gillmore has been ordered, as directed, to send all white troops not required to hold the sea-ports to Cape Fear River.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
City Point, Va., February 25, 1865.
Please inform General Gillmore that he will comply with orders sent to him to send his surplus troops to Cape Fear River. We want to use our troops in putting down those in arms against us and not in what has always proven a useless attempt, to get up Union sentiment by a show of strength and diplomacy where there is no resistance. Mounted men at Savannah may be necessary, but to get them they must be mounted in the country.
U. S. GRANT,