We have sure enough a big job on hand, and the only way is to go on trusting to concequnces following naturally grand results. Lee and Johnson must be whipped, and it should not be deferred an hour beyond the first possible practicable moment.
I necessarily write in some haste, but you will catch the drift of my argument.
With respect, your friend and servant,
W. T. SHERMAN,
UNOFFICIAL.] BEAUFORT, S. C., April 12, 1864.
Major C. W. FOSTER:
DEAR SIR: Believing that you will not find it unpleasant to have a letter from one of your former constituents, I will send this in Weld's envelope. I am still on my way to Florida, having been caught up in transitu by your friend Major-General Gillmore and put to work here as commandant of the post, General Saxton being engaged on a general court-martial (Gordon's) at Hilton Head. My first experience of the kind was at Fortress Monroe, where Major- General Butler caught me up when I touched for water, and sent me, troops and all, to Suffolk, or rather to the line near Suffolk. i was placed in command of the front, reconnointered and occupied Suffolk, caught a courier sent by the rebel General Ransom, ascertained the strength and position of the rebels and that they would not attack us, and got relieved. My present position is pleasant and Honorable . It was necesary that some one should be here to command, and I was the only officer available of the proper rank. As soon as the general court- martial is over I hope to proceed to Florida.
My Seventh and Ninth regiments are very much admired in this department. I am proud of having raised two such fine bodied of men. My present ambition is to raise fifteen regiments in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. I know you are somewhat startled at this number, but I have studied the subject and think it can be done. Indeed, if I not wished to maintain my reputation with you for moderation I should have said twenty.
Now or my plan. I offer my services to carry out the executive part of it here, and stake my official honor and position on the result. As my plan involves bringing off large numbers of woman and childred, as well a men (because you cannot get the latter without bringing off the former), the first step is to make proper and adequate provision for their support. If placed on land, shaltered, and provided with houses, the women and children can support themseleves after the first corps, with the aid of the father's pay. Before that time, if near one of the rivers (all abound with fish), they can support themselves, with the aid of the pay of the farther, if Govrnment will furnish subsistence at cost. What I ask, therefore, is that the Government shall give the enlisting soldier forty acres fo land as a bounty and furnish his family commissary stores at cost. As the land costs nothing to the United States and no loss would accrue from the sale of the commissary stores there is nothing unreasonable in this demand. Other things needed by the families would be supplied by private benevolence at the North. It is implied that the soldiers are to be paid as much as white soldiers. How legislators can imagine we can raise troops, as a permanent thing, at $7 a month I cannot see. The man must have $2 for himself, and he cannot support his family on the