Hilton Head, S. C., March 1, 1864.

I have received notice that a steamer leaves here for New York this morning, and will give you an out line of such news as has come to hand since my last letter.


Since the unsuccessful attempt, to advance beyond Sanderson, Gen. Seymour has slowly been drawing in his forces toward Jacksonville, closely followed by the enemy, whose pickets and ours, are very near together now. Our advance is only about six miles beyond Jacksonville. Gen. Gillmore left here yesterday to personally supervise matters in that direction. We have had no casualties since Olustee, and our withdrawal towards Jacksonville is not a retreat, but only a common-sense result of the failure to proceed beyond that point.

The list of casualties give rather an exaggerated idea of the damage done us in that fight, since a great proportion of our wounded were not permanently disable, the wounds being principally from bullets. The enemy fired very low, and there are a great many lame shins, I assure you. Had the wounds been all of this character, it would have been almost ludicrous to see men catching up with their feet, all along the lines, when they were struck, as if they were walking on coals; but many an unerring rebel bullet reached a brave man's heart, and there were too many arms thrown up, as they toppled over, for any body on our side to feel other wise than sad. The wounded are mostly now in the hospitals of Jacksonville. Hilton Head and Beaufort, well taken care of. Dr. J. J. Craven, the Medical Purveyor of the Department, performed an exceedingly difficult trepanning operation, the other day, and saved a poor fellow's life, after he had been given over, by removing about a square inch of his skull, which had been driven into his head by a musket bullet.


Col. Louis Bell, have re-enlisted, and are going home in the Arago, which sails to-morrow or next day, as veterans. They are a bully regiment and must be well taken care of while they are at home.


A large proportion of this regiment have also re-enlisted, and will probably go home on the same steamer. Those who remain here are to be mounted.


Occurred on the 28th ult. Late in the evening, after the work of the day had been concluded. The Gen. Sent for his Staff and announced the character of the occasion, and gave them an opportunity to drink a glass of wine with him and wish him many returns of the day, which I assure you they all did with the greatest pleasure. Gen. Gillmore is a working as well as a fighting General, and has an efficient staff, with no drones or cowards in it.


A good deal of wit was displayed in an entry upon a public book in a well known establishment here, the other day, by some greenhorn, who was disgusted with Hilton Head high prices. The entry was as follows:
"This is a first rate place for a man to sell his greenbacks d-d cheap."


is about like June - certainly warmer than May, in New England, uncomfortably hot in the day-time, and not very uncomfortably cool at night. The negroes have begun planting on their plantation lots, flowers are blossomed, people have donned summer hats, and flies swarm in mess-rooms.


Article printed in the Boston Herald; March 9, 1864; pg. 4, col. 1.

It is made available here through the courtesy of Thomas Hayes,

Hayes is currently working on a historical reference work, "Letters of the Civil War," from the newspapers of the cities and towns of Massachusetts. He has researched the Boston Herald, Chelsea Telegraph and Pioneer, Dedham Gazette, Roxbury Gazette, Randolph Transcript, Worcester Transcript and the Malden Messenger. He says, "I have filed, by date, a little over 3,300 letters. These are from the Soldiers, Sailors, Nurses, Correspondents and Politicans. This project started out as a simple endeavor to find that one letter from my Grandfather, Walter A. Hewes, who served in the 1st Mass. Infantry and 4th Mass. Cavalry. To date, no luck, but I have about 30 more papers to research."

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