Return to Port Royal Experiment
Appointment of William H. Nobles as
United States Agent
Port Royal Experiment
HEADQUARTERS U. S. AGENCY,
Dr. Jenkins’ Plantation, Saint Helena Island, December 10, 1861.
Brig. Gen. ISAAC I. STEVENS,

Commanding Second Brigade Expeditionary Corps:

SIR: I send you herewith copies of the letters of Brig. Gen. T. W. Sherman and Chief Quartermaster
Expeditionary Corps
R. Saxton, captain, U. S. Army, appointing me agent for the United States
Government “to take possession of all the cotton, commissary and quartermasters’ stores, and all
public property that I may find in any part of the State of South Carolina deserted by the inhabitants�;
also a copy of my letter appointing James A. Suydam my assistant, with full authority with myself. I have
taken possession of all the property on Saint Helena, Ladies, and Cat Islands, and have directed
Lieutenant Hamilton, of the Fifth Company, and Lieutenant Graham, of the Eighth Company, Seventy-
ninth Regiment New York State Militia, to collect and deliver to me all the property on those islands. Mr.
Suydam will establish his headquarters at Beaufort, for the purpose of taking possession of all the
property, as directed in my instructions.

Respectfully, yours, &c.,

WM. H. NOBLES,
United States Agent.

HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY CORPS,
Port Royal, S. C., December 3, 1861.
WILLIAM H. NOBLES, Esq.:
SIR: The inhabitants of the deserted islands having been warned of the destruction of their property by
the negroes and invited to return and take charge of their plantations, with a promise of ample protection
to all loyal citizens, and such invitation and promise of protection having been set at naught by their refusal
to return and by several instances of ordering their cotton to be burned, I deem it proper to take steps for
the preservation of as much of this article as practicable, in order that such disposition may be made of it
as the Government may direct. You are therefore appointed an agent of the United States Government to
collect and put into store, at the most convenient points occupied by the United States troops, such
quantities of cotton as you may find in any part of the State of South Carolina deserted by the inhabitants.
A correct and explanatory statement will be made by you weekly to the headquarters, showing the
amount of cotton stored, its quality, whether baled or unbaled, from whose plantation obtained, and all
other information which in your judgment may be necessary to convey a correct idea of its value and the
fixing of its ownership, so that the Government will not be at a loss to dispose of the questions {p.201} of
its disposition or of remuneration to its owners if such questions should arise.

You will employ negroes in picking, collecting, and packing the cotton, who on your vouchers, properly
made out and certified to, will be paid by the Quartermaster’s Department. Your services will be
compensated by allowing you 6 per cent, on the market value of the cotton stored as above.

Very respectfully, &c.,

T. W. SHERMAN,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
–––

OFFICE CHIEF QUARTERMASTER EXPED’Y CORPS,
Port Welles, S. C., December 6, 1861.
I hereby appoint James Adrian Suydam my assistant in the execution of the above orders from Brigadier-
General Sherman and Captain Saxton and of all future orders from their departments to me as agent for
the United States Government, his orders and directions to be obeyed as mine, and his acts as agent to
be recognized by me.

WM. H. NOBLES,
United States Agent.