Twenty-sixth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers-together with the Fifth Massachusetts Light Battery, in all numbering about 1,900 man. One company of the Ninth Connecticut was allowed to remain at Camp Chase, in Lowell, to recruit for the regiment, where it is now stationed. Subsistence stores for thirty days for 300 men were taken on board at Boston. It was my intention to have placed on board this ship at Portland the Twelfth Maine Regiment, this coming within the chartered uneasy and doubtful of the capacity of the ship, entered a written protest against taking it on board, and upon the 23rd ultimo sailed from that port with the freight taken at Boston. I have since had the Twelfth Maine Regiment brought to this State and encamped at Camp Chase, where it now remains, waiting the remainder of vessels to carry it on, and undergoing instructions.
By the action of the captain of the Constitution he made forfeit his charter-party and leaves the claim of the owners to be adjusted upon the principles of equity.
On the 26th ultimo I forwarded the bark Kingfisher, of Boston, for the same destination from Boston, with extra clothing for three regiments and other quartermaster's stores, including parts of a floating bridge half a mile long, lumber, &c., for building wharf, &c., carriages for field battery, subsistence and sutler stores, and 130 horses and forage, details of which bill of lading are in Schedule A.
I have the George Green, Idaho, and Black Prince now loading, all from 1,000 to 1,400 tons register, all sailing vessels. The George Green is loading with lumber, subsistence stores, and horses, and will be ready to sail about the 10th. The Idaho and Black Prince will take on board the Twelfth Maine Regiment, with subsistence stores, lumber, horses, and forage. They will be ready to sail about the 10th instant. I am loading the bark with lumber, cement, horses and forage, and surfboats. It will be ready to sail about the 10th instant. I have chartered the steam-tug Saxon, to take out a company of artillery, with their guns and subsistence tories, and intend that it shall sail as convoy and tug to the above vessels.
The Constitution touched at Fortress Monroe, and on the 27th ultimo, having taken on board Brigadier-General Phelps, sailed for Ship Island, where it becomes due upon the 3rd instant. It it succeeds in unloading to leave there on the 7th, it will be due here, in ordinary course, upon the 15th instant, ready for further service.
I have been obliged to use sailing ships for transporting the men because of the impossibility of getting steamers, being informed by those in whose judgment confidence may be placed that they are equally safe.
I have in process of recruitment-more of which will be ready by the time of the return of the Constitution than can be taken on board of her-two regimens in Massachusetts, one regiment in Vermont, and one regiment in Connecticut, a squadron of mounted men, and three batteries, of full complement. I have secured and in process of being ready arms, ammunition, uniforms, and equipments for all of these. I have in my report of the 2nd instant given a complete list of ordnance and ordnance stores which can be obtained for the object of the expedition. I do not send herewith lists of commissary stores purchased, but these besides the fresh provisions for the voyage. I have also such stores and provision of material as may be necessary to a post fortified on Ship Island in a reasonable state of defense.