tin and his brigade have gone south to Wilmington or Charleston. A flag of truce has just been announced at the outpost and probably I shall have additional information before the boat leaves.
The Confederate Governors have been in conference together, and it is said that Governor Vance was entirely reconciled toward the Richmond junta. He is certainly exhibiting more activity than heretofore.
I trust your plan may be entirely successful, and that the troops may be benefitted by the change.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN J. PECK,
U. S. FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA,
Off Newport News, Va., October 18, 1863.
Major General J. G. FOSTER, U. S. Army,
Commanding Dept. of Va. and N. C., Fortress Monroe, Va. .
GENERAL: In reply to your communication of yesterday, brought to this flag-ship in my absence at the navy-yard by Major Stevenson, I beg leave to refer you to an extract from the Department's letter to me of May 5, furnished Major Stevenson yesterday, informing me that the War Department had expressly requested the Navy Department not to equip vessels in the employ of the army with articles of navy outfit of any kind, especially ordnance.
As, however, the navy guns, carriages, &c., alluded to in your letter were formerly on board the Smith Briggs, and have been returned to the navy, I have directed Lieutenant-Commander Phenix, in the inclosed letter,* to lend them and the necessary ammunition to you on your application. When, in any emergency, you require for military purposes field or other artillery and ammunition, which we have on hand and which are not needed for immediate naval use, it will be my duty and great pleasure to put them at your disposition. It will at all times afford me much pleasure to afford you every facility.
I beg you to understand, however, that under my instructions from the Department above referred to, such transactions cannot be regarded as final transfer of the property to the army.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, yours,
S. PHILLIPS LEE,
Acting Rear-Admiral, Commanding N. A. Bkg. Squadron.
The Department is willing and desirous that the naval should extend to the military branch of the service all the co-operation and assistance that it consistently can; but as regards the arming of steamers, and providing them with articles of outfit within the reach of the quartermaster's department, it does not feel called upon to do this; and the War Department has expressly requested that it should not be done, especially as regards ordnance.
23 R R-VOL XXIX, PT II