of the prisoners from escaping. The batteries in this district (Northern) are being improved and strengthened. The Swamp Angel has been put in thorough order again, and is now armed.
The orders sent by you from Lieutenant-General Grant in regard to sending troops to Washington is receiving every attention. Every available man is being got ready to be sent forward. The Forty-first New York Volunteers have already gone. They started in the steamer John Rice last night. The One hundred and third New York Volunteers and the Seventy-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers will go in the Arago and Cosmopolitan to-day, and others will be sent a soon as they arrive from the districts of the department.
On the morning of the 9th instant, the propeller Prince Albert, a blockading vessel, was discovered aground off Sullivan's Island, near Fort Moultrie, and was immediately opened upon by our batteries on the north end of Morris Island, which after a few effective shots succeeded in completely destroying her, bursting her boilers and setting her on fire before the enemy succeeded in getting off any but a small quantity of her cargo. She was loaded principally with medicines and other light articles.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., August 26, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to state since my last report of operations in this department, under date of 18th instant, the news received from Florida is rather unfavorable. A cavalry raid, under command of Colonel Harris, Seventy-fifth Ohio Mounted Infantry, consisting of 138 men Seventy-fifth Ohio Mounted Infantry, 90 men Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, and one piece of artillery, sent out by Brigadier-General Hatch, supported by infantry, met with a disaster at Gainesville. It appears that the cavalry was too far in advance of the infantry to receive any support from it. While resting, and being very much scattered in Gainesville, they were surrounded by a body of Florida troops, under Captain Dickinson, and were completely routed, with a loss of one piece of artillery, arms, and horses, and 100 men killed, wounded, and missing. This disaster apparently arose from the culpable negligence of the officers in command of the cavalry forces. An investigation is ordered, and if this supposition is found to be true, these officers will be properly punished.
The new works at Hilton Head and Beaufort have been laid out and the engineers are now busily engaged in erecting them. In the Northern District little, if any, alteration has taken place since my last report. The camp for the 600 rebel prisoners of war has been selected, and I am now having a strong fence put up around it to prevent any possibility of escape; this camp will be ready in a few