by having these here, viz: First. They will answer for the purposes of transportation. Second. They can be used for landing troops, owing to their extreme light draught, being able to run quite up to the shore, and allowing the troops to disembark without employing surf-boats or bateaux. Third. They will be serviceable as fighting boats, at their sides are protected by bullet-proof iron plating, and are furnished with proper accommodations and arrangements for guns.
Should it be deemed inadvisable to order the regiment with all the boats here, I trust you will be able to send me the two boats now nearly ready for sea in New York, with a battalion of the regiment. I am particularly anxious to have these boats ordered here, as this department was in a great measure stripped of steamers by General Gillmore for the transportation of the Tenth Army Corps from this place.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C, June 11, 1864.
Rear-Admiral J. A. DAHLGREN,
Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron:
ADMIRAL: I have the honor to transmit herewith a certified copy of a letter from Brigadier General John P. Hatch, commanding District of Hilton Head, &c., giving particulars in regard to the information obtained from deserters from the rebel lines as far as relates to the Water Witch. I respectfully solicit your attention to General Hatch's request for a naval force in Calibogue Sound.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT HILTON HEAD, &C.,
Hilton Head, June 11, 1864.
Captain W. L. M. BURGER,
CAPTAIN: An examination made by myself of the deserters from Savannah elected the following important fact: The rebels are engaged in taking out the guns of the Water Witch for the purpose of lightening here sufficiently to enable her to pass through Thunderbolt Creek into the Savannah River. I would again call the attention of the major-general commanding to the danger of an attack from the combined naval force of the enemy upon the southern end of Hilton Head Island, unless an ample naval force is kept in Calibogue Sound.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. P. HATCH,
P. S.- There is in Savannah a steam-ship built since the war, completely fitted for sea, called Numbers 10., supposed to be intended for a blockade-runner.