They do not refer to the reserve or to any other regiment than Colonel Hoyt's, so that this portion of the force could not have gone near enough to attract their attention. The responsibility for lack of support to Colonel Hoyt should be made to rest where it belongs.
J. G. FOSTER,
FLAG-STEAMER PHILADELPHIA, Port Royal Harbor, S. C., July 26, 1864.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Commanding Dept. of the South, Hdqrs. Hilton Head:
GENERAL: Yours of July 25 is just received, and conformably to your request I have issued an order that all persons discharged here and not sent home shall be turned over to the nearest provost-marshal to the order of Major-General Foster, the commanding general of the Department of the South. In answer to your query, I am only able to say that the practice of the Navy Department before the rebellion was invariably to ship men for three years, but since that shipments have been made for one or for two years, as well as for three years. I entirely concur with you, general, that the conditions of the service in the Army and Navy should be equalized, so as not to give any preference in time or in bounty, &c. Had this been done there never would have been any necessity for legislating transfers of seamen from the Army who had enlisted, because even with the long term of three years there were advantages which more than balanced the short term of one year in the Navy. I am very glad to hear that seamen thus enlisted in the Army have been found to make such good soldiers that they cannot be well spared. Still, we only get back our old sailors, and that is a gain to the public service afloat, though a loss ashore. It is also gratifying to find that so many of these men prefer to return to their original vocation, as the frequent applications show. Herewith I transmit two, received whilst writing these lines.
There have not been, that I am aware of, nor do I expect that there will be any discharges here from this squadron, except of contrabands who were obtained here, and whom I do not wish to lose even to make inferior soldiers, for they do a great deal of useful work' but as I have not the power under the naval law to conscript I was in hopes that you, being able to do so, would prevent them leaving me.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. DAHLGREN,
Rear-Admiral, Commanding S. Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
JULY 26, 1864.
Report on the result of the torpedo operations:
Captain Smith, Third U. S. Colored Troops, was detailed to select a company of men and to drill them in the use of the railway torpedoes; this he neglected to do and has been returned to his regiment. On the late expedition Captain Suter detailed Company suter detailed Company I, Captain