Confederate lines are required to pass with proper permits at Fort Monroe, but I will give the permit to Miss Sparks as a matter of courtesy to yourself and General Ripley.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., August 4, 1864.
Major General L. McLAWS,
Commanding District of Savannah, Ga.:
GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 29th ultimo. The transfer of individuals by flag of truce through this department is not allowed except in special cases. The special cases include the wives of deserters within our lines. All other transfer of individuals through the lines of the United States have to be made by the way of Fort Monroe after proper permits have been obtained for that purpose. No persons upon the list you inclose to me, except the wives of deserters, will be allowed to come through our lines here, and these persons even cannot be admitted until we have satisfactorily ascertained from our records that they are what they purport to be.
An answer upon this point will be made in a few days through Major General Samuel Jones, commanding your department. In future I beg that all communications of this kind requiring my action may be made by Major-General Jones.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
Port Royal Harbor, S. C., August 4, 1864.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Commanding Dept. of the South, Hdqrs. Hilton Head:
GENERAL: Yours of the 1st has been received in relation to a pass for leave to certain contrabands. I avoid complications as much as possible, and had I been apprised in time, the leave and pass would not have been given, though it was nearly certain that 91 very good men would have been lost to the naval depot here. Captain Reynolds, however, was under the impression that a leave for so limited a period would not conflict with the arrangement between us and the subsequent orders, and finding he was likely to lose these men unless he granted their conditions, did so. Under the circumstances, it might be well, perhaps, that the leave thus granted should stand, and if any of the men fail to return and re-enlist afloat they might be conscripted for shore duty. The pass the condition very clearly. I will direct Captain Reynolds to adhere in future to our agreement.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. DAHLGREN,
Rear-Admiral, Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.