The commanding general is perfectly satisfied not to have the movement take place in full force with the infantry at this time. This inaction is rendered almost necessary by recent orders received from Lieutenant-General Grant, who obliges the general to send more troops to Washington. (This is to be kept a secret.) The major-general commanding therefore directs that you send here, with the utmost dispatch, one white regiment, with all their camp and garrison equipage, to be transferred out of this department. The One hundred and second U. S. Colored Troops will also be returned to this place as soon as practicable. The major-general commanding directs me to say that he expects you to do all you can with your remaining force, particularly raiding with the cavalry. Beyond this, of course, you can do but little, and will have to remain on the defensive, as will also the other districts in this department. You will please be particular to call in all details of officers and men belonging to the white regiment that is to be sent north.
The major-general commanding expects you to carry out the original intention of enlisting and organizing the Florida regiments, as far as you can, and to keep up a loyal feeling amongst the inhabitants.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. M. BURGER,
Port Royal Harbor, S. C., August 16, 1864.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Commanding Dept. of the South, Hdqrs. Hilton Head:
GENERAL: I inclose you a copy of a communication recently received from the Navy Department. It will give me pleasure to forward any expression of opinion which you may choose to offer.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. DAHLGREN,
Rear-Admiral, Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
Washington, July 20, 1864.
Rear-Admiral JOHN A. DAHLGREN,
Commanding S. A. Blockading Squadron, Port Royal, S. C.:
SIR: You will please inform the Department whether any of the monitors attached to your fleet can be withdrawn, having due regard to the exigencies of the public service within the limits of your command; whether they are absolutely essential to the holding possession of the Southern coast; whether the blockade of Charleston could be maintained without them, and whether Morris Island could be held by the military forces, protected by wooden vessels, in case all or a part of the monitors should be withdrawn. This and such other information bearing upon the subject as your judgment dictates will be furnished to the Department at your leisure. The