these evils as rapidly as possible, and the smallness of the force will make this easy. I only want a regular officer at the head of each of the three departments, the quartermaster's, the commissary, and the medical. I have written private letters to ask for such officers.
We have so knocked Fort Sumter that it is almost insupportable to the small garrison. The closeness of their bomb-proofs, the breach which the sea makes at high tides into the fort, and the abundance of rats and other vermin make the garrison often come out on the open ramparts, exposed to our fire, in preference to remaining in their casemates. We shall soon render the fort an easy prey.
The health of the command is quite good, considering the extremely hot weather. Many officers give out from the heat and sickness, and have to be, furloughed. I have full information of the enemy's strength and intentions. They are afraid of us, and the brigade brought from Atlanta at the John's Island raid is still retained at Charleston, so that our movement resulted in a small permanent reduction of the enemy's force at Atlanta. The defenses of Charleston and Savannah are mainly garrisoned by the militia, of which considerable numbers have come in obedience to the calls of the Governor of Georgia and Major General Samuel Jones.
There is a growing discontent and misery in the enemy's lines. Every one is trying to get out through our lines. I refuse all except refugees and deserters and their immediate families. I have also permitted the arms-bearing aliens to come over the lines, at the request of the acting Prussian consul at Savannah.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
J. G. FOSTER,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., August 18, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I sent this day, per steamers Arago and Cosmopolitan, two old regiments, the One hundred and third New York Volunteers and the Seventy-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, with orders to the commanding officers to stop at Fort Monroe, Va., and telegraph from that place their arrival en route to Washington. These regiments number in the aggregate some 1,100 men, but in the effective about 680. Still they are old and well-seasoned troops and well officered. I feel confident that they will accomplish as much as new regiments of much larger size. The Forty-first New York Volunteers left here last night in steamer John Rice, with orders similar to those given to Colonel Heine. I have been obliged to take the Arago off her usual route, as I have at present no other transportation suitable for the purpose of conveying troops outside.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
P. S.-I find that I cannot get the Seventy-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers upon the Arago, owing to the number of discharged convalescent men on board. The Seventy-fourth will be sent on the steamer Cosmopolitan to-night.