ber of surgeons and chaplains whom they had held in custody. This is the result of the correspondence which I had with General Samuel Jones, showing him that these persons were to be considered non-combatants. General Jones has also sent over the lines, without exchange, 2 enlisted men, a sergeant and a private, who were captured at Port Royal Ferry under the following circumstances:
The rebel pickets at that point called our pickets to send over a boat for them, as they wanted to desert. The sergeant in command of our pickets, credulously believing them, went in a boat with 1 man, and upon their arrival on the opposite shore were taken prisoners and the boat seized.
General Jones returns them without exchange, with the remark that "they were captured under circumstances which he cannot approve." General Jones refuses to allow our officers, prisoners of war, to take charge of supplies for our prisoners at Charleston and Savannah, but says he will insure their faithful delivery. He has no jurisdiction over the prisoners at Andersonville, and therefore declines to entertain that part of the proposition. I inclose a copy of the letter.*
The health of the department is growing rapidly worse. The number of sick in hospital in increasing, and a large number of the officers have to be furnished with sick leave to prevent permanent disability. I have no idea, however, that it is more than the usual malarious epidemic and disease peculiar to the climate this season of the year. It will not enfeeble the strength of the command beyond a proper limit of strength. I can get along very well with the force I now have until the enemy's strength is very much increased.
I have been forced to almost entirely stop the fire upon Fort Sumter for want of ammunition, the requisitions upon the ordnance department having been entirely unfilled, and, on the contrary, large orders having been received to send ammunition from this department to Fort Monroe. We had reached a point in the demolition of the fort beyond which the enemy could not have held out many weeks in their occupancy. Since the gradual cessation of fire they have exerted every effort to pile earth upon the parts which were being laid bare by the force of our fire.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully,
J. G. FOSTER,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., September 6, 1864.
It having been officially reported to these headquarters that quite a number of small boats and dugouts are now in the hands of, and used by, both white persons and negroes in this department,there force, in order to carry our more fully the provisions of General Orders, 122, current series, from these headquarters, and to prevent the possibility of said boats and dugouts from being used for the purpose of carrying deserters or smuggling goods to the enemy, it is hereby ordered:
I. That all small boats, of whatever description, now in the hands of any person in this department, not used for military purposes by
*See p. 257.
18 R R-VOL XXXV, PT II