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Doc. 92.-escape of the Florida. Report of Commander Preble. United States sloop-of-war St. Louis, Funchal roads, Madeira, March 1, 1 1/2 A. M., 1864. sir: The Florida has succeeded in getting to sea. I shall follow at once, though hopeless of catching her out of port. Nelson said, the want of frigates in his squadron would be found impressed on his heart. I am sure the want of steam will be found engraven on mine. Had the St. Louis been a steamer, I would have anchored alongsidey men have been wild to fight, and I drew the shot from my guns the day she came in, fearing that in their excitement they would fire into her without orders, and break the neutrality of this port. One thing is certain, the Florida does not intend to fight unless the chances are largely in her favor, for she skulked away from the old St. Louis. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Geo. Henry Preble, Commander U. S. N. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.