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our obedient servant, Q. A. Gillmore, Major-General Commanding. Official despatches. [A.] headquarters Department of the South, Hilton head, S. C., Feb. 5, 1864, 9 P. M. Brigadier-General T. Seymour: General: You will start your command so as, if possible, to get the bulk of it at sea before daybreak. Steamers that have tows should be started as soon as they are ready. The whole are to rendezvous at the mouth of St. John's River by daybreak day after to-morrow morning, the seventh instant. I expect to be there in person at that time, but should I fail from any cause, you are expected to pass the bar on the Sunday morning's high-tide, ascend the river to Jacksonville, effect a landing with your command, and push forward a mounted force as far as Baldwin at the junction of the two railroads. The armed transport Harriet A. Weed has been ordered forward to buoy out the St. John's channel, and then await orders. It is not expected that the enemy has any strong force to opp
Florida to her allegiance, in accordance with instructions which I had received from the President by the hands of Major John Hay, Assistant Adjutant-General. On February fifth, I directed General Seymour, whose command was already embarked, to go to Jacksonville, Florida, effect a landing there, and push forward his mounted force to Baldwin, twenty miles from Jacksonville, the junction of the two railroads from Jacksonville and Fernandina. A portion of the command reached Baldwin on the ninth, at which point I joined it on the evening of the same day. At that time the enemy had no force in East-Florida, except the scattered fragments of General Finnigan's command; we had taken all his artillery. On the tenth, a portion of our forces were sent toward Sanderson, and I returned to Jacksonvillle. Telegraphic communication was established between Baldwin and Jacksonville on the eleventh. On that day I telegraphed to General Seymour not to risk a repulse, on advancing on Lake City,
d was already embarked, to go to Jacksonville, Florida, effect a landing there, and push forward his mounted force to Baldwin, twenty miles from Jacksonville, the junction of the two railroads from Jacksonville and Fernandina. A portion of the command reached Baldwin on the ninth, at which point I joined it on the evening of the same day. At that time the enemy had no force in East-Florida, except the scattered fragments of General Finnigan's command; we had taken all his artillery. On the tenth, a portion of our forces were sent toward Sanderson, and I returned to Jacksonvillle. Telegraphic communication was established between Baldwin and Jacksonville on the eleventh. On that day I telegraphed to General Seymour not to risk a repulse, on advancing on Lake City, but to hold Sanderson, unless there were reasons for falling back which I did not know, and also, in case his advance met with any serious opposition, to concentrate at Sanderson and the south fork of the St. Mary's, and,
of General Finnigan's command; we had taken all his artillery. On the tenth, a portion of our forces were sent toward Sanderson, and I returned to Jacksonvillle. Telegraphic communication was established between Baldwin and Jacksonville on the eleventh. On that day I telegraphed to General Seymour not to risk a repulse, on advancing on Lake City, but to hold Sanderson, unless there were reasons for falling back which I did not know, and also, in case his advance met with any serious oppositio which requires the cooperation of the navy. It is impossible for me to determine what your views are with respect to Florida matters, and this is the reason why I have endeavored to make mine known to you so fully. From your letter of the eleventh instant, from Baldwin, (a very singular letter by the way, and which you did not modify or refer to at all when you afterward saw me,) I extract as follows: I am convinced that a movement upon Lake City is not, in the present condition of tran
ksonvillle. Telegraphic communication was established between Baldwin and Jacksonville on the eleventh. On that day I telegraphed to General Seymour not to risk a repulse, on advancing on Lake City, but to hold Sanderson, unless there were reasons for falling back which I did not know, and also, in case his advance met with any serious opposition, to concentrate at Sanderson and the south fork of the St. Mary's, and, if necessary, to bring back Colonel Henry to the latter place. On the twelfth, General Seymour informed me from Sanderson that he should fall back to the south fork of the St. Mary's as soon as Colonel Henry, whom he had ordered back from the front, had returned. On the same day I telegraphed to General Seymour that I wanted his command at and beyond Baldwin concentrated at Baldwin without delay, for reasons which I gave him. General Seymour joined me at Jacksonville on the fourteenth, the main body of his command being at that time at Baldwin as directed. He had,
ary's, and, if necessary, to bring back Colonel Henry to the latter place. On the twelfth, General Seymour informed me from Sanderson that he should fall back to the south fork of the St. Mary's as soon as Colonel Henry, whom he had ordered back from the front, had returned. On the same day I telegraphed to General Seymour that I wanted his command at and beyond Baldwin concentrated at Baldwin without delay, for reasons which I gave him. General Seymour joined me at Jacksonville on the fourteenth, the main body of his command being at that time at Baldwin as directed. He had, however, sent Colonel Henry toward the left to capture some railroad trains at Gainesville on the Fernandina and Cedar Keys Railroad. After arranging with General Seymour for the construction of certain defences at Jacksonville, Baldwin, and the south fork of the St. Mary's, I started for Hilton Head on the fifteenth, leaving behind me Captain Reese of the Engineers, to give the necessary instructions for
d trains at Gainesville on the Fernandina and Cedar Keys Railroad. After arranging with General Seymour for the construction of certain defences at Jacksonville, Baldwin, and the south fork of the St. Mary's, I started for Hilton Head on the fifteenth, leaving behind me Captain Reese of the Engineers, to give the necessary instructions for the defences referred to. I considered it well understood at that time between General Seymour and myself that no advance should be made without further icksonville, after considerable delay, due to the inclemency of the weather, he learned that General Seymour was engaged with the enemy in front, near Olustee, forty-eight miles from Jacksonville by railroad. When I left Jacksonville on the fifteenth ult., I was entirely satisfied with the success of our operations up to that time. I briefly communicated to you my plans with regard to Florida in my letter of February fifteenth, from which I extract as follows: General Seymour's advance
instructions for the defences referred to. I considered it well understood at that time between General Seymour and myself that no advance should be made without further instructions from me, nor until the defences were well advanced. On the eighteenth I was greatly surprised at receiving a letter from General Seymour, dated the seventeenth, stating that he intended to advance without supplies, in order to destroy the railroad near the Savannah River, one hundred miles from Jacksonville. Itter from Lieutenant Eddy. of the Third Rhode Island battery, who participated in the late battle in Florida. It is dated on board the hospital steamer Cosmopolitan, in Port Royal harbor, February twenty-second: On Thursday morning, the eighteenth, we left our camps at Jacksonville in light-marching order, with ten days rations. We marched all day, and, as the roads were bad, we made only sixteen miles, when we halted for the night. On Friday morning, the nineteenth, we started early,
ursday morning, the eighteenth, we left our camps at Jacksonville in light-marching order, with ten days rations. We marched all day, and, as the roads were bad, we made only sixteen miles, when we halted for the night. On Friday morning, the nineteenth, we started early, and marching all day, made seventeen miles, stopping over night at a small place called Barber's. On Saturday morning, the twentieth, at seven o'clock, we started once more for a place called Lake City, thirty-six miles distacksonville, the eighteenth February, he expected to fight a battle near Lake City, the twenty-first, and not before. This impression seems to have seized his mind, and clung to it with the force of fatality. When he left Barber's early on the nineteenth, he was told that he would meet a large force which would drive him back again. Native Floridians insisted that, near Olustee, Finnigan and Gardner had collected an army much larger than our own. All these statements seemed to make no impressi
ctions given to Brigadier-General T. Seymour, relative to operations in Florida prior to the fight at Olustee on the twentieth ultimo. A brief narrative of events connected with the recent occupation of Florida, west of the St. John's River, will no marching all day, made seventeen miles, stopping over night at a small place called Barber's. On Saturday morning, the twentieth, at seven o'clock, we started once more for a place called Lake City, thirty-six miles distant, which, if we had succeeo defend the pasture-yard and shambles of the Confederacy from the invasion of the Union army. On the morning of the twentieth, at about nine o'clock, the troops set out to find the enemy, moving in three lines, almost parallel to the road. It wtherefore give you a short history of the part the Eighth regiment had in the slaughter at Olustee, Florida, on the twentieth instant, and will then allow you and the committee to judge whether colored men are the poltroons which their enemies tried
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