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[12] and probably with troops, as it was observed to be more quiet on the adjacent islands (less drumming and firing of small arms) than usual, I gave Major-General Gilmer, at Savannah, immediate notification of the fact, with instructions to keep strict watch in the direction of Warsaw Sound and the Ossabaw. At the same time orders were given to the proper staff-officers to hold means of transportation by rail in readiness on the Charleston and Savannah railroad. An increase of the tents of the enemy on Tybee island was also reported. On the 16th of January, I repaired in person to Savannah, in which quarter I apprehended some operations might be looked for. I remained in the District of Georgia inspecting the troops and works until the 3d February, when, there being no indication of any movement of the enemy in that direction, I returned to Charleston, leaving with Major-General Gilmer orders to hold the Sixty-Fourth Georgia volunteers, the First Florida battallion and a light battery in readiness to be sent to Florida at short notice. On the 7th of February (received 8th), Brigadier-General Finnegan reported by telegraph that five gunboats and two transports of the enemey had made their appearance in the St. Johns, within five miles of Jacksonville, and on the next day announced the arrival at Jacksonville of eighteen vessels-gunboats and transports — the landing of the enemy, presumed in large force, and an immediate advance on the night of the 7th February. General Gilmer was at once ordered to put in motion, to report to General Finnegan, all the troops he had been previously ordered to hold in readiness for such an emergency. General Gardner, commanding in Middle Florida, was telegraphed to send to the imperilled quarter, with all possible celerity, every soldier he could spare. Colquitt's brigade was ordered from James' island to Savannah with a light battery; General Finnegan was advised of what was done, and instructed to do what he could with his means to hold the enemy at bay, and to prevent the capture of slaves; and at the same time I reported to you this hostile movement and my intention to repel it, as far as practicable, with infantry to be drawn from Charleston and Savannah, but requested, in consequence of the very recent discharge of some five thousand South Carolina militia, that other troops should be sent to take their places and avoid danger to Charleston and Savannah. Scarcely had Colquitt's brigade began to move when the enemy, in anticipation, doubtless, of my attempt to reinforce Finnegan, made a strong demonstration on Johns's island. Though assured of the purpose of this movement, it assumed, however, so serious a form as to compel me to divert, temporarily, General Colquitt's and three and a half regiments of his brigade, to reinforce

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