troops away by sea to Hilton Head
, and continued to do so until the 12th of May, when it was estimated that 8,000 Federal soldiers had been withdrawn from Jacksonville
Meanwhile, Major-General Anderson
was directed by the commanding general
to transfer to Savannah
the Eleventh and Eighteenth South Carolina volunteers, Twenty-sixth and Fifty-ninth Virginia and Sixty-fourth Georgia regiments, this depletion of our forces being unavoidable in consequence of orders from the war department transferring a large number of troops from South Carolina
to Wilmington, N. C.
Owing to the continued call for troops for the army in Virginia
, other orders rapidly followed, and by May 8, 1864, nearly all the troops that had been sent to reinforce our Florida
forces had been sent away.
All the cavalry and part of the infantry and artillery marched across the country from Camp Milton through Georgia
, by the most expeditious route to Savannah
under the circumstances.
On account of the removal of these troops from the State
, the most vigorous preparations were made to so dispose of our forces that the middle and eastern portions of the State
could be guarded and protected against raiding expeditions.
Orders were issued to every department to be on guard and ready for every hostile demonstration.
Lieut. C. B. Dyke
was ordered to report at Camp Milton without delay with the section of Gamble
's battery under his command, and Lieut. Mortimer Bates
, with one section of artillery from Captain Dunham
's battery, was ordered to report to Captain Dickison
Our forces at this crisis were scarcely sufficient for a vigorous defense against a large invading force, and the utmost caution and vigilance were required.
Sections of Gamble
's and Abell
's batteries were held in middle Florida
awaiting the attacks which from indications were imminent.
On the west side of the Chattahoochee river
the country was guarded by two detachments