Reports and General orders Pertaining to the military history of Florida.
Headquarters Military District of Florida, Camp Milton, May 19, 1864.Captain: The late order to send ‘a good brigade of infantry’ to Richmond with all possible expedition is now being executed. The First, Second and Sixth Florida battalions left here on the 17th inst. The Fourth was stationed in west Florida, and most of the companies were at stations on the Choctawatchie bay and distant from railroad or steamboat transportation. It is supposed to be in motion at this time. It has orders to take steamboat on the Apalachicola river for Columbus and thence by rail to Richmond. Bonaud's battalion was in south Florida at the time the order was received. It had to march over one hundred miles and will not reach the Gulf railroad at Quitman, Ga., for several days to come. It is expected to get to Gainesville by the 21st inst. The major-general commanding is informed that this takes all the infantry force out of this district, leaving the Second Florida cavalry, Fifth battalion of cavalry, Campbell's siege artillery, Villepigue's light battery, and a section of Dunham's light battery, as the whole effective force at my command. Abell's light battery is complete except about forty horses. Dunham's lacks about thirty horses. Under these circumstances I have deemed it proper to remove district headquarters, at least temporarily, to Lake City, and will eventually remove farther west to Madison or Tallahassee for the purpose of being more accessible to all portions of the district and for greater convenience in organizing the reserve forces, upon which we will have to depend in great measure for the defense of important localities. It will not be practicable to carry on offensive operations, either against the regular organized force of the enemy within the district,  or the deserters and disloyals who infest certain remote localities. The best that can be done will be to defend points of greatest importance. With this view I have disposed the cavalry as follows: Hood's battalion and three companies Fifth Florida battalion in middle and west Florida, to picket the coast and operate in the disloyal neighborhoods. The Second Florida cavalry and four companies Fifth battalion Florida cavalry in east Florida, in front of Jacksonville and up the St. John's river on the west side, as high as Fort Butler, for the purpose of keeping observation on the enemy's force in that vicinity. It will be readily perceived that this force is wholly inadequate to the protection of the country, should the enemy see fit to move out from under his gunboats. From any point on the upper St. John's he can make raids into Marion, Sumter and Alachua counties at pleasure. A large negro population and an exaggerated estimate of the supplies in those counties are the inducements for him to visit them. The injury he can inflict by breaking up the operations of our commissary agents in supplying beef cattle from south Florida, will be a serious one and one that should not be overlooked by the government. I would respectfully call the attention of the majorgen-eral commanding to this matter in particular. From the language of the dispatch from the adjutant and inspector-general at Richmond, ordering the infantry out of this district, I think it is evident there must be some misapprehension there as to the available force in Florida. It will be seen that to protect south Florida it is absolutely necessary to prevent the enemy from reaching Baldwin, which is only 20 miles from Jacksonville, where he now has over 3,000 troops. It is also necessary to prevent him crossing over from St. Augustine, where he has about 1,000 troops, to points above the mouth of the Ocklawaha river. Having the advantage of river navigation he can reach any point on the upper St. John's before a force at this point could proceed in the direction to meet him. Therefore it is absolutely necessary to have a force here to protect Baldwin and also a force on the upper St. John's to prevent these raids. Such a force is not now at my command. Indeed, any day when he chooses to do so, the enemy can move out to Baldwin and occupy the place.  I bring these facts to the notice of the major-general commanding, knowing that just at this time he cannot afford a remedy, but hoping that as soon as possible troops may be supplied for the proper defense of these important points. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Capt. H. W. Feilden, Charleston, S. C.Patton Anderson, Major-General.
General orders, no. 32.Headquarters Military District of Florida, Lake City, July 27, 1864.Ordered from this command as unexpectedly as he was ordered to it, the undersigned leaves this for a more active field of duty, and trusts that the recollections entertained of him by the troops of his late command may be as pleasant as those he entertains of them. Fellow-citizens of bygone days, fellow-soldiers of the present, I bid you farewell.Patton Anderson, Major-General.
General orders, no. 33.Lake City, July 27, 1864.Maj.-Gen. Patton Anderson having been relieved from command of this district, the undersigned, by order of Maj.-Gen. Sam Jones, commanding department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, assumes command thereof.John K. Jackson, Brigadier-General.
Milton, July 27, 1864.Dear Colonel: I left here on Saturday morning with two small boats and fifteen men for the mouth of Yellow river. When I arrived there I discovered a small schooner lying about two miles below with her sails down. I landed my men and made way to her and succeeded in capturing her and crew. In a few minutes I discovered another small sail coming up the bay. I secreted myself and men until she came up, and succeeded in getting her and crew. I then sent my boats and prisoners up to camp and took the small schooner and balance of my men and sailed down to East bay, where I was informed that there was a schooner by the name of Osceola anchored out about 4 miles from shore, with five men and some small-arms. I concealed my men in the boat and sailed for her and managed to get to her after dark and succeeded in boarding her. I ordered the crew to surrender;  three made to their guns. I ordered my men to fire on them, which they did and killed the three. The remaining two surrendered. I divided my men on the two schooners and set sail for camp and arrived here yesterday morning. I send up the prisoners to-day and it will be late before they get there, as they will have to foot it up. One of the prisoners can give you all the information that you desire about the yard, and if you will permit me, after the excitement dies off, I will burn the mills on the island. Yours respectfully,
Charleston, August 31, 1864.Gen. S. Cooper: Brig.-Gen. Wm. Miller has reported for duty in Florida. No orders have been received ordering him to report to me, but from the President's letter of the 9th inst. to Governor Milton, it seems the President intends that General Miller shall command the district of Florida. Is that his instruction? If so, I can relieve Brig.-Gen. J. K. Jackson and assign him to other duty.Sam Jones, Major-General.
Special orders, no. 213.Adjutant and Inspector-General's Office, Richmond, September 8, 1864.Brig.-Gen. William Miller, Provisional Army Confederate States, will take command of the reserve forces of the State of Florida. He will complete their organization and place them at once in service. To this end he is authorized to employ all enrolling officers, who are hereby directed to obey his instructions. He will establish his headquarters at such place as he may deem best. Officers of the quartermaster, commissary, ordnance and medical departments, are required to furnish all necessary facilities. All officers from the State of Florida, of the invalid corps and such of the regular forces as are for any reason unassigned, will immediately report to General Miller, who is authorized to assign them temporarily to duty with the reserves.John Withers, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Special orders, no. 231.Richmond, September 30, 1864.Brig.-Gen. J. K. Jackson is relieved from the command of the district of Florida and will report for duty to Maj.-Gen. Sam Jones, commanding in Charleston, S. C. In addition to his other duties Brigadier-General Miller, provisional Army Confederate States, is assigned to the command of the district of Florida, department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. By command of the Secretary of War:
Special orders, no. 250.Charleston, S. C., October 13, 1864.Maj.-Gen J. K. Jackson, provisional Army Confederate States, will report to Maj.-Gen. L. McLaws, commanding district of Georgia and Third Military district of South Carolina, for assignment to duty. By command of Lieutenant-General Hardee:H. W. Feilden, Assistant Adjutant-General.
General orders,. no. 34.Headquarters Military District of Florida, Lake City, August 1, 1864.Until further orders, the headquarters of this district are established at Lake City. The following officers compose the staff of the Brigadier-General commanding: Capt. Wm. G. Barth, assistant adjutant-general; Capt. S. A. Moreno, assistant adjutant-general; Lieut.-Col. W. K. Beard, assistant inspector-general; Maj. H. Goldthwaite, assistant inspector-general; Col. J. W. Robertson, chief engineer; Maj. H. R. Teasdale, chief quartermaster; Maj. A. M. Bryan, quartermaster; Maj. A. B. Noyes, chief of subsistence; Maj. W. C. Sibley, commissary of subsistence; First-Lieut. J. G. Whitsitt, assistant commissary of subsistence; Capt. T. E. Buckman, chief of ordnance; Second Lieut. T. G. Barrett, ordnance officer; Maj. C. B. Gamble, chief surgeon; First Lieut. A. M. Jackson, aide-de-camp. They will be obeyed and respected accordingly. By command of Brig.--Gen. John K. Jackson:Wm. G. Barth, Assistant Adjutant-General.