Tribley is at pickets. No negroes come in, nor any one else. I will keep you advised promptly.
T. Seymour, Brigadier-General.
Colonel Henry to fall back to this point. I am destroying all public property here, and shall go back to South-Fork St. Mary's as soon as Henry returns. I have not heard from him since last night, when he was seven miles this side Lake City. I hope he will be in this morning. I am sending a regiment out to meet him. Sanderson cannot be fortified to advantage. I would advise sending Tribley's regiment to Pilatka, and to make it a point to be held permanently.
[F.] [Telegraphic Despatch.]
Baldwin, concentrated at Baldwin without delay. I have information of a mounted force that may trouble your right flank by fording the St. Mary's River. When we landed here, they were eighty miles from Baldwin, on the Albany and Gulf Railroad. You should have scouts well out on your front and right flank. I have sent word to Colonel Tilghman to be on the alert. I think Tribley had better move forward and join you, but you must judge. The locomotive has not yet arrived.
Sanderson, February 18, 1864.General: To leave the South-Fork of the St. Mary's will make it impossible for us to advance again. I have no apprehension of the force you mention. If you can push a part of Goss's force to Dug's Ferry, supported by gunboats, there need be no danger from any thing but annoyance. Henry will go where I have already mentioned. I would like to see you at Baldwin if you can come up. All goes well here, and there are seval operations of importance that can be effected, upon which I should like to consult you.
Heaquarters Department of the South, February 17, 1864.General: The excessive and unexpected delays experienced with regard to the locomotive, Which will not be ready for two days yet, if at all, has compelled me to remain where my command could be fed. Not enough supplies could be accumulated to permit me to execute my intention of moving to the Suwanee River. But I now propose to go without supplies, even if compelled to retrace my steps to procure them, and with the object of so destroying the railroad near the Suwanee, that there will be no danger of carrying away any portion of the track. All troops are therefore being moved up to Barber's, and probably by the time you receive this, I shall be in motion in advance of that point. That a force may not be brought from Georgia (Savannah) to interfere with my movements, it is desirable that a display be made in the Savannah River; and I therefore urge that upon the reception of this, such naval force, transports, sailing vessels, etc., as can be so devoted, may rendezvous near Pulaski, and that the iron-clads in Warsaw push up with as much activity as they can exert. I look upon this as of great importance, and shall rely upon it as a demonstration in my favor. There is reason to believe that General Hardee is in Lake City, now possibly in command, and with some force at his disposal. But nothing is visible this side of Sanderson. Saddles, etc., for mounting the Seventh New-Hampshire as rapidly as possible, are greatly needed, and I shall send a portion of that regiment to this point as soon as it can be spared subsequent to my advance. I have sent for the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts entire, to come to this point. The Tenth Connecticut (eight companies) is to remain at St. Augustine, two companies to go to Picolalia. I shall not occupy Pilatka or Magnolia at this moment; when I do, portions of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts will be sent from Jacksonville. The Fifty-fifth Massachusetts will remain here for the present, or until the Twenty-fourth relieves it. The Second South-Carolina and Third South-Carolina are at Camp Shaw, (late Finnigan,) for instruction and organization. The First North-Carolina will be left at Baldwin, detaching three companies to Barber's. Colonel Barton will have the Forty-seventh, Forty-eighth, and One Hundred and Fifteenth; Colonel Hanlay will have the Seventh Connecticut, Seventh New-Hampshire, and Eighth United States colored; Colonel Montgomery, the Third United States and Fifty-fourth Massachusetts colored; Colonel Henry, the cavalry and Elder's battery, and Captain Hamilton the artillery. As soon as possible, Metcalf's section will be sent back. At present, I should like to use it. Colonel Goss is ordered to keep six companies in motion from Fernandina constantly, and at least five days out of seven (every seven.) toward and beyond Camp Cooper. Nothing appears to have been done upon the locomotive while at Fernandina. So it is reported to me. The prompt use of a locomotive and a printing-press with this movement were of the most vital importance, and will continue so to be. I trust both will be economized. And I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. Seymour, Brigadier-General Commanding.
Brigadier-General S. W. Turner, Chief-of-Staff:Send me a General for the command of the advanced troops, or I shall be in a state of constant uncertainty.