y 30, 1864.
Admiral: I regret to have to report the capture of the Columbine by the rebels on Monday, the twenty-third instant, and under the following circumstances:
By the enclosed communications you will perceive that two of our posts on the east side of the St. John's, left by General Birney, were captured by the enemy; and another, consisting of fifty men at Volusia, was in imminent danger of being captured.
Information was received by General Gordon, at 11.40 P. M. of the twenty-first instant, who immediately asked my assistance in trying to save the post at Volusia.
Upon consultation with the General, it was deemed by us advisable to send the Ottawa and Columbine up the St. John's — the former to go as far up the river as the depth of water would admit, and the latter to proceed to Volusia with all despatch, to assist the troops at that point, and also to prevent the enemy from recrossing to the west bank of the St. John's.
General Gordon embarked his troops in the Ch