War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0131 Chapter XV. EVACUATION OF JACKSONVILLE, FLA.

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Numbers 2. Report of the Secretary of War to the House of Representation.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, D. C., April 28, 1862.

SIR: In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives, passed on the 24th instant, directing the Secretary of War to communicate to the House all the facts and circumstances within his knowledge in regard to the late evacuation of Jacksonville, Fla., by the troops of the United States, I have the honor respectfully to state that, conceiving it to be the providence of the President to direct this Department what facts in relation to military operations shall be communicated, he instructs me to say that Jacksonville was evacuated by the orders of the commanding general of that department for reasons which it is not deemed compatible with the public interest at present to disclose.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

Honorable GALUSHA A. GROW,

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Numbers 3. Report of Colonel W. S. Dilworth, commanding District of Middle and East Florida.

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF EAST AND MIDDLE FLORIDA,

Tallahassee, Fla., April 15, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report to the commanding general the evacuation of Jacksonville by the enemy, which was done on the 9th instant.

When the enemy first occupied Jacksonville, and while all the Florida troops were retreating in confusion and disorder, I, as colonel of the Third Regiment Florida Volunteers, ordered a part of my regiment to advance in the direction of Jacksonville, and took a position within 10 miles of the city, with only 250 effective men. Soon I had eight companies of my regiment with me. After making a thorough reconnaissance of the city, I became convinced that I could not attack the city without heavy loss and could be driven out by the enemy's gunboats. I then determined to commence a system of annoyances, by attacking their pickets, foraging parties, &c. I made a successful attack on the picket near the city of Jacksonville, killing 4 and taking 3 prisoners, when I was ordered to take command of the district. Colonel Davis was then ordered to the command of the forces near Jacksonville, and has most successfully carried on the system which I commenced, and which has resulted in their evacuation of the place. Colonel Davis I regard as an efficient officer, and commenced him to your favorable consideration.

I have further to report that after the evacuation the enemy returned, under a flag of truce, and were permitted to land 52 negroes, which were taken in charge by the commander of the post.

I inclose a list of prisoners taken near Jacksonville, and ask instructions as to what disposition will be made of them.