War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0239 Chapter XV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, EXPED'Y CORPS,

Fernandina, Fla., March 7, 1862.

General THOMAS W. SHERMAN,

Commanding Expeditionary Corps, Hilton Head, S. C.:

GENERAL: After consultation with the flag-officer, it has been determined to send an expedition to the Saint John's River, to consist of several gunboats and a portion of the land force, and it is directed to start to-morrow morning. The troops will consist of eight companies of the Fourth New Hampshire Regiment, under the command of Colonel T. J. Whipple.

From all that can be gathered in the way of information, it is believed that a portion, at any rate, of the guns removed from this place previous to our arrival have been taken to Jacksonville, or some point below on the river; that the enemy has a battery at the mouth of the river, another at Saint John's Bluff, and that a third has been commenced at Dame's Point. To destroy these batteries, take possession of the guns, and capture Jacksonville are the objects of the expedition.

It is agreed by Flag-Officer DuPont and myself that the permanent occupation of Jacksonville at this time would not be judicious, nor do I think it in accordance with the spirit of your instructions of the 27th ultimo. I accordance with the spirit of your instructions of the 27th ultimo. If has therefore been determined that, while it may be desirable to land and occupy Jacksonville or other points for a few hours for purposes of reconnaissance or other necessary service, the troops shall be withdrawn an return with the gunboats when this shall have been accomplished.

The McClellan, which did not reach this place till yesterday, will go back to Hilton Head to-morrow, with orders to report to you. The marines, at the request of the flag-officer, return in her. The Star of the South will probably start for Hilton Head to-morrow.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. G. WRIGHT,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, EXPED'Y CORPS,

Fernandina, Fla., March 7, 1862.

Colonel THOMAS J. WHIPPLE,

Commanding Fourth New Hampshire Regiment:

COLONEL: After having embarked the eight companies of your regiment on board the steamer Boston, in pursuance of the verbal instructions given you this evening, you will proceed with the gunboats expedition to the Saint John's River, under the command of Commander J. R. Goldsborough, and co-operate with that officer in the objects of the expedition.

It is understood between the flag-officer commanding the naval forces and myself that neither Jacksonville nor any point upon the river below is to be permanently occupied by our forces; but it may be desirable to land at one or more of these points, for the purpose of reconnaissance or other desirable service, and occupy them for a few hours only, returning, of course, with the gunboats to this place when this shall have been accomplished.

You will place yourself in official relation with Captain Goldsborough, commanding the naval force, who is now off the John's entrance,