mules for the purposes mentioned, but would suggest whether the Treasury Department could not furnish them properly out of the proceeds of the cotton received from Port Royal.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY CORPS,
Port Royal, S. C., March 25, 1862.
To the ADJUTANT-GENERAL U. S. ARMY,
Washington, D. C.:
SIR: Since my letter of the 9th instant, on learning that General Wright, in conformity to my previsious instructions, had detached a regiment from Fernandina to accompany the gunboats to the Saint John's River, and hearing in the mean time of the happy political sentiments prevailing at Saint Augustine, I sent him a dispatch, urgently recommending him to land that force at Picolata, and with it, and as much additional force as he might think it necessary to take, to march upon the rear of that city and take possession of Fort Marion and Saint Augustine Barracks.
It has since appeared, however, that whilst this force was entering the Saint John's and occupying Jacksonville a few gunboats were sent around to the front Saint Augustine with one company of General Wright's command, and that on the appearance of this force Saint Augustine struck the rebel flag and gave up the place to Commodore DuPont.
As the force sent from Fernandina was landed at jacksonville, contrary ot the tenor of my instructions to General Wright, I felt so anxious about how far such a measure would commit me to any operation by land which i might not be prepared, that I proceeded thither, to obtain a thought understanding of the matter.
After thoroughly understanding the political situation of affairs there, and the reign of terror to which the Union men are still subjected, I not only confirmed General Wright's acts, but have increased the force at Jacksonville one regiment. The best information I can give the Department of the situation of affairs in East Florida is the forwarding herewith of a copy of the proceedings of a town meeting held in Jacksonville on the 20th instant and a copy of my proclamation to the people of Easter Florida on the same date. I have the sanguine hope that Florida will soon be regenerated. The force I have in Florida is three companies of infantry at Fort Marion and Saint Augustine Barracks (the Navy have some marines there also), sixteen companies of infantry at Jacksonville, one company of infantry in charge of a battery at the mouth of the Saint John's, one regiment of infantry and two sections of light of light artillery at Fernandina.
The force at Jacksonville was made sufficiently strong to resist any force of the enemy now occupying the railroad to Tallahassee that might be brought against it. It is probable that the artillery at Fernandina, or a portion of it, will be sent there also. Besides, there are three gunboats in the Saint John's River and I believe one or two in Saint Augustine Harbor.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. W. SHERMAN,