ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Tallahassee, Fla., October 30, 1861.
His Excellency JOHN MILTON,
Governor of Florida:
SIR: In obedience to your instructions of the 16th instant, requiring me to visit Fernandina and report to you the condition of the defenses at that place, I have the honor to submit the following, viz:
The defenses consist of a sand and pametto-log battery of eight guns, all mounted, to wit: Five 32-pounders, two 24-pounders (smooth bore), and one rifled 6-inch gun on a ship carriage. This battery I conceive to be very injudiciously arranged, having 24-pounders, 32-pounders, and rifled guns all in the same battery in barbette, except that two of the 32-pounders are partially masked by slight traverses on the parapet. These traverses confine the filed of fire seaward to about 15 deg. These guns are all placed on a straight line, except the rifled gun, which is placed just in rear of the left gun, and when fired its direction will be obliquely over the short-range guns, thereby endangering the men at these guns, and at the same time drawing the fire of the enemy on the whole battery long before they come within the reach of the 24-pounders and 32-pounders. There is also one 24-pounder and two 32-pounders unmounted at Fort Clinch, and one 8-inch columbiad landed at the wharf at Fernandina on the 27th instant.
The weather during my visit was so stormy as to render it impossible for me to visit Colonel Holland's camp at the south end of the island, 18 miles distant; neither did I witness the drill of the troops in the immediate vicinity of Fernandina for the same reason; but the idea formed by seeing the men and officers abut the steeds was anything but favorable to their discipline, having seen several staggering through the streets on the Sabbath day. They are sadly in want of an efficient commander and a good drill-master for both artillery and infantry. I learned that Colonel Holland had not yet located his permanent camp at the south end of the island; neither had any breastworks been thrown up, he having but a few days before moved to that point. His command consists of four companies of artillery, with four brass 6-pounders, 500 6-pound balls, and 75 grape and canister, and 500 cannon friction tubes -his men are armed with muskets and carbines - 4,000 caps, and a lot of balls. Of ammunition, as far as I could learn, there are 300 32-pounder caps, 500 cannon friction tubes, 770 32-pound balls, 80 32-pound shells, 100 rounds of shell and fixed ammunition for the 32-pounder rifled gun, 90 24-pound balls, 12,000 ball and buck-shot cartridges, 2,000 caps (the latter - balls and caps - delivered to the officer in command of the fort), 7,000 caps still in possession of General Finegan. The above constitutes, as far as I could learn, all the ammunition on the island.
There are at this time seven companies on the island, one of which is a cavalry company and the others are infantry. These are exclusive of the four companies belonging to Colonel Holland's battalion of artillery. This battalion has never been mustered into either State or Confederate service, but an order for them to be furnished with the requisite arms and equipments issued by General grayson has been forwarded to Richmond, showing the amount necessary to place this battalion in condition for active and efficient service.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. L. DANCY,
Adjutant and Inspector General.