The steamboat Turel, which we had been using as a transport, was sent up the Escambia River, shave being of very light draught, well loaded with stores, machinery, &c., with orders to cut down trees and place every obstruction possible in the river behind her. She has arrived safely at a point I deem beyond the enemy's reach, and shaw has been unloaded of her freight. The casemates and galleys of Fort McRee were filled with old lumber and many loaded with shell and fired. The galleries and implement rooms at Barrancas were similarly dealt with, and the destruction at both places was as complete as it could be without the use of gunpowder. This I did not deem it necessary or proper to use the have more complete. There was no damage done by it ot man or house.
When it is remembered that all this work has been done by a mere handful of raw troops, with but few arms, and many of them without any arms at all, and this, too, in the very face of a formidable force, I deem it but simple justice to my men to say that the conduct of each and all of them was worthy of the hingest praise. it not infrequently happened that after standing guard all night they cheerfully labored all the next day and night. I have not room to make distinctions where all did so well, but I feel constrained to make particular mention of Captain J. H. Nelson, of the Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiment, who commanded at Fort McRee, the most exposed and dangerous point; Major Kilpatrick, who commanded at the navy-yard, and Lieutenant-Colonel [J. F.] Conoley, who commanded at Pensacola. These gentlemen deserve the greatest credit for their zeal and watchfulness in the management of their respective stations. I feel that I am also authorized in saying of the Twenty-seventh, under Captain Hays, that during the frequent and terrible alarms, so unavoidable with new troops, it was always cool and ready for serious work.
The unwearied exertions, both night and day, of my personal staff officers have received my personal thanks, and I feel called upon to remark that they deserve great credit, as they were so zealous and unremitting in their exertions to assist me in carrying out my orders and of serving the county, that I frequently had to insist on their taking rest, for fear that they would completely wear themselves down.
On the completion of my work I proceeded to rejoin my army at Oakfield, 6 miles north of Pensacola, on the railroad, leaving five companies of cavalry,in command of Captain J. T. [F. J?] Myers, an efficient and daring officer, to watch the enemy's movements.
The next morning I proceeded, with the Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiment, to Mobile, leaving Lieutenant-Colonel Conoley, with the Twenty-ninth Alabama Regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel Tullen, with five companies of Florida Volunteers, two of which companies were armed, to guard the railroad while the iron was being removed.
I regret to acknowledge the receipt of a telegraphic dispatch from the honorable Secretary of War, dated subsequent to my evacuation, directing me not to burn the houses in the navy-yard. I received one from him the day before the evacuation, directing me to spare all private dwellings not useful to the enemy for war purposes, which was done.
The first-named dispatch reached me after my arrival in the city.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. M. JONES,
Acting Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.
Brigadier General JOHN H. FORNEY
Commanding Department of Alabama and West Florida.