War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0228 COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND MID. AND EAST FLA. Chapter XXVI.

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that the enemy are certainly in large force in Jacksonville; that they are negroes, with white commissioned officers, company and field, and generally mulatto non-commissioned officers. From the best information that we can gather there may be 4,000 negroes now in the place, with perhaps one company of white troops. That they are expecting re-enforcements and have strongly fortified the place, and made of them all he trees, of which there were a great number, and made of them barricades and abatis; that they have posted field pieces in all the streets and covering the approaches, and have burned the houses from the river out beyond the suburbs of the town, so as to enable them to sweep with their heavy guns the whole country in rear and on either side of the place. They keep five boats with guns of long range in front and on the sides of the town, thus enabling them from the conformation of the ground to cover the country for several miles. The object of these formidable preparations, as we gather from our people who have been allowed to come out and as indicated by the probabilities of the case, is to hold the town of Jacksonville and then to advance up the Saint John's in their gunboats and establish another secure position higher up the river, whence they may entice the slaves. That the entire negro population of East Florida will be lost and the country ruined there cannot be a doubt, unless the means of holding the Saint John's River are immediately supplied. The next movement of the enemy will be to Palatka, and it may be to-day or to-morrow, and will necessitate the division of the force here concentrated. In a short time a similar landing may be effected in the vicinity of Fernandina and another division of the force required. It is impossible to do anything of importance unless I obtain the mans asked for. All positions on the river, with the superior weight and number of the enemy's guns, are untenable with the means which I possess. I hope the commanding general will be able to supply me with the means absolutely necessary for the preservation of the people of this district. With the four siege guns asked for I can drive off the enemy's gunboats preparatory to an attack on the town.

I am to-day advised that the regiment of white troops in Saint Augustine have been ordered to re-enforce the enemy at Jacksonville. It is more probable, however, that they will proceed to Palatka, which is an easy march of 30 miles, through an open country, and there establish themselves. With the means at my command I shall not be able to prevent it.

To appreciate the danger of the permanent establishment of these posts of negro troops on the Saint John's River I respectfully submit to the commanding general that a consideration of the topography of the country will exhibit the fact that the entire planting interest of East Florida lies within easy communication of the river; that intercourse will immediately commence between negroes on the plantations and those in the enemy's service; that this intercourse will be conducted through swamps and under cover of the night, and cannot be prevented. A few weeks will suffice to corrupt the entire slave population of East Florida.

I herewith transmit a copy of an address which I deemed it my duty to publish to the people of the State; and which I trust will meet the approval of the commanding general; also a copy of general orders, complimentary to the conduct of officers and men of this command in the two skirmishes of the 11th instant.

The whole force which I am able to concentrate at this point, after leaving exposed many important points, will be less than 1,000 men (of