GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. PROV. FORCES, DEPT. E. AND M. FLA., No. 17. Tallahassee, April 18, 1862.
(Received at Richmond, Va., May 1, 1862.)
The undersigned having been appointed brigadier-general in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, and assigned by Special Order, No. 81, from the Secretary of War, to the Department of East and Middle Florida, hereby assumes command of the same.
The undersigned calls upon officers of all grades to aid him in suppressing the vice of intemperance in the army. Duty to the soldier and the service requires that this should be done at once.
The medical director and the officers of the medical department are hereby required to institute inquiries in reference to the cause of the large percentage of sickness among the troops at present, and these officers are earnestly required to adopt the most efficient measures for the comfort and convenience of the sick soldier under their charge.
Captain J. L. Cross, C. S. Army, is hereby temporarily placed on duty as assistant adjutant-general.
Major H. R. Teasdale, brigade quartermaster.
Major A. A. Canova, brigade commissary.
Captain T. E. Buckman, temporarily as chief of ordnance.
Lieutenant J. O. A. Gerry, temporarily as mustering officer.
These officers will be respected and obeyed accordingly in their respective departments.
By order of-
Richmond, Va., April 19, 1862.
Brigadier General JOSEPH FINEGAN,
Commanding Department of Florida, Tallahassee, Fla.:
GENERAL: By direction of the general commanding I have the honor to say that it is not in his power, not knowing the strength of your command or the particular necessities of your department at this time, to give definite instructions for your government. The defense of the interior of the State and the lines of interior communication should be the subject of your particular attention. The rivers Apalachicola and Saint John's are of primary importance, and the most eligible points for their defense should be at once taken, if not already selected, and fortified. It is not presumed, from present appearances or from any object likely to be attained, that the enemy will occupy Florida in force.
You should, however, preserve a sufficient body of troops for the purposes above mentioned, and also to give protection to any arms, munitions, &c., that may be run into any port or that may be necessary to transport by land. Except to give protection to the arms, &c., it will not be prudent to expose a force on the sea-board. Having these objects in view, the general commanding desires you to inform him whether you will be able to spare any troops from your command for service in other parts of the Confederacy.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. A. WASHINGTON,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.