to explain to your officers that cooked provisions must not be allowed to become stale, but consumed from day to day and replaced by freshly cooked rations.
The pickets will be charged to use redoubled vigilance. Spies should be actively employed to procure information, and you are authorized to pay them well. Re-enforcements, if required, will be two forward if practicable, say 2,000 from this place, 1,000 from General Hagood's command, and 2,000 from Savannah. And in this connection the general desires to be informed of the point upon which you think re-enforcements should be concentrated. It is more than probable that Mitchel's immediate object will be either to cut the Charleston and Savannah Railroad at its most vulnerable point or a raid to collect cotton and negroes wheresoever most accessible.
He is known to be more fussy than dangerous and addicted to predatory excursions.
Respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,
Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. PROV. FORCES, DIST. OF EAST AND MID. FLA.,
Tallahassee, October 14, 1862.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,
Chief of Staff:
SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding, that I have in service in this district but ten companies of cavalry (not yet organized into a regiment), five companies of Partisan Rangers, nine companies of infantry, and two companies of light artillery, a force wholly inadequate for the proper defense of the State. During the summer months no apprehension of invasion was entertained, and I consequently, when called on by the department, sent out of the State in less than ninety days one regiment of cavalry, six regiments of infantry, two independent companies of cavalry, and one independent company of artillery, all Florida troops. Three of the companies enumerated above are still serving west of the Apalachicola River, General Forney having made no provision to supply their place since that portion of the State has been attached to his department.
The troops in this district are stationed from Tampa Bay to the Apalachicola River on the Gulf, and from Fernandina to Jacksonville and Palatka on the Saint John's, covering exposed points. At no place have I sufficient force to resist invasion even by a moderate force. Recently an important position on the Saint John's River was evacuated by the officer in command because he did not consider he had sufficient force to resist what he considered an overwhelming force of the enemy. I asked for a regiment to sustain the battery on the river immediately after it was erected, which was not furnished. The two Georgia regiments did not arrive in time to present the disaster. The officer had 700 men, and I consider it a great error of judgment in his abandoning the position. I would have been present myself if he had half the place five hours longer. The enemy did not approach the battery by land for twenty hours after the evacuation.
I respectfully request that at least two or three regiments be ordered to this district at the earliest day practicable.
I have the honor to be, general, &c.,