Certain prominent facts attracted our attention at each place we visited. Perhaps the most noticeable was the utter destitution of the people. In many places flour had not been seen for months, the poorer classes subsisting almost entirely upon the meanest quality of corn mean. Another was the odiousness of the conscript law and the means employed to enforce it, as if, after being reduced to a state of destitution through the agency of organized bands of outlaws, men at last might be induced to enter the rebel service to escape the alternative of starvation. We met large numbers flying to the protection of the Federal Army, and at each place visited by us, without exsection, we were besought by men and women for passage to New Orleans. At several places we were asked to leave troops for their protection against their professed friends.
Though the langible results of our expedition may seem small I have no doubts of its good effect. For more than a week we have hunted guerrillas at every point where we could hear of them. Nearly every day we have invited them to a fair engagement distant from our support. On each occasion we obtained only dissolving view of them. Authorized and commissioned as they are, they are actuated by no motive but plunder. They fight only from ambuscade, and war indiscriminately upon friend and foe. The conduct of officers and men during the whole expedition has been most creditable.
I am especially indebted to Captain Holcomb, whose large experience in service of this character has been of great assistance to me. Lieutentant Buchanan was untiring in his efforts to promote the comfort of the men while on board his boat. Any comment upon his bearing in action would be superfluous.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRANK H. PECK,
Major Twelfth Regiment Conn. Vols., Comdg. Expedition.
Captain R. S. DAVIS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Dept. of the Gulf.
AUGUST 7-10, 1862.-Reconnaissances from Pensacola to Bagdad and Milton, Fla.
Reports of Captain Alexander N. Shipley, U. S. Army, commanding expedition.
PENSACOLA, FLA., August 11, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders received from these headquarters in West Florida, I left this place with the following command, viz: Asst. Surg. De Witt C. Peters, U. S. Army, and First Lieutenant J. Schuyler Crosby, First Artillery, aide-de-camp to the general commanding, and Companies A and B, Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers. The officers of these companies present were Captain Burgress, First Lieutentant Latham, and Second Lieutentant Mathews, of Company A. (This company represented 71 enlisted men.) Company B was commanded by Captain Denslow. His junior officer was First Lieutentant Vangieson. (Sixty-nine enlisted men of this company reported for duty.)
At 8 o'clock on the evening of the 7th instant we left the dock and proceeded up the bay to within about 2 miles of the town of Bagdad, which is distant from this place some 28 miles. Here we remained until