an act of humanity, as well as good policy, to grant advance payment of bounty. There are funds to the amount of $2,000 in the hands of Lieutenant J. C. Breckinridge, U. S. Army, at Fort Barrancas, sent to him to be disbursed in payment of bounties to recruits at Key West, this State, from the Enrolling Bureau, Washington, D. C., and I would respectfully request that, as a temporary measure, the necessary orders be issued by which these funds may be disbursed by him to the men enrolled here until proper appropriation could be made.
Having no steamer and no other vessel at my disposal to collect the refugees with, I have made use of a private schooner in charge of Captain Galloway, a most reliable, high-minded Union man who has succeeded, in one trip to the East Pass of the bay, in bringing 25 able-bodied men-all his schooner could take. They enlisted at once, and, in addition to those, 33 more, who have found their way through the rebel pickets, at the risk of their lives; of those, 18 have enlisted in Company M, Fourteenth New York Cavalry, and 40 in the Florida regiment.
I have started Captain Galloway on a second trip, and as Captain Gibson commander and senior officer afloat here, has upon my request, ordered the small steamer Bloomer to assist Galloway in bringing down from the East Pass and Choctawhatchee Bay the refugees waiting transportation, I am conflict that he will return in a few days with at least 200 recruits.
Rebel movements in my neighborhood are reported as follows by deserters who came in yesterday: They anticipated an attack from here upon Pollard on Christmas day. There are 2,000 men there, and 200 infantry and 100 cavalry were sent in addition to the former force to Fifteen-Mile Station on the Pensacola Railroad. At Mobile there are two regiments of infantry and one of cavalry. It is generally understood that the men w ill refuse on New Year's day further service. More troops have been sent to Fort Morgan. The two companies of cavalry reported heretofore encamped above Florida Town have been withdrawn, as they made preparations to desert en masse.
From the Perdido, rebel cavalry are continually scouting, approaching our pickets.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, December 28, 1863
Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Department of the Tennessee, Cairo:
GENERAL: It will be seen by the inclosed extracts from letters of the Acting Quartermaster-General, and of quartermasters at New Orleans,* that stores sent from the Upper Mississippi to New Orleans have been stopped at Vicksburg and Natchez, and diverted from their proper destination. Such proceedings are not only culpably improper, but, if continued, will entirely disarrange our system of supplies, produce great suffering and losses, and defeat all plans of military operations.
The Secretary of War directs that you immediately issue the orders necessary to correct the evils complained of, and that you ascertain the