remain here for the present or until the Twenty-fourth relieves it. The Second South Carolina and Third U. S. Colored Troops are at Camp Shaw (late Finegan) for instruction and organization. The First North Carolina will be left at Baldwin, detaching three companies to Barber's. Colonel Barton will have the Forty-seventh, Forty-eighth, and One hundred and fifteenth; Colonel Hawley will have the Seventh Connecticut, Seventh New Hampshire, and Eighth U. S. Colored Troops; Colonel Montgomery the Third United States and the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts; Colonel Henry the cavalry and Elder's battery; Captain Hamilton the artillery. As soon as possible Metcalf's section will be sent back; at present I should like to use it. Colonel Guss is ordered to keep six companies in motion from Fernandina constantly, and at least five days out of seven (every seven) toward and beyond Camp Cooper. Nothing appears to have been done upon the locomotive while at Fernandina, so it is reported to me. The prompt use of a locomotive and of a printing press with this movement were of the most vital importance, and will continue so to be. I trust both will soon be economized.
And I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., February 18, 1864.
Brigadier General T. SEYMOUR,
Commanding District of Florida, &c.:
I am just in receipt of your two letters of the 16th and one of the 17th, and am very much surprised at the tone of the latter and the character of your plans as therein stated. You say that by the time your letter of the 17th should reach these headquarters your forces would be in motion beyond Barber's moving toward the Suwannee River, and that you shall rely on my making a display upon the Savannah River, with "naval forces, transports, sailing vessels," and with iron-clads up from Wassaw, &c., as a demonstration in your favor, which you look upon "as of great importance." All this is upon the presumption that the demonstration can and will be made; although contingent not only upon my power and disposition to do so, but upon the consent of Admiral Dahlgren, with whom I cannot communicate in less than two days. You must have forgotten my last instructions, which were for the present to hold Baldwin and the Saint Mary's South Fork, as your outposts to the westward of Jacksonville, and to occupy Palatka, Magnolia, on the Saint John's. Your project distinctly and avowedly ignores these operations and substitutes a plan which not only involves your command in a distant movement, without provisions, far beyond a point from which you once withdrew on account of precisely the same necessity, but presupposes a simultaneous demonstration of "great importance" to you elsewhere, over which you have no control, and which requires the co-operation of the navy. It is impossible for me to determine what your views are with respect to Florida matters, and this is the reason why I have endeavored to make mine known to you so fully. From your letter of the 11th instant, from