War of the Rebellion: Serial 065 Page 0293 Chapter XLVII. THE FLORIDA EXPEDITION.

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On the 14th of January, 1864, General Gillmore, in a confidential dispatch of that date, informed the General-in-Chief:*

On the 15th of January, in a confidential letter of that date to the Secretary of War, in relation to colored troops, General Gillmore said:+

On the 22nd of January, the General-in-Chief replied as follows++

On the 31st of January, in a dispatch of that date to the General-in-Chief, Major-General Gillmore submitted the following reply:@

On the 5th of February, General Gillmore communicated to the General-in-Chief that he would-

Start for Florida this evening with a force under Brigadier-General Seymour, composed of infantry, cavalry, and artillery.

On the 9th of February, General Gillmore communicated to General Halleck the result of his operations down to that date, as follows:#

And again, on the 13th of February, in the following communication:


February 13, 1864.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,


SIR: I beg leave to state that the military operations in this State that may be necessary to further the objects for which I came here, as set forth in a former letter to you, promise to be of no great magnitude.

General Seymour's advance has been within 4 miles of Lake City; but as his instructions were not to risk a repulse, or make an attack there was a prospect of incurring much loss, he has taken up a position at Baldwin, the junction of the railroad from Jacksonville with the one from Fernandina. He holds also the crossing of the Saint Mary's South Fork, about 12 miles west of Baldwin.

I intend to construct small works, capable of resisting a coup de main, at Jacksonville, Baldwin, Palatka, and perhaps one or two other important points, so strong that 200 or 300 men will be sufficient at each point. Twenty-five hundred men, in addition to the two regiments that have been permanently stationed in this State (one at Saint Augustine and one at Fernandina), ought to be ample in Florida.

The artillery captured here will suffice for such defensive works as may be deemed necessary.

I desire to see the lumber and turpentine trade on the Saint John's River revived by loyal men, and for that purpose, and to give assurance that our occupation of this river is intended to be permanent, I have written to the Secretary of the Treasury recommending that the port of Jacksonville be declared open. The communication is herewith inclosed. I shall return to Hilton Head to-morrow, leaving General Seymour in command in Florida for the present.

Palatka will be occupied by our forces in a day or two.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




P. S.-I open this letter to add that General Seymour was at Sanderson yesterday. I have dispatched a mounted force to Gainesville, on the Fernandina and Cedar Keys Road, to try and capture a train of cars. I inclose a printed circular for your information, from the chief commissary C. S. Army.


Major-General, Commanding.


* See Appendix B, p.278.

+ See Appendix C, p.278.

++ See Appendix D, p.279.

@ See Appendix E, p.279.

# See Appendix H, p.281.