war speak but favorably of the manner in which the medical officers bore themselves, to the credit of their profession and administration? True, such could not have been the case were the character of the wounds in the majority grave; but, happily, the number of slight cases is large, showing for the most part wounds of the lower extremities, with but few cases of operations. Five hundred at least will be able for duty in less than four weeks, and our loss therefore will be merely temporary. We have to regret the many casualties among officers, and the fact that we could not recover all our wounded, in spite of an effort made to do so, by requesting this privilege under a flag of truce. I made this proposition to the general commanding, and while he entertained the opinion that they ought to be well taken care of by the enemy, the general finally yielded to the request, which unfortunately has been refused by our opponents. Meanwhile, the number of our wounded retained at this post has been decreased to 165 by transfer of cases by hospital ship Cosmopolitan and transport steamers Dictator and Delaware, the hospital steamer making two trips within one week to Hilton Head and Beaufort, S. C.
It is, perhaps, not out of place to recommend that no general hospitals, above those already existing, be established, and especially that the general hospital at Jacksonville may merely by conducted as a receiving depot, whence to forward to the above hospitals, adding thereto Saint Augustine, Fla. The remoteness from the main depot of supplies of the department, with all its annoying and delaying circumstances, and the readiness with which the returning empty transports can be employed for transportation of sick and wounded, prompts me to come to this conclusion; and while the interior of Florida, in regard to healthfulness among a large command, is yet to be tested, there presents itself at the convalescent hospital at Saint Augustine a hospital arrangement which, when completed, will meet all demands of sanitary law, with no heavy expenses. Should the army of occupation advance, toward Middle Florida, there will be an easy and quick communication with the delightful seaside of the old Spanish colony.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Surg. U. S. Vols., Chief Medical Officer, Dist of Fla.
Surg. EBEN SWIFT,
Numbers 4. Report of Colonel William B. Barton, Forty-eighth New York Infantry, commanding brigade, of engagement at Olustee.
HEADQUARTERS BARTON'S BRIGADE,
Jacksonville, Fla., February 27, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the engagement of the 20th instant, 8 miles beyond Sanderson, near Olustee Lake:
When the enemy's pickets were first encountered, which was at 2 p.m. precisely, my brigade was second in the general column, and