[Inclosure Numbers 3.]
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EAST FLORIDA,
Camp Colquitt, February 24, 1864.
Brigadier General W. M. GARDNER,
Commanding District of Middle Florida, Quincy:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 23rd instant, informing me that you had received a telegram from the commanding general directing you to assume command of the forces operating in East Florida until the arrival of General Taliaferro, who has been ordered to the command, has been received. It will give me great pleasure to serve under either yourself, General Taliaferro, or any other superior officer whom the commanding general may assign to the command whenever he shall arrive in this district and assume the responsibilities of the movements and the supply of the troops. In the mean time the interests of the service require that I should continue to conduct the movements of this army till the arrival of my successor. It is proper to state that my advanced force is occupy[ing] Baldwin, and my whole force will be there to-day. The enemy are in Jacksonville, and perhaps on board their transports.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS BRIGADE, March 18, 1864.
Major HENRY BRYAN, Assistant Adjutant-General:
MAJOR: In reply to your letter of 12th instant, I have the honor to say that my official report of the advance of the enemy mentions that five guns of Companies A and B, Milton Light Artillery, were captured. Four of these guns were captured at Pickett's house, on their way from Camp Finegan to Baldwin, and one at Baldwin, as appears by Captain Abell's report, herewith inclosed. In Captain Dunham's section there were 8 new horses purchased by the quartermaster's department to supply the places of horses condemned by a board of officers. The disease among the artillery horses referred to by Captain Abell had been treated by the best farriers in the country. A board of officers, composed of Colonel Thomas, Major Routh, and Captain Stewart, made a report on the nature of the disease among the artillery horses, which was sent to Major Mayo, at department headquarters, and Captain Fairbanks, assistant quartermaster, was ordered by the transportation department to inspect them, which was done. The chief quartermaster had orders to purchase horses to supply the place of the diseased ones, but orders were received about that time that none but officers of the transportation department could purchase or impress artillery horses. Captain Abell was under orders when the enemy arrived to remove his horses to Lake City for treatment. The horses for the section of Captain Dunham's battery were in good order, as they had been under treatment for eight or ten weeks at Lake City, and had just returned to Camp Finegan before the invasion by the enemy.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Brigade.