Savage, to communicate with the steamer Island City, near Nassau Mills, which was accomplished successfully. I also sent a small party to Clark's picket station, but nothing was found there except a few head of cattle in an inclosure.
I am informed by my guides that the distance from the drawbridge to Camp Cooper by the route traveled is about 17 miles. The road was a succession of swamp and forest. The railroad is in an undisturbed condition, much of the timber, however, slowly rotting away. The soldiers marched well, and without straggling.
My thanks are due to all my officers and men for the alacrity and faithfulness with which they performed their duty. One man (a substitute) of Company I is reported missing to-day. He is probably a deserter. I would make especial mention of Adjt. Henry W. Carruthers for the valuable assistance he rendered me throughout. I am greatly indebted to my guides for the manner in which they discharged their duty in a very dark night. They all (especially Mr. Grissom) appeared perfectly familiar with the country, and their assistance was indispensable. Prince and Charles were the colored guides. had the expedition been undertaken at an earlier day, I conceive that under the same circumstances it would have been a perfect success.
Submitting the foregoing for your information, I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Vols., Commanding
Colonel HENRY R. GUSS,
Commanding U. S. Forces, Fernandina, Fla.
FEBRUARY 15-23, 1864.-Expedition from Fernandina to Woodstock and King's Ferry Mills, Fla.
Report of Major Galusha Pennypacker, Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry.*
FERNANDINA, FLA., February 23, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part borne by my command, consisting of a detachment of the Ninety-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, in an expedition to Woodstock and King's Ferry Mills, Fla., for the purpose of procuring lumber for military use:
In accordance with oral instructions received from yourself, and written instructions from Major T. B. Brooks, aide-de-camp on the staff of General Gillmore, I left this post with my command, consisting of 300 men, on the steamer Island City, at 2 o'clock on the morning of the 15th instant. We disembarked at Clark's, on the Amelia River, opposite this place, about half an hour before daylight, and immediately took up our line of march for Woodstock Mills, on the Saint Mary's River, distant by the route we traveled some 33 miles from the point of disembarkation. The march was made in good order, with flankers and an advanced guard well out, and without straggling. Persons living along the road who might have given information of our approach were made to march with the column until it arrived at its destination, which was
*For reports of Acting Masters S. N. Freeman and E. G. Furber, U. S. Navy, see Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy, December 5, 1864.