column at less then 500 yards' distance, retreated slowly, firing in retreat, falling back to Three-Mile Creek, where I rejoined the battery. Total number of rounds fired, 30.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Second Lieutenant, First Artillery.
Captain S. S. ELDER.
MARCH 4-MAY 14, 1864.-Operation in Florida.
Report of Major General Patton Anderson, C. S. Army, commanding District of Florida.
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DISTRICT OF FLORIDA,
In the Field, near Jacksonville, Fla., May 14, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with the request of the major-general commanding, Samuel Jones, communicated to me in your letter of the 10th instant, I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the troops of this district, and of those, so far as known, of the enemy, during the last two months:
On the 4th March last, in obedience to an order from the War Department, I assumed command of the District of Florida. The district was divided into sub-districts, the geographical limits of which are as follows, viz: Sub-District No. 1 embraces all that portion of Florida between the Choctawhatchee River and Choctawhatchee Bay, in West Florida, and the Suwannee River; Sub-District No. 2 embraces all of Florida east of the Suwannee River. Brigadier General William M. Gardner commands Sub-District No. 1 and Brigadier-General Finegan commands Sub-District No. 2.
At the time I assumed commanded the enemy occupied Jacksonville in force, estimated upon the best information that could be obtained at about 12,000, having strong fortifications on the land side of the place, with the additional defense of two gun-boats in the Saint John's River. Our forces, numbering at that time about 8,000 of all arms, had taken position, infantry and artillery, on the west side of McGirt's Creek, about 12 miles from Jacksonville, at the point where the railroad and wagon roads from that place to Lake city cross the creek. General Beauregard had preceded me a few days to this point, and was present, supervising and directing our movements. Breast-works and stockades were immediately constructed at this position, and similar fortifications of a more permanent character were thrown up at Baldwin, 8 miles in rear of McGirt's Creek, and at the intersection of the railroads running from Fernandina to Cedar Keys and from Jacksonville to Lake City. For a time there were many indications which gave promise of an advance by the enemy, and every preparation was made to meet him at McGirt's Creek in the first place, or in the event he should turn that position, or in any other way compel us to abandon it, then at Baldwin, where it was believed a successful defense might be made against three times our number.
During this time, too, there was considerable alarm felt by many of the citizens of Middle Florida on account of recent depredations committed or threatened by bands of deserters, disloyal persons, and