JULY 15-20, 1864.-Expedition from Jacksonville and skirmish (15th) at Trout Creek, Fla.
Numbers 1.-Brigadier General William Birney, U. S. Army, commanding District of Florida.
Numbers 2.-Major General Samuel Jones, C. S. Army, commanding Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
Numbers 3.-Lieutenant Colonel A. H. McCormick, Second Florida Cavalry.
Numbers 1. Report of Brigadier General William Birney, U. S. Army, commanding District of Florida.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF FLORIDA,
Jacksonville, Fla., July 20, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on Friday last I landed a force at the mouth of Trout Creek and advanced to its source. My advance guard, under Captain Hart, Third U. S. Colored Troops, skirmished with a company of the enemy's cavalry for about 10 miles, inflicting upon them some loss. One of the enemy fell into our hands, but wounded so dangerously that we could not remove him. We captured the horses and equipments of 4 rebel cavalry-men. The casualties on our side were 1 man killed, Thomas Frister, Company I, Third U. S. Colored Troops, and 1 wounded, Sergt. John P. Weatherbee, Company D, Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry.
After destroying the bridges over the south branch of Trout Creek, I sent one squad of cavalry due west toward the Saint Mary's and another to Callahan, in Nassau County, on the railroad. The second squad, under Major Fox, captured and destroyed two cars loaded with railroad iron; destroyed the telegraph office fixtures and apparatus. Some 20 horses and mules were taken; some 200 small-arms of different kinds, about 2,000 cartridges, and several large jars of powder. The cavalry, having no means of transportation, were obliged to destroy the powder, cartridges, and small-arms. About a dozen negroes came off with us.
This advance covered the operations of a party sent up the Nassau River to Holmes' Mill, for the purpose of taking it down and bringing it away. The mill is one of the first ever erected in Florida, containing gang, rotary, and circular saw machinery, and worth now probably $50,000 when in operation. It is apparently complete except the gang-saws and belting. A part of the machinery has been loaded on the Alice Price, and is now on its way to this place. The rest will be brought by the Sylph as soon as her boiler is repaired and she is in running order. When this mill is in full operation it will turn our from 40,000 to 50,000 feet of lumber daily. I propose having it erected at once on the former site of the Empire Mills, about 2 miles below Jacksonville, on the east side of the Saint John's.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
Captain W. L. M. BURGER,
*See also Foster's report, p. 19.