the cavalry camps (Withers and Powell), as well as the Bonsecours Salt-Works, under orders to report at Pine Barren bridge, this side of the Perdido, and asserting most positively that 5,000 Federal troops had landed on the north side of Forth Morgan, investing it upon Mobile Point.
Under these circumstances there was not only no further necessity for my crossing the Perdido and continuing to force my march with artillery and train at considerable risk through the hardly passable marshy country, but there was apparently more need for my troops this side the river, and I therefore returned to Barrancas, arriving here the same day, 14th at 4 p. m.
Next day it was reported from Pensacola that the rebels, informed of my leaving Barrancas with the large portion of my forces, decided to risk a dash, and were actually moving down at the head of the Bayou Grand when I was returning up the beach of the Grand Lagoon. Thus it seems that my return was just in time, although I am confident that the rebels would have met, without my return, a warm reception and certain repulse on the ditch between Fort Barrancas and the redoubt.
In conclusion, I beg to state that at this my attempt to cross the Perdido without steamer (Mr. Clapp's steam-tug having failed to run down), I was more strongly impressed than ever of the urgent necessity of having two small steamers of 4 or 5 feet draught in his district. With such steamers at my disposal I could strike the river, following good country roads, and cross with artillery and trains without any trouble. I beg therefore to renew my former request for an order securing for this command the use of two small steamers of above draught.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
AUGUST 15-19, 1864.-Union Raid on the Florida Railroad, including action (17th) at Gainesville, Fla.
Numbers 1.-Brigadier General John P. Hatch, U. S. Army, commanding District of Florida.
Numbers 2.-Colonel William H. Noble, Seventeenth Connecticut Infantry.
Numbers 3.-Colonel Andrew L. Harris, Seventy-fifth Ohio Infantry.
Numbers 4.-Major General Samuel Jones, C. S. Army.
Numbers 5.-Brigadier General John K. Jackson, C. S. Army.
Numbers 6.-Lieutenant Colonel A. H. McCormick, Second Florida Cavalry.
Numbers 7.-Captain J. J. Dickison, Second Florida Cavalry.
Numbers 1. Reports of Brigadier General John P. Hatch, U. S. Army, commanding District of Florida.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF FLORIDA,
Jacksonville, August 19, 1864.
GENERAL: I have come down this evening from Magnolia and am sorry that I have little good news. On Wednesday morning
*See also Foster's report, p. 22.