borhood, the following additional information received from refugees and my own agents:
Major-General Maury and Admiral Buchanan are still the commanding officers at Mobile; Commodore Farrand is the second naval commander. Several thousand negroes are continually working on the fortifications, which are nearly completed from the old light-house to the terminus of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, close to the city, inside the swamps and Three-Miles Creek. Five thousands troops were transported to Mobile in the last three weeks from Johnston's army.
The garrison at Fort Morgan, 1,000 strong, had laid down their arms, but were induced by General Maury to take them up again. Provisions are very scarce at Mobile, but ammunition plenty, as two Government steamers ran in three weeks ago loaded with ammunition. Prices of everything very high.
The spirit of the people broken, but the officers determined to defend the city to the last. The Mobile and Montgomery Railroad is guarded only by small squads of 12 to 15 men at its terminus on the Tensas River, and the corssings at Dyer's and Bushy Creeks and Perdilo and Escambia Rivers.
There is a battalion of Florida cavalry at Marianna, Jackson County, inclined to desert, but controlled by three companies of cavalry, under command of Floyd, Gettis, and Robinson, from 60 to 80 strong, moving continually in Washington and Walton Counties, in the vicinity of the Choctawhatchee Bay and River, and hunting deserters with bloodhounds which have torn to pieces several women and children, creating general indignation among the people.
I have a small expedition on two chooners at the head of the bay, and a company of infantry encamped at Washington Point, Washington County. Enlistments in the First Florida Cavalry still continue, although the inability to pay the recruits the advance bounty has a tendency to check it. The total number of cavalry recruits is 207, and 30 more are already announced on their way down the Santa Rosa Sound.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. NORTHERN DISTRICT, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
Folly Island, S. C., February 8, 1864.
Colonel W. W. H. DAVIS,
104th Pa. Vols., Commanding U. S. Forces, Morris Island, S. C.:
COLONEL: The brigadier-general commanding directs me to request that you will as soon as practicable relieve the Ninth Maine Volunteers from duty upon Black Island, replacing them by some other regiment from your command. The Ninth maine Volunteers will be held in readiness for embarkation to Hilton Head in time to proceed to the North by the next mail steamer.
I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,