War of the Rebellion: Serial 065 Page 0491 Chapter XLVII. CORESPONDENCE, ETC.-UION.

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Louisiana, are returning with the steamer Jasmine with 105 votes. My circular issued relative to the election is rpesectfully inclosed; also a rebel Montgomery paper of the 15th instant.

I am, very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

ASBOTH,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, S. C., February 24, 1864.

Brigadier General M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I am in receipt of your letter of the 10th instant, inquiring whether the number of transports in this department cannot be reduced.

About two months since I called the attention of my lage chief quartemaster to this subject, with a proposition to reduce the marine transportation one-fourth, but he recomnstrated strenuously, urging that the wants of the troops could not be supplied with a less number of vessels. The officers who now fills his place will be instructed to make all the reduction possible. The real difficulty consists in the quality and condition of the vessels sent here. The steamers are mostly old and frail, and the machinry is constantly reuqiring repairs. I will send you a dozen of them in exchange for half the number of sound vessels.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Q. A. GILLMORE,

Major-General, Commanding.

P. S.-What I mean is this: I will most cheefully designate twelve steamers from my force of transports, to be exchanged for half their aggregate tonnage of such steamersas I can approve.

Q. A. GILLMORE,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF FLORIDA, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,

Jacksonville, February 25, 1864.

Brigadier General J. W. TURNER,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: Some demonstration having been made to-day by cavalry and artillery in front of Cedar Creek, I have withdrawn my infantry from that line and left Colonel Henry's command there to observe it.

The essential defenses of this place are sufficiently advanced to insure, I believe, a successful defense. The troops have been vigoriously at work to-day with the spade, and a few hours more of timber cutting will suffice to prepare the position perfectly well.

Generals Ames and Foster's brigades arrived last night and this morning. I have, however, thought best to detain Colonel Bell's regiment a day or so in case an attack should be made, but it will not be delayed longer than seems absolutely necessary.

I have temporarily organized these troops, as indicated in the accompanying order, and have given the right of the line of General