JACKSONVILLE, FLA., February 26, 1864.
Brigadier General J. W. TURNER,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have nothing to report of consequence. The cavalry of the enemy is at McGirt's Creek. Our works here are nearly compelted and are in a respectable condition for defense at any moement. Such guns as have been idnicated already are, however, much needed.
A flag was sent this morning to request measures to be taken with repsct to identification of Colonel Bribley's remains. Lieutenant Jackson, aide-de-camp, was the bearer, and conversation was free.
From all that I can gather, it is probable that the enemy had 10,000 men engaged a Oulustee, with some 5,000 in reserve 3 miles in rear, and this reserve came up at the close of the action. The rebel loss was hevy; rumor syas that a Savannah paper states it at 2,200, but it was undoubtedly severe. Returns of casualties, &c., will be forwarded in a day or so. The Fourth New Hampshire is ordered back to-noghing.
With a superior force in our presence it will be impossible, probably, to accomplish much in the way of occupancy. Several points along the Saint John's can, of course, be held, but to advance into the interior with such advantages as are possessed by the rebels, in their ability to concentrate, will be attended with consant chances of disaster.
Expecting that the major-general commanding the department will soon be here, I have made no movement, confining myself simply to the preparation of these works.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Hilton Head District, S. C., February 26, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel EDWARD W. SMITH,
COLONEL: I have the honor respectfully to report that, in obedience to the order of the major-general commanding the Department of the South, indorsed on the leter* of Rear-Admiral Dahlgren, I proceeded to make the examination directed. I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Kicks to report to me, and to state all the facts and circumstances connected with the arrest of the naval officer referred to by his order. I respectfully forward herewith the written statement+ made by Lieutenant-Colonle Hicks. In his interview with me he stated to me, as he has stated in his written statement, that he merely sent he adjutant to request the officer to come to him, that he desired to see him. In doing so he was, as he thought, influenced by a proper and kind motve, as he said to me, namely, that he might know from the officer himself the facts and cricumstaces of the loss of the boat, and that he should not be guided and governed alone by the ex parte and one-side statement of Mr. Fuller. Colonel Hicks deeply regrets that his action in the
*See p. 483.
+See p. 487.