CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA AND FLORIDA AND ON THE GEORGIA COAST, FROM MARCH 1 TO NOVEMBER 13, 1864.*
UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF FLORIDA, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
Jacksonville, Fla., March 2, 1864.
Brigadier General J. W. TURNER,
Chief of Staff and Artillery, Dept. of the South:
GENERAL: A deserter came from Lake city yesterday, who left there on February 29, and who is apparently a man of very clear and south judgment. He was employed at the railroad at Lake City and had ample means of observation., He states that immediately after the battle of Olustee (Saturday, February 20), twelve cars loaded exclusively with Confederate wounded came to Lake City. On Sunday, 8 a. m., seven more arrived, and at 4 p. m., eight additional. There was one passenger car, the rest box and platform. The passenger contained at least 60 wounded, and the remainder averaged 40 each, for all were crowded to their fullest extent. He estimated the wounded at the time at about 1,000. Our own wounded were taken to Tallahassee, so far as they could be moved safely; the remainder to Lake City, where the citizens generally showed them every kindness, cooking for the and paying them all the attention in their power. It is proper to add that an application was made to the general commanding Confederate forces to parole our wounded, which was refused. Copies of the communications accompany this.+
Another deserter states that he was told at Lake City, by the medical officer in charge of the hospitals there, that over 200 Confederates has been killed and died from their wounds, and a deserter this moment arrived states that he was on the field of Olustee after the action; that the belief and report among the burial parties (of whom he asked the information) was that 350 Confederates were left dead and that about 1,000 were killed and wounded. And every report that is received goes to show that it has been for them one of the severest engagements of the war.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
* For Correspondence, &c., from January 1 to February 29, 1864, see Part I.
+ See Part I, pp, 329, 330.