have pledged their word of honor to avail themselves of the amnesty of the President of the United States, and to return with their whole battalion, including horses, arms, equipments, &c., on the 65th February, at Point Washington, at the head of Choctawhatchee Bay, to the old flag of the United States, in order to join First Florida Cavalry, under organization here, is support of the Union.
This report, emanating from your, I feel bound to receive with full confidence. I have accordingly made proper arrangements to receive Lieutenant Talford, with all the officers and men of his battalion, at the time and place given by himself, and I will welcome them all in the name of the Government, the people, and Army of the United States, as friends, and give them all opportunity to unite once more their destinies with ours. I confidently hope that the example of Lieutenant Talford and his associates will be followed by many others, and that Western Florida will be in the Union very soon, not by conquest, but of own free will and accord.
Very respectfully, very obedient servant,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF S. CAROLINA, AND FLORIDA, DIST. OF FLORIDA, HDQRS., FORCES IN THE FIELD,
March 4, 1864.
Brigadier General T. SEYMOUR,
Commanding U. S. Forces, Jacksonville, Fla.:
GENERAL: In further reply to your communication of the 25th February, 1864, * I have the honor to forward through you, to the widow of the late Colonel Fribley, an ambrotype supposed to be the one referred to in the memorandum accompanying your communication. Traces have also discovered of his watch, a letter from his possession of them; if successful the two former articles will be forwarded. That I may not be misunderstood, it is due to myself to state that no sympathy with the fate of any officers commanding negro troops, but compassion for a widow in grief, has induced these efforts to recover for her relics which she must naturally value.
I have the honor to call your attention to the following report of an officer commanding an outpost of this army: That at about 4 p. m. on the 2nd instant, some 15 of the enemy, mounted, approached his advanced vedettes with a flag of truce, apparently. When within about 600 yards they threw out skirmishers, advanced about 100 yards, withdrew their flag, a white one, and then dashed forward; his vedettes fired upon them and retired, when, his reserves coming up, they retired. This statement unexplained, involves an act of perfidy in prostituting to base purpose one of the humanizing features of all civilized warfare. I have the honor to ask a full and satisfactory explanation of this act, and whether the same was perpetrated by and with the consent and approbation of the commanding general.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. M. GARDNER,
* See Part I, p. 493.