HDQRS., DISTRICT OF FLORIDA, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
Jacksonville, Fla., March 4, 1864.
Brigadier General W. M. GARDNER,
Commanding Confederate Forces, East Florida:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this day, with an ambrotype supposed to be that referred to in a memorandum previously forwarded, and for which, in behalf of Mrs., Fribley, you have my thanks. And certainly no kindness you can show in this connection can be construed otherwise than affecting those whom on both sides at all times we desire to shield from sorrow.
With respect to the circumstances reported by you as having occurred on the afternoon of the 2nd instant that a party of some 15 men of my command advanced under cover of a flag of truce, which was withdrawn and from which party fire was then opened upon your vedettes, due inquiry will be made, and extreme punishment administered in the usual manner of military justice, if the report be confirmed by investigation. But I believe that there must be an error in the statement, arising, probably, from the guidon of the company having been indistinctly seen. That such an act as is referred to could have been perpetrated by my 'consent and approbation' is suspicion not justified by any conduct of mine, and is unworthy of reply.
And I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, FORTH PULASKI AND TYBEE ISLAND, GA.,
Fort Pulaski, Ga., march 5, 1864.
Colonel J. B. HOWELL:
SIR: I have the honor to report that a blockade-runner ran ashore during the night of the 3rd instant, on the east side of Tybee Island was discovered by the pickets yesterday morning at 6. She proved to be a schooner of about 35 tons. Her cargo consists of alcohol and coffee. I shall take out her cargo to-night, as she cannot be got off. I have placed a guard on board, and await further orders.
The crew consists of Captain, John Wicks. Supercargo C. W. Hawes, Mate Henry Caserdy, and 2 seamen, John Thomas and William Sands.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. E. BAILEY,
Major Third Rhode Island Heavy artillery, Commanding Post.
HEADQUARTERS HILTON HEAD DISTRICT,
Hilton Head, S. C., March 6, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded, for the information of the major-general commanding.
I respectfully further state that the prisoners are here, and in the custody of the provost-marshal's guard.
JOSHUA B. HOWELL,
Colonel, Commanding District.