HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., March 12, 1864.
Langdon's and Elder's batteries will have to remain as now organized, which organization was approved and desired by them before they went to Florida. There is more artillery now in Florida than it is the intention to leave there. Palatka should be fortified at once. The Third New Hampshire Mounted Infantry will be sent to General Seymour in a few days.
Q. A. GILLMORE,
HEADQUARTERS BARTON'S BRIGADE,
Palatka, Fla., March 10, 1864.
Captain P. R. CHADWICK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Florida:
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to advise you that, in accordance with the instructions from the brigadier-general commanding the district, I occupied this place without opposition at early daylight this morning. I learn that the enemy's pickets are an Nine-Mile Hammock, on the Orange Springs road, and at a point 4 miles distant from Palatka o the Rice Creek road; a force of over 1,000 cavalry, under General Patton Anderson, are at Starke. There is considerable uncertainty as to the present whereabouts, of the small steamers which formerly plied on the Saint John's River, but one of them is supposed to be at Fort Brooke. As I have reason to believe that the enemy is ere this apprised of our arrival, I have not deemed it prudent to make an attempt to secure this boat, as any movement in that direction would undoubtedly call down the whole of Anderson's force (it being as near Fort Brooke as we are), and would result in the capture or destruction of the inferior force I might send. I have, however, sent Captain James out in the direction of Nine-Mile Hammock and on the Rice Creek road, for the purpose of capturing a noted rebel or two in that quarter. There seems to be none of the enemy's troops on the Saint Augustine side of the river. I send you a deserter to whose statements I respectfully direct your attention especially as regards the force in your front.
The Delaware and Houghton are sent. The Maple Leaf is hard aground, and the Hunter is employed in unloading her. The defensive works are well under way.
W. R. BARTON,
Colonel 48th New York Volunteers, Commanding Brigade.
FLAG-SHIP NEW IRONSIDES,
Off Morris Island, S. C., March 14, 1864.
Major General Q. A. GILLMORE,
Commanding Department of the South, Hilton Head:
SIR: If the service of the U. S. ship McDonough can be spared in Light-House Inlet, I can use her elsewhere. I do not wish to take her from her station, however, if she is useful to you. I should be glad to have your views on the subject.
S. C. ROWAN,
Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, pro tem.
2 R R-VOL XXXV, PT II