War of the Rebellion: Serial 066 Page 0021 Chapter XLVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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message or statement transmitted through three or four different persons is very likely, with the best motives of all concerned, to have a very different aspect when it reaches the Secretary of War or the President than it had when first uttered.

In the second place, plans of operations should[not], as general rule, be divulged to subordinates. I do not mean that opinions of subordinates should not be consulted, but the final determination of the general should be known to as few persons as possible.

moreover, the Secretary of War very strongly disapproves of the practice of sending staff officers to Washington for the purpose of delivering dispatches which could be as well sent by mail. He regards it as an abuse of authority on the part of generals, and as entailing an unnecessary expense on the Government. In several instances he has ordered back the officers and charged the expense of their transportation to the general who sent them here.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General and Chief of Staff.


Jacksonville, Fla., March 16, 1864.

Captain G. B. BALCH, U. S. NAVY,

Commanding Naval Forces, Saint John's River:

CAPTAIN: I am happy to announce to you that the Columbine captured, on the 13th instant, in Lake George the steamer Sumter with all her officers and crew; that the Sumter has been manned and sent after the Hattie Brock, which it is believed will also be captured, with about 150 bales of cotton.

This information is received this morning from Colonel Barton, and will give you no greater pleasure than it has given myself. The difficulties that have been overcome by the Columbia are represented as having been great, and its commander deserves much credit for the exercise of great intelligence and energy in having

overcome them. I trust these qualities will be rewarded to a still greater success.

Those small steamers will be of the greatest value to us in navigating, the river, and for scouting in regions where vessels of heavier draught could not penetrate. If possible, I shall therefore be glad to have them for these purposes.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Jacksonville, Fla., March 16, 1864.

Colonel W. B. BARTON,

Forty-eight new York, Commanding, Palatka, Fla.:'

COLONEL: The quartermaster is directed to send you 50 horses, saddles, and bridles, without delay. You will select and mount an infantry company temporarily, being careful to select a good captain, who will see that the best use possible made of these animals,