of our cause, and there have previously been no such opportunities for the armed force of the Department of the South to be well employed as in Florida. And now that the State is to be considered an object worth holding or attaining, these opportunities may well be improved. These considerations have doubtless already occurred to the major-general commanding, but there can be no impropriety in stating them in this manner.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF FLORIDA, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
Jacksonville, Fla., March 17, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: It is reported to me this morning by Major Stevens, commanding mounted force, that a sergeant and 1 private of the Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, and a negro (Jerome), not an enlisted man, who were sent out on the 14th as scouts, have been captured by the enemy, whose very largely preponderating force of cavalry makes any such mode of obtaining information very uncertain.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
WAR DEPT., ADJT., GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Numbers 121. Washington, March 18, 1864.
* * * *
16. Veteran regiments and companies from the Department of the South now in or to arrive in their respective States on furlough will, on the expiration thereof, be ordered by the superintendents of the volunteer recruiting service for the State concerned to Washington, D. C., reporting to Major-General Casey, U. S. Volunteers, who will command them.
* * * *
By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., March 19, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK.,
General-in-Chief, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: In response to your letter of the 26th ultimo, * to which I partially replied in mine of the 10th instant, I have to say that from 7,000 to 11,000 effective fighting men may be spared from this department and still leave it in a condition of safe quiescent defense.
* See Part I, p. 493.