left. The regiment did not re-enlist as veterans, and consequently their term of service expires this coming fall. Captain Manning, who is now on his way to Florida, has orders to receive the men belonging to our regiment now doing duty with the Seventy-fifth.
Hoping, general, that you will do us the favor of having the regiment transferred to your command, and if possible mounted, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Twenty-fifth Ohio, Commanding Outposts.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF FLORIDA, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
Jacksonville, Fla., May 17, 1864.
Colonel WILLIAM H. NOBLE,
Commanding U. S. Forces east side of Saint John's River:
COLONEL: In the conduct of military affairs within the limits of your command you will be governed by the following instructions:
First. Such disposition as will enable you to concentrate your forces without delay either to strike the enemy, should he attempt to cross the river, or to move into the enemy's country west of the Saint John's, should a favorable opportunity offer.
While having in view this concentration, the troops may be so disposed that the crossing of the Saint John's may be successfully watched from the right bank. The present location of the troops at Picolata, Orange, Mills, Saunders, Welaka, and Volusia are well chosen for security. Frequent patrols between these stations and further south, in the direction of Indian River and Enterprise, will enable you to scout the country, give confidence to Union citizens, and cover the river guards. Beyond these points keep your scouts well out to the front as far as Lake Harney and Indiana River.
With the large number of faithful scouts you have at your disposal, and with the strong interest they have in the work, it should be impossible for the enemy to threaten any of our isolated river posts without ample time for preparation and consequent security.
I wish to impress upon you that I should consider the isolated guards at Volusia, Orange Mills, and Saunders eminently insecure without a disposition of scouts far to the front, active and watchful to announce the approach of the enemy. I am of opinion that it is impracticable to establish a depot of supplies farther south than the present position of the cavalry camp; the advantages of a location further south can be secured by patrols, the disadvantages of which are less than an extended transportation of supplies, with insufficient land transportation or by transports, subject to annoyance from the enemy's riflemen on the left bank.
General Orders, Numbers 29, of the 15th day of May, 1864, from these headquarters, place fully in my control all available men within my lines. I shall send many of them within your limits. Such as are available as scouts you will organize and use immediately. Others you will use as the best interests of the Government may require in the commissary department as herders and cattle drivers and in the quartermaster's department as teamsters and laborers. Such as may be organized as soldiers you will report.
I cherish the hope that before you are ready to submit the names of a sufficient number to make a military organization efficient, I