HDQRS. NORTHERN DISTRICT, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
Folly Island, S. C., May 29, 1864.
Colonel WILLIAM GURNEY,
Commanding, Morris Island:
The scout-boats in the creeks and marches of this command are fired upon by the enemy oftener than is necessary, showing that they are to easily seen by him. This should be avoided, both as needlessly exposing life and as defeating our object of observing without being observed. The officers in charge of such boats in the creeks and marches will have them trimmed around with a sort of hedge or bushes, concealing the men within, and making the boat very difficult to distinguish from the grass of the marsh or the shrubbery of the islands.
By order of Brigadier-General Schimmelfennig:
E. W. SCHAUFFLER,
Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF FLORIDA, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
Jacksonville, Fla., May 29, 1864.
Colonel WILLIAM H. NOBLE,
Commanding U. S. Forces east side of Saint John's River:
COLONEL: The general commanding district directs me to say that he sends you the steamers Alice Price and Mary Benton. He wishes you to embark your command and reach the wharf at Jacksonville before daylight, so that the men may be disembarked without being observed, and bring with you every available man and every boat you can find. He further desires you to relieve the men on picket duty from Picolata to Jacksonville, that they and their boats may form part of the expedition. If this is found to be impracticable before daylight, let it be done after daylight, as that fact by itself will not excite suspicion. The general further directs that when you reach the wharf at Jacksonville you will move to a point within the fortifications, to bivouac until further orders. A staff officer will conduct you. The general hopes you will bring him at least 1,000 men. The general says if you cannot reach Jacksonville to-night in time to disembark before daylight to-morrow morning, you can wait till to-morrow night, but in that case you will send back the Alice Price immediately, and the general will send her to you again to-morrow night.
I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN C. GRAY, JR.,
Second Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp.
GENERAL BUTLER'S HEADQUARTERS,
May 30, 1864 - 8.30 a. m. (Received 1.45 p. m.)
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
I take leave to transmit to you the following extract from an examination of a deserter from the City Battalion, Charleston Home State Defense. The same is substantiated by numbers of others:
They have taken away nearly all the troops from James Island. First they withdrew one brigade, Hagood's, and sent Colquitt's brigade there, and we had but just