APRIL 15, 1864.
The true solution of this matter is in a nutshell, I think. It is a question of relative importance of the several armies of Generals Lee, Johnston, and Beauregard. The department has determined that the greater importance, relatively, of General Lee's army required the movement of certain forces from General B.'s command. This point can only be determined by the War Department from a view of the whole field, and the War Department has determined it. This force removed, it devolves on General Beauregard so to dispose of his remaining force as to effectually guard the most important points in his command.
With this paper, then, the War Department has nothing to do, except I would respectfully suggest that General Trapier has a command by no means commensurate with his grade.
SAML. W. MELTON,
Major, Assistant Adjutant-General.
MARCH 13, 1864-8 p.m.
Instructions to Major General Patton Anderson:
First. Telegraph Captain Pearson to repair by shortest route to Orange Springs for the protection of that point. Enemy supposed to be advancing up the Ocklawaha River in barges, from Welaka.
Second. Order a train to go down for the company sent toward Cedar Keys, to be brought back on railroad to point nearest Orange Springs. They will make a forced march for the protection of that point from enemy's boat expedition up the Ocklawaha River.
Third. Send by express two companies of infantry from here to a point on the railroad nearest Orange Springs; they will make a forced march for the protection of that point from boat expedition up the Ocklawaha River.
Fourth. Should the enemy have reached Orange Springs before the forces named, the forces named will unite and march to some favorable point on the river where they can cut off the retreat of the enemy.
Fifth. Order in intelligent and active officer acquainted with that part of the country to take command of the whole.
Sixth. Order a section of light artillery to accompany the whole.
Orders will be issued in accordance with the above notes. Order some of the inhabitants (by telegraph) to cut down trees into the River Ocklawaha, both above and below the expedition, using their negroes if necessary.
Seventh. Send to Captain Pearson the companies ordered to Bay Port, Wacasassee, &c.
By command of General Beauregard:
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Camp Milton, March 13, 1864.
GENERAL: In reply to your communication of the 9th instant, the major-general commanding directs me to say to you that the exigencies