by discharge of fire-arms), a feint was to be made of an attack at Port Royal Ferry by Captain Bachman with his battery of artillery. By some mistake the signal was supposed to have been made, and Captain Bachman opened upon the enemy's pickets between 12 and 1 o'clock at night. The visit of the gun-boats was no doubt caused by this demonstration.
From what I can learn along my line I do not believe the enemy are in any force. They are comparatively weak and disposed to be on the defensive. I will endeavor to keep up the appearance of strength by availing myself of such opportunities of attack as my scouts may develop. As you are aware, however, it is very difficult to get at them, with their command of the water, with the certainty of getting off.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours,
W. S. WALKER,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF FLORIDA,
Camp Milton, March 14, 1864.
Commanding Cavalry, Waldo:
Make an immediate and careful reconnaissance of the enemy's position at Palatka with a view to ascertain if he is still in force there and report the result by telegraph.
WM. G. BARTH,
N. B.-Telegraph operator at Baldwin will be on hand and prepared for prompt receipt and transmittal of dispatches both night and day, and will notify the operators with whom he corresponds throughout the district to the same effect.
By order of Major-General Anderson:
WM. G. BARTH,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF S. CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Camp Milton, Fla., March 14, 1864-1.45 p.m.
GENERAL: The general commanding directs that you will cause the troops to be made acquainted with their positions in time, without delay. He also directs you to order your cavalry near Palatka to make a reconnaissance with a view of ascertaining if the enemy are still there in force. If not already done, he directs that you will instruct your chief quartermaster to be constantly informed of an report to your headquarters and to the chief quartermaster of the department all injuries to the railroads in your district which are likely to interfere with the movements of troops and supplies.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,