ROYALL'S HOUSE, March 19, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
Lieutenant-Colonel Yates, commanding at Fort Johnson, reports that on firing the 6.40 Brooke gun at Battery Simkins to-day it burst, about 15 inches of the muzzle breaking off. This gun has been fired between 1,700 and 1,800 times.
HDQRS. MILITARY DISTRICT OF FLORIDA,
No. 12. Camp Milton, March 9, 1864.
I. Colonel Tabb, Fifty-ninth Virginia Regiment, will proceed to Waldo without delay and assume command of all the troops, either infantry, cavalry, or artillery, now reporting to Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, Fourth Georgia Cavalry, at or near that place. Colonel Tabb will operate vigorously against the enemy in that section. He will obstruct the navigation of the tributaries of the Saint John's by felling timber, &c., and will use every means at his disposal to protect the region of country in which he operates from the incursions of the enemy.
Colonel Tabb will communicate direct with these headquarters, and will promptly notify the major-general commanding of all movements of his own troops or those of the enemy. Before leaving Baldwin he will turn over the command of his regiment to his second in command.
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By command of Major-General Anderson:
WM. G. BARTH,
HEADQUARTERS IN THE FIELD,
Camp Milton, Fla., March 20, 1864.
Major General PATTON ANDERSON,
Commanding Dist. of Florida, Camp Milton, McGirt's Creek, Fla.:
GENERAL: Having to return temporarily to Charleston sooner than I had intended, I desire giving you herewith my general views as to future probable operations against the enemy now occupying Jacksonville with about 12,000 or 15,000 men, and Palatka with about 1,500 men, as reported by scouts, deserters, &c. Your present available forces (less than 8,000 men) are not sufficient to enable you to drive the enemy out of Jacksonville, fortified and supported by four or five gun-boats, as the place is at present. The task with regard to Palatka would be less difficult if you could detach on such an expedition to insure its success a sufficient force from the troops at McGirt's Creek. But this might be attended with more danger than the object in view would warrant. Your present defensive line in rear of McGirt's Creek a is only for a temporary purpose-that is, until the works around Baldwin b shall be sufficiently
aTwelve miles from Jacksonville.
bTwenty miles from Jacksonville.