startling evidence to be found of the desperate condition of the enemy. Beef and bacon are entirely exhausted throughout the South, and from all quarters cries are arising for relief from Florida. This circular was intended only for private circulation among "the prudent people of the South."
[Inclosure No. 2.-From New York Tribune.]
FEBRUARY 23, 1864.
The following orders, recently issued in the Department of the South, explain the transfer of troops to Florida under General Gillmore, about which, since the news of the movement reached here, there has been a good deal of speculation:*
General Gillmore goes to Florida for the simple purpose of enabling her loyal people to bring her back to the Union. As the object of the continuance of the war is the restoration of the supremacy of the Government over all the revolted States, it would seem to be a legitimate work to restore a single one of them. It is for the Administration to judge whether the circumstances in any given case justify the attempt, and whether the force necessary for the purpose can be spared to carry it out. It is quite possible that the Administration may desire the return of a loyal State to the Union without reference to the next Presidential election, and equally possible that journals whose sympathies are with the rebels should wish there should be no such return, unless it be by some compromise whereby the pro-slavery rules of the rebels shall still be maintained. If Florida shall become a loyal State her people will probably vote for such candidate for next President as pleases them best, and neither General Gillmore nor General Gillmore's soldiers will interfere in the matter. In the meanwhile, as the rebels are largely dependent upon that peninsula for beef-cattle, which it produces in great abundance, it may be quite as well to use a few regiments of soldiers to cut them off from this supply as to send them to a central point of attack. On the whole, the movement of General Gillmore seems quite explicate without resorting either to the copperhead explanation or the wise strategic talk on the "scatteration policy" and "interior lines."
[Inclosure No. 3.]
OFFICE OF CHIEF COMMISSARY,
Quincy, Fla., November 2, 1863.
It has been a subject of anxious consideration how I could, without injury to our cause, expose to the people throughout the State the present perilous condition of our army. To do this through the public press would point out our source of danger to our enemies. To see each one in person, or even a sufficient number to effect the object contemplated, is impossible; yet the necessity of general and immediate action is imperative to save our army, and with it our cause, from disaster. The issues of this contest are now transferred to the people at home. If they fail to do their duty and sustain the army in its present position it must fall back. If the enemy break through our present line, the wave of desolation may roll even to the shores of the Gulf and Atlantic. In discipline, valor, and
*For orders (here omitted) see General Orders, No. 16, Department of the South, Part I, p.295.