HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DISTRICT OF FLORIDA,
Camp Milton, May 11, 1864.
Lieutenant-Colonel BREVARD, Commanding, &c.:
COLONEL: Your dispatches of the 9th are received. Captain Pearson's company leaves this evening for Orange Springs, and the major-general commanding directs that you leave that section of country to be occupied by him.
An expedition left here last night for the upper Saint John's, whose operations it is hoped will stop the navigation of that stream by marauding parties on steam-boats. The major-general commanding desires that you direct your operations against the enemy in most eligible; drive the deserters and tories before you, and strike the enemy time an opportunity presents. It is hoped that your force, aided by aided by the section of light guns under Lieutenant Bruton, will be sufficient to destroy and disperse any parties that may oppose you. Encourage by every means in your power the organization of the loyal citizens in South Florida; their co-operation, if measures are adopted to secure it, will be very valuable to you. Sixteen hundred pounds of hard bread are sent to Major Hamilton, at Gainesville, by this evening's trains for your exclusive use. Call on him for such supplies as you need, though your main dependence for meat should be on the cattle in the region in which you operate. Means should be taken to secure payment for any cattle belonging to the loyal owners that you may use.
Your suggestion relative to Lieutenant Haynes' detachment is under consideration, but the need of cavalry here is so great that the general will be unable to spare any more for service in South Florida at present. Should the enemy be present at Orlando and other points in Volusia in such strength as to render the arrangements I have indicated unsafe at present, you will consider yourself at liberty to act according to your own discretion.
The major-general commanding indicates a course that the situation in South Florida renders it very desirable to adopt, but at the same time refrains from hampering you with any positive orders.
I am, colonel, &c.,
WM. G. BARTH,
ROYALL'S HOUSE, May 12, 1864-1.20 p. m.
Captain FEILDEN, Assistant Adjutant-General:
I directed Colonel Yates to put on guard only such men as could be trusted. The sentinel in charge of the boat and the sentinel nearest the wharf both deserted in the boat.
WM. B. TALIAFERRO,
HEADQUARTERS EAST LINES,
James Island, May 12, 1864.
Captain P. N. PAGE, Assistant Adjutant-General:
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report from the various posts in this command.
At Fort Johnson there was no firing from any of the batteries in
31 R R-VOL XXXV, PT II