War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0453 Chapter LIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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tion, and to state that you acted properly in sending the information in the manner you did. Colonel Tilghman has been instructed to proceed at once to Jacksonville from Saint Augustine to report to district headquarters for duty. He is to assume command of the district should General Scammon still continue to be unfit for duty. Major-General Gillmoe directs that you send to these headquarters by return steamer copies of the orders issued ordering the expedition under Lieutenant-Colonel Wilcoxson to go after cotton.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. M. BURGER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, S. C., February 16, 1865.

Brigadier General E. P. SCAMMON,

Commanding District of Florida, Department of the South:

GENERAL: I am directed by Major-General Gillmore, commanding department, to state that he regrets that another disaster should have happend to our troops in Florida after so many cautions to the contrary. The major-general commanding directs me to call your attention particularly to a letter from these headquarters, dated January 29, 1865, which distinctly says that hereafter no party shall be sent out less than 1,000 strong, except when scouts are sent to ascertain the position of the enemy. The report received from your headquarters states that the party captured lately, with Lieutenant-Colonel Wilcoxson in command, numbered only forty-eight men, with ten wagons, and that the entire party was captured. This, besides being a violation of instructions, certainly shows that either parties are sent out in your district without a sufficient knowledge of the strength of the enemy, or that, knowing their strength, the parties are invariably too small. The major-general commanding directs that a full report of this disaster be made as soon as possible, to be accompanies by copies of the orders under which the expedition went out, the object, and at whose instigation they were sent.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. M. BURGER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, S. C., February 16, 1865.

Colonel B. C. TILGHMAN,

Third U. S. Colored Troops, Saint Augustine, Fla.:

COLONEL: Reports from Jacksonville contain the information that Brigadier-General Scammon is so seriously ill as to be unfit for any duty. Unless you have reliable information of this recovery before you receive this letter, you will proceed by the earliest conveyance to Jacksonville and report to district headquarters for duty.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Q. A. GILLMORE,

Major-General, Commanding.