as to prevent the passage of cars for a considerable length of time, it will, in a measure, cut off South Florida from the rest of the Confederacy, and in that event it will be necessary to have an active, intelligent, and energetic officer to command in South Florida. I know of no one, certainly no one in my command, at all comparable to Captain Dickinson for this service. If he had the requisite rank he could retain his present command, three companies and a section of artillery, and also the special, or, as it is called here, commissary battalion of nine companies and about 800 men. This battalion was organized by the War Department for the purpose of collecting cattle, but is called oin to render more military service when needed. I do not propose to interfere with the organization of the battalion, but simply to have Captain Dickinson given sufficient rank (the battalion is commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Munnerlyn) to enable him to exercise command ove rit. I am convinced that if this recommendation is adopted it will conduce to the interest of the service, and therefore respectfully urge that it be done as soon as practicable.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Report forwarded direct to the Adjutant and Inspector or General because I do not know when or where the copy sent to Lieutenant-General Hardee will reach him, and the uncertainty of reaching him also.
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DISTRICT OF FLORIDA,
Tallahassee, Fla., March 13, 1865.
Lieutenant General W. J. HARDEE,
Commanding Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida:
GENERAL: In an interview I had with you a day or two before I left Charlesto you gave as a reason for assigning me to the command of this district that, in the event of your being cut off from this section of country by the movements of the enemy, you desired to have in command here an officer of experience, and of such rank as would enable him to command in Southern Georgia in the event of any emergency rendering it desirable to do so; and you added that if after entering on command here I judged it advisable that my command should be extended to embrace Southern Georgia, or so much of it as was in your department, you would do it. I am convinced that all of Georgia south of the Altamaha, the Ocmulgee Rivers, and Muscogee and South Western Railroad, or the Eufaula Railroad, and the counties of Alabama adjacent to the Chattahoochee and south of Columbus should be under one commander. Under the altered aspect of affairs, the fall of Savannah and Charleston, the march of the enemy through South Carolina, and the transfer of the greate rpart of the Army of Tennessee north of the Savannah river, the present arrangement of districts seems to me very defective and inconvenient. As I understand it, the part of Georgia south of Altamaha and east of the Allapha is in the District of Georgia, headquarters at Augusta, and the portion of Southern Georgia west of the Allapaha is in [a] district of the Department of Tennessee. Who commands that department, if there is such a department now, and where the headquarters are, I do not know.