HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF FLORIDA,
FOURTH SEPARATE BRIGADE, DEPT, OF THE SOUTH,
Jacksonwille, Fla., April 23, 1865.
General SAM. JONES, Commanding District of Florida, Tallahassee, Fla.:
GENERAL: Your note of the 22nd instant, asking that 3,000 or4,000 paroled prisoners on their way for exchange my be received within my lines, and inclosing an official dispatch announcing that a suspension of arms has been agreed upon pending negotiations between the two Governments, has been received. In reply I desire to state that I am unprepared to give you a definite answer in regard to the reception of the prisoners until I can communicate with the major-general commanding department, which will probadly require three days. I will accede to a temporary suspension of hostilities until I can receive definite instructions, either party to give twenty-fourth hours' notice to the other on their picket-line near Jacksonsville, the twenty fourth hours's notice to date from the time the notice is given on the picte-line. I will be pleased to receive further information in regard to the prisoners on their way to Lake City, viz, their number, the date of arrival at Baldwin, and how many can be delivered each day.
I am, general, very respectfully, yours, &c.,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
WILLIAM GIBSON and
Commanding OFFICER BLOCKADING SQUADRON,
Saint Andrew's Bay; and
Brigadier Gens. J. NEWTON and I. VOGDES,
Key West and Jacksonwille, Fla.:
SIR: I send with this a copy of telegraphic dispatch from General J. E. Johnston, C. S. Army, received last night, announcing an armitice, pending negotiations between the two Governmnents. * It informs me that the armistice applies to the forces operating against me under your command, and I construe it as applying to navl as well as land forces. I respectfully ask if you so construe it; and if so, will a due observance of it on your part permit your to receive on any of your vessels or within your lines any negroes escaping from their masters pending the armistice?
I am, very respectfully, &c.,
(Copy of the above sent to Lieutenant Commander Charles E. Fleming, U. S. stearme Sagamore, commanding blockade off Saint Mark's, on the 24th April, 1865.)
PHILADELPHIA, April 23, 1965.
(Received 12,55 a. m. 24th.)
Hon E. M. STATION, Secretary of War:
Thanks for your prompt action in the unexpected negotiations of Sherman. The people are with Andy Johnston and you. I speak from yor text in both my papers to-morrow.
J. W. FORNEY.
* See Anderson to Jones, April 20, p. 284.