that the information is exaggerated. There is a Captain Johnston a follower of Senator Mallory, formerly of key West, who is well acquainted with the west coast of Florida, and all of the Keys. He is the man that Mallory would select for such business. I have suspected that Davis would take this route, and have been on the lookout for some information. I presume that this is the party gone forward to make arrangements. My reasons for thinking Davis would take this route are as follows: First. That of the Mississippi is essentially closed to him, or exceedingly dangerous. Second. Mallory and his followers have perfect knowledge of this route. There are passes through the Keys that are only known to few. Mallory is one of the few. Third. They can hide in safety in South Florida for years. Fourth. By going in the life-boat from Tampa to Sarasota they can, by a short "haulover," enter Charlotte Harbor, and lie concealed, or find their way down the coast to the Keys. I have written to Captain Stillwell, U. S. Navy, giving him the information such as it is, and authorizing him to give it to the officer of the navy commanding at Key West.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF FLORIDA,
FOURTH SEPARATE BRIGADE, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
Jacksonville, Fla., May 8, 1865.
Captain STILLWELL, U. S. Navy,
Commanding Naval Squadron, Saint John's River:
CAPTAIN; From information that I have received I am induced to think that Jeff is trying to make his way to the Keys of Florida or to the west coast south of Tampa. A party passed down from Gainesville some days since with a life-boat overland to Tampa. They offered $1,000 in gold to transport the baot to Tampa. Senator Harris, of Missouri, wasone of the party, and a pilot named Johnston. I think the lat is Captain Johnston, formerly of Key West, a favorite of Mallory. If so, he has been south in advance. He, as well as Mallory, is well acquainted with the south coast of Florida. They are probably trying to make their way to Mexico or Cuba. If you have an opportunity I think you had better send this to Key West. The man Parsons you arrested I have reason to think was on his way to Indian River to reconnoiter. I shall find out,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
WASHINGTON, May 9, 1865-1. 30 p. m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Fort Monroe, Va.:
Your dispatch of yesterday received. I know of no order which changes your command in any particular. General Wilson is in telegraphic communication with Washington whilst you have not been; consequently instructions have been sent him direct.
U. S. GRANT,