new shape, more easy of reference and more legible. The printing was done in my office. If, as I have understood, the expedition served to divert the enemy's force and attention from Steele's column, one of my objects was fully accomplished. From the enemy's admission he must have had three batteries of artillery and a very large force in comparison.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. S. - I send General Jones' order of congratulation; very mild, and, in comparison with a notice of a small skirmish a few weeks before, rather lugubrious. The forces mentioned incidentally in the paper Floridian and Journal, are Kilcrease Artillery; Dunham's battery; cadets from Tallahassee; Second Florida Cavalry; Scott's battalion; Abell's battery; Fifth Florida Cavalry; First Florida Militia; Barwick's Company Reserves; Hodges' Company Reserves; Company A, Militon Light Artillery; Companies A, B, and F, Reserves. These different organizations are incidentally mentioned, and are picked out from various portions of the newspaper. No mention is made of the re-enforcements from Georgia arriving about noon of the 6th, and amounting to over 1,000 men. Captain E. B. Tracy, assistant commissary of musters, died on the 16th. Please send on another.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF KEY WEST AND TORTUGAS,
Key West, Fla., March 19, 1865.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations in this district:
February 21. Late in the night the transport steamer Alliance from the west coast of Florida brought information that Fort Myers was attacked by a large force of rebels with artillery, and likewise that a party of 250 men from Cedar Keys on a raid had encountered a greatly superior force of the enemy at Station Four on the railroad, and after a gallant fight, in which the rebels were worsted, had safely returned to Cedar Keys on the approach of large re-enforcements to the enemy, commanded by Brigadier-General Miller.
February 22. The kindness of Admiral Stribling having placed at our disposal the steamer Magnolia, the Ninety-ninth U. S. Colored Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Pearsall, was embarked, destined for Punta Rassa. In the meantime the steamer Honduras arrived from Punta Rassa, whither it had gone on the receipt of the news of the rebel attack (to protect our depot there), and communicated the intelligence of the retreat of the enemy from Fort Myers. The steamer Magnolia was, nevertheless, dispatched to Punta Rassa, and the steamer Honduras was ordered by the admiral to be in readiness to transport additional troops the next day. In the meantime, after consultation with the admiral, the following general plan was adopted: The troops to be landed at Tampa or Cedar Keys, in order to cut off the force of the enemy sent to the Lower Peninsula, or else to proceed to the neighborhood of Saint Mark's for a raid or sudden expedition, in which the co-operation of the navy was promised.
February 23. Headquarters were embarked on the steamer Honduras, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Harris commanding, and likewise three companies, A, B, and K, of the Second U. S. Colored Infantry, destined for Punta Rassa.