War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0062 KY., S. W. VA., TENN., N. & C. GA., MISS., ALA., & W. FLA.

Search Civil War Official Records

raid or expedition within the limits of this district. The absence of large numbers of rebel troops in the South Peninsula, as before stated, fixed the proper moment for the attempt, and it was not suitable to pass unnoticed the attempt of the rebels to capture Fort Myers and annoy the garrison at Cedar Keys. The rebel troops at Chattahoochee, Tallahassee, Saint Mark's, and as far east as Madisonville, were by unanimous testimony put at less than 600 men. It was likewise thought that the expedition from Pensacola, of which I had heard, would naturally draw the rebels from the neighborhood of Tallahassee and Saint Mark's, though it is known that the information of our intended operations in that vicinity drew their troops in the opposite direction - a great advantage, at all events, to our collum starting from Pensacola into the interior. After the expedition was over all the troops were returned to the posts at Cedar Keys, Punta Rassa, and Key West. Fort Myers has been broken up. The officers and men of the expedition behaved nobly under the most trying circumstances, marching fifty miles in forty-four hours, of which they rested only five hours, and fought or skirmished most of the time. When we recrossed the bridge at East River we found there a guard of forty seamen under command of Acting Ensign Whitman. For this precaution we were indebted to the foresight of Commander Shufeldt, who in my absence had relieved Lieutenant-Commander Gibson of the command of the naval force.

I cannot close this communication without expressing the obligations I am under to Rear-Admiral Stribling for the hearty co-operation which he ordered his officers to afford and his own endeavors to make the expedition a complete success. And this desire of the admiral was, so fads as I could perceive, cheerfully responded to by his officers. I will forward a list of recommendations for gallant services in the field.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

JOHN NEWTON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Mil. Div. of West Miss., New Orleans, La.

SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF FLORIDA, Numbers 49.

Tallahassee, March 9, 1865.

I. The major-general commanding returns his cordial thanks to the militia forces of the State for the promptness and dispatch with which they responded to the call of the Governor to turn out and repel the invading foe.

He marks with great satisfaction the spirit of determination and self-denial which has characterized their conduct, and shall rely with great confidence in future on your zealous and valuable services.

In disbanding you now the major-general commanding is actuated by a disposition to make your burdens as light as possible, knowing that when occasion requires you will be ready to respond.

You will be allowed to retain your arms and equipments, and it is urged upon you the great necessity that you should see that your arms and ammunition are always in condition for immediate action. The resources of your country are limited in these things, and the loss of your arms or ammunition might prove a serious calamity. You are desired when called out, even for drill, to appear always under arms, that no delay may occur in your reaching the scene of action.