War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0067 OPERATIONS ABOUT SAINT MARK'S, FLA.

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was that the rebels could make but little use of vastly superior forces. The enemy evacuated Saint Mark's, leaving but three men to blow up the fort there, destroy their gun-boat, the Spray, plying between Saint Mark's and Newport, and burn 500 bales of cotton at the depot at Saint Mark's, and, had the navy advanced, all of the objects contemplated in the expedition could, I think, have certainly been accomplished. The navy did not get to Port Leon nor land the 600 seamen there, as promised, and in consequence I could not cross between Newport and Saint Mark's after the destruction of the bridge at Newport, which was effected by the retiring enemy; neither could I draw upon my ammunition and provisions on shipboard. The expedition was a raid of a small body of infantry, there being no mounted men in this district, and was intended, besides the destruction of the enemy's public property, to give them employment nearer home and prevent them organizing expeditions against our small forts on the southern peninsula of Florida, an object which has been fully accomplished. I learn also that it effected a powerful diversion in favor of Steele's column marching from Pensacola, which was a contemplated benefit of the expedition. The naval force, which exaggerated the importance of the expedition in the public eye, being unable to perform the part assigned, was, to say the least, of no benefit to our operations. The expedition was not undertaken to go to Thomasville, capture Tallahassee, or occupy any part of the country, unless it should afterward appear that Saint Mark's possessed great advantages for the latter purpose. A great deal of the information imparted in this communication has been gained since my report to General Canby's headquarters. I send herewith a sketch of the country.* The enemy's available force when the expedition started did not exceed 700 men.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

JOHN NEWTON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

ADDENDA.

Report of casualties in action, March 6, 1865, at Natural Bridge, Fla.

Killed. Wounded.

Command. Officers. Men. Officers. Men.

Staff 1 ... 1 ...

2nd Florida ... 1 ... 2

Cavalry

2nd U. S. ... 10 6 41

Colored

Infantry

99th U. S. 1 8 2 37

Colored

Infantry

Total 2 19 9 80

Continuation: Missing.

Command. Officers. Men. Total. Remarks.

Staff ... ... 2 {Lieutenant

E.

Carrington,

143rd New

York

Volunteers,

killed.

2nd Florida ... 13 16 {Captain E.

Cavalry B. Tracy, 2nd

U. S. Colored

Infantry,

acting as-

2nd U. S. ... 1 58 {assistant

Colored adjutant-

Infantry general,

wounded

severely.

99th U. S. 1 23 72 Major B. C.

Colored Lincoln and

Infantry Second

Lieutenant

T. H. Murphy,

2nd U. S.

Colored

Infantry,

have since

died of their

wounds.

Total 1 37 148

JOHN NEWTON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF KEY WEST AND TORTUGAS,

Key West, Fla., March 19, 1865.

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* See p. 68.

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