War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0071 EXPEDITION TO MILTON, FLA.

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FEBRUARY 22-25, 1865. - Expedition from Barrancas to Milton, Fla., and skirmishes.

REPORTS.

Numbers 1. - Brigadier General Alexander Asboth, U. S. Army, commanding District of West Florida.

Numbers 2. - Lieutenant Colonel Andrew B. Spurling, Second Maine Cavalry, commanding expedition.

Numbers 1. Reports of Brigadier General Alexander Asboth, U. S. Army, commanding District of West Florida.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST FLORIDA,

Barrancas, February 24, 1865.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that Lieutenant-Colonel Spurling, whom I sent day before yesterday with a small force of 350 men to Milton, Fla., in order to surprise a rebel force, succeeded in capturing 19 prisoners of war, 25 horses, and 4 mules. One rebel soldier was killed and 1 mortally wounded. Our men met with no loss. The prisoners and animals arrived here last night on the quartermaster steamer Matamoras, which vessel I ordered back at once to bring down Lieutenant-Colonel Spurling and his command, who had to remain at Milton, the boat not carrying more than fifty horses.

Very respectfully, captain, your obedient servant,

A. ASBOTH,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Captain F. W. EMERY,

Asst. Adjt. General, Dist. of West Florida and Southern Alabama.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WEST FLORIDA,

Barrancas, February 26, 1865.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit to the major-general commanding, in connection with my report of the 24th instant, that Lieutenant-Colonel Spurling, Second Maine Cavalry, safely returned from the Milton expedition with all of his men on the steamer Matamoras, bringing in ten horses and one mule more, making a total of men and animals captured and brought in of 19 men, 27 horses, and 5 mules, with a destruction of 50 stand of arms and accouterments, together with all of the enemy's camp equipage. The full report of Lieutenant-Colonel Spurling I beg to inclose. I have the honor further to report that a scouting party of fifty men of the First Florida Cavalry, under command of Lieutenant C. B. Pickard, sent out with the view of capturing the rebel pickets reported to be at Perdido Mills, has also safely returned. They crossed the Perdido, but found no rebels, they having returned to Greenwood on the afternoon of the 24th. On his return homeward Lieutenant Pickard came upon the track of three rebel scouts and succeeded in capturing two of them. They belong to the Sixth Alabama Cavalry, and were sent out from Canoe Station to get information about our forces here. One of these prisoners, a very intelligent man, gives quite an interesting statement, with the important news that a whole Alabama brigade of Cheatham's division broke from the train at Montgomery and, dispersing, left for their homes, and that Columbia and Charleston, S. C., were evacuated by the Confederates and occupied by the Federals, and that Sherman is on his way toward Richmond. I beg to inclose copy of his statement, and, as the inform