Montgomery, Ala., and if possible reach those two points. He has a well-appointed and enthusiastic force, and I have no doubt will aid your forces very materially in your operations against Selma and Montgomery. I wish you the most eminent success in your movements.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST FLORIDA, No. 23. Barrancas, February 28, 1865.
The following order, received this a.m., is published for the information of this command:
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, No.-. February 25, 1865.
Major General F. Steele is assigned to the command of the troops operating from Pensacola Bay, and will proceed to Barrancas, Fla., to complete the organization and preparation of his column. He will have for the purpose of preparation the control of the depot of supplies at Barrancas, and will make requisitions for any additional supplies that may be needed upon the depots in Mobile Bay.
By order of Major General E. R. S. Canby:
H. R. PUTNAM,
Major and Aide-de-Camp.
By command of Brigadier-General Asboth:
J. WM. HAIGHT, JR.,
First Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
BARRANCAS, FLA., February 28, 1865.
Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
Asst. Adjt. General, Headquarters Military Division, &c.:
COLONEL: I arrived here this morning, having taken advantage of the first means of transportation from Fort Gaines after the general left. We were detained some time while a pontoon bridge, which General Granger ordered over here, was being loaded, but would have reached here yesterday if it had not been for the fog. The general wished me to write in regard to General Asboth's physical ability to endure the fatigue of a campaign. He is full of valor and energy, and seems very desirous of going into the field, but it appears to me that he is too feeble. He tells me that his weight is 140 pounds, and I observe that he requires assistance to mount and dismount his horse. While he is mounted he seems to experience no inconvenience in riding at a furious rate for several hours. I rode with him around the camps here to-day. General Andrews informs me that Lieutenant-Colonel Spurling, of the cavalry, is thoroughly acquainted with the country, and well qualified in every respect to command cavalry on an expedition like that in contemplation. I fear that the pontoon bridge will be a great incumbrance to my movements. The boats are very heavy, and it is my opinion that I could get along much easier and more expeditiously without them. The fog threatens to delay the boats transporting our troops.
Very respectfully, &c.,