War of the Rebellion: Serial 104 Page 0405 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

ments of the enemy in the vicinity of Tallahassee, Fla., Montgomery, Ala., and Columbus, Ga. From these and other statements already forwarded it seems that the Confederate forces will yet attempt to give battle in Georgia and Florida, beyond the Chattahoochee River, with the principal points established in a semicircle at Macon and Columbus, Ga., and Tallahassee and Lake City, Fla. I am sanguine that following up his successes the commanding general will send some of his forces toward Columbus and Macon, and would respectfully request that the Districts of West Florida, and Key West be permitted to co-operate from the Gulf, I starting from Saint Andrew's and Saint Mark's Bays to conquer Tallahassee and all of West Florida, and General Newton entering and ascending the Suwannee River up to McIntosh and New Boston, and cutting from there the Tallahassee and Jacksonville Railroad, as well as the new railroad connecting with the Savannah and Gulf Railroad between Live Oak, above Houston, and Big Saw Mill, above Somersville. A combined movement, or if only a demonstration from Jacksonville on the rebel eastward front, would greatly facilitate our advance. There are at present 3,000 to 4,000 rebel troops in the vicinity of Tallahassee, and it is rumored that Jeff. Davis will try to make his escape from there, via Saint Mark's, to more congenial lands. This plan of the rebel leader may concentrate some more desperadoes at Tallahassee, yet I am confident that 2,000 cavalry with one flying battery would be sufficient to fully secure success, and I would therefore respectfully request the favor of the commanding general, if not in conflict with dispositions already made, to be permitted to undertake the above expedition. The cavalry detachment here awaiting transportation will hardly be able to overtake General Lucas' command, and as I am informed that there are yet some cavalry regiments near Mobile awaiting orders, I confidently hope that the commanding general will honor this my request with his favorable consideration.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. ASBOTH,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

APRIL 17, 1865.

Absalom Capers (colored), from Lake City, E. Fla., states that Tallahassee is fortified and garrisoned by a regular force of about 500. The rebels are also fortifying at Saint Mark's, and have their main force there, about 2,000 strong, and a small force at Quancy. The whole rebel force in the vicinity of Tallahassee is from 3,000 to 4,000. General Miller is in command. Captain Dunham has a battery of four pieces on the railroad between Tallahassee and Quincy, and Captain Dickinson a battery on the road toward Jacksonville, on the rebel front eastward. Heard that General Newton was repulsed at Natural Bridge, on the Saint Mark's and Tallahassee Railroad, with a loss of 800 men. The Quincy and Tallahassee roads are now connected with the Gulf railroad at Live Oak, between Madison and Lake City. The rebels are collecting all able-bodied negroes and forcing them into the military service. Four hundred were taken from Tallahassee when I left, many of them hand cuffed.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

APRIL 17, 1865.

James Farrington and James Flint, from Greenville, Ala., state that Montgomery was occupied by General Wilson's cavalry on the 12th