June, having marched eighty-five miles. As directed, I reported to Judge Starke for information, and ascertained from him and other of the most influential nd respectable citizens the cause of the reported difficulties. It appears that deserters from both armies have been lurking about in Coffee County and adjoining counties for over a year, committing depredations upon the property of both loyal and disloyal men. Many citizens, among them Colonel Lee and Doctor Davis, the most influential, have been robbed of almost everything. From the best information I could gather, more than fifty men, mostly deserters from the First Florida Cavalry, U. S. Army, are engaged in robbing, plundering, and committing acts of violence. The country is very poor in Coffee county, and the whole country in that section of the State of Alabama and those parts of Florida contiguous to it, and these men, who have thus far escape[ed capture and just punishment, have been operating over, a large territory in order to make it anything of an object to them. I found not remain in that locality long enough, being without supplies, and the country being too poor to obtain them. A small force stationed at some convenient post on or near the Choctawhatchee River in the locality where the troubles exist would be the most effective in keeping everything quiet. Such a force could easily get supplies by boats on that rive, could operate through the whole country, arrest the offenders, and remove in a few weeks the cause of present difficulties.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. D. JOHNSON,
Captain, Commanding Company C, Second Maine Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Montgomery, Ala., June 30, 1865.
The detachment of the First Florida Cavalry mentioned herein deserted from near Pensacola about a year ago, and have billeted themselves upon the country since, taking whatever they need without any egad to the status of the party from whom it is taken. this party has been augmented by occasional deserters form the same regiment. Any party going there to arrest them will need to take all their supplies with them, as there is nothing left in the country beyond the actual necessities of the inhabitants.
A. J. SMITH,
Send company of infantry to take possession of Chattahoochee U. S. Arsenal, to repress depredations, &c.
NASHVILLE, June 27, 1865.
(Received 8.35 a. m. 28th.)
Major General E. R. S. CANBY:
By recent War Department orders, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia are attached to Thomas' command. I leave for New Orleans to-night.
B. H. GRIERSON,