Early Order Using "35th U.S.C.T."
Thirty-fifth United States Colored Troops
(First North Carolina Colored Volunteers)

Head qrs 35th U.S.C.I.
Picolata May 10th 1864
Capt. H B Scott, A. A. Gen.

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of communications 9th inst directing me to assume command of U.S. Troops at this place.

I would respectfully suggest the following for consideration of the Gen’l Comdg.

1. The force under my command consists of 7 cos 35th U.S. 420 men. 4 cos 157th N.Y. 150 men. 2 cos 8th U.S. 85 men. These all infantry and not adapted for extended patrolling.

2. Should the Gen’l Comd’g desire an effective patrol of east shore of the St. Johns, I would respectfully urge the following changes.

To recall the detachment of 177th N.Y. and 8th U.S. (the latter have no clothing or camp equipage) and send in their place the three mounted companies now detached from 35th U.S.

This being done, four boats being furnished for river patrol. I can guarantee the effective patrol of the river from hence to Welaka and afford protection to [ ? ] people on this side the river.

This plan will effect the consolidation of three regiments, now broken up, and will also make the picket of the river and shore effective. I do not deem it so now.

To Orange Springs, where the two companies 8th U.S. [C.T.] are located is about 15 miles by water more than 30 miles by land. Owing to the intervention of a creek & swamp to headed. There are five stations for land pickets between there and Welaka which comprise all probable crossing places used by the enemy. I should use the mounted infantry mainly from Orange Springs to Welaka and as patrol between the infantry picket stations.

I propose to maintain the detachment of 8th U.S.[C.T.] in its present locality until further orders. If it is deemed undesirable to send a boat hither I would respectfully suggest that the post QM at St. Augustine be instructed to furnish at least the teams for transportation of supplies.

I have the honor to be respectfully yours,
Jas. Beecher Col 35th US
Cmd’g U.S. Forces at Picolata

This correspondance, text and images, provided by James Permane.

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