Major General Gillmore
Commanding Officer, U.S. Forces, Department of the South
outlines his plans to Major General Henry W. Halleck
for the expedition to Florida.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, January 31, 1864.
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief, Washington, D.C.:
GENERAL: In reply to your letter of the 22d instant I beg leave state that the objects and advantages to be secured by the occupation of that portion of Florida within my reach, viz, the richest portions between the Suwannee and the Saint John's Rivers, are: First. To procure an outlet for cotton, lumber, timber, turpentine, and the other products of that State. Second. To cut off one of the enemy's sources of commissary supplies. He now draws largely upon the herds of Florida for his beef, and is making preparations to take up a portion of the Fernandina and Saint Mark's Railroad for the purpose of connecting the road from Jacksonville to Tallahassee with Thomasville, on the Savannah, Albany and Gulf Railroad, and perhaps with Albany, on the Southwestern Railroad. Third. To obtain recruits for my colored regiments. Fourth. To inaugurate measures for the speedy restoration of Florida to her allegiance, in accordance with instructions which I have received from the President by the hands of Maj. John Hay, assistant adjutant-general.
I am expected to accomplish these objects with the means at my command. The only requisitions which I have made in excess of my ordinary wants to enable me to accomplish this work speedily are for 1,500 horses and 1,500 sets horse equipments, to enable me to mount some infantry. If the filling of these requisitions will occasion any embarrassment to the departments of supply they can be reduced 30 per cent.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Q. A. GILLMORE,
Copied from The Official Records of the War of Rebellion.
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