Major General Gillmore
Commanding Officer, U.S. Forces, Department of the South
orders departure of troops to Florida.


Hilton Head, February 5, 1864 — 9 p.m.

Brig. Gen. T. Seymour,

GENERAL: You will start your command so as, if possible, to get the bulk of it to sea before daybreak. Steamers that have tows should be started as soon as they are ready. The whole are to rendezvous at the mouth of the Saint John's River by daybreak day after to-morrow morning, the 7th instant. I expect to be there in person in that time, but should I fail from any cause you are expected to pass the bar on the Sunday morning's high tide, ascend the river to Jacksonville, effect a landing with your command, and push forward a mounted force as far as Baldwin, at the junction of the two railroads. The army transport Harriet A. Weed has been ordered forward to buoy out the Saint John's channel, and there await orders. It is not expected that the enemy have any strong force to oppose your landing. I have sent instructions to Colonel Guss, commanding at Fernandina, to have the railroad tracks on both roads beyond Baldwin torn up in several places after the train comes in to Jacksonville to-morrow, and to keep the tracks obstructed throughout Saturday night. The object of a prompt advance on Baldwin and, if possible, beyond, is to get possession of a train if one has been brought in by the enemy. The enemy are known to have a small force of infantry and a battery between Jacksonville and Baldwin.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.

P. S.--I have assigned you a number of signal officers with organized parties.

Major-General, Commanding.

Copied from The Official Records of the War of Rebellion.

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