HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Jacksonville, Fla., February 17, 1864
GENERAL: I have to report that on the 13th instant a command of Fortieth Massachusetts Volunteers, consisting of details from companies C, G, and H, under Capt. G. E. Marshall, of that regiment, left Sanderson for Gainesville, Fla., which point was reached on the morning of the 14th. Immense stores of cotton, of turpentine and rosin, sugar, tobacco, and supplies of all kinds, were captured.
In accordance with instructions given to Captain Marshall, no private property was destroyed or molested. The public subsistence stores were distributed among the inhabitants, who were suffering for want of them. Probably $1,000,000 worth of property fell into our hands, but it could not be removed and it was not considered advisable to destroy it.
On the evening of the 14th, Captain Marshall's force, being posted behind bales of cotton, in a favorable position, was attacked by two companies of cavalry under Captain Dickison, who were repulsed with loss of several men and of the majority of their horses.
Gainesville was held by this small force for fifty-six hours, and Captain Marshall, having accomplished his mission, returned to this place this morning, the 17th.
The excellent example of courage and good conduct shown by this command has had the best possible effect in correcting the misrepresentations that have been inculcated by the enemy, and will greatly stimulate the action of those who are friendly to us.
Captain Marshall has conducted himself in the noblest manner, and he and his men are worthy of my highest commendation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brig. Gen. J. W. TURNER,
Chief of Staff.
Copied from The Official Records of the War of Rebellion.
Chelsea Telegraph and Pioneer article on the Gainesville Raid
Boston Herald article on the Gainesville Raid