28th February 1864
My dear General,
Before this reaches you no doubt you will have entered on your new command. It
was assigned to you after mature deliberation, and from reasons both personal and
official. I believed you would prefer more active service in a more extended field, but
under some embarrassments to reconcile conflicting claims and recommendations I did
not hesitate to advise the President to the course he adopted.
A want of vigilance and activity has been observed in Florida, and I assured the
President you would remidy [remedy] the evil and remove the causes. The troops are in
need of organization and discipline, and should be so located as to be called out to any
point assailed with rapidity. To aid you in this you will require an active and energetic
staff, willing to work and slow to complain. It will afford me great pleasure to aid you in
this or any other way, and I hope you will advise with me freely, both officially and
My own position here is not to my taste, but my rule is to act my part to the best
of my ability whenever assigned. I am satisfied I can do much good in aiding the
President, who is harassed and broken down by too great a pressure of details. He is at a
loss for a successor in your Brigade. When I left you my impression was Tucker your
confidence & support. Please inform me as to him and the other Miss. Colonels What
are their positive & relative merits?
You will confer a favor on me if you will give me the facts within your
knowledge in regard to the movements made by us in the McLemore failure. I need it
only for private information.
My kind regards to Mrs. A.
And believe me Very Truly yr friend
Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.