St. Augustine and the Civil War
First St. Augustine Report
of Major Dudley Strickland
48th New York Volunteers
August 13, 1863
War of the Rebellion Records
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Saint Augustine, Fla., August 13, 1863.
Maj. E. W. SMITH Assistant Adjutant-General:

MAJOR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding, that I arrived here
and assumed command Sunday, the 2d of August, 1863. Up to this time, good order and quiet have

In the main, I have followed the course marked out by my predecessor, Colonel Hawley, and have
had but little difficulty, save in the issuing of rations to destitute citizens and in making the proper
distinctions in granting permits to persons desirous of purchasing. In the case of those destitute, I had
left me no complete list of a late date, it being omitted in the hurry of their departure, but, with the
copious notes left in my possession by Colonel Hawley, I issued rations with the greatest discretion. In
regard to those purchasing, the instructions were discretionary. I learn, upon inquiry, that at this time
there are no stores in the town where supplies can be purchased. This makes it necessary for me to
grant a little more indulgence. Some of the storekeepers who have formerly had supplies of this nature
are expecting more soon. Another reason for this excess in issue is that the season for vegetables has
passed. In September, those owning plots will commence planting.

On last Thursday, there appeared at the outer pickets, with a flag of truce, a young man Mr. C.
Leonardi his sister, and cousin. He desired the protection of our flag, as a sergeant and some men
were in search of him for the purpose of conscription, agreeably to the late proclamation of Jefferson
Davis. He had been in the rebel service at the opening of the war, but had obtained his discharge, on
the ground of being a minor. It was for the reason of his being in the service that his mother, sister, and
cousin were placed outside of our lines, so I am informed. As far as the young man was concerned, it
seemed to me perfectly proper to admit him, as it has been the custom of the Government at all times
to grant protection under similar circumstances. The condition of the family where they were obliged to
locate themselves has been represented to me by some of the oldest citizens, in whose statements
Colonel Hawley told me I could rely, as being most miserable. In fact, they state themselves that they
were almost destitute, being unable to obtain but very few of the necessaries of life. The mother is quite
an elderly lady and an invalid. Our surgeon, who visited her, reports that the case is one requiring
immediate care and attention. This lady is the mother-in-law of Lieutenant Tardy, U. S. Engineer
Corps. They were admitted.

Two other parties have applied for admission but their reasons not being considered sufficient, they
were refused. In reference to these cases, I beg leave to state, in the absence of instructions, that I shall
exercise the utmost diligence and permit none to enter save for reasons of the most imperative nature.

The bishop of Savannah and Florida, accompanied by his priest, have been admitted for four days. It
has been the custom of my predecessors to admit them for a like period. Leonardi is confined in the
provost guard house. What disposition shall be made of him?

Being very short of non-commissioned officers, I respectfully re- quest that Sergt. William E. DArcy,
Company F, at present doing duty with the Billinghurst Battery, be relieved and returned to his

Very respectfully, your obedient servant
Major Forty-eighth New York Volunteer
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