Monday, April 21, 2014

February 19, 1864 (Saturday): The Olustee Campaign Commences

James Island Fortifications (

February 19, 1864-11.30 p. m.
Richmond, Va.:
     Telegram received. Have less than 15,000 effective infantry in whole department, of which 7,000 are left in South Carolina (5,000 on James' and Sullivan's Islands, Fort Sumter, and Charleston), and
950 around Savannah. Remainder in or en route for Florida to meet serious movements of enemy toward interior with heave force of infantry, artillery, and mounted infantry, reported to-day 10,000 strong, threatening to destroy the vitally valuable supplies of that State, and to meet which I am concentrating there every man that can be spared without imminent risk for this State or Georgia, and propose to go there in person at an early moment. We must do this or lose the State, the value of which the enemy appear now to perceive. I am hopeful of early and signal results in time to be free to give opportune aid elsewhere.

      General, Commanding.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 32, Part 2, Page 733.

Truman Seymour's Division of the 10th Corp was on it's way to Florida.  Beauregard had been successful in holding Charleston, but his continued ability to do so was threatened by any move to the South in Florida.  As the war continued the Confederate ability to shift forces to meet threats in multiple areas was even less (and never was strong to begin with). 

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