Expedition from Beaufort, S. C., up the Saint Mary's River, in Georgia and Florida
January 23 - February 1, 1863.
Report of Brig. Gen. Rufus Saxton.
BEAUFORT, S. C., February 2, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to forward for your information the report of Col. T. W. Higginson, First South Carolina Volunteers, of an expedition made by a portion of his regiment up the Saint Mary's River, in Georgia and Florida.
It gives me pleasure to report that the expedition accomplished every object I had in view in sending it and was a complete success. Great credit is due to Colonel Higginson for his bravery and skill in penetrating so far into the interior of a country filled with a wary, active foe, with so small a force. It foreshadows clearly the very important advantages which might result to our cause by the extensive arming of the blacks. I am laboring diligently toward this end in this department, but the limited extent of our lines renders it impossible for them to get to me in any very great numbers. The establishment of posts on the main-land would enable them to do so. No one knows better than the traitors now in arms against our Government the great element of strength which the cause of liberty and the Union has in the hearts and muscles of these loyal blacks. In my humble opinion it would be no misapplication of the best energies of the Government should they now be directed toward the arming and disciplining of every one that can be brought within our lines.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
SOURCE: United States War Department. THE WAR OF THE REBELLION: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Volume 14. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.