Article Title: "Newnan's Expeditions. Col. Daniel Newnan's report to Gov. Mitchell of his expedition against the Seminoles of Alachua with the Georgia volunteers, noting that King Payne was wounded, and that the blacks among the Seminole 'are their best soldiers.' "
Author:
Published in: National Intelligencer
Place of Publication: Washington, DC
Publication Date: 12/5/1812




NEWNAN'S EXPEDITION.
Detailed account of Colonel Newnan's Late Expedition against the Florida Indians.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF GEORGIA.
Thursday, 5th Nov. 1812.
On motion,
Resolved, That his excellency the Governor be requested to lay before this House any information, which may be in his possession, relative to an expedition lately conducted by the adjutant general of this State, against the Seminolie Indians in East Florida.
Read and agreed to,
Attest, HINES HOLT, Clerk.
Executive Department, Georgia,
Milledgeville, 7th Nov. 1812.
Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives !
In compliance with your Resolutions of the 5th inst. calling for information relative to an expedition lately conducted by the adjutant general of this State, against the Seminolie Indians in East Florida, you will herewith receive a copy of a letter recently received at this Department from colonel Daniel Newnan, which contains all the official information I possess. It is proper to remark that, as far as my knowledge extends, the expedition referred to was a voluntary act of the officers and men who were engaged in it.
D. B. MITCHELL.
New Hope, St. John's,
19th Oct. 1812.
DEAR SIRI have now the honor of transmitting to your Excellency an account of the several engagements which have taken place between the Lotchaway and Alligator Indians, and the detachment of Georgia Volunteers under my command. As the object of this expedition, and the views of the persons engaged in it, have been misconstrued, and misstatements relative to its protraction circulated ; I ask the indulgence of your Excellency to detail every transaction from its commencement to its termination. I arrived upon St. John's in obedience to your orders, about the 15th of Aug. with the whole of my detachment, consisting [including officers] of about 250 men, and with few on the sick report. I immediately waited on colonel Smith, before Augustine, and received orders dated the 21st of Aug. to proceed immediately against the hostile Indians within the province of East Florida, and destroy their towns, provisions and settlements. I then returned to the detachment upon the St. John's, and made every preparation to comply with my orders, by dispatching parties to procure horses from the few inhabitants that had not fled from the province, in preparing packs and provisions, and taking every step which I deemed necessary to insure success to the enterprise. In consequence of the sickness of myself, nearly one half the detachment, the period of our marching was delayed until the 24th of September; and when just upon the eve of departing, an express arrived from colonel Smith informing me that his provision wagons and the escort was attacked by a body of Negroes and Indians, and ordering me to join him immediately with 90 men, and bring all the horses and carriages I could command, for the removal of his baggage, field-pieces, and sick, he having only 70 men fit for duty. I marched to the relief of the Colonel, with 130 men and 25 horses, and assisted him in removing to the Block-house upon Davis's creek. This service delayed for a few days our expedition to the nation ; and when the detachment again assembled upon the St. John's, and were about to commence their march, the men had but 6 or 7 days to serve. About this time I received a letter from colonel Smith, advising me to propose to the detachment an extension of their service for 15 or 20 days longer, as the time for which they were engaged was deemed insufficient to accomplish any object of the expedition. This measure I had contemplated, and its sanction by the Colonel met with my most hearty approbation ; for I was unwilling to proceed to an enemy's country with a single man, who would declare, that, in any event, he would not serve a day longer than the time for which he had originally volunteered. I accordingly assembled the detachment, and after stating the necessity of a tender of further service, proposed that the men should volunteer for 3 weeks longer ; when 84 men, including officers, stepped out and were enrolled, which, with the addition of 23 volunteer militia sent to my aid by Colonel Smith, and 9 Patriots under the command of captain Cone, made my whole force amount to 117. With this small body, provided with 4 days' provisions and 12 horses, I was determined to proceed to the nation and give those merciless savages at least one battle ; and I was emboldened in this determination by the strong expectation of being succored by a body of cavalry from St. Mary's, and which it has since appeared did assemble at Colerain, but proceeded no farther. On the evening of the 24th September, we left the St. John's, marching in Indian file, captain Humphrey's company of riflemen in front, captain Fort's company under the command of lieut. Fannin in the center, and captain Coleman's company with Cone's detachment under the command of lieut. Broadnax in the rear. A small party marched in front of the main body, and another in the rear, the openness of the country [except in particular places] rendering it unnecessary to employ men upon the right and left. Our encampment of nights [there being 3 companies] was in the form of a triangle, with the baggage in the center, the men with their cloths on, lying with their feet pointing outwards, and their fire-locks in their arms. In case of an attack, the officers were instructed to bring up their companies upon the right and left of the company fronting the enemy, and attend to the Indian mode of fighting until ordered to charge. In case of meeting the enemy upon our march, Humphries's company was instructed to file off to the right, Fort's company to advance and form to the front in single rank, and Coleman's company to file off to the left; the whole then to advance in the form of a crescent, and endeavor to encircle the enemy. On the morning of the 4th day of our march, when we were within 6 or 7 miles of the Lotchaway towns, our advanced party discovered a body of Indians marching along the path meeting us, and at the same moment they appeared to have discovered us. As soon as I was informed of it, I lost no time in giving the necessary directions for the companies to advance, and obey the instructions which had been previously given to them, and which appeared exactly suited to the situation in which we found the enemy. As soon as Fort's company [at the head of which I had placed myself] had advanced to its proper ground, I discovered the Indians falling back, and making every preparation for battle, by unslinging their packs, priming their rifles, and each man taking his tree. We continued to advance, taking advantage of the trees in our progress, until we were within 130 yards of the Indians, when many of them fired, and I instantly ordered the charge, which drove them from behind the trees, and caused them to retire with the greatest precipitation ; our men all the while firing at them, slew several, and by repeated charges, drove them a half mile, when they took shelter in the swamp. It unfortunately happened [I presume through inadvertence] that Humphries's company in filing to the right took too great a circuit, got a small swamp between them and the enemy and thereby rendered the victory less decisive than it would have been, had the whole charged together, and before the Indians had dispersed themselves, and extended their force [which they soon did] near a half mile up and down the swamp. The company however, was of service afterwards in preventing the enemy after dispersion from entering our camp, retaining their baggage and provision [all of which fell into our hands] or falling upon the wounded, that had been sent to the rear. The action included the skirmishing upon the flanks, lasted two hours and a half, the Indians frequently attempting to outflank us and get in our rear, but were repulsed by the companies extending to the right and left. We had one man killed and nine wounded, two of which have since died of their wounds. The loss of the enemy must have been considerable. I saw seven fall to the ground with my own eyes, among whom was their king, Payne, two of them fell near the swamp, the rest our men had the curiosity to scalp. The rifle company on the right and Broadnax's on the left, speak of killing several near the swamp, who were borne off by their comrades, it being a principle among the savages to carry off their dead at the risk of their lives. We remained on the battle ground watching the movements of the Indians, who were near the swamp painting themselves, and appeared to be in consultation, all of which indicated an intention to renew the combat. Accordingly a half hour before sun-set, having obtained a considerable reinforcement of negroes and Indians, from their towns, they commenced the most horrid yells imaginable, imitating the cries and noise of almost every animal of the forest, their chiefs advancing in front in a stooping serpentine manner, and making the most wild and frantic gestures, until they approached within two hundred yards of us, when they halted and commenced firing. Our men were not to be alarmed by their noise and yells, but as instructed, remained perfectly still and steady behind logs and trees until the enemy by this forbearance had approached somewhat nearer, when a brisk and well directed fire from our line soon drove them back to their original ground. I would now have ordered the charge, but being under the necessity from the extension of the enemy's line, of detaching nearly one-half of my force to protect our camp and wounded, (the assailing of which is a great object with Indians,) I was left to contend with a force three times as numerous as my own. The action lasted until eight o'clock, when the enemy were completely repulsed in every attempt whether made upon our center or flanks. We had two men killed and one wounded ; the enemy carried off several of their men before it was dark, after which all firing [of course random] was at the spot from whence the flash arose. After fighting and fasting the whole day, we had to work throughout the night, and at day light had a tolerable breast work of logs and earth, with port holes, on the ground on which the battle was fought. We were reduced to this necessity, for in dispatching captain Whitaker about dark to St. John's for a reinforcement, six more men took the liberty to accompany him, taking with them our best horses : our pilot and surgeon (who was sick) was among the number. The two days of succeeding the battle, we neither saw or heard any thing of the enemy, but on the evening of the third day they commenced firing at our work at a long distance, and renewed it every day for five or six days, but without killing or wounding any of our men. After killing two or three of them through our port holes they seldom came within gun-shot. Seven or eight days had now elapsed since our express had left us, hunger
was staring us in the face, and we were reduced to the necessity of eating one of our horses ; we had no surgeon to dress the wounded, and apprehensions were entertained that the enemy would receive reinforcements from Augustine or the Mukasukie Indians. Expecting relief every hour I was unwilling to leave our breast works while we had a horse left to eat, but I understood from some of my officers that a certain captain was determined to leave us with his company, and that many of the men giving up all hopes of relief talked of deserting in the night rather than perish, or fall a sacrifice to the merciless negroes Indians, whom they were taught to believe would surround us in great numbers in a few days. In this trying situation, when our few remaining horses were shot down by them, and the number of our sick daily increasing, I reluctantly assented to leave our works that night, and directed the litters to be prepared to carry the wounded. About nine o'clock we commenced our distressing march, carrying the five wounded men in litters and supporting two or three more. We had not proceeded more than eight miles, when the men became perfectly exhausted from hunger and fatigue, and were unable to carry the wounded any farther. About two hours after we left our breast works, twenty five horsemen with provisions arrived to our relief, on a different road from the one we had taken, but from motives best known to themselves instead of following us, returned to St. John's, and we were left to encounter new difficulties, two men that I had dispatched on the path the horsemen came by some means or other missing them. We again constructed a place of defence, and I dispatched serjeant-major Reese with one private to Picolata, to learn what had occasioned the delay of our expected supplies, and told him I should remain where I was until I could hear from him, and endeavored to procure cattle, as we discovered signs of their being near us.
The evil genius of Captain again prevailed, I have since learned from capt. Cone, that this person instigated not only him, but many of the privates to urge a departure from our works even in the day time, when I was convinced that the Indians knowing our weak situation would endeavor to ambuscade. This gentleman if innocent will have an opportunity of proving himself before a Court Martial. With a burning fever on me, and scarcely able to walk, the march was ordered about three o'clock in the afternoon. I had directed the adj't. capt. Hardin, to march in front, to avoid all places where there could be an ambuscade, and the litters should be distributed among the different companies. Being extremely weak I marched in the rear with captain (who carried my firelock) lieut. Fannin and about fifteen or twenty privates. We had scarcely marched five miles before the front of the detachment discover the heads of several Indians on both sides of the path, from among several pine trees that were laid prostrate by the hurricane ; the same instant, the enemy fired upon our advanced party, and shot down four of them, one a Spaniard, died on the spot, and two survived a few days ; my negro boy was one of them. The moment I heard the firing I ordered the detachment to charge, and the Indians were completely defeated in fifteen minutes, many of them dropping their guns, and the whole running off without ever attempting to rally. Four were left dead on the field, and I am convinced from the constant fire we kept up, that many more must have been slain, but were hid from our view by the thick and high Palmetto bushes. We lay on the battle ground all night, and started next day at 10 o'clock, marched five miles and again threw up breast works between two ponds, living upon gophers, alligators palmetto stocks, until serjeant-major Reese arrived with provisions, and 14 horses, when we were enabled to proceed to St. John's with all our sick and wounded, where a gun-boat by the direction of Col. Smith was in waiting for us, which conveyed us to his camp, where we met with every attention that humanity or benevolence could bestow. I cannot refrain from here expressing the high sense I have of the care and anxiety which col. Smith has manifested for the detachment under my command, and his promptitude in affording every aid in his power, when apprized of our situation. My pen can scarcely do justice to the merits of the brave officers and men under my command, their fortitude under all their privations and distresses never forsaking them. Captain Hamilton, (who volunteered as a private, his company having left him at the expiration of their time,) lieutenant Fannin, Ensign Hamilton and adjutant Harden distinguished themselves in a particular manner, being always among the first to charge, and the first in pursuit ; serjeants Holt and Attaway likewise acted very bravely, and Fort's company in general (being always near me, and under my immediate view) advanced to the charge with the steadiness of veterans. Lt. Broadnax shewed a great deal of courage and presence of mind, and ensign Mann who was wounded in the first action fought well. Captain Cone who was wounded in the head early in the action behaved well, and lieutenant Williams did himself great honor in every action, but particularly in the bold and manly stand he made in the night engagement. Serjeant Hawkins and corporal Neil of Coleman's company acted like soldiers, and serj. mj. Reese's activity was only surpassed by his courage ; he was every where and always brave. Captain Humphries' company acted bravely, particularly lieutenant Reed, serjeant Fields, serjeant Cowan, serjeant Denmark and many of the privates. I can only speak of captain Humphries from the report of some of his men, who say he acted well ; it so happening he never met my eye during either of the engagements, while the conduct of every other person that I have mentioned (except one or two) came under my personal observation. The number of Indians in the first engagement, from every circumstance that appeared, must have been from seventy-five to an hundredin the second engagement, their number [including negroes, who are their best soldiers] was double ours, and in the third engagement there appeared to be fifty which was nearly equal to our force, after deducting the sick and wounded. From every circumstance, I am induced to believe that the number of killed and wounded among the Indians must be at least fifty.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant. DANIEL NEWNAN. His Excellency David B. Mitchell



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Article Title: "Newnan's Expeditions. Col. Daniel Newnan's report to Gov. Mitchell of his expedition
against the Seminoles of Alachua with the Georgia volunteers, noting that King Payne was wounded,
and that the blacks among the Seminole 'are their best soldiers.'"
Author:
Published in: National Intelligencer
Place of Publication: Washington, DC
Publication Date: 12/5/1812




NEWNAN'S EXPEDITION.
Detailed account of Colonel Newnan's Late Expedition against the Florida Indians.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF GEORGIA.
Thursday, 5th Nov. 1812.
On motion,
Resolved, That his excellency the Governor be requested to lay before this House any information,
which may be in his possession, relative to an expedition lately conducted by the adjutant general of
this State, against the Seminolie Indians in East Florida.
Read and agreed to,
Attest, HINES HOLT, Clerk.
Executive Department, Georgia,
Milledgeville, 7th Nov. 1812.
Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives !
In compliance with your Resolutions of the 5th inst. calling for information relative to an expedition
lately conducted by the adjutant general of this State, against the Seminolie Indians in East Florida,
you will herewith receive a copy of a letter recently received at this Department from colonel Daniel
Newnan, which contains all the official information I possess. It is proper to remark that, as far as my
knowledge extends, the expedition referred to was a voluntary act of the officers and men who were
engaged in it.
D. B. MITCHELL.
New Hope, St. John's,
19th Oct. 1812.
DEAR SIRI have now the honor of transmitting to your Excellency an account of the several
engagements which have taken place between the Lotchaway and Alligator Indians, and the
detachment of Georgia Volunteers under my command. As the object of this expedition, and the
views of the persons engaged in it, have been misconstrued, and misstatements relative to its
protraction circulated ; I ask the indulgence of your Excellency to detail every transaction from its
commencement to its termination. I arrived upon St. John's in obedience to your orders, about the
15th of Aug. with the whole of my detachment, consisting [including officers] of about 250 men, and
with few on the sick report. I immediately waited on colonel Smith, before Augustine, and received
orders dated the 21st of Aug. to proceed immediately against the hostile Indians within the province of
East Florida, and destroy their towns, provisions and settlements. I then returned to the detachment
upon the St. John's, and made every preparation to comply with my orders, by dispatching parties to
procure horses from the few inhabitants that had not fled from the province, in preparing packs and
provisions, and taking every step which I deemed necessary to insure success to the enterprise. In
consequence of the sickness of myself, nearly one half the detachment, the period of our marching
was delayed until the 24th of September; and when just upon the eve of departing, an express arrived
from colonel Smith informing me that his provision wagons and the escort was attacked by a body of
Negroes and Indians, and ordering me to join him immediately with 90 men, and bring all the horses
and carriages I could command, for the removal of his baggage, field-pieces, and sick, he having only
70 men fit for duty. I marched to the relief of the Colonel, with 130 men and 25 horses, and assisted






him in removing to the Block-house upon Davis's creek. This service delayed for a few days our
expedition to the nation ; and when the detachment again assembled upon the St. John's, and were
about to commence their march, the men had but 6 or 7 days to serve. About this time I received a
letter from colonel Smith, advising me to propose to the detachment an extension of their service for
15 or 20 days longer, as the time for which they were engaged was deemed insufficient to accomplish
any object of the expedition. This measure I had contemplated, and its sanction by the Colonel met
with my most hearty approbation; for I was unwilling to proceed to an enemy's country with a single
man, who would declare, that, in any event, he would not serve a day longer than the time for which
he had originally volunteered. I accordingly assembled the detachment, and after stating the
necessity of a tender of further service, proposed that the men should volunteer for 3 weeks longer;
when 84 men, including officers, stepped out and were enrolled, which, with the addition of 23
volunteer militia sent to my aid by Colonel Smith, and 9 Patriots under the command of captain Cone,
made my whole force amount to 117. With this small body, provided with 4 days' provisions and 12
horses, I was determined to proceed to the nation and give those merciless savages at least one
battle ; and I was emboldened in this determination by the strong expectation of being succored by a
body of cavalry from St. Mary's, and which it has since appeared did assemble at Colerain, but
proceeded no farther. On the evening of the 24th September, we left the St. John's, marching in
Indian file, captain Humphrey's company of riflemen in front, captain Fort's company under the
command of lieut. Fannin in the center, and captain Coleman's company with Cone's detachment
under the command of lieut. Broadnax in the rear. A small party marched in front of the main body,
and another in the rear, the openness of the country [except in particular places] rendering it
unnecessary to employ men upon the right and left. Our encampment of nights [there being 3
companies] was in the form of a triangle, with the baggage in the center, the men with their cloths on,
lying with their feet pointing outwards, and their fire-locks in their arms. In case of an attack, the
officers were instructed to bring up their companies upon the right and left of the company fronting the
enemy, and attend to the Indian mode of fighting until ordered to charge. In case of meeting the
enemy upon our march, Humphries's company was instructed to file off to the right, Fort's company to
advance and form to the front in single rank, and Coleman's company to file off to the left; the whole
then to advance in the form of a crescent, and endeavor to encircle the enemy. On the morning of the
4th day of our march, when we were within 6 or 7 miles of the Lotchaway towns, our advanced party
discovered a body of Indians marching along the path meeting us, and at the same moment they
appeared to have discovered us. As soon as I was informed of it, I lost no time in giving the
necessary directions for the companies to advance, and obey the instructions which had been
previously given to them, and which appeared exactly suited to the situation in which we found the
enemy. As soon as Fort's company [at the head of which I had placed myself] had advanced to its
proper ground, I discovered the Indians falling back, and making every preparation for battle, by
unslinging their packs, priming their rifles, and each man taking his tree. We continued to advance,
taking advantage of the trees in our progress, until we were within 130 yards of the Indians, when
many of them fired, and I instantly ordered the charge, which drove them from behind the trees, and
caused them to retire with the greatest precipitation ; our men all the while firing at them, slew several,
and by repeated charges, drove them a half mile, when they took shelter in the swamp. It
unfortunately happened [I presume through inadvertence] that Humphries's company in filing to the
right took too great a circuit, got a small swamp between them and the enemy and thereby rendered
the victory less decisive than it would have been, had the whole charged together, and before the
Indians had dispersed themselves, and extended their force [which they soon did] near a half mile up
and down the swamp. The company however, was of service afterwards in preventing the enemy
after dispersion from entering our camp, retaining their baggage and provision [all of which fell into
our hands] or falling upon the wounded, that had been sent to the rear. The action included the
skirmishing upon the flanks, lasted two hours and a half, the Indians frequently attempting to outflank
us and get in our rear, but were repulsed by the companies extending to the right and left. We had
one man killed and nine wounded, two of which have since died of their wounds. The loss of the
enemy must have been considerable. I saw seven fall to the ground with my own eyes, among whom






was their king, Payne, two of them fell near the swamp, the rest our men had the curiosity to scalp.
The rifle company on the right and Broadnax's on the left, speak of killing several near the swamp,
who were borne off by their comrades, it being a principle among the savages to carry off their dead
at the risk of their lives. We remained on the battle ground watching the movements of the Indians,
who were near the swamp painting themselves, and appeared to be in consultation, all of which
indicated an intention to renew the combat. Accordingly a half hour before sun-set, having obtained a
considerable reinforcement of negroes and Indians, from their towns, they commenced the most
horrid yells imaginable, imitating the cries and noise of almost every animal of the forest, their chiefs
advancing in front in a stooping serpentine manner, and making the most wild and frantic gestures,
until they approached within two hundred yards of us, when they halted and commenced firing. Our
men were not to be alarmed by their noise and yells, but as instructed, remained perfectly still and
steady behind logs and trees until the enemy by this forbearance had approached somewhat nearer,
when a brisk and well directed fire from our line soon drove them back to their original ground. I
would now have ordered the charge, but being under the necessity from the extension of the enemy's
line, of detaching nearly one-half of my force to protect our camp and wounded, (the assailing of
which is a great object with Indians,) I was left to contend with a force three times as numerous as my
own. The action lasted until eight o'clock, when the enemy were completely repulsed in every
attempt whether made upon our center or flanks. We had two men killed and one wounded ; the
enemy carried off several of their men before it was dark, after which all firing [of course random] was
at the spot from whence the flash arose. After fighting and fasting the whole day, we had to work
throughout the night, and at day light had a tolerable breast work of logs and earth, with port holes, on
the ground on which the battle was fought. We were reduced to this necessity, for in dispatching
captain Whitaker about dark to St. John's for a reinforcement, six more men took the liberty to
accompany him, taking with them our best horses : our pilot and surgeon (who was sick) was among
the number. The two days of succeeding the battle, we neither saw or heard any thing of the enemy,
but on the evening of the third day they commenced firing at our work at a long distance, and renewed
it every day for five or six days, but without killing or wounding any of our men. After killing two or
three of them through our port holes they seldom came within gun-shot. Seven or eight days had now
elapsed since our express had left us, hunger
was staring us in the face, and we were reduced to the necessity of eating one of our horses; we had
no surgeon to dress the wounded, and apprehensions were entertained that the enemy would
receive reinforcements from Augustine or the Mukasukie Indians. Expecting relief every hour I was
unwilling to leave our breast works while we had a horse left to eat, but I understood from some of my
officers that a certain captain was determined to leave us with his company, and that many of the
men giving up all hopes of relief talked of deserting in the night rather than perish, or fall a sacrifice to
the merciless negroes Indians, whom they were taught to believe would surround us in great
numbers in a few days. In this trying situation, when our few remaining horses were shot down by
them, and the number of our sick daily increasing, I reluctantly assented to leave our works that night,
and directed the litters to be prepared to carry the wounded. About nine o'clock we commenced our
distressing march, carrying the five wounded men in litters and supporting two or three more. We had
not proceeded more than eight miles, when the men became perfectly exhausted from hunger and
fatigue, and were unable to carry the wounded any farther. About two hours after we left our breast
works, twenty five horsemen with provisions arrived to our relief, on a different road from the one we
had taken, but from motives best known to themselves instead of following us, returned to St. John's,
and we were left to encounter new difficulties, two men that I had dispatched on the path the
horsemen came by some means or other missing them. We again constructed a place of defence,
and I dispatched serjeant-major Reese with one private to Picolata, to learn what had occasioned the
delay of our expected supplies, and told him I should remain where I was until I could hear from him,
and endeavored to procure cattle, as we discovered signs of their being near us.
The evil genius of Captain again prevailed, I have since learned from capt. Cone, that this person
instigated not only him, but many of the privates to urge a departure from our works even in the day
time, when I was convinced that the Indians knowing our weak situation would endeavor to






ambuscade. This gentleman if innocent will have an opportunity of proving himself before a Court
Martial. With a burning fever on me, and scarcely able to walk, the march was ordered about three
o'clock in the afternoon. I had directed the adj't. capt. Hardin, to march in front, to avoid all places
where there could be an ambuscade, and the litters should be distributed among the different
companies. Being extremely weak I marched in the rear with captain (who carried my firelock) lieut.
Fannin and about fifteen or twenty privates. We had scarcely marched five miles before the front of
the detachment discover the heads of several Indians on both sides of the path, from among several
pine trees that were laid prostrate by the hurricane ; the same instant, the enemy fired upon our
advanced party, and shot down four of them, one a Spaniard, died on the spot, and two survived a
few days ; my negro boy was one of them. The moment I heard the firing I ordered the detachment to
charge, and the Indians were completely defeated in fifteen minutes, many of them dropping their
guns, and the whole running off without ever attempting to rally. Four were left dead on the field, and I
am convinced from the constant fire we kept up, that many more must have been slain, but were hid
from our view by the thick and high Palmetto bushes. We lay on the battle ground all night, and
started next day at 10 o'clock, marched five miles and again threw up breast works between two
ponds, living upon gophers, alligators palmetto stocks, until serjeant-major Reese arrived with
provisions, and 14 horses, when we were enabled to proceed to St. John's with all our sick and
wounded, where a gun-boat by the direction of Col. Smith was in waiting for us, which conveyed us to
his camp, where we met with every attention that humanity or benevolence could bestow. I cannot
refrain from here expressing the high sense I have of the care and anxiety which col. Smith has
manifested for the detachment under my command, and his promptitude in affording every aid in his
power, when apprized of our situation. My pen can scarcely do justice to the merits of the brave
officers and men under my command, their fortitude under all their privations and distresses never
forsaking them. Captain Hamilton, (who volunteered as a private, his company having left him at the
expiration of their time,) lieutenant Fannin, Ensign Hamilton and adjutant Harden distinguished
themselves in a particular manner, being always among the first to charge, and the first in pursuit;
serjeants Holt and Attaway likewise acted very bravely, and Fort's company in general (being always
near me, and under my immediate view) advanced to the charge with the steadiness of veterans. Lt.
Broadnax shewed a great deal of courage and presence of mind, and ensign Mann who was
wounded in the first action fought well. Captain Cone who was wounded in the head early in the
action behaved well, and lieutenant Williams did himself great honor in every action, but particularly in
the bold and manly stand he made in the night engagement. Serjeant Hawkins and corporal Neil of
Coleman's company acted like soldiers, and serj. mj. Reese's activity was only surpassed by his
courage ; he was every where and always brave. Captain Humphries' company acted bravely,
particularly lieutenant Reed, serjeant Fields, serjeant Cowan, serjeant Denmark and many of the
privates. I can only speak of captain Humphries from the report of some of his men, who say he
acted well ; it so happening he never met my eye during either of the engagements, while the conduct
of every other person that I have mentioned (except one or two) came under my personal
observation. The number of Indians in the first engagement, from every circumstance that appeared,
must have been from seventy-five to an hundredin the second engagement, their number [including
negroes, who are their best soldiers] was double ours, and in the third engagement there appeared to
be fifty which was nearly equal to our force, after deducting the sick and wounded. From every
circumstance, I am induced to believe that the number of killed and wounded among the Indians must
be at least fifty.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant. DANIEL NEWNAN. His
Excellency David B. Mitchell




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