Front Cover
 State of Florida department of...
 Florida state depositories
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Half Title
 Chapter I: Secession of the state...
 Chapter II: Federal strength in...
 Chapter III: Organization of regiments...
 Chapter IV: The Olustee campaign...
 Chapter V: Organization of the...
 Chapter VI: Further operations...
 Chapter VII: Florida troops in...
 Chapter VIII: Florida troops in...

Title: Civil War in Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00047642/00001
 Material Information
Title: Civil War in Florida Confederate history series
Series Title: Special archives publication
Uniform Title: Confederate military history
Physical Description: 212 i.e. 114 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Dickison, John Jackson, 1816-1902
Florida -- Dept. of Military Affairs
Publisher: State Arsenal, St. Francis Barracks
Place of Publication: St. Augustine Fla
Publication Date: [1992?]
Subject: History -- Florida -- Civil War, 1861-1865   ( lcsh )
Biography -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: A photoreproduction of Military history of Florida, by J.S. Dickison, originally published in 1899 as v. 11 of Confederate military history, edited by Clement A. Evans.
Funding: The Florida National Guard's Special Archives Publications was digitized, in part by volunteers, in honor of Floridians serving both Floridians in disaster response and recovery here at home and the nation oversees.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00047642
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Florida National Guard
Holding Location: Florida National Guard, St. Augustine Barracks
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the Florida National Guard. Digitized with permission.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001799540
oclc - 26605754
notis - AJM3285

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
    State of Florida department of military affairs
        Unnumbered ( 3 )
    Florida state depositories
        Unnumbered ( 4 )
    Title Page
    Table of Contents
    List of Illustrations
        List, Illustrations
    Half Title
    Chapter I: Secession of the state - proceedings of the convention - early events at Pensacola - union with the Confederate States - first preparations for war
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Chapter II: Federal strength in Florida - reinforcement of Fort Pickens - Confederate troops called out for Pensacola - destruction of the Judah - fight on Santa Rosa Island - bombardment of Fort McRee - evacuation of Pensacola - other events of the period
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Chapter III: Organization of regiments - second infantry - third infantry - fourth infantry - first cavalry - second cavalry - Marion light artillery - events of 1862 and 1863
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    Chapter IV: The Olustee campaign - formidable federal movement - design to establish a new state government - concentration of Confederate forces - crushing defeat of the enemy - operations following the battle
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
    Chapter V: Organization of the district of Florida in the spring and summer of 1864 - Palatka, Welaka and Fort Butler - withdrawal of troops to Virginia - fights with gunboats on the St. John's - renewed federal activity - battle of Palatka - evacuation of Camp Milton and Baldwin - battle of Gainesville
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
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        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
    Chapter VI: Further operations in the fall of 1864 - federal incursion to Marianna - Green Cove Springs - raid to Milton - fight near Braddock Farm - near Cedar Keys - natural bridge - the closing scenes
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
    Chapter VII: Florida troops in the army of northern Virginia - second regiment on the peninsula - Perry's brigade - battle of Gettysburg - Finegan's brigade
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
    Chapter VIII: Florida troops in the western army - the first infantry - third infantry - fourth infantry - Stovall's brigade at Chickamauga - first cavalry - sixth infantry - seventh infantry - Trigg's brigade at Chickamauga - Finley's brigade
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
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        Page 181
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        Page 192
        Page 193-194
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Special Archives Publication


State Arsenal
St. Francis Barracks
St. Augustine, Florida



These Special Archives Publications are produced as a service to Florida communities,
historians and any other individuals, historical or geneaological societies and both national
and state governmental agencies which find the information contained therein of use or
value. They are automatically distributed to all official Florida State archival records

At present, only a very limited number of copies of these publications are produced.
They are provided to certain state and national historical record depositories and other
public libraries and historical societies at no charge. Any copies remaining are given to
other interested parties on a first come, first served basis.

Information about the series is available from the Historical Services Division, Depart-
ment of Military Affairs, State Arsenal, PO Box 1008, St. Augustine, Florida 32085.

Robert Hawk


State documents are distributed to the following depository libraries and are
available to Florida citizens for use either in the libraries or on interlibrary
loan, subject to each library's regulations. An asterisk (*) indicates libraries
that are obligated to give interlibrary loan service. Requests should be
directed to the nearest depository.

Bay Vista Campus Library (1982) *State Library of Florida (1968)
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Brevard County Library System (1968) Stetson University (1968)
308 Forrest Avenue Dupont-Ball Library
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Broward County Division of Libraries (1968) Jacksonville University (1968)
100 South Andrews Avenue Carl S. Swisher Library
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301 University Blvd., North
Jacksonville, Florida 32211
*Central Florida Regional Lib. System (1972)
15 Southeast Osceola Avenue *Tampa-Hillsborough County (1968)
Ocala, Florida 32671 Public Library System
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*Florida Atlantic University (1968) Tampa, Florida 33602
P. O. Box 3092 *University of Central Florida (1968)
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Documents Division (1971)
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*University of South Florida (1968)
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3748 Ninth Avenue, North 100 Clematis
St. Petersburg, Florida 33713 West Palm Beach, Florida 33401





Atanta, Ga.
Confederate Publishing Company

CHAPTER I. Secession of the State-Proceedings of the Con-
vention-Early Events at Pensacola-Union with the Con-
federate States-First Preparations for War.................. 3
CHAPTER II. Federal Strength in Florida-Reinforcement of
Fort Pickens-Confederate Troops Called Out for Pensacola
-Destruction of the Judah-Fight on Santa Rosa -Island-
Bombardment of Fort McRee-Evacuation of Pensacola-
Other Events of the Period ................................ 21
CHAPTER III. Organization of Regiments-Second Infantry
-Third Infantry-Fourth Infantry-First Cavalry-Second
Cavalry-Marion Light Artillery-Events of 1862 and 1863.. 42
CHAPTER IV. The Olustee Campaign-Formidable Federal
Movement-Design to Establish a New State Government
-Concentration of Confederate Forces-Crushing Defeat of
the Enemy-Operations Following the Battle.............. 56
CHAPTER V. Organization of the District of Florida in the
Spring and Summer of 1864-Palatka, Welaka and Fort But-
ler-Withdrawal of Troops to Virginia-Fights with Gun-
boats on the St. John's-Renewed Federal Activity-Battle
of Palatka-Evacuation of Camp Milton and Baldwin-Bat-
tle of Gainesville......................................... 83 '
CHAPTER VI. Further Operations in the Fall of 1864-Fed-
eral Incursion to Marianna-Green Cove Springs-Raid to
Milton-Fight near Braddock Farm-Near Cedar Keys-
Natural Bridge-The Closing Scenes .................... 114
CHAPTER VII. Florida Troops in the Army of Northern Vir-
ginia-Second Regiment on the Peninsula-Perry's Brigade
-Battle of Gettysburg-Finegan's Brigade................ 142
CHAPTER VIII. Florida Troops in the Western Army-The
First Infantry-Third Infantry-Fourth Infantry-Stovall's
Brigade at Chickamauga-First Cavalry-Sixth Infantry-
Seventh Infantry-Trigg's Brigade at Chickamauga-Fin-
ley's Brigade............................................. 164
APPENDIX ................................................ 188
BIOGRAPHICAL ......................................... 193

ANDERSON, J. PATTON. ....................................... 205
BREVARD, THEODORE W ................................... 205
BULLOCK, ROBERT........................................... 205
DAVIS, W. G. M............................................. 205
DICKISON, J. J........................................... x
FINEGAN, JOSEPH............................................ 205
FINLEY, JESSE J............................. ............... 205
-FLORIDA, MAP OF.......................Between pages 192 and 193
-LORING, WILLIAM W......................................... 205
MILLER, WILLIAM............................................. 205
OCEAN POND, BATTLEFIELD OF (Map) ........................ 65
PERRY, EDWARD A........................................... 205
SHOUP, FRANCIS A........................................... 205
SMITH, MARTIN L.......... ........................... 205
WALTER, WILLIAM S.......................................... 205




WE are told by the historian of an earlier age that
whenever the renowned men of the Roman com-
monwealth looked upon the statues of their an-
cestry, they felt their minds vehemently excited to virtue.
It could not have been the bronze or marble that possessed
this power, but the recollection of great actions which
kindled a generous flame in their souls, not to be quelled
until they also, by virtue and heroic deeds, had acquired
equal fame and glory. When a call to arms resounds
throughout the land and a people relinquish the pleasant
scenes of tranquil life and rally to their country's call,
such action is the result of an honest conviction that the
act is commendable. In recalling such an epoch, the wish
that a true record of the deeds done should be transmitted
to posterity must dominate every patriot heart. Loy-
alty to brave men, who for four long years of desolat-
ing war-years of undimmed glory-stood by each other
and fought to the bitter end with the indomitable hero-
ism which characterized the Confederate soldier, demands
from posterity a preservation of the memories of the great
struggle. We cannot find in all the annals of history a
grander record or prouder roll of honor, nor more just
fame for bravery, patient endurance of hardships, and
The noble chieftain, Robert E. Lee, said: "Judge your
enemy from his standpoint, if you would be just.' What-
ever may be said of the contention between the two great


sections of the Union, whether by arbitration of council
every issue might have been settled and a fratricidal war
averted, there will be but one unalterable decree of his-
tory respecting the Confederate soldier. His deeds of
heroism "are wreathed around with glory," and he will
be ever honored, because he was not only brave and hon-
orable, but true to his convictions. The sacrifices made
by our loyal defenders and their glorious deeds shall not
perish; but the pen of the historian shall hand them down
through the ages-a proud heritage to our race and to all
mankind. Now that the people who so grandly illus-
trated their loyalty to the Confederacy are passing away,
the South claims from them a truthful, dispassionate his-
tory of the causes leading to their withdrawal from the
Union, and the subsequent events when the tocsin of war
sounded throughout the land.
Religion and patriotism should dominate every human
life, and as love of country comes next to our love and al-
legiance to God, it must follow that a people panoplied
with righteousness must be a highly patriotic people.
The memories of the heroic sufferings and sacrifices of
the noble men and women throughout the land make a
history that will shine with imperishable luster, idealiz-
ing principle, strengthening character and intensifying
love of country," proving to the world that
"Noble souls through dust and heat
Rise from disaster and defeat
The stronger."
The grandest vindication of the South will come when
Truth, no longer crushed to earth through narrowmind-
edness and sectional, prejudice, will write in golden char-
acters a just tribute to every American soldier who fell
on either side. Let the record be: "Here lies an Amer-
ican Hero, a Martyr to the Right as his Conscience con-
ceived it."
In 860 the storm of political strife that had been stead-
ily gathering for many years culminated with the election


of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican sectional candidate
for the presidency of the United States on an avowed sec-
tional policy. At the commencement of hostilities against
the South, in Charleston harbor, and especially on the
proclamation of President Lincoln calling for 75,000
troops to make an unconstitutional war on the seceded
States, the war-cloud darkened all Florida and every heart
burned with indignation. All former differences of opin-
ion, all past party prejudices, yielded to the mastery of a
just sense of impending danger; and, animated by the
spirit that had inspired their fathers in 1776, the people
of Florida resolved to unite in the patriotic effort to secure
for the South an independent government, as the Consti-
tution framed by their forefathers had been violated. With
a patriotic and heroic sense of their great duty, our brave
citizens throughout the State began to make preparations
to be in readiness to respond to their country's call, to
resist the wicked design of sectional partisans to wage a
cruel war of coercion against the seceded States. Com-
panies of cavalry, artillery and infantry were rapidly and
successfully organized. The formation of these splendid
organizations was so rapid that Florida secured a proud
place when the time came for her troops to be received into
the service of the Confederate States army.
The ablest jurists and statesmen of the country having
firmly asserted, clearly elucidated and bravely vindicated
the legal right of a State to secede from the general gov-
ernment, an intelligent, chivalrous people, proudly as-
sured of the justice of their convictions, could not forswear
the great principles of a lifetime. On the 3d of January,
1861, the people of Florida, through their delegates chosen
in pursuance of the act of the general assembly, approved
November 30, 1860, assembled in convention in the hall of
the house of representatives in the capitol of the State,
at the city of Tallahassee. This honorable body, com-
posed of the best talent in the State, was temporarily or-
ganized with John C. Pelot, of Alachua, as chairman, and


B. G. Pringle, of Gadsden, as secretary, After an ad-
dress by Mr. Pelot, the proceedings were opened with
prayer by Bishop Rutledge.
The names of the members of the convention, and the
counties and districts they represented, are here preserved:
John Morrison, A. L. McCaskill, of Walton; Freeman
B. Irwin,of Washington; Richard D.Jordan, R.R.Golden,
of Holmes; S. S. Alderman, Joseph A. Collier, of
Jackson; Adam McNealy, James L. G. Baker, of Jackson;
Simmons I. Baker, of Calhoun; McQueen McIntosh, of
Fifth senatorial district; Thomas F. Henry, E. C. Love,
of Gadsden; Abraham K. Allison, of Gadsden; John
Beard, James Kirksey, of Leon; G. W. Parkhill, G. T.
Ward, Wm. C. M. Davis, of Leon; Daniel Ladd, David
Lewis, of Wakulla; Thompson B. Lamar, Thomas M.
Palmer, of Jefferson; J. Patton Anderson, Wm. S. Dils-
worth, of Jefferson; John C. McGehee, A. I. Lea, of Mad-
ison; W. H. Lever, of Taylor; E. P. Barrington, of La-
fayette; Lewis A. Folsom, Joseph Thomas, of Hamilton;
Green H. Hunter, James A. Newmans, of Columbia;
A. J. T. Wright, unseated by John W. Jones, of Suwannec;
Isaac C. Coon, of New River; John J. Lamb, of Thir-
teenth senatorial district; Joseph Finegan, Jas. G. Cooper,
of Nassau; I. M. Daniel, of Duval; John P. Sanderson,
of Sixteenth senatorial district; Matthew Solana, of St.
John's; James O. Devall, of Putnam; Rhydon G. Mays,
of Seventeenth senatorial district; John C. Pelot, J. B.
Dawkins, of Alachua; James B. Owens, S. M. G. Gary,
of Marion; W. McGahagin, of Marion; James H. Chand-
ler, of Volusia; William W. Woodruff, of Orange; Wil-
liam B. Yates, of Brevard; David G. Leigh, of Sumter;
Q. N. Rutland, of Nineteenth senatorial district; James
Gettis, of Twentieth senatorial district; George Helvens-
ton, of Levy; Benjamin W. Saxon, of Hernando; Simon
Turman, of Hillsboro; Ezekiel Glazier, of Manatee;
Wm. Pinckney, Winer Bethel, of Monroe; Asa F. Tift, of
Dade; Jackson Morton, Wm. Simpson, of Santa Rosa;


Wm. Wright, Wm. Nicholson, of Escambia; T. J. Hen-
dricks, of Clay; Daniel D. McLean, of Fourth senatorial
district; Samuel B. Stephens, of Seventh senatorial dis-
trict; S. W. Spencer, of Franklin; W. S. Gregory, of Lib-
The permanent president ten selected, Hon. John C.
McGehee, of Madison county, was sworn by Judge J. J.
Finley. His address, so clear and dispassionate on this
momentous occasion, is worthy of a record in these pages,
that the youth of our land may better understand the lofty
spirit that characterized the men who were there as-
Mr. McGehee said: "Gentlemen, I feel very sensibly
the honor you have done me in calling me to preside over
your deliberations. Such a manifestation of confidence
and respect by the assembled sovereignty of my State,
called together in such a crisis to consult together for the
general safety, deeply affects my feelings, and in return
I offer all that is in my power to give-the homage of a
grateful heart. The occasion on which we are called to-
gether is.one of the most solemn and important that ever
assembled a people. Our government, the inheritance
fromla noble ancestry-the greatest achievement of human
wisdom, made to secure to their posterity the rights and
liberties purchased with their blood, is crumbling into
ruins. Every day and almost every hour brings intel-
ligence confirming the opinion that its dissolution is at
One State, one of the time-honored thirteen, has
withdrawn the powers granted in the Constitution which
constituted her a member of the Union, under the polit-
ical power of the government. All our sister States im-
mediately adjacent to us are at this moment moving in
the same direction, under circumstances that render their
action as certain as anything in the future. And as we
look farther and beyond we see the same swell of public
sentiment that a sense of wrong always inspires, agitating


the great heart of the more distant States. And no rea-
sonable doubt can be entertained by the most hopeful and
sanguine that this excitement in public sentiment will
extend and increase and intensify until all the States that
are now known as the slaveholding States will withdraw
their political connection from the non-slaveholding
States, unite themselves in a common destiny and estab-
lish another constitution.
"Why all this? The story is soon told. In the forma-
tion of the government of our fathers, the Constitution of
1787, the institution of domestic slavery is recognized
and the right of property in slaves is expressly guaran-
teed. The people of a portion of the States who were
parties in the government were early opposed to the in-
stitution. The feeling of opposition to it has been cher-
ished and fostered and inflamed until it has taken posses-
sion of the public mind at the North to such an extent
that it overwhelms every other influence. It has seized
the political power, and now threatens annihilation to
slavery throughout the Union. At the South and with
our people, of course, slavery is the element of all value,
and a destruction of that destroys all that is property.
This party, now soon to take possession of the powers of
government, is sectional, irresponsible to us, and, driven
on by an infuriated, fanatical madness that defies all op-
position, must inevitably destroy every vestige of right
growing out of property in slaves. The State of Florida
is now a member of the Union, under the power of the
government soon to go into the hands of this party. As
we stand, our doom is decreed; and realizing an imperative
necessity thus forced upon them to take measures for
their safety, the people of Florida have clothed you with
supreme power and sent you here with the high and
solemn duty to devise the best possible means to insure
their safety, and have given you the charge to see that
their commonwealth suffers no detriment.
"Your presence at this capitol is the highest proof that


your people fear to remain under their government. With
poignant regret no doubt they leave it, but they have no
ground or hope of safety in it. What are we to do in ful-
fillment of our duty in this crisis? I will not presume to
indicate your course-your superior and collected wisdom
must decide. I cannot doubt, though, that our people are
safe in your hands, and that you will, in a manner becom-
ing the dignity of the high pgition you hold, and worthy
of the trust confided to you, promptly place them in a po-
sition of safety above the power and beyond the reach of
their enemies. As one of you, representing a noble and
confiding constituency, I pledge to you and to them the
entire devotion of the powers of my mind in the discharge
of this duty; and with my full heart, I ask you, each of
you, to forget all former differences of opinion, all past
party prejudices, and make now and here, on the altar of
your State, your country, for the .ke of your people, a
sacrifice, an offering of all feeling, prepossession or pre-
judice that may stand in the way of perfect harmony and
concord; and may the God of nations watch over us and
bless our labors and guide us into the haven of safety."
A communication was received from Gov. M. S. Perry
announcing that Hon. E. C. Bullock, commissioner from
Alabama, and Hon. Leonidas W. Spratt, commissioner
from Florida, were in waiting, and a committee composed
of Messrs. Ward, Baird and Lamar, was appointed to bring
the commissioners before the convention. The conven-
tion was addressed by these representatives of sister
States, also by Edmund Ruffin, of Virginia. On January
7th a resolution was adopted, affirming the right of a
State to withdraw from the Union, and a committee to
prepare an ordinance of secession for the consideration of
the convention was appointed. This committee was com-
posed of J. P. Sanderson of Duval, A. K. Allison of Gads-
den, McQueen McIntosh of Franklin, James Gettis of
Hillsboro, James B. Owens of Marion, James B. Daw-
kins of Alachua, Wright of Escambia, Jackson Morton of


Santa Rosa, George T. Ward of Leon, James Patton An-
derson of Jefferson, David Ladd of Wakulla, and Sim-
mons J. Baker of Calhoun.
The committee, in the report accompanying the ordi-
nance which it recommended, alluded to the method of
formation of the Union and the right of withdrawal re-
served by the States, and said: "The inducements which
led Florida to become a member of the United States
were those which should actuate every people in the form-
ation of a government, to secure to themselves and their
posterity the enjoyment of all the rights of life, liberty
and property, and the pursuit of happiness. Your com-
mittee fully concur in the opinion that the consideration
for which Florida gave her assent to become a member of
the Federal union has wholly failed; that she is not per-
mitted enjoyment of equal rights in the Union. The
compact is therefore willfully and materially broken."
The committee therefore recommended that the conven-
tion, called to protect the interests of the State, adopt an
ordinance of secession from the United States, and that
Florida declare herself to be a sovereign and independent
On the sixth day of the convention, January io, i861,
the proposed ordinance was taken up, considered, and.
adopted by a vote of yea 62, nay 7; the negative votes be.
ing cast by Messrs. Baker of Jackson, Gregory, Hendricks,
McCaskill, Morrison, Rutland and Woodruff.
The text of the ordinance is as follows:
"We, the people of the State of Florida, in convention
assembled, do solemnly ordain, publish and declare:
That the State of Florida hereby withdraws herself from
the Confederacy of States existing under the name of the
United States of America, and from the existing govern-
ment of said States, and that all political connection be-
tween her and the government of said States ought to be,
and the same is hereby totally annulled, and said union
of States dissolved, and the State of Florida is hereby de-


cared a sovereign and independent nation, and that all
ordinances heretofore adopted, in so far as they create or
recognize said Union, are rescinded, and all laws or parts
of laws in force in this State, in so far as they recognize
or assent to said Union be, and they are hereby repealed."
The president of the convention was then instructed to
inform the proper authorities of other Southern States of
the action which Florida had taken. The committee on
enrollment reported that in obedience to a resolution
adopted by the convention the enrollment of the ordi-
nance of secession had been properly and correctly made,
under the direction of the judges of the Supreme court of
the sovereign State of Florida. and the same was submit-
ted to the convention for signature. The following cor-
respondence between the judges and Miss Elizabeth
Eppes was presented and placed upon the minutes of the
Tallahassee, January io, 1861.
Miss Elizabeth Eppes:
By resolution of the Convention of the People of the
State of Florida, we, the judges comprising the Supreme
Court of this State, are appointed to direct the enrolling
of the Ordinance of Secession passed this day. In dis-
charging our duty, we have directed that the Ordinance
be enrolled on parchment and bound with blue ribbon.
The honor of binding the same, we have with your per-
mission intrusted to you, believing that you as one of the
native daughters of our beloved Florida and a lineal de-
scendant of the immortal author of the first Declaration of
American Independence, will cheerfully lend your aid in
embellishing the parchment, which contains the Declara-
tion of the Independence of the Sovereign State of
Yours with great respect,


Tallahassee, January xo, i861.
Hon. C. H. Dupont, Hon. Wm. A. Forward and Hon.
D. S. Walker, Associate Justices, Supreme Court of
Gentlemen: Your honored and esteemed favor of this
evening just received, soliciting my aid in embellishing,
by your order, with blue ribbon the parchment containing
the Declaration of the Independence of the Sovereign
State of Florida. I thank you, gentlemen, for the honor
and the flattering terms in which your communication is
couched. With you, I glory in the solemn act of our own
State independence, and in behalf of the ladies of my na-
tive State of Florida I assure you we go heart and hand in
the cause and will do all in our feeble power to assist in
the maintenance of the proud Declaration of Independ-
ence. I cheerfully accept the portion of duty assigned
me and will embellish the immortal parchment as you
desire and request. I have the honor to be yours re-
s.p: :t fully,
The day following the passage of the ordinance of se-
cession, a committee was appointed to wait upon his ex-
cellency, Gov. M. S. Perry, both branches of the legis-
lature, and the judges of the Supreme court, and inform
them that the convention was ready to ratify the ordi-
nance and invite their attendance. Governor Perry, suf-
fering an attack of sickness, could not be present at the
signing of the ordinance, and his place was filled by the
Hon. John Milton, governor-elect. After prayer by Bishop
Rutledge the convention signed the ordinance before
the assembled citizens of Florida, after which the presi-
dent declared that the State of Florida was a free and in-
dependent State, and that all political connection between
her and the existing government of the United States was
During the subsequent proceedings of the convention,
which continued in session until the 2Ist, the following
resolution was adopted: "Whereas, the State of Florida
has severed her connection with the late Federal Union,


notice of that fact should be communicated to President
Buchanan; Resolved, that Hons. S. R. Mallory, D. L.
Yulee and George S. Hawkins, be and are hereby ap-
pointed commissioners for that purpose."'
It was also resolved, "That this convention authorize
and empower the governor of this State to employ the
militia of this State, and such forces as may be tendered
to the State from the States of Alabama and Georgia to
defend and protect the State, and especially the forts and
public defenses of the State now in possession of the
State, and that the governor be authorized to make all
necessary arrangements for the support and maintenance
of such troops and carrying on the public defenses; That
it is the sense of this convention that the governor should
not direct any assault to be made on any fort or military
post now occupied by Federal troops, unless the persons
in occupation of such forts and posts shall commit overt
acts of hostility against this State, its citizens or troops in
its service, unless directed by a vote of this convention."'
It was on January i2th, two days after the passage
of the ordinance of secession, that the Federal troops at
Pensacola abandoned the navy yard and Fort Barrancas
and retired to Fort Pickens, removing the public stores
and spiking the guns at Barrancas and the navy yard.
The movement was a significant one, indicating that the
Federal garrison, anticipating a demand for the surrender
of the forts within the limits of the State, were preparing
to act on the defensive, by concentrating in this strong
fortress, on the extreme western part of Santa Rosa
island, commanding the entrance to Pensacola bay and
harbor. They could there sustain a siege without great
loss to their forces, and when eventually strengthened by
their navy, could act on the aggressive and soon control
the city of Pensacola and the adjacent towns. The pos-
session of the fortification commanding the entrance to
the harbor of Pensacola was of vital importance to the
safety of the seceding States on the Gulf of Mexico. No


other place on the Gulf was safe while the Federal troops
held Fort Pickens, an almost impregnable stronghold,
which could be taken only by an effective force and by
bold and skillful movement.
The importance of Pensacola to Alabama in a military
point of view rendered it an imperative duty of that State
to aid in its defense, and 225 gallant Alabamians under
Colonel Lomax were immediately ordered to Pensacola.
At the same time the governor of Mississippi, at the sug-
gestion of the governor of Alabama, ordered troops to re-
pair at once to Mobile and there await orders to Pen-
sacola. In the course of a few weeks these troops, also
forces from Georgia, were encamped at Pensacola in read-
iness for action whenever it was deemed advisable by the
commanding general to make an -attack on Fort Pickens,
or on such troops as would be eventually landed on Santa
Rosa island to act in concert with the garrison. It was
necessary that a strong military force should be concen-
trated to prevent a great Federal depot being established
at this point, from which none of the gulf ports would
have been free from annoyance or danger, especially
Mobile and New Orleans. If confined to Fort Pickens
the Federals could not concentrate any considerable body
of troops there, and even though the other forts and the
navy yard might be commanded by it, still they could not
venture to occupy them while our forces were present in
sufficient numbers, nor could they fit out an expedition
for operations on other points. Though these demonstra-
tions were apparently hostile, they were a necessary pre-
caution for protection to the people of the Gulf States;
and the unanimous feeling prevailed that no blood should
be shed in the present state of affairs; that a Southern
Confederacy must first be organized. During these excit-
ing events telegrams were received by Col. William H.
Chase, whom the governor appointed major-general com-
manding State troops, and by A. E. Maxwell, R. C. Camp-
bell and C. C. Jouge of Pensacola, from Senator S. R.


Mallory, "that a collision should be avoided; that Fort
Pickens was not worth a drop of blood." Governor Perry,
to co-operate with the troops from Alabama and other
States, had ordered a force to Pensacola, consisting of
two volunteer companies of infantry, one from Leon
county, under Capt. Perry A. Amaker, the other from Jef-
ferson county, commanded by Capt. James Patton Ander-
son. On arriving in Tallahassee en route for Pensacola,
a request had been made by the latter company and ac-
ceded to by Captain Anderson, who was at the time a
member of the convention, that he would command the
company on this expedition. The troops failing to get
steamboat transportation at St. Marks, returned to Talla-
hassee and started overland via Quincy and Chattahoo-
chee. By urgent request of Captain Amaker, seconded by
Governor Perry, Captain Anderson assumed command of
both companies. On their arrival at Chattahoochee arsenal
a dispatch was received from the governor directing them
to remain there until further orders, but within about ten
days they were disbanded by order of the governor, it hav-
ing been decided not to attack Fort Pickens at that time.
Before the disbandment of these companies the conven-
tion of Florida, still in session, determined to send dele-
gates to the Southern convention to be held at Montgom-
ery, in February, for the purpose of forming a provisional
government. On the 17th day of January the Hons. Jack-
son Morton of Santa Rosa county, James B. Owens of
Marion, and James Patton Anderson of Jefferson, were
appointed such delegates.
A resolution was passed that the delegates from this
State to the convention "be instructed to oppose any at-
tempt on the part of said convention to legislate or trans-
act any business whatever other than the adoption of a
provisional government to be substantially on the basis
of the constitution of the late United States, and a per-
manent constitution for the Southern Confederacy upon
the same basis, and that in the event of the said conven-


tion undertaking on any pretext whatever to exercise any
powers other than that above enumerated, that our dele-
gates are instructed to protest against the same and to de-
clare in behalf of the State of Florida that such acts will
not be deemed binding."
Select committees having been appointed for the dis-
cussion of the adoption of proper methods in the forma-
tion of rules and regulations governing the judiciary,
civil, military and naval departments of the State, and
having satisfactorily accomplished this important work,
on the 2Ist of January, x861, a committee of three was ap-
pointed to wait on the governor and inform him that the
convention was ready to adjourn and to learn if he had
further communications to make. On the return of the
committee with report that the governor had no further
communications to make, resolutions of thanks were ten-
dered to the Hon. John C. McGehee, president of the con-
vention, for the impartial and dignified manner in which
he had discharged the duties of the position. The conven-
tion also adopted resolutions expressing their approval
and high appreciation of the acts of Major-General Chase, "
as the same had been communicated by Colonels Hol-
land and Gee, aides to the governor, and thanks were ten-
dered to these officers, to the troops, and to Governor
Moore for "his promptness and patriotism." It is worthy
of note that General Chase, in accepting the appointment
of military commander, informed Governor Perry that he
would serve without pay or any personal expense to the
On the 4th of February, i86i, the delegates from the
seceding States met at Montgomery, Ala., and prepared a
provisional constitution for the new Confederacy. This
constitution was discussed in detail and was adopted on
the 8th of February, 1861. All the principal measures
of that body passed or proposed during its session, met
the approval and support of our delegates. The day fol-
lowing the adoption of the constitution, on February 9th,


an election was held for the selection of chief executive
officers. Mr. Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, was elected
president, and Mr. Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia,
In assuming the grave responsibility of the laborious
work of chief executive of the provisional government,
Mr. Davis was sustained by the consciousness that the
South was justified by the absence of wrong-doing on her
part and by the wanton aggression on the part of the
North. His farewell speech before the United States
Senate possesses especial significance and historical inter-
est. He said, "If I had not believed there was justifi-
able cause, if I had thought Mississippi was acting with-
out provocation, I should still have been bound by her
action." While many of our prominent leaders believed
that our right to secede would not be questioned Mr.
Davis felt assured that the North would not let the South
go; that she would endeavor to enforce by the sword the
obligations that she had broken in the' political conditions
of peace. In entering upon his new duties, as soldier and
war minister he knew what war meant and was satisfied
that the South could achieve her independence only
through a long and sanguinary conflict. Thus wisely
forecasting results he could not be an ardent, uncompro-
mising secessionist until assured that the honor, the right,
the freedom and the interests of the South could no longer
be defended within the Union.
The first and second sessions of the provisional govern-
ment were held in Montgomery, Ala., from February 4,
1861, to May 21, 186I; the third, fourth and fifth at Rich-
mond, Va., from July 20 to November 18, 1861. On the
19th of February, 1862, a permanent organization of the
Confederate States was effected, the electoral vote for
president and vice-president cast by the several States
being Io9. The entire vote was cast for Jefferson Davis,
of Mississippi, for the office of president, and for Alexan-
der Stephens, of Georgia, for vice-president.
Fla 2


During the period of the Confederate government,
Florida's representatives in the Senate were James M.
Baker and Augustus E. Maxwell, and the members of
Congress successively elected during provisional and
later rule were J. P. Anderson, James B. Dawkins,
Robert B. Hilton, Jackson Morton, J. M. Martin, J. B.
Owens, St. George Rogers, G. T. Ward and J. P. Sander-
son. Florida's governors during the civil war were Mad-
ison S. Perry to November, 1861, John Milton from No-
vember, 186i, to April, 1865. The latter dying before the
expiration of his term, A. K. Allison was acting governor
until the close of the war, when he was arrested with
other prominent officials, by military order, and impris-
oned in Fort Pulaski.
War having been begun against the seceded States soon
after the inauguration of President Lincoln, the governor
of Florida engaged in active preparations for the coming
conflict, now inevitable. This first movement was to is-
sue orders to the volunteer companies to organize into
battalions and regiments, and for all citizens subject to
military duty to make preparations at once for war and
be in readiness for such service as would be required for
the defense of the State and the protection of the exten-
sive line of seacoast that would be exposed to the enemy's
gunboats and transports, which would very soon be sent
to blockade our ports. A prompt response was made to
the call, and companies were rapidly formed throughout
the State, and organized into battalions of infantry and
cavalry, resulting before many months in the formation
of regimental organizations composed of the finest ma-
terial in the State. Four artillery companies were also
formed, nobly officered and well equipped, and under
such admirable discipline that when called into service
they soon won a proud name by the splendid manage-
ment of their guns, and their coolness and heroism. In
many instances they displayed a dauntless intrepidity on
the battlefield, not only in the State, but while in the


army of Tennessee. These magnificent batteries are re-
corded on the muster-roll of Florida's defenders as
Abel's, Gamble's, Dunham's, and Martin's.
Revolutions develop the high qualities of the good and
the great, and Florida's loyal citizens proved their great-
ness when the alarm of war was given and the clash of
arms resounded throughout the land. Never has there
been recorded a more prompt and unselfish spirit on the
part of any people. Although the State was sparsely
settled and the highest vote ever cast was 12,898, yet in
proportion to her population she furnished as large a
quota to the Confederate army as her sister States. The
South has no prouder record of heroism and patriotic
bearing of citizens and soldiers than the beautiful Land
of Flowers. In the camps of instruction were gathered
all the elements of a chivalrous and dauntless soldiery-
brave men and beardless boys who were destined to stand
in the front during the four years' terrible struggle, and
come forth covered with scars, the soldier's badge of
honor; others destined to be stricken down by disease and
in distant lands find premature graves; and thousands who
were to meet death at the cannon's mouth or in loathsome
Northern prisons-whose names will be handed down, a
glorious heritage of loyalty and patriotism, to be ever
honored by a proud and grateful people. Many of the
survivors of the cause, made glorious by its baptism of
fire and blood and held in sacred loving remembrance,
began their career as privates, rose by meritorious con-
duct to high rank and now occupy prominent places in
the history of our State and country.
In obedience to the governor's call for troops for
immediate service, to be in readiness for action whenever
the commanding general at Pensacola should deem it
advisable to make an attack, ten volunteer companies
reported for duty, two from Alachua county and eight
from middle and west Florida. They were ordered to
the military rendezvous at Chattahoochee arsenal, which


was in possession of the State, and reorganized into a
regiment to be mustered into the Confederate service as
the "First Florida infantry regiment." These companies
were respectively commanded by Captains Anderson,
Amaker, Cropp, Powell, Hilton, Baker, Bradford, Gee,
Myers, Lamar and Bright.
The organization of the regiment was effected and field
officers chosen. Capt. J. Patton Anderson was elected
colonel; William Beard of Tallahassee, lieutenant-col-
onel; and Thaddeus A. McDonell of Gainesville, major.
They were ordered to report at Pensacola to General
Bragg, who on the 8th of March, 186i, had been appointed
brigadier-general in the provisional army and assigned
to duty in Florida, with headquarters at Pensacola.
On the 5th of April, 1861, they began their march, a dis-
patch being forwarded by Theodore W. Brevard, adju-
tant-general of Florida, that about 580 men belonging to
the counties east of the Chattahoochee river would take
steamers at that point for Columbus, where transportation
and subsistence would be expected. The companies on
the west side of the river would march through.


WHEN on January 5th Senator Yulee wrote from
Washington to Joseph Finegan at Tallahassee
the immediately important thing to be done is
the occupation of the forts and arsenals in Florida," the
United States occupied the following places in the
State: the Apalachicola arsenal at Chattahoochee, where
there were stored a small number of arms, 5,000 pounds
of powder and about 175,000 cartridges; Fort Barrancas,
with 44 cannon and ammunition; Barrancas barracks,
where there was a field battery; Fort Pickens, equipped
with 201 cannon with ammunition; Fort McRee, 125 sea-
coast and garrison cannon; Fort Taylor, Key West, with
60 cannon; Key West barracks, 4 cannon; Fort Marion,
6 field batteries and some small arms; and Fort Jef-
ferson on the Tortugas.
As pointed out by Senator Yulee, the naval station
and forts at Pensacola were first in consequence." There
was then on the mainland one company of Federal ar-
tillery, commanded by John H. Winder, at a later date a
general in the Confederate service, but on account of his
absence Lieut. A. J. Slemmer was in charge. On Janu-
ary 8th the latter removed a store of powder from the
Spanish fort to Fort Barrancas, where- a guard was placed
with loaded muskets, one of which was fired on the same
night toward a party of citizens who approached the fort.


Slemmer moved his force over to Fort Pickens on one
of the vessels in the harbor under Commodore James
Armstrong, commandant at the navy yard, and on Janu-
ary 12, i86i, the flag was lowered at the navy yard,
which, with all the fortifications and munitions of war on
the mainland, went into the possession of the State. The
two vessels in the harbor, the Supply and Wyandotte,
steamed out, remaining in the possession of the United
States officers. The eighty men under Slemmer at Fort
Pickens maintained a defiant attitude. On the night of
the 12th a deputation went to the fort, consisting of Cap-
tain Randolph, Major Marks and Lieutenant Rutledge,
and demanded the peaceable surrender of Pickens to the
governors of Alabama and Florida, but Slemmer declined
to recognize the authority of those officials. On the next
night a small party of armed men from the mainland re-
connoitered on the island, and a few shots were fired from
the fort. On the 15th Col. W. H. Chase, who as an officer
of the United States army had built the forts and was
thoroughly familiar with all the defenses about Pensacola
bay, visited Pickens in company with Capt. Ebenezer
Farrand, who had been second in command at the navy
yard, and renewed the request for surrender, but this
and a third demand a few days later were equally with-
out success. Nothing remained to the State forces except
to make an assault; but the Florida senators in Washington
and other representative men, including Senator Jeffer-
son Davis, telegraphed advising that no blood should be
shed. In the meantime the government at Washington
was sending reinforcements to Forts Taylor and Jefferson,
and on January 21st Capt. Israel Vogdes, with a com-
pany of artillerymen, was ordered to sail on the sloop-of-
war Brooklyn to reinforce Fort Pickens. On being in-
formed of the latter overt act, Senator Mallory telegraphed
to Mr. Slidell that it would doubtless provoke an attack
upon the fort by the force of 1,700 men then assembled
at the land defenses under Colonel Chase, and he urged


that President Buchanan be informed that Fort Pickens
would not be molested if reinforcements were not sent.
Vogdes was then instructed not to land his men unless
hostilities were begun.
Thus the situation remained, with Vogdes' men on ship-
board off Santa Rosa island, and the Alabama and Flor-
ida volunteers on shore engaged in strengthening their
defenses. On February i th Lieutenant Slemmer pro-
tested against the erection of a battery which he observed
the volunteers working at, and Colonel Chase made
prompt answer that, while he did not deem the erection
of batteries as aiming at an attack on Fort Pickens, yet
he would give orders for its discontinuance.
A few days after the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln, Cap-
tain Vogdes was ordered by General Winfield Scott to
land his company, "reinforce Fort Pickens, and hold the
same until further orders." Thus the conditions of exist-
ing peace were broken.
But when Captain Vogdes sought the co-operation of
Captain Adams, commanding the fleet, in making a land-
ing, the latter refused on the ground that his instructions
forbade such action so long as there was no aggressive
movement on the part of the Confederate forces. When
this was communicated to Washington Lieutenant Worden,
of the United States navy, later distinguished in com-
mand of the Monitor at Hampton Roads, was sent through
the South to Pensacola. He obtained permission to de-
liver a verbal message of a pacific nature to Captain
Adams; did so on April 12th and started home by rail.
But on the night of the 12th Vogdes' troops were landed
at Fort Pickens, and General Bragg, reasonably inferring
that Worden had brought orders to that effect, ordered
his arrest, and he was apprehended at Montgomery and
held for several months as a prisoner.
On the other hand, after General Bragg took command
at Pensacola, March nth, he had ordered the resumption
of work on the batteries, and had informed the Federal


commander that such action seemed fully justified as a
means of defense, and especially so under the threats of
the new administration."
On April ist a second and more formidable Federal ex-
pedition was ordered to the Gulf coast under Colonel Har-
vey Brown, who was given command of Florida by the
Federal government and ordered to make Fort Jefferson
his main depot and base of operations. He sailed on the
ship Atlantic, followed by the Illinois, carrying stores,
and the ships Sabine, St. Louis and Crusader were also
in the expedition, as well as the Powhatan under Lieut.
David D. Porter, all indicating the intention of the United
States to make a formidable effort to retain armed pos-
session of its strongholds at Key West, Dry Tortugas and
Santa Rosa island. The forces with Colonel Brown
landed April i8th, and troops continued to arrive, it being
the intention to put 3,ooo men on the island.
Meanwhile the government of the Confederate States
was not idle. Provisional forces were called out for the
defense of Pensacola harbor: x,ooo from Georgia, 1,ooo
from Alabama, I,ooo from Louisiana, 1,500 from Mis-
sissippi, and 500 from Florida; in all 5,000 infantry. Gen-
eral Bragg had an aggregate present on the last of March
of a little over I,ooo Confederate State troops, and rein-
forcements soon began to arrive, so that he had 5,000 on
the i4th of April, and advices of 2,000 more coming. On
the 2oth, the Federal expedition having arrived, affair>
grew more warlike along the lines of works frowning
across the bay. All intercourse with the Federals was
prohibited by General Bragg, and martial law was de-
clared at the Confederate position. But for some time
there were no active operations, and late in May some of
the troops at Pensacola were called to Virginia.
At other points the State of Florida had made warlike
preparations for defense against hostile invasion, although
it was realized that it was impossible to fortify the whole
coast. From Pensacola to St. Augustine, 1,400 miles


and more, there was nothing approaching a forti-
fication except the works at Key West arid Tortugas,
and those posts, the keys to the Gulf, were held by the
enemy. There were a few cannon mounted at St. Au-
gustine, at Fort Clinch on Amelia island, at the mouth of
St. John's river, at Fernandina, Cedar Keys, St. Marks,
Apalachicola and Tallahassee; but there were only two
guns at each of the gulf points, and St. Augustine had
but eleven. At this time (May) it was estimated that
Florida had 700 men in the field at Pensacola, and nearly
2,000 more, organized under the last call of the President
and equipped by the State, ready to march where ordered.
On May ioth the Confederate steamer Spray captured
off Cedar Keys the United States schooner William C.
Atwater, with thirty-one men. The boat was taken to
Apalachicola and converted into a blockade runner, but
was recaptured off the same port in January following by
the Federal steamer Itasca. Tampa bay was blockaded
in July, and in August the port of St. Marks was covered
by the steamer Mohawk, whose crew also obstructed the
channel by sinking a captured sloop. In July the Fed-
eral steamer Massachusetts captured four schooners and
sent them as prizes to Key West, but when off Cedar Keys
they were recaptured by the Florida forces and the
Federal in charge were sent to Tallahassee as prisoners.
The Federal blockade was established at all the impor-
tant ports, and the sight of the enemy's war vessels was a
common occurrence to the troops on the coast. Governor
Milton sought to have the harbors protected, especially
the important one of Apalachicola, and received notice
from Secretary Walker, August 3oth, that Brigadier-Gen-
eral Grayson of the Confederate army had been assigned
to the military command of Middle and East Florida.
He was succeeded by Gen. James H. Trapier in Oc-
tober, and early in November the east coast was included
in the new department of South Carolina, Georgia and
Florida, first under command of Gen. Robert E. Lee.


General Grayson, reaching Fernandina early in Septem-
ber, found a circular posted, warning all loyal citizens of
the United States to assemble on the south end of the
island to escape the vengeance of an outraged govern-
ment,"' as the Federal troops were about to take posses-
sion; and he reported that "as sure as the sun rises" if war
munitions were not sent in thirty days Florida would fall
into the hands of the North. But he did not reckon as
fully as he might upon the indomitable courage of her
people. Florida did not at once become a "Yankee prov-
ince, as he expressed it.
General Grayson was in infirm health and died soon after
his arrival, being temporarily succeeded in command by
Col. W. S. Dilworth, Third regiment Florida volunteers,
at Fernandina. On the ioth and Irth of October Maj.
W. L. L. Bowen, commanding at Tampa bay, captured
two sloops carrying the United States flag with thirteen
The quiet which had reigned for some time at Pensacola
harbor was disturbed on the early morning of September
14, 1861, by an attack upon the Confederate schooner
Judah, which had been fitted out with a pivot and four
broadside guns. She was moored to the wharf at the navy
yard, under the protection of artillery on shore, when as-
sailed by ioo men from the Federal fleet, in four launches.
The Federals boarded the schooner and a fiercely con-
tested fight resulted, in which the crew displayed greay
courage, but were finally driven to the wharf, where they
rallied and, joined by the guard, kept up a continuous fire
on the vessel. The Federals had promptly applied the
torch to the Judah, and as the flames shot up the alarm
roll was sounded along the shore and signal rockets as-
cended. The Judah burned to the water's edge and sank,
and with this achievement the Federal party withdrew,
after losing 3 killed and 13 wounded. This is deserv-
ing of remembrance as the first encounter of armed
forces in the State during the Confederate war, in which


there was loss of life. It did not provoke General Bragg
into opening fire with his batteries, but he planned an ex-
pedition against the outposts on Santa Rosa island which
should avenge the enemy's annoyances. About i,ooo men
were detailed for this duty, under the command of Brig.-
Gen. R. H. Anderson, whose official report which follows
affords a graphic account of this celebrated affair:
I have the honor," said General Anderson, to sub-
mit the following report of the affair on Santa Rosa island
on the night of the 8th and the morning of the 9th of Oc-
tober. The detachments which had been ordered to as-
semble at the navy yard arrived at the hour appointed
and were embarked in good order on the steamer Time.
Whilst proceeding from the navy yard to Pensacola the
troops were divided into battalions, as follows: The First
battalion, 350 strong, to the command of which Col. James
R. Chalmers, Ninth Mississippi regiment, was assigned,
was composed of detachments from the Ninth and Tenth
Mississippi and First Alabama regiments. Three com-
panies of the Seventh regiment Alabama volunteers, two
companies of Louisiana infantry, and two companies of
the First regiment of Florida volunteers, composed the
Second battalion, 400 strong, to the command of which
Col. J. Patton Anderson, First regiment Florida volun-
teers, was assigned. The Third battalion, 260 strong,
under command of Col. John K. Jackson, Fifth regiment
Georgia volunteers, was composed of detachments from
the Fifth Georgia regiment and the Georgia battalion.
An independent company of 53 men, selected from the
Fifth Georgia regiment, and Captain Homer's company
of artillery, lightly armed with pistols and knives, carry-
ing material for spiking cannon, burning and destroying
buildings, gun carriages, etc., were placed under com-
mand of Lieutenant Hallonquist, acting ordnance officer.
Lieutenant Nelms, adjutant Fifth Georgia regiment, was
attached to this command. The medical officers who ac-
companied the expedition were: Dr. Micks of the Louis-


iana infantry; Dr. Tompkins of the Fifth Georgia reg-
iment; Dr. Gholson of the Ninth Mississippi regiment;
Dr. Lipscomb of the Tenth Mississippi regiment, and Dr.
Gamble of the First Florida regiment, and a detail of ho
men was made to attend on and assist them.
Arriving at Pensacola at about io o'clock p. m. the
transfer of the troops to the steamer Ewing and the barges
and flats which had been provided was pushed on as
rapidly as possible, but not without some unavoidable de-
lay. It was found absolutely necessary to employ the
Neaffie to assist in towing, and at length, all preparations
having been completed, the boats departed from Pensa-
cola at a little after 12 o'clock, crossed the bay, and effected
a landing at the point which had been indicated by in-
structions. Disembarkation was rapidly executed in good
order and silence, and the battalions were formed upon
the beach at a little after 2 o'clock a. m.
To effectually accomplish the object of the expedition
Colonel Chalmers was directed to advance rapidly along
the north beach, Colonel Anderson along thesouth beach,
and Colonel Jackson, following a few hundred yards in
the rear of Colonel Chalmers, was to push his command to
the middle of the island, and deploy it as soon as he should
hear firing from either of the other battalions or should
perceive from any other indications that the enemy's camp
was approached or assailed by the other columns. Col-
onels Chalmers and Anderson had been furtheriirected
to endeavor to restrain their men from firing, to capture
guards and sentinels, and to place their commands, if pos-
sible, between Fort Pickens and the camp of the enemy.
Lieutenant Hallonquist followed in rear of Colonel'Jack-
son's battalion, with orders to do whatever damage he
could to the batteries, buildings and camps from which
the enemy might be driven.
"After a march of 3 or 4 miles, rendered toilsome and
fatiguing by the nature of the ground, the head of Colonel
Chalmers' column came suddenly upon a sentinel, who


fired ineffectually at our troops, and was himself instantly
shot down. The alarm having been thus given, and it
becoming impossible to conceal our advance further from
the enemy, I ordered Colonel Jackson to push his way
through the thickets to the middle of the island, and ad-
vance as rapidly as possible. The guards and outposts of
the Zouaves were now rapidly driven in or shot down, and
the progress of a few hundred yards, quickly accomplished
by Colonel Jackson, brought him upon the camp of the
enemy in advance of either of the other battalions. With-
out a moment's delay he charged it with the bayonet, but
met with no resistance. The camp was almost entirely
deserted, and our troops speedily applied the torch to the
tents, storehouses and sheds of Wilson's Zouaves.
"In the meantime Colonels Chalmers and Anderson, ad-
vancing along the shores of the island, encountered pick-
ets and outposts, with which they had some sharp skir-
mishing, but quickly beat them off and joined in the work
of destroying the camp. This having been most thor-
oughly executed, the troops were reassembled, with a view
to proceeding against and destroying the batteries which
lay between the camp and Fort Pickens; but daylight ap-
pearing, and there being no longer a possibility of a sur-
prise of the batteries, I directed the signal for retiring to
be sounded and the troops to be put in march for the
boats. At about half way between the Zouave camp and
the point of embarkation of our troops we encountered
two companies of United States regulars, which had passed
us under the cover of the darkness and posted themselves
behind a dense thicket to intercept our retiring column,
and a very sharp but short skirmish ensued. The enemy
was speedily driven off, and our troops resumed their
march. The re-embarkation was successfully accom-
plished, and the order given to the steamers to steer for
Pensacola, when it was discovered that a hawser had be-
come entangled in the propeller of the Neaffie, and that
she could not move.


After some delay, from ineffectual attempts to ex-
tricate the propeller, she and the large flat which she had
in tow were made fast to the Ewing. It was soon found,
however, that with this incumbrance the Ewing would
not obey her helm, and a change in the manner of towing
the Neaffie was necessary. While attempting to make
this change the flats and barges which the Ewing had in
tow became detached from her, and still further delay was
occasioned in recovering them. By the time this had
been done the hawser was cut away from the propeller and
the Neaffie proceeded on her way. The enemy, taking ad-
vantage of these circumstances, appeared among the sand
hills along the beach and opened a fire upon the masses
of our troops densely crowded upon our transports, but
without doing much execution, and we were soon out of
the range of their rifles. The necessity of using the Neaffie
as a tug, and the accident which for some time disabled
her, prevented her guns from being brought into play,
otherwise she might have rendered effectual service in
driving back the enemy who harassed us from the beach.
Our loss in this affair was as follows: Killed, 2 com-
missioned officers, 4 non-commissioned officers, 1 i privates
and i citizen volunteer; wounded, 2 commissioned officers,
5 non-commissioned officers, and 32 privates; taken pris-
oners, 5 commissioned officers, 2 non-commissioned offi-
cers, and 23 privates. The larger portion of the officers,
non-commissioned officers and privates captured by the
enemy were the guard left for the protection of ther hos-
pital and sick and the medical officers who had remained
in the building to attend to such of our wounded as might
be carried there. Notwithstanding that I caused the sig-
nal for retiring to be repeatedly sounded during the return
of the troops, it was not heard at the hospital, and the
guard and medical officers were cut off and taken prisoners.
The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded has
not been precisely ascertained, but is certainly known to
have much exceeded our own. From such imperfect ob-


servation as I made in passing over parts of the ground I
will estimate his loss at 50 or 60 killed and ioo wounded.
Twenty prisoners were taken, among them Maj. Israel
Vogdes, of the United States artillery. The destruction
of property in the conflagration was very great. Large
stores of provisions, supplies of clothing, camp and garri-
son equipage, arms and ammunition, were entirely con-
sumed. Some arms were brought away by our men, and
in a few instances money and clothing, as will be seen by
the report of Colonel Jackson, and I would specially rec-
ommend that the captors be permitted to retain whatever
private property they have taken.
It is with pride and pleasure that I bear testimony to
and call to the notice of the general commanding the ad-
mirable conduct of the troops throughout the expedition
and conflict. The alacrity, courage and discipline exhib-
ited by them merit the highest recommendation, and
give assurance of success in any future encounters which
they may have with the enemies of our country ....
The members of my staff, Capt. T. S. Mills, assistant
adjutant-general, and Capt. Hugh M. King, Fifth regi-
ment Georgia volunteers; Lieuts. Calvin L. Sayre and
Wilber Johnson, C. S. marines, who volunteered their
services and acted as my aides, rendered me active and ef-
ficient assistance throughout the whole of the operations.
Captain Mills, who was with Colonel Anderson's battalion
in its first encounter with the enemy, received a severe
contusion in the chest from a partially spent ball, but never-
theless continued energetically to perform his duties, and
Lieutenant Sayre, while fearlessly using his revolver with
effect, had his thigh bone shattered just above the right
knee by a musket ball, and being left upon the ground,
fell into the hands of the enemy. Capt. Hugh M.
King, in conveying orders and superintending the destruc-
tion of the camp, displayed commendable zeal and activity,
and the ardor and intrepidity of Lieutenant Johnson, while
deserving especial notice, give promise of this young of-


ficer's future success and distinction. The officers of the
medical staff rendered to the wounded every service which
under the circumstances was possible. Colonels Anderson
and Jackson pay graceful tribute to the memory of Cap-
tain'Bradford and Lieutenant Nelms, of their regiments,
to which I desire to add my respectful admiration for them
and for every brave patriot who fell with them for their
country's liberties."
Col. J. P. Anderson, in a letter to Governor Milton, said
of this engagement: "You will have heard of the affair
on Santa Rosa island on the morning of the 9th inst. The
object of the expedition was fully and completely ac-
complished, though the loss of such men as Captain Brad-
ford of Florida; Lieutenant Nelms of Georgia; Sergeant
Routh of Tallahassee; Private Tillinghast, etc., would
not be compensated for, in my opinion, by the total anni-
hilation of Billy Wilson and his whole band of thieves and
cut-throats. The Florida regiment had only ioo men in
the expedition, out of i,o6o, and lost 6 killed, 8 wounded,
and 12 prisoners, as follows: Killed: Captain Bradford,
Sergeant Routh, Privates Tillinghast, Hale, Thompson
of Apalachicola, and Smith. Wounded: Corporal Lanier,
Privates Echols, McCorkle, Sims, William Denham, Hicks,
Sharrit and O'Neal (Peter, of Pensacola). These are do-
ing well and will recover. Prisoners: Hale and Bond,
Company A; Mahoney and Nichols, Company B; Bev.
Parker and Finley, Company E; Holliman, Godlie, John
Jarvis, M. Mosely, and Batterson, of Company F; also
Lieutenant Farley, Company E. I deeply regret Vat such
men as Lieutenants Farley, Parker and Finley should
have fallen into the enemy's hands. However, they write
to us that they are well treated, but destiny unknown.
By any civilized nation in the world most of these pris-
oners would be promptly delivered up, for they were taken
while standing as a safeguard over the enemy's hospital
to prevent it from sharing the fate of the balance of the
camp. They protected it from flame and sword most


scrupulously, but failing to hear the signal to retire, only
remained too faithful to their trust, and have fallen into the
hands of the enemy by so doing. Their names should
illustrate one of the brightest pages of Florida's history."
General Bragg well said of this expedition that it was
a most daring and successful feat of arms. Landing
from steamers and flats on the enemy's shore within sight
of his fleet, marching some three or four miles in the dark-
ness of night over an unknown and almost impassable
ground under his guns, killing his pickets, storming his
intrenched camp of 600 or 700 men, driving the enemy off
in utter confusion and dismay, and burning every vestige
of clothing, equipage and provisions, leaving them indi-
vidually in a state of destitution, and this under the close
range of his stronghold, Fort Pickens, without his discov-
ering our object or firing a gun, is an achievement worthy
of the gallant men who executed it."
Capt. Richard Bradford, the highest in rank of those
who fell among the Florida volunteers, was a noble and
chivalrous young man, whose death was deeply mourned
throughout the State. To him and other noble martyrs
sacrificed, on their country's altar, their grateful country-
women have erected a monument on the grounds of the
capitol at Tallahassee, inscribed as follows:
To rescue from Oblivion
And perpetuate in the Memory of succeeding Generations
The heroic Patriotism of the Men
Who perished in the Civil War from z86I to i865.
Pensacola, Olustee, Natural Bridge, etc.
Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Richmond, Cold Harbor, Manassas,
Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville,
Wilderness, Yorktown, etc.
Richmond, Ky., Farmington, Shiloh, Corinth, Green River, Perry-
ville, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, Gilgal
Church, Cassville, Kenesaw Mountain, Decatur,
Jonesboro, Franklin, etc.
Fla 3


The situation at this time outside of the Pensacola re-
gion is described in a letter of October 29th from Gov-
ernor Milton to President Davis, in which he said that the
Third regiment, commanded by Col. W. S. Dilworth, was
scattered from Fernandina to the mouth of the St. John's,
while .the Fourth, composed of eight companies, com-
manded by Col. Edward Hopkins, was stationed part at
St. Vincent's island, part at St. Marks under Captain
Dial, and at the lighthouse near there, and part at Cedar
Keys. The State troops (5oo or 600) at Apalachicola were
undor command of the governor's aide-de-camp, Col.
Richard F. Floyd.
On the morning of November 22d began the most im-
posing military demonstration in the history of Florida, the
artillery battle between Fort Pickens assisted by the men-
of-war Niagara and Richmond, and Fort McRee and other
Confederate batteries. The thunder of the guns contin-
ued through two days, and considerable damage was done
to the works on each side, the Federal commander testify-
ing that the Confederate fire was "heavy and well direct-
ed." The loss of life was small and the result indecisive,
except as it indicated that the batteries which had been
erected along the coast fronting Pickens could not be
expected to do much more against her than maintain the
General Bragg reported that the enemy opened fire
about 9:30 a. m. from Fort Pickens and all his outer
batteries without the slightest warning. His first shots
were directed principally upon the navy yard and Fort
McRee, the former known to be occupied by woJ~en and
children and non-combatants, and used by us for defensive
purposes only. In less than half an hour we were re-
sponding, and the enemy distributed his fire on our
whole line. Soon after Fort Pickens opened two large
naval steamers, supposed to be the Niagara and Hartford,
took position due west from Fort McRee and within good
range, from whence they poured in broadsides of the heav-


iest metal throughout the day. From the defective struct-
ure of Fort McRee it was unable to return this terrific
fire with any effect.
"Assailed at the same time from the south by Fort
Pickens and its outer batteries, the devoted garrison of
this confined work, under the gallant Colonel Villepigue,
Georgia and Mississippi regiments, seemed to be destined
to destruction. Three times was the woodwork of the
fort on fire, threatening to expel its occupants, and as
often extinguished. The magazines were laid bare to the
enemy's shells, which constantly exploded around them,
and a wooden building to the windward on the outside
of the fort taking fire, showers of live cinders were driven
constantly through the broken doors of one of the mag-
azines, threatening destruction to the whole garrison. In
the midst of this terrible ordeal the coolness and self-pos-
session of the commander inspired all with confidence,
and enabled him to hold a position which seemed to others
utterly untenable.
"Toward evening our sand batteries appeared to have
crippled the Hartford [Richmond], and she drew off and
did not again join in the combat. Darkness closed the
contest, which had lasted more than eight hours without
an intermission. For the number and caliber of guns and
weight of metal brought into action it will rank with the
heaviest bombardment in the world. It was grand and
sublime. The houses in Pensacola, io miles off, trembled
from the effect, and immense quantities of dead fish floated
to the surface in the bay and lagoon, stunned by the con-
cussion. Our troops behaved with the greatest coolness
and gallantry, and surprised me by the regularity and
accuracy of their firing, a result which would have been
creditable to veterans.
"A dark cloud, accompanied by rain and wind, at 6
o'clock so obscured the night as to enable us to withdraw
in safety our transport steamers, which had been caught
at the navy yard. The gunboat Nelms, Lieutenant Man-


ston, Louisiana infantry, commanding, was also at the
yard when the firing commenced; but she was gallantly
backed out, and proceeded to Pensacola unharmed. The fire
of the enemy, though terrific in sound and fury, proved to
have been only slightly damaging, except to McRee. From
Fort Pickens and the sand batteries we sustained very
little injury. From the shipping, which fired with much
greater accuracy, the fort and garrison of McRee suffered
"Our loss from the enemy's shot was 21 wounded-
i mortally, who died that night; 12 of the others so
slightly as not to take them from duty. By an unfortunate
accident-the caving in of a defective magazine badly
planned and constructed-we had 6 other gallant men
smothered, who died calling on their comrades never to give
up the fort. Our women and children escaped through a
shower of balls without an accident. The reports brought
in during the night by my staff officers, dispatched to every
point, were very satisfactory and encouraging, except
from Fort McRee. Exposed in front, flank and reverse,
with half its armament disabled and magazines exposed,
without the ability to return the enemy's fire, it was pro-
posed to blow it up and abandon it. Upon mature reflec-
tion as to the effect this would have on the morale of my
own troops as well as the enemy, I determined to hold it
to the last extremity. An engineer officer and large
working party were dispatched to Colonel Villepigue with
the decision. Though suffering from a painful wound,
he devoted the entire night to the necessary repairs. It
was not our policy to keep up this unequal conrst at long
range, so we waited the enemy's fire the next morning.
"At about io:30 he again opened, though much more
slowly, and with only one ship. We responded, as before,
with caution and deliberation. Their fire was so much
slackened that our apprehension about McRee was greatly
relieved, and our sand batteries played with a better
prospect of success against the remaining ship. Toward


evening the enemy finding all his efforts foiled that our
guns were not silenced and McRee not reduced as he
had predicted, turned upon the hospital and put several
shots into the empty building (the sick having all been
removed in anticipation of this barbarous act). The evac-
uation, however, was not known to them. All the ap-
pearance of occupation was kept up; the yellow flag was
still flying. After this he poured hot shot into the dwell-
ings of non-combatants in the village of Warrington and
Woolsey, by which considerable portions of each were
burned. The navy yard, too, received a large supply of
these shot and a shower of mortar shells until past mid-
night, but only one unimportant building was fired, though
many houses were struck and more or less damaged.
Notwithstanding thousands of shot and shell fell in and
around our positions, not a casualty occurred in the whole
army for the day. Our fire ceased at dark, except an
occasional shell as a warning that we were on the alert,
the last shot being ours, about 4 a. m. on the 24th.
We had fired about I,ooo shots, the enemy not less
than 5,ooo. There are no means of knowing or conjectur-
ing the loss or damage inflicted on them, but we believe
it to have been very considerable. They certainly did
not accomplish the object they had in view nor fulfill the
expectations of their government. The injury to our side
was the loss in killed and wounded given above; a few
hundred dollars' damage done to the navy yard; the burn-
ing of two churches surmounted by the holy cross-the first
buildings fired-and some twenty humble habitations of
poor laboring men and women, mostly emigrants from
the North; and finally, a violation of our hospital flag, in
accordance with a previous threat. This last act stamps its
author with infamy and places him beyond the pale of
civilized commanders. As they did not renew the action,
and drew off with their ships in a crippled condition, our
fire was not reopened on Fort Pickens, to damage which is
not our object. A fair challenge, however, was offered


them on the 27th, when a small rowboat attempting to
enter the harbor was fired on by us and abandoned by
them. Several of our shots necessarily passed very near
their works, but they declined our invitation. .......
This would seem not an improper occasion to place on
record an expression of the admiration and gratitude I
feel for the noble, self-sacrificing spirit which has ever
pervaded the whole of this gallant little army. Called
suddenly from home, without preparation, to serve an
unorganized government, in the midst of a country destitute
of supplies, it has patiently and without a murmur sub-
mitted to privations and borne labors which can never be
appreciated. Consigned by fate to inactivity when their
brothers elsewhere, later in entering the service, were
reaping a harvest of glory, they have still nobly sustained
their commander and maintained a well-deserved reputa-
tion for discipline rarely equaled, never surpassed. With
a people capable of such sacrifices we may defy the
world in arms. But in giving this praise to human virtue
let us not be unmindful of an invisible Power which has
ruled all things for our good. The hand of disease and death
has been lightly laid upon us at a place and in a season
when we had reason to expect much suffering and great
mortality. And in the hour of our trial the missiles of
death, showered upon us by an infuriated enemy, respect-
ing neither women, children nor the sick, have been so
directed as to cause us to laugh at their impotent rage.
Verily, 'Except the Lord keep the city, the vwtchman
walketh but in vain.' "
After this great artillery demonstration all was compar-
atively quiet at Pensacola harbor until the afternoon of
January i, 1862, when the Federals opened fire on a small
private steamer that had imprudently run to the navy
yard. In the absence of General Bragg the Confederate bat-
teries returned the fire, and a brisk cannonade was kept up
until dark. The main damage done on shore was the burn-
ing of a large and valuable storehouse in the navy yard.


Late in February the disasters in Tennessee and Ken-
tucky persuaded the war department to authorize the
abandonment of.the Florida ports, and General Bragg, who
had been transferred to Mobile, ordered General Samuel
Jones, then in charge at Pensacola, to make dispositions
at the earliest moment, working night and day, to aban-
don the works, removing the heavy guns with ammuni-
tion to Mobile, and other supplies to Montgomery. His
instructions were: "I desire you particularly to leave
nothing the enemy can use; burn all from Fort McRee
to the junction with the Mobile road. Save the guns,
and if necessary destroy our gunboats and other boats.
They might be used against us. Destroy all machinery,
etc., public and private, which could be useful to the
enemy; especially disable the sawmills in and around the
bay, and burn the lumber. Break up the railroad from
Pensacola to the junction, carrying the iron up to a safe
General Jones immediately afterward succeeded Bragg
in department command, and his plan of evacuation, as he
stated, differed from Bragg's only in this: that he would
detail Col. T. M. Jones and a few hundred men to ac-
complish the destruction as soon as an overpowering attack
was made. Colonel Jones, left in command, sent out the
valuable property as rapidly as possible until he was in-
formed of the fall of New Orleans, when he removed the
remaining heavy guns and ammunition, leaving the forti-
fications practically defenseless. On May 7th he was in-
formed of Federal demonstrations at Mobile harbor, and
determined to evacuate at once. All the sick and baggage
were sent out on the 8th, and on the night of the 9th the
infantry marched out toward Oakfield, leaving several
companies of cavalry to begin the necessary destruction
at a given signal. Precisely at 11:30 two blue lights
were set off by Colonel Jones at the hospital, and
were promptly answered with similar lights at the navy
yard, Barrancas and Fort 'McRee, and scarcely had the


signals disappeared," said Colonel Jones, ere the public
buildings, camp tents, and every other combustible thing
from the navy yard to Fort McRee were enveloped in a
sheet of flames, and in a few minutes the flames of the
public property could be distinctly seen at Pensacola.
The custom house and commissary storehouses were not
destroyed for fear of endangering private property, a
thing I scrupulously avoided.
"As soon as the enemy could possibly man his guns
and load them, he opened upon us with the greatest fury,
and seemed to increase his charges as his anger increased.
But in spite of bursting shell, which were thrown with
great rapidity and in every direction, the cavalry pro-
ceeded with the greatest coolness to make the work of
destruction thorough and complete, and see that all orders
were implicitly obeyed. Their orders were to destroy all
the camp tents, Fort McRee and Fort Barrancas as far
as possible, the hospital, the houses in the navy yard, the
steamer Fulton, the coal left in the yard, all the machin-
ery for drawing out ships, the trays, shears-in fact every-
thing which could be made useful to the enemy. .
All the powder and most of the large shot and shell
were removed; the small-sized shot were burie41 I suc-
ceeded in getting away all the most valuable machinery,
besides large quantities of copper, lead, brass and iron;
even the gutters, lightning rods, window weights, bells,
pipes, and everything made of these valuable metals were
removed." At Pensacola an oil factory was burned, the
quartermaster's storehouses, some small boats, and three
small steamers used as guard boats, and transports. The
Federal troops took possession of the ruins of the navy
yard and forts the next.day, and on May 12, 1862, a force
marched to Pensacola and raised the United States flag,
beginning a hostile occupation which continued without
interruption during the remainder of the war.
The presence of the Federal forces was soon made
forcibly apparent to the people of the surrounding coun-


try. Reconnoitering parties were sent out toward the
positions of the Confederate troops at Bluff Springs and
Pollard, Ala. About the middle of May some Confeder-
ate cavalrymen in Milton were assailed by a force sent to
that village by boat, and a brisk fight occurred in the
town. Three cavalrymen, three citizens of Milton and two
negroes were carried away by the enemy.
The general plan of abandoning the coast involved
other Florida points in addition to Pensacola. Fernandina
was evacuated in March, 1862, and the well-constructed
defenses abandoned. The town of St. Augustine was sur-
rendered on March 1 ,1862,to Commander Rodgers,of the
Federal flag-ship Wabash, and on the next day Jackson-
ville peacefully capitulated.


DURING the operations about Pensacoia narrated
in the previous chapter, the organization of troops
continued throughout the State. Simultaneous
with the formation of the First Florida regiment there
was a gathering of the clans from all quarters; company
after company organizing and forming into battalions of
infantry to be eventually consolidated into regiments and
brigades. Before the expiration of two years after the
State had seceded, there were eight infantry and two cav-
alry regiments, besides independent companies enough to
form two regiments of infantry that had been ordered by
the secretary of war to other States, where they remained
in active service until the close of the war. When the
armies of Lee and Johnston surrendered the survivors of
thousands of Florida's valiant sons were paroled who,
through all the battles of the army of Tennessee and in
all the Virginia campaigns after the first battle of Manas-
sas, had fought with a gallantry and unfaltering fi fy
that will ever reflect luster upon their State's proud roll
of honor.
On account of the heavy demand for troops made by
the war department, the State forces were comparatively
weak for the protection of her territory with its extended
line of seacoast./ From accounts given by veterans
who were identified with these forces we learn that they
consisted of one battalion of cavalry, eight companies of
independent cavalry, two battalions of infantry, three in-



dependent companies of infantry and two artillery com-
panies. The aggregate was not more than x, 800 effective
men, scarcely one man to every mile of coast exposed to
the power of the enemy.
The second regimental organization of infantry, de-
signed for service in Virginia, was begun early in April,
I861, soon making up the complement of ten companies
which were destined to win a name and fame for their
State on the fields of the Old Dominion./The Second
infantry went into encampment near the "Brick church,"
about a mile from Jacksonville, almost exactly where
La Villa junction now stands,,until the i3th of July,
1861, when they were mustered into the Confederate
States service by Maj. Wm. T. Stockton. On Monday,
the 15th of July, they left Jacksonville by rail for Vir-
ginia, arriving in Richmond on Sunday afternoon, the
memorable 21st of July, just as the wires were flashing
the news of the great victory achieved by the Confeder-
ates at Manassas.
Next in readiness for service was the Third Florida
regiment of infantry, organized early in August, i861,
under a call from President Davis for two additional
regiments to assist in the defense of the Florida coast.
It was composed of ten companies of the most prominent
citizens from counties in south, east, middle and west
Florida, some of them having formed part of the volun-
teer militia of the State before the war. Among them
were the Jacksonville Light infantry, St. Augustine Blues
and Jefferson Rifles. Others of the companies had been
organized under the State law after the war became im-
minent, and many of them had been called out for tem-
porary service before they were accepted to be mustered
in as a part of the provisional army,of the Confederate
States. For this latter purpose they were rendezvoused
on Amelia island, except the companies from Duval and
St. John's, which were on duty in their own counties. The
regiment saw little active service during the first year of


its organization, but a great deal of hard labor was per-
formed by them and other volunteer troops in throwing
up sand batteries on Amelia and Talbot islands, and thus
strengthening the eastern part of the State. But one
skirmish was had with the enemy in that section, which
resulted in the loss of their noble lieutenant, Thomas
Strange, a veteran of the Mexican war and a gallant and
efficient officer. He had been sent with a small recon-
noitering party to the vicinity of Jacksonville, and was
killed after capturing a Federal post. The two Jefferson
companies, under Capt. D. B. Bird, were ordered during
the winter of 1861-62 to New Smyrna, to protect the gov-
ernment stores which were brought into Halifax river
from Nassau.
On March 26, 1862, a detachment made up mostly from
these two companies, while on duty at the beach on
Amelia island, under Captain Strain, who had succeeded
Captain Girardeau in command of Company H, attacked
some launches which were attempting to land from the
blockading fleet to destroy our stores. The fight resulted
in the loss of several of the boats, and most of the occu-
pants were killed, wounded or captured. After the evac-
uation of Fernandina the companies not engaged in the
Smyrna expedition were stationed at Cedar Keys, where,
by their experience in the hardships and discipline of camp
life, they were prepared for the arduous service which
awaited them later in the war when assigned to dutyin the
army of Tennessee. During the operations of this com-
mand in Florida, the field officers were Wm. S. Dilworth,
colonel; Arthur T. Wright, lieutenant-colonel; and Lu-
cius S. Church, major. Colonel Dilworth had enlisted as
a private in the Jefferson Beauregards, Lieutenant-Col-
onel Wright had been in command of the Columbia and
Suwannee Guards, and Major Church was a lieutenant in
the Madison Grey Eagles.
/ Early in the spring of 1861 ten more companies of vol-
Sunteers were organized as the Fourth Florida regiment


of infantry, and at once assigned to duty in the State,
where they showed a devotion and daring that entitled
them to the highest commendation. Company F, Cap-
tain Williams, from Bradford county, was sent to Cedar
Keys in June, where Company C, of the Second Florida,
under Capt. Walter R. Moore, was stationed. On the
4th of July, 1861, details from these two companies went
aboard the steamer Madison to make an attack on certain
vessels lying out in the gulf, and captured three schoon-
ers. Companies D, E and K of the regiment were sta-
tioned on the coast of Tampa bay, a very isolated and un-
protected part of the country, having no railroad commu-
nication with the interior of the State; Companies B, C
and I at St. Marks, a very important fishing point and
port for shipping lumber and other stores; Company F at
Cedar Keys, and H and G at Fernandina until the evac-
uation ofthat place in March, 1862, when they were or-
dered to Camp Langford in the vicinity of Jacksonyille.
The enemy having landed at Jacksonville soon after the
occupation of Fernandina by the Federal forces about the
12th of March, on the night of the 24th Lieutenant
Strange of Company H, and C. H. Ross and Frank Ross
of Company I, Third Florida regiment, with ten volun-
teers, attacked the Federal picket at the "Brick Church,"
killing four and capturing three. In this skirmish Lieu-
tenant Strange was mortally wounded. Soon after this
event the Fourth Florida was ordered to Corinth, Miss.
While these organizations of infantry wu-ere f-eii
effected, other volunteer companies were formed of men
who desired to enlist in another and very essential branch
of the service in a country so open to invasion, and they
were soon rea4y to be united into independent battalions
and regiments of cavalry. In a State whose line of sea-
coast, washed by the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico,
was more than 1,200 miles in extent-with no gunboats
and cruisers to protect her seaport towns, neither ade-
quate shore batteries-the defense of the territory required


great skill and sagacity in the disposition of our military
forces at or near these exposed points and great activity
in the troops, and for this purpose our cavalry was espe-
cially fitted, as they could bear up better under long
marches through forests and swamps than the infantry.
During the latter part of the terrible conflict they were
a great bulwark of protection to our homes from large
invading forces that would attempt to march into the
interior. Constantly were they on the alert, continuously
engaged in scouting and skirmishing, bearing a valuable
part in the defense of the most important sections of
the State, moving with a rapidity and accuracy which
seemed incredible to the enemy. Many of their brilliant
exploits are vividly remembered with a thrill of pride:
such as their defeat and capture of large bodies of infantry,
cavalry and artillery, and their occasional capture of posts
on the east side of the St. John's river, which portion of
the State had been in possession of the Federals since our
evacuation of Fernandina and St. John's bluff.
The companies forming the First Florida cavalry, com-
manded by Col. G. W. M. Davis at its first organization,
were encamped for several months at Camp Davis, about
six miles from Tallahassee, performing all the duties
necessary for military training, by which discipline they
were admirably fitted for the perilous services assigned
to them in the army of Tennessee, where they were dis-
tinguished for their intrepid gallantry and fortitude in the
battles of Richmond, Perryville, Chickamauga and Mis-
sionary Ridge., After the abandonment of the coast de-
fenses early in 1862, several gunboats passed the fortifi-
cations at the mouth of the St. John's river and Yellow
bluff, anchored in front of Jacksonville and landed a
considerable force. Colonel Davis was ordered to send a
detachment of his cavalry to Camp Langford, near the
city, to aid in meeting this emergency. He sent Lieut.-
Col. George Troupe Maxwell, with the greater part of the
regiment, to take part in the anticipated conflict. They


were soon on the line of march for the first time to meet
the invaders of Florida soil. On their arrival scouts were
sent out to reconnoiter, who reported that a strong picket-
guard was stationed at the "Brick church." A small
command under Lieutenant Strange of the Third Florida
was ordered to capture the guard, if possible without
bloodshed. Thus began the first encounter in which this
regiment engaged. The Federal picket guard, though
about half our number, wounded several of our men be-
fore they gave up the post. It was in this engagement
that Lieutenant Strange was mortally wounded. Soon
after the enemy retired to the gunboats and Jacksonville
was evacuated. It would have been of no advantage to
the Confederates to occupy the town, as the gunboats
could have at any time shelled the place and destroyed
many homes of helpless citizens who were unable to
leave. The regiment soon returned to its encampment
near Tallahassee, remaining there a short time, when it
was ordered to Chattanooga to join the army of Tennes-
see under Gen. Braxton Bragg.
The Second Florida cavalry, made up of prominent cit-
izens from all parts of the State, was not organized into
a regiment until after the evacuation of Fernandina. As
independent companies they had been doing valuable
service in defense of the middle, western and eastern
portions of the State. Prominent among the squadrons
operating in west and middle Florida, supporting Dun-
ham's, Abel's and Gamble's artillery, was Col. George
W. Scott's battalion. Two companies had been detached
and assigned to duty on the west side of the Chattahoo-
chee river to protect the country lying between that point
and Pensacola from raiding expeditions. Independent
companies under Captains Thigpen, Smith, Blocker,
Milton, with Partridge's, Leigh's, Smith's, Turner's and
Pickett's independent cavalry, assisted by several other
independent companies, were employed for the protection
of other important points lying on the west side of the


Suwannee river. The counties lying between and be-
yond these rivers possessed great productive capacity,
and the character of their supplies made them of inesti-
mable value to the State and to the Confederacy; there-
fore the occupation of this territory was greatly desired
by the enemy, and only by a judicious disposition of our
forces could there be any security against the advance of
raiding parties guided by deserters who were familiar
with the country round. Many important points on the
Gulf coast, Pensacola, Apalachicola, St. Joseph's and St.
Andrew's bays, were blockaded and unprotected.
On the west side of the Chattahoochee river our forces,
though comparatively small for the duty required, were
able to keep the enemy at bay for a long period, no dem-
onstrations being made to call them into any serious con-
flict with the Federal troops, then in safe possession of
Pensacola, the most valuable stronghold on the extreme
western coast.
Dunham's battery, which had been received into the
service in March, i862, and was at this time stationed
near the Chattahoochee river, prevented the enemy from
ascending the river to effect a landing, but as soon as the
water fell in the Apalachicola river so low as to prevent
its navigation, the battery was removed to the St. John's
river, where the enemy was in large force, and used to
cover the erection of a battery on St. John's bluff, five
miles from the bar, to prevent the enemy ascending the
river higher than that point. This movement was suc-
cessfully accomplished and the enemy repulsed after four
hours' hard fighting, the Confederates holding for a time
possession of the river from that point up. Captain Dun-
ham, by his admirable management of his splendid bat-
tery, performed an important part in the engagement.
Gen. William A. Owens, who had some years previous
moved from South Carolina, and was an honored citizen
of Marion county and one of the largest planters in the
State, organized in 1861 the first volunteer independent


company of cavalry in Marion county, known as the
Marion Dragoons, composed of material not surpassed
in any part of the Confederate States. Their personnel
was so superb, their horsemanship so splendid, and their
equipment of such superior quality, that Gen. R. E.
Lee, while on a visit of inspection.to the troops and for-
tifications on the island of Fernandina, paid them a high
compliment, saying that "they were the finest looking
and most superbly mounted company he had seen, not
excepting the Black Horse cavalry of Virginia." This
command was enrolled in the Confederate States army
and assigned to duty in the summer of 1861 at Fernan-
dina. The officers in command were Wi. A. Owens,
captain; Wm. C. Chambers, first lieutenant; Samuel
Ross, second lieutenant; and A. McCormick, third lieuten-
ant. The company remained on duty until the evacuation
of the island. Owing to impaired health Captain Owens
resigned the command and retired to his plantation home
to begin another work essential to the well-being of a
community: devoting his time and energies to the mate-
rial support of the cause, the protection of the neighbor-
hoods around, and caring for the helpless families whose
protectors were in the field. His nobly generous soul
ever cherished a patriotic pride in the career of the gal-
lant men who had once formed his military family, and
who were greatly endeared to him by the warm friendship
existing and their high estimate of him as a true patriot
and noble gentleman. The Dragoons, after the resigna-
tion of their beloved commander, were divided into two
companies, Lieutenant Chambers being appointed cap-
tain of one command and Lieutenant Rou captain of the
other. By this arrangement there were nine independ-
ent companies of cavalry, and the tenth was formed by
special order of General Finegan, authorizing Capt. J. J.
Dickison to raise a company of cavalry to make up the
complement for a regiment to be mustered into the Con-

Fla 4


federate States army for three years or the war, as the
Second Florida regiment of cavalry.
Some time previous to this, Maj. J. J. Dickison, a cit-
izen of Marion county, fitted for cavalry service as a staff
officer of General Hardee while a citizen of South Caro-
lina, had engaged in recruiting soldiers for independent
cavalry service in the Confederate army. Before his
company was complete a proposition was made by Capt.
J. M. Martin, a graduate of the Charleston military
school, who preferred artillery service, that the company
be changed to artillery. This was agreed to, provided
he would accept the position of captain, to which proposal
he assented. It was then organized at Ocala as the
Marion Light Artillery, with John M. Martin, cap-
tain; J. J. Dickison, first lieutenant; R. P. McCants,
second lieutenant, and Wim. Tidwell, third lieutenant.
On the 4th of November, 1861, the company was or-
dered by Governor Milton to Fernandina, and instructed
to call on Col. D. P. Holland for the battery of field
pieces in his possession belonging to the State of Florida,
with all its equipment, and to report to Brigadier-General
Trapier, commanding district of Florida. In the absence
of Captain Martin, Lieutenant Dickison reported the
command to Col. Charles Hopkins, then in command of
the post, and was received by him into the Confederate
States army. On the 2zst of November Lieutenant
Dickison reported first and second lieutenants present
with 6 non-commissioned officers, 45 privates and 26
horses, with certainty of 29 additional privates with the
requisite number of horses, the remaining officers to arrive
in a few days with a roll of io6 men. He was then or-
dered by Colonel Dilworth, commanding the department,
to make requisition on the quartermaster and commis-
sary, the company having been received into the Confed-
erate service as field artillery and attached to the Third
regiment of Florida volunteers.
The company remained on Amelia island about five


months. On the concentration of the enemy's gunboats
in good view of the island, General Trapier deemed it
advisable to remove his forces to the mainland, as our
defensive works, consisting mostly of sand batteries, were
not impregnable. During the evacuation of the island
the gunboats came up and shelled the trains as they were
moving freighted with our troops and many citizens who
sought refuge in the interior. The only casualties were
the killing of two worthy and prominent citizens. As
couriers were continually coming in with reports that the
enemy were landing, the artillery was kept ready for any
emergency and was ordered from place to place to inter-
cept the invaders. For a short time this command en-
camped near the St. Mary's river and thence were ordered
to Sanderson, where, from the unprecedented severity of
the weather, they suffered privation and much sickness,
which resulted in several deaths from measles and pneu-
monia. From this point they were ordered to Camp
Langford, thence to Three-mile branch in the vicinity
of Jacksonville, where they remained faithful sentinels
on the outpost until the latter part of May, at which time
the company was reorganized.
In June, 1862, a telegram was received from the war
department ordering Captain Martin to proceed to Dalton
in supporting distance of Chattanooga. On their arrival
they did not long remain inactive, being soon ordered to
join Gen. Kirby Smith, and doing most effective service
in their first and most important fight at Richmond, Ky.
On this memorable occasion the gallant and heroic Martin
was seriously and at the time feared to be mortally
wounded. Our brave Johnson, Tidwell, Boring and Hols-
houser were killed early in the engagement, nobly dis-
playing the valor and chivalry of men devoted to a sacred
cause. At this battle, the Marion light artillery was
the only corps from Florida present, and was placed in a
most conspicuous position. Gen. Kirby Smith briefly ad-
dressed them just as the fight commenced, and in his own


eloquent manner appealed to the corps to maintain the
honor of their State in the coming fight, and nobly did
they respond to the appeal. The battery was immedi-
ately moved forward into the hottest part of the battle,
and by its efficiency contributed in no small degree to the
glorious achievements of that memorable day.
"How fiercely that battery was hurled on the foe
Where the minie ball hissed and where hurtled the shell;
Too severe was our fire-the foe are in flight-
And our noble chief said, with voice clear and loud,
'You have won us the fight, our Florida's proud.' "
On recovering from his wound, Captain Martin re-
turned to his command in the West and remained at his
post until elected a member of Congress. After serving
two terms he desired to engage again in active service in
the field and was assigned to duty in Florida, with a com-
mand of six independent companies of infantry, which
were eventually consolidated into the Ninth Florida
regiment and ordered to Virginia, where they were des-
tined to pass through many sanguinary conflicts, coming
forth from their baptism of fire and blood with all the
honor and distinction that could be desired by the Con-
federate soldier-the highest type of a patriot in arms.
At the reorganization of the Marion light artillery
Lieutenant Dickison, preferring cavalry service, with-
drew from the command, and it was then that he received
the order, previously mentioned, from General Finegan,
to raise a cavalry company to complete the Second Flor-
ida cavalry regiment, to be mustered into the Confederate
State's service for three years or for the war. The new com-
pany which he formed was composed of citizens from the
counties of Marion, Alachua, St. John, Putnam, Brad-
ford, Duval, Columbia, Clay, Volusia, Sumter, Hillsboro,
Nassau and Madison. It was organized in August,
1862, at Flotard pond and mustered in by Maj. R. B.
Thomas, adjutant and inspector-general on General Fin-
egan's staff, electing as its officers J. J. Dickison, cap-


tain; W. H. McCardell, first lieutenant; D. S. Brantly,
second lieutenant; M. J. McEaddy, third lieutenant;
with 5 sergeants, 4 corporals and 63 privates. During the
period 1862-63 the roll was increased to 70 privates and
changes made in rank of officers. Dr. J. A. Williams
held the position of surgeon until the close of the war.
From Flotard pond they moved to Gainesville, remaining
there a week, procuring arms and ammunition, the horses
being private property; thence to Jacksonville, where
they did picket and other duty for several weeks, and
later were ordered to Yellow bluff, and thence to Camp
After the enemy began demonstrations on the St.
John's the command was ordered to Palatka, 75 miles
from Jacksonville. While on the march they captured a
large number of negroes who were endeavoring to escape
to the enemy, and by this timely capture discovered a
plot which had been set on foot to drain that part of the
country of slaves. They also captured a number of de-
serters. A small scouting party was sent from Palatka
in the direction of St. Augustine, where they captured
i lieutenant, 2 non-commissioned officers and 2 privates.
Information being received that the Federal troops
were in the habit of visiting at the Fairbank place,
about one and a half miles from St. Augustine, Captain
Dickison crossed the San Sebastian river early in Octo-
ber, 1862, and proceeded to the point where it was ex-
pected the enemy would appear. They did not come out
in usual force or at the usual time. Six companies, about
350 strong, had crossed the San Sebastian river four miles
below the point at which our forces had crossed, to cap-
ture our wagon train and cut off the escape of our forces.
A detachment of our command held them in check until
the train was drawn off, when Captain Dickison came
up with his detachment and captured their rear guard of
I officer and 26 men. The enemy held their position for
several hours, then fell back in the direction of St. Au-


gustine, without doing any injury to the Confederates, 43
in number, who had so gallantly repulsed them. The
next night our command returned to Palatka and was
ordered to Jacksonville where they engaged in several
hot skirmishes. Soon afterward being sent back to
Palatka, they engaged the transport Mary Benton, with
5oo negro troops under Lieutenant-Colonel Billings,
March 27, 1863. This officer was wounded and about 75
killed and wounded, without loss on our side. The fol-
lowing day Jacksonville was evacuated. For several -
months afterward the company guarded all the country
from St. Augustine to Smyrna. This duty being too
heavy the command was reinforced by Company C, Capt.
Wm. C. Chambers, and did good work protecting the
landing of supplies from our blockade runners.
In the meantime the enemy's gunboats were concen-
trating in the St. John's river, and the Confederates, hav-
ing neither naval forces nor batteries at the time on the
river, could make no resistance. Jacksonville was in
possession of the enemy, affording opportunity to land at
pleasure a large army. Fernandina was held by them,
a valuable stronghold, where they could concentrate
troops and at any time advance with a force of i5,ooo to
20,000 troops into the heart of the country, our forces
having been greatly depleted by the call of troops to
Virginia and the western army.
In the winter of 1863 Captain Dickison was ordered
to Fort Meade to act in concert with Colonel Brevard,
who was sent to take command of a battalion near that
point as the enemy was in considerable force in the
neighborhood of Fort Myers. At this critical time the
enemy, learning of the scattered state of our troops and
being strongly fortified by reinforcements from Hilton
Head, made rapid preparations for an invasion of the
State, anticipating an easy capture of Lake City, a per-
manent occupation of that region and a triumphant march
on to Tallahassee, the capital, where they could be in


communication with the Federal forces at the Gulf ports.
With such co-operation the whole State would be occu-
pied by the Federal army.
Before reaching Fort Meade Colonel Brevard was or-
dered to return with his troops, in anticipation of the bat-
tle of Olustee. After a march day and night of 575
miles with little rest, they were too late by twelve hours
to take part in the battle.
A frightful disaster which signalized the spring of 1863
in west Florida was the explosion of the boilers of the
gunboat Chattahoochee. This vessel, carrying six guns,
had been built for the protection of the river whose name
she bore, and at the time of the accident was lying at an-
chor 25 miles above Apalachicola. On May 3oth Com-
mander John J. Guthrie was informed that nine Federal
launches had come up the river and captured the schooner
Fashion, loading with cotton, and he immediately or-
dered steam up to go to the assistance of the schooner.
In a few moments the boilers of the gunboat exploded,
sinking the vessel, killing 16 persons and severely scald-
ing many others. Among those who lost their lives
was Midshipman Mallory, who had distinguished himself
by pushing his way first aboard the frigate Congress at
Hampton Roads, after she had struck her colors to the
Virginia. The guns of the Chattahoochee were taken
off and mounted in battery on the shore, and reinforce-
ments being sent down by General Cobb, then in com-
mand in that district, the enemy was prevented from tak-
ing advantage of the disaster. In a short time the gun-
boat was raised and repaired so that she was of service
thereafter in defending the river,


N the winter of 1863-64 Florida was an inviting field
to Federal aggression. The few Confederate troops
left in the State were scattered over the vast extent
of territory they gallantly sought to defend, and it ap-
peared that a strong body of Federal soldiers could with
little opposition advance into the center of the heart of
the State, expel the regularly constituted authorities
from the capital, and organize a quasi-State government
which should recognize the supremacy of the United
States. In a letter to General Gilmore, commanding on
.the coast, dated January 13, 1864, President Lincoln
authorized such a proceeding on the ground that "an
effort is being made by some worthy gentlemen to recon-
struct a loyal State government in Florida," and he sent
his private secretary, Mr. John Hay, with "some blank
books and other blanks to aid in the reconstruction.".
Accordingly General Gilmore, on February 5th, ordered
Gen. Truman Seymour. to proceed with a division of
troops from Hilton Head to Jacksonville. Admiral Dahl-
gren sailed with a squadron of five gunboats to escort the
transports, and the expedition of about 7,000 men,includ-
ing cavalry, infantry and artillery, was landed at Jackson-
ville on February 7, 1864. On the receipt of this intelli-
gence, General Finegan, then in command of the forces,
immediately notified Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick,
who had an effective force of near 350 men of all arms at
Camp Finegan, to guard against a surprise.


"On the night of the 8th," General Finegan reported,
"the enemy advanced from Jacksonville with great rapid-
ity in three columns, cavalry in the advance, artillery and
infantry following, under command of Brigadier-General
Seymour. They approached Camp Finegan as the com-
mand there were in the act of retiring. Their largely
superior numbers deterred Lieutenant-Colonel Mc-
Cormick from attacking them, and in the darkness of
the night he withdrew his command with caution and
address and joined me at Camp Beauregard, near
Ocean pond on the Olustee, on the 13th inst. The
enemy with celerity pressed on to Baldwin, captur-
ing on the way five guns of Companies A and B,
Milton light artillery, which had been ordered to
Baldwin. They remained at Baldwin a short time,
continuing their march on to Barber's the same night.
At this point they were met by two companies of cavalry
under Maj. Robert Harrison, Second Florida cavalry,
whom I had ordered to join me, and who with much gal-
lantry checked their progress for several hours at St.
Mary's crossing with but small loss to us and a consid-
erable loss to the enemy. On the 9th I removed all the
government stores from Sanderson except 1,500 bushels
of corn, which was burned under my orders.
"On the ioth the enemy reached Sanderson. On the
Smith they were within 3 miles of Lake City. Here I
had hastily collected, principally from the district of mid-
dle Florida, a small force of 490 infantry, 1zo cavalry
and two pieces of artillery. On the night of the loth I
placed this force in a favorable position two and a half
miles from Lake City, in the direction of the enemy. At
9:30 the enemy advanced upon us with a force estimated
to be 1,400 mounted infantry and five pieces of artillery.
Here they opened upon us,fighting as infantry, and skir-
mished heavily with my advance line. Discovering my
position and its strength and probably presuming my
force larger than it was, they retreated to Sanderson,


thence to Barber's on the east side of the St. Mary's
river, where they constructed field works and concen-
trated their whole force for a final movement on Lake City.
In the meantime I used every possible effort to gather
reinforcements, and on the i3th moved to Ocean Pond on
On the z3th General Finegan reported that the cavalry
command of Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick, which
was charged upon by the enemy and dispersed at Camp
Finegan on the night of the 8th inst., had nearly all
reached him. He also said:
"This expedition is really formidable, and, organized as
it is with so large a force of cavalry or mounted infantry,
threatens disastrous results unless checked at once by a
sufficient force. They are now fortifying Baldwin and a
position on the St. Mary's river. I should have more
cavalry to prevent their superior mounted force from
making raids into the rich counties of Alachua and Ma-
rion and destroying the large amount of sugar and syrup
which has not yet been sent to market. The supply of
beef will now be suspended until the enemy has been
driven out. I am intrenched at the Olustee to-night,
and have about 1,800 infantry, 450 cavalry, and two bat-
teries and one section of artillery. It is hardly prudent
to move forward against so large a cavalry force, which
can operate by forced marches in the night on my line of
communication and perhaps cut me off from middle Flor-
ida by making a detour through the country and a sud-
den descent on the bridge over the Suwannee, where
I have but 30 men. I will act cautiously until the
plans of the enemy are more fully developed. They are
piloted by traitors familiar with every portion of the
country, and, knowing the position and strength of my
command, the whole district will be ruined unless timely
reinforcements are sent forward. Their cavalry and ar-
tillery are at this time at Sanderson, 1o miles from Olus-
tee, and their infantry about 5 miles in the rear. They


credit me with a much larger force than I have. At Lake
City they skirmished heavily with my forces for several
hours, till they discovered my works and artillery, when
they withdrew and retreated to Sanderson. I was not in
a position to follow."
After the main body of the Federal force had reached
Barber's plantation, the advance was delayed for want of
transportation. General Gilmore, who had accompanied
the expedition, returned from Baldwin to Jacksonville and
thence sailed for Hilton Head, where he issued a proc-
lamation, announcing that he had occupied Florida, and
calling on the people of the State to take the oath of alle-
giance to the United States. Before leaving he instructed
Seymour to hold Baldwin and the south fork of the St.
Mary's as his outposts from Jacksonville, and occupy
Palatka and Magnolia, on the St. John's. But on the
17th, Seymour informed him that he was advancing toward
the Suwannee river, though without supplies. Gilmore
answered hastily, complaining that Seymour was not fol-
lowing instructions and repeating that the objects of the
Florida expedition were as follows: First, to bring Florida
into the Union; second, to revive the trade on the St.
John's river; third, to recruit the negro regiments and
organize a regiment of Florida white troops; fourth, to
cut off in part the Confederate supplies drawn from Flor-
ida. On the morning of February 2oth, General Seymour
moved out from Barber's, with all the disposable force at
his control, "with the intention," he afterward reported,
"of meeting the enemy at or near Lake City, and of then
pushing the mounted force to the Suwannee river, to de-
stroy if possible the railroad bridge at that stream."
By the i3th of February there was concentrated
near Lake City a Confederate force of 4,600 infantry,
6oo cavalry and three field batteries, 12 guns. This
force was organized into two brigades. The First bri-
gade, Col. A. H. Colquitt, included the Sixth, Nine-
teenth, Twenty-third, Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth


Georgia regiments; the Sixth Florida battalion and the
Chatham battery of Georgia artillery. The Second bri-
gade was composed of the Thirty-second and Sixty-fourth
Georgia volunteers, First regiment Georgia regulars,
First Florida battalion, Bonaud's battalion infantry and
Guerard's light battery, Col. George P. Harrison com-
manding the brigade. The cavalry was commanded by
Col. Caraway Smith, and the Florida light artillery was
unattached, in reserve.
General Finegan encamped his little army on a line
between Ocean pond and a cypress pond, a position which
met the approval of Lieut. M. B. Grant, who was sent
from Savannah to act as engineer officer of the command.
The country along the line of the railroad east of the Su-
wannee is exceedingly low and flat, with such streams as
would be of little assistance to a defense. The position
selected by General Finegan was, in fact, according to
the engineer "the only point offering any advantages
whatever between Lake City and the south prong of the
St. Mary's, the latter being in possession of the enemy.
Before the arrival of Lieutenant Grant two small works
had been thrown up under direction of Major Bonaud,
Second Florida battalion. The left of the line rested
upon Ocean pond, a sheet of water some four miles
by two, while in front of the line and to the left of the
railroad was an open pond, averaging 250 yards in width,
extending to within 300 yards of Ocean pond. To the
right of the railroad and at an average distance of 400
yards in advance of the line there extended "a thick
bay," impassable except within 200 yards on the right of
the railroad. Intervening between this bay and our line
was an open field over which the enemy would have to
advance in approaching the works. Major Clarke, of the
engineer corps, arrived, and the fortification of this strong
line continued under his direction until the 2oth, when
the battle was brought on unexpectedly in advance of the
fortified line. The enemy advanced that morning early,


in two columns, one by the railroad and the other by the
Lake City and Jacksonville road, and they pushed for-
ward rapidly, supposing they had only to contend with
the forces they had previously met, and unaware of the
reinforcements concentrated at Olustee.
As soon as General Finegan was advised of this move-
ment he sent forward Colonel Smith with the cavalry,
who found the enemy three or four miles east of the Con-
federate position, and reporting that fact engaged in skir-
mishing with the Federal advance guard. Col. George P.
Harrison, commanding the Second brigade, was then
instructed to send forward the Sixty-fourth Georgia and
two companies of the Thirty-second, and these troops,
going forward from the intrenchments at noon, were in-
structed to engage the enemy lightly and fall back with
a view of drawing him to the works. Next, Colquitt was
ordered forward to support the cavalry and infantry, and
next the remainder of Harrison's brigade. Thus the
battle was brought on some distance to the east of the
line selected for defense. Said Colonel Harrison in his
"I had scarcely put my command in the double-quick
when the report of artillery in my front indicated that
the fight had opened. Quickening our pace we moved on
until within a few hundred yards of the place where the
road we were upon crossed the railroad. Here I halted
for a moment, but observing General Colquitt forming
his line, and seeing the position across the railroad of
the enemy, then sweeping the front of my column with
a battery in position near the cross-roads, I moved to the
left in double-quick, crossed the railroad and formed
line of battle upon the left of that just established by
General Colquitt. About this time the action became
general. Being now at long range I advanced in con-
junction with the right of the line to within about 200
yards of the enemy, who stubbornly stood his ground.
In about this position the field was hotly contested by


both parties for about an hour, when the enemy gave
way slowly before the close pressure of our gallant men;
but soon a new line of the enemy appeared and our ad-
vance was checked. Hit resistance now seemed more
stubborn than before for more than twenty minutes,
when the enemy sullenly gave back a little, apparently to
seek a better position, but still held us at bay. Now the
results of the day seemed doubtful. It'was whispered
down the line, particularly in the Sixth and Thirty-sec-
ond Georgia regiments, that our ammunition was failing
and no ordnance train in sight. This I immediately re-
ported to General Colquitt, who urged that we hold our
ground, stating that ammunition would certainly reach
us directly. This, I am proud to say, was heroically com-
plied with by my command, many of them for fifteen or
twenty minutes standing their ground without a round of
ammunition. Seeing the critical position of affairs I
dismounted, placed one of my staff whose horse had been
disabled upon mine, and he, with the remainder of
my staff and couriers, was employed in conveying ammu-
nition from a train of cars some half mile or more distant.
By several trips they succeeded in supplying sufficient am-
munition to our line to enable the reopening of a rapid
and effective fire, before which the enemy had com-
menced to retire slowly, still keeping up his fire upon
us, when the First Florida battalion, under command of
Lieut.-Col C. F. Hopkins, and a section of Guerard's
battery, under Lieut. W. Robert Gignilliat, arrived from
the intrenchments. I at once ordered the former to the
support of the Sixty-fourth Georgia, whose ammunition
was nearly exhausted, and the latter to take position and
open fire near the left center. These reinforcements,
together with some that arrived upon the right, served
to embolden our men and intimidate the enemy, for their
retreat now became more hurried and their fire less
rapid and effective. Under instruction from General
Colquitt I now threw forward the Sixth and Thirty-sec-



ond Georgia to flank the enemy upon their right, which
movement succeeded admirably, for soon their right was
exposed to a cross fire, which told upon their ranks with
fine effect. A general advance of our line now drove the
enemy, who retreated, at first sullenly, but now precipi-
tately, before our victorious arms for some miles, when
night came on, and' by order of General Colquitt we
ceased firing and our line halted."
Colonel Caraway Smith, commanding cavalry, gave the
following account of the service of his troops: On the
morning of the 20th, it being reported that the enemy
were advancing from the direction of Sanderson, I re-
ceived orders from the brigadier-general commanding to
advance and meet them for the purpose of ascertaining
their position and number. I accordingly moved out
with all the cavalry force then available, which consisted
of 250 men, Fourth Georgia cavalry, Colonel Clinch com-
manding, and 202 men of the Second Florida cavalry,
under Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick. I discovered the
enemy about four miles distant from our encampment,
occupying in force the second crossing of the railroad
from Olustee. I reported the fact to you immediately
and directed Colonel Clinch to advance a body of skir-
mishers from his regiment to attack the enemy's pickets,
which he did promptly and was pushing the attack ear-
nestly when they were met by a much larger force from
the enemy, which compelled them to retire to their
horses. This they did in good order. The enemy then
moved forward with his whole force, skirmishing on our
rear, which we resisted with our rear guard, keeping him
in check, while the cavalry retired in line and in perfect
order. This skirmishing was kept up until we reached
the first crossing of the railroad from Olustee. There I
found our infantry and artillery under the command of
Brigadier-General Colquitt, from whom I received orders
to dispose of the cavalry on the right and left wings of
our army, to prevent any flank movement of the enemy.


I accordingly ordered Colonel Clinch to occupy the left
with his regiment and Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick
with the Second Florida cavalry to take position on the
right. Early in the action Colonel Clinch received a se-
vere wound in the leg which made it necessary for him
to retire from the field and the command of his regiment
then devolved upon Captain Brown, who kept an efficient
guard on the left flank while Lieutenant-Colonel McCor-
mick protected the right. On two occasions I discovered
that the enemy was attempting to cross the railroad on
the right of our infantry, evidently for the purpose of
turning that wing, when I directed Lieutenant-Colonel
McCormick to dismount a portion of his regiment and
drive him back, which he did effectually. Thus by the
vigilance of the cavalry on the right and left, the enemy
was prevented from deploying his large force so as to
turn either flank. The Fifth Florida cavalry battalion,
commanded by Maj. G. W. Scott, was not brought upon
the field until late in the evening, in consequence of the
jaded condition of the men and horses from hard service
for the twenty hours preceding. He, however, joined
Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick on the right, about the
middle of the contest, and rendered him prompt assist-
ance. The fight terminating at night and our infantry
lines not being perceptible to me through the woods, and
the face of the country being cut up by swamps, making
it very favorable for ambushing under cover of night, I
deemed it inadvisable to push forward with the whole
cavalry force until further information could be had of
the position of affairs. In addition to this, after the or-
der to move forward was being executed, another order
was received to the effect that we were getting under the
fire of our men and also that I should beware of an am-
bush. I attached the more importance to this order be-
cause it had already been discovered that a large body of
the enemy's cavalry were resting on the opposite side of
a swamp from us. The cavalry, however, as soon as

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possible followed up the enemy and gathered a number
of prisoners, amounting to about 150. In addition to
this, several prisoners were taken by Lieutenant-Colonel
McCormick and Major Scott while protecting the right
"I have to report that Colonel Clinch and three men
of the Fourth Georgia cavalry were wounded. One of
the wounded men is missing and supposed to be dead.
It is due to the companies of Captains Stephens and Max-
well, of the Second Florida cavalry, to state that the con-
duct of the men and officers while acting as the rear
guard of the cavalry, as we were falling back before the
enemy, was highly satisfactory. They behaved with the
coolness and deliberation of veterans."'
Brig.-Gen. Alfred H. Colquitt, commanding First bri-
gade, in his account of the battle, said:
"Intelligence having been received of the approach of
the enemy, I was instructed to take three regiments of
my own brigade, with a section of Gamble's artillery, and
proceed to the. front and assume command of all the
forces which had preceded me, consisting of two regi-
ments of cavalry under command of Colonel Smith; the
Sixty-fourth Georgia regiment and two companies of the
Thirty-second Georgia. Subsequently other troops were
sent forward and I was directed to call for such reinforce-
ments as might be needed. About two miles from Olus-
tee station I found the enemy advancing rapidly and our
cavalry retiring before them. I threw forward a party
of skirmishers and hastily formed line of battle under a
brisk fire from the enemy's advance. The Nineteenth
Georgia was placed on the right and the Twenty-eighth
Georgia on the left, with a section of Captain Gamble's
artillery in the center. The Sixty-fourth and the two
companies of the Thirty-second were formed on the left
of the Twenty-eighth and the Sixth Georgia regiment
was sent still farther to the left to prevent a flank move-
ment in that direction. Instructions were sent to Colonel
Fla 5


Smith, commanding cavalry, to place his regiments on
the extreme flanks and to guard against any movement
of the enemy from either side.
"The line of infantry was then ordered to advance,
which was gallantly done, the enemy contesting the
ground and giving way slowly. Perceiving that the en-
emy were in strong force, I sent back for reinforcements
and a fresh supply of ammunition. The Sixth Florida
battalion and Twenty-third Georgia regiment soon ar-
rived for my support. The Florida battalion was formed
on the right of the Nineteenth Georgia and in such posi-
tion as to come in on the left flank of the enemy. The
Twenty-third was put on the left of the Sixty-fourth.
Colonel Harrison coming up with the Thirty-second and
First Georgia regulars took position on the left between
the Twenty-third and Sixth, and was instructed to as-
sume the general direction of the left of the line. The
section of Gamble's artillery in the center having been
disabled by the loss of horses and injury to limber, Cap-
tain Wheaton, who had early arrived upon the field with
the Chatham artillery and had taken position on the
right, was ordered to the center to relieve Captain Gam-
ble. This battery moved forward and took position un-
der a heavy fire and continued to advance with the line
of infantry until the close of the action. Toward night,
when Captain Wheaton's ammunition was almost ex-
pended, a section of Guerard's battery, of Harrison's bri-
gade, moved up under Lieutenant Gignilliat, and opened
fire on the enemy, furnishing Captain Wheaton with part
of his ammunition.
"After our line had advanced about mile, the engagement became general ,ind the ground
was stubbornly contested. With two batteries of artil-
lery immediately in our front and a long line of infantry
strongly supported, the enemy stood their ground for
some time, until the Sixth Florida battalion on the right
flank and all the troops in front passing steadily for-


ward, compelled them to fall back and leave five pieces
of artillery in our possession. At this time, the ammuni-
tion beginning to fail, I ordered the commanding officers
to halt their regiments and hold their respective posi-
tions until a fresh supply could be brought from the ord-
nance wagons which, after much delay, had arrived upon
the field. Major Bonaud's battalion came upon the field,
followed soon after by the Twenty-seventh Georgia and
the First Florida battalion. These troops were put in
position near the center of the line and a little in advance,
to hold the enemy in check until the other commands
could be supplied with cartridges. As soon as this was
accomplished I ordered a general advance, at the same
time sending instructions to Colonel Harrison to move the
Sixth and Thirty-second regiments around on the right
flank of the enemy. The Twenty-seventh, under Col-
onel Zachry, pushing forward with great vigor upon the
center, and the whole line moving as directed, the enemy
gave way in confusion. We continued the pursuit for
several miles, when night put an end to the conflict. In-
structions were given to the cavalry to follow close upon
the enemy and seize every opportunity to strike a favor-
able blow.
"The results of the engagement in the killed and
wounded and prisoners of the enemy, and our own loss,
will be found in the reports rendered directly to you.
The gallantry and steady courage of officers and men
during the engagement are beyond all praise. For more
than four hours they struggled with unflinching firmness
against superior numbers until they drove them in con-
fusion and panic to seek safety in flight.
Col. George P. Harrison, who commanded on the left,
displayed skill, coolness and gallantry. The officers
commanding the various regiments did their duty nobly.
Colonel Evans, commanding the Sixty-fourth Georgia, and
Captain Crawford, commanding Twenty-eighth Georgia,
both gallant officers, were wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel


Barrow of the Sixty-fourth Georgia, a brave and gallant
officer, received a fatal shot while gallantly attempting
to rally his men. Captain Wheaton and the officers and
men of his battery are entitled to special commendation
for their courage, coolness and efficiency. Captain Grat-
tan, assistant adjutant-general, Lieutenant Colquitt, aide-
de-camp, Major bly and Lieutenant Estill of my staff,
were active and conspicuous in every part of the field.
My thanks are due Lieutenant Thompson, Second Florida
regiment, and Mr. Sterling Turner, volunteer aides, for
their gallant services. The names of those in the ranks
entitled to be particularly mentioned may be furnished
in a subsequent report."
The service of the artillery is appropriately mentioned
in the reports of several officers. Capt. Robert H. Gam-
ble, commanding Leon light artillery, said that in the
action of the zoth inst. 77 enlisted men, with all the
officers of the company, were engaged. "The total num-
ber of casualties were as follows: Gun-Corporal Craven
Atkinson and Private M. B. Smith, killed; A. C. Mc-
Cants struck by a fragment of shell and J. B. Lynn
struck by a spent ball and B. Bishop wounded in hand,
since returned to duty; J. D. Sauls and Wm. Bishop in-
jured by gun carriage. I desire to commend specially
for their coolness during the engagement Sergt. R. F.
Phillips, Corporals J. R. Lewis and A. W. Mason, Pri-
vates James Lee, A. D. Cone, Thomas Neary, Dennis
O'Connor, A. M. May, J. J. Smith and Brickle. Lieu-
tenants Dyke and Gamble, chiefs of sections and Lieut.
J. N. Whitner, chief of the line caissons, rend ed all the
assistance in their power in handling the guns. First-
Sergt. F. B. Papy was also active in the discharge of
his duty. Two battery horses were killed and seven
wounded. These accidents among the horses threw sev-
eral teams into confusion, during which two limbers were
badly injured. The trail of the 12-pounder howitzer was
crushed during the action by the recoil of the gun, but


firing was continued from the piece until the broken end
of the trail was so deeply imbedded in the earth as to
render the gun no longer serviceable, when it was carried
off the field."
To these reports may be added the more comprehen-
sive account of General.Finegan, commanding the heroic
little army. He said:
"On the 2oth inst. the enemy advanced in three col-
umns, since ascertained to have been twelve regiments of
infantry, nine of white and three of black, estimated at
8,ooo, and some artillery, number of guns unknown, and
1,400 cavalry. At noon the enemy were within 3
miles of my position. I ordered the cavalry under Col-
onel Smith, Second Florida cavalry, supported by the
Sixty-fourth Georgia, Colonel Evans commanding, and
two companies of the Thirty-second Georgia, to advance
and skirmish with the enemy and draw them to our
works. The remaining force was placed under arms and
prepared for action. Apprehending that the enemy was
too cautious to approach our works, I ordered Brigadier-
General Colquitt, commanding First brigade, to advance
with three of his regiments and a section of Gamble's
artillery and assume command of the entire force then
ordered to the front, and feel the enemy by skirmishing,
and if he was not in too heavy force to press him heavily.
I had previously instructed Colonel Smith, commanding
cavalry, to fall back as our infantry advanced and pro-
tect their flanks. This movement was predicated on the
information that the enemy had only three regiments of
infantry, with some cavalry and artillery. Perceiving
that in this movement the force under Brigadier-General
Colquitt's command might become too heavily engaged
to withdraw without a large ;:;: :.v tiing force, and intend-
ing that if the enemy should prove to be in not too great
strength to engage them, I ordered in quick succession,
within the space of an hour, the whole command to ad-
vance to the front as a supporting force, and myself went


upon the field. These reinforcements were pushed rap-
idly forward and, as I anticipated, reached the field at the
moment when the line was most heavily pressed, and at a
time when their presence gave confidence to our men
and discouragement to the enemy. I directed Lieuten-
ant-Colonel Hopkins, commanding First Florida battalion,
and Major Bonaud, commanding Bonaud's battalion, to
fall into line on the left in the direction of the enemy's
heaviest firing. After I had ordered these reinforce-
ments and they were some distance on the way to the
front, and while I was on the way to the front, I received
from Brigadier-General Colquitt, commanding in front,
a request for the reinforcements which had already
been ordered. The engagement became general very
soon after it commenced. The enemy were found in
heavy force: their infantry drawn up in three supporting
lines, their artillery in position, cavalry on three flanks
and rear. I ordered Brigadier-General Colquitt to press
them with vigor, which he did with much judgment and
gallantry. They contested the ground stubbornly and
the battle lasted for four and a half hours. At the end
of this time, the enemy's lines having been broken and
reformed several times, and two fine Napoleon and three
io-pounder Parrott guns and one set of colors captured
from them, they gave way entirely and were closely
pressed for 3 miles until nightfall. I directed Brig-
adier-General Colquitt to continue the pursuit, intend-
ing to occupy Sanderson that night, but in deference to
his suggestion of the fatigue of the troops and the dis-
advantages of the pursuit in the dark, and in conse-
quence of a report from an advanced- cavalry picket
that the enemy had halted for the night -and taken a
position which was subsequently ascertaineu\to be in-
correct, I withdrew the order. During the continuance
of the battle, also after the enemy had given way, I
sent repeated orders to Col. Caraway Smith, command-
ing cavalry, to press the enemy on his flanks and to


continue in the pursuit But through some misapprehen-
sion these orders failed to be executed by him, and only
two small companies on the left, and these but for a short
distance, followed the enemy.
"The enemy retreated that night hastily and in some
confusion to Sanderson, leaving a large number of their
killed and wounded in our possession on the field. Their
loss in killed, both officers and privates, was large. Four
hundred and eighteen of their wounded were removed by
us from the field, and 400 or near that number were buried
by us; also 200 prisoners were captured, several officers
of high rank were killed and others severely wounded.
Their loss cannot be less than 2,000 or 2,500 men, 5
superior guns, i set of colors captured, and x,6oo stand
of arms; also i3o,000 rounds of cartridges, as appears
from the report of the ordnance officer herewith enclosed.
The victory was complete and the enemy retired in rapid
retreat, evacuating in quick succession Barber's and Bald-
win and falling back on Jacksonville. The enemy's
forces were under command of Brigadier-General Sey-
mour, who was present on the field.
"The conduct of Brigadier-General Colquitt entitles
him to high commendation. He exhibited ability in the
formation of his line and gallantry in his advance on the
enemy. I have also to speak most favorably of Col.
George P. Harrison, commanding Second brigade, who
exhibited in the engagement all the qualities of a capable
and efficient officer. Col. R. B. Thomas, as chief of ar-
tillery, likewise rendered efficient service on the field.
Colonel Evans, commanding Sixty-fourth Georgia volun-
teers, and Col. Duncan L. Clinch, commanding Fourth
Georgia cavalry, were wounded while bravely performing
their duty. Lieutenant-Colonel Barrow, Sixty-fourth
Georgia volunteers, and Captain Cannon, commanding,
and Lieutenant Daney, of the First Georgia regulars, also
Lieutenant Holland, commanding. detachment from con-
script camp, all officers of high promise, were killed.


Among the killed and wounded were many other officers
and men who had distinguished themselves on other
fields, for a detailed statement of whom and for instances
of individual merit I refer to the reports of brigade com-
manders. Our loss in the engagement was 93 killed and
841 wounded, a large proportion very slightly. In the
opening of the engagement the cavalry, under command
of Colonel Smith, skirmished with the enemy with spirit
and retired to the flanks in obedience to their orders.
"On the 22d inst., having repaired the railroad so as to
secure my supplies, I advanced the command to Sander-
son, pushing the cavalry rapidly in the direction of the
enemy; and from Sanderson to Barber's and thence to
Baldwin and to a point 12 miles from Jacksonville, where
my further progress was arrested by orders from Briga-
dier-General Gardner, who had been directed to assume
Lieutenant Drury Rambo, Company A, Milton light
artillery, was ordered to the front about i p. m., taking
a Parrott gun forward by rail, but was informed that the
piece could not be used. After the enemy gave way he
threw a few shells into their ranks.
In General Harrison's report he mentioned the follow-
ing casualties in the First Florida battalion: Lieut.-Col.
C. F. Hopkins, wounded in arm and thigh, slightly;
Lieut. S. K. Collins, Company E, wounded in face,
slightly; Lieut. Theophilus Williams, Company F,
wounded in breast, slightly. The official statement of
casualties showed a total loss in the Confederate ranks of
7 officers and 86 men killed; 49 officers and 798 men
wounded, and 6 missing; aggregate, 946.'. The Sixth
Florida battalion lost i officer, Lieut. Thomas J. Hill,
and 8 men, killed, and 4 officers and 69 men\wounded;
the First Florida battalion lost 3 men killed and 47.
wounded, and the Second Florida battalion (Twenty-
eighth Georgia) lost Lieut. W. W. Holland, and I men
killed, and 2 officers and 93 men wounded.


U~der date of February 22d General Beauregard, at
Charleston, sent the following congratulatory message to
General Finegan: "I congratulate you and your brave
officers and their commands on your brilliant victory over
the enemy on the zoth inst. Your country will be
cheered by this timely success, and I trust it is but the
earnest of heavier and crushing blows which shall destroy
our enemy on the soil of Florida."
Commendation from still higher sources also came to
cheer the hearts of the defenders of Florida, in the fol-
lowing joint resolution of thanks to General Finegan and
the officers and men of his command:
Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States
of America, That the thanks of Congress are due, and
are hereby tendered, to Brig.-Gen. Joseph Finegan and
the officers and men of his command, for the skill and
gallantry displayed in achieving the signal victory of
Ocean Pond, Fla., on the 2oth of February, last.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
President pro tempore of the Senate.
Approved May 17, I864.

The prominent officers engaged on the Federal side in
this memorable battle under Gen. Truman Seymour were
Colonels William B. Barton, Joseph R. Hawley, J. Mont-
gomery and Guy V. Henry, commanding brigades, and
Capt. John Hamilton, commanding artillery battalion of
three batteries. The Federal loss, according to their
official reports, was ii officers and 192 men killed; 42
officers and x,IIo men wounded; 2 officers and 504 men
missing; an aggregate of 1,861.
While our victory was complete at Olustee, the Feder-
als had the vantage ground in that we were not in suffi-
cient force with persistent troops to pursue them vigor-
ously, thus giving them time to fall back to their in-
trenchments and with their rapid extension of field works


render their position almost impregnable to such force as
we could array. After their defeat in a battle where the
opposing forces were nearly equal, the Federals fell back
to the 2,000 retained in rear near Jacksonville to guard
their line of communication, and received not less
than 5,ooo reinforcements, the estimate of troops con-
centrated in and around Jacksonville being not less
than 12,ooo, probably from that number to 15,000. Thus
strongly intrenched and supported by not less than four
gunboats, it was not advisable for the Confederates to
attempt an attack. The spirit of our troops would have
led them to make an attempt to carry the works around
Jacksonville, but it would have been at a great sacrifice
of life and to no purpose, as the gunboats would have
controlled it. As there was no reason to doubt the correct-
ness of the estimate made of the strength of the enemy,
the only measures to be adopted for expelling them from
their base of operations was the concentration of all
available forces at our command at such places as would
be bestfor a successful operation against their approach.
This could only be done by placing troops at favorable
points on the St. John's, and so fortifying them as to pre-
vent such an invasion as the one attempted by them, which
had ended so disastrously. It was, therefore, absolutely
necessary for the protection of the State that our Florida
forces should still have the support of the troops that had
come to their assistance at the battle of Olustee.
Menaced by a formidable army not twenty miles dis-
tant it was truly a momentous crisis, and our command-
ing generals, deeply impressed by the gravity of the re-
sponsibility, moved their headquarters to Baldwin to be
nearer the field of action and in readiness for any emer-
gency. The opportune arrival of General Beauregard
was hailed as a harbinger of relief. His presence in-
fused new life into the army, and the confidence in his
generalship and strategic ability inspired a stronger hope
of ultimate success. For nearly two weeks he remained


at Baldwin, making such judicious disposition of the
troops as would be most advantageous in the event of a
defensive or aggressive movement. The same forces that
were engaged in the battle of Olustee were retained:
Colquitt's brigade: Sixth, Nineteenth, Twenty-third,
Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Georgia regiments
and Chatham artillery. Harrison's brigade: First Georgia
regulars, Thirty-second and Sixty-fourth Georgia regi-
ments, Bonaud's battalion, Fourth Georgia cavalry, and
Guerard's battery.
District of East Florida, Brig.-Gen. Joseph Finegan:
First Florida battalion infantry, Col. Chas. A. Hopkins;
Second Florida battalion infantry, Col. Theodore Bre-
vard; Sixth Florida battalion infantry, Col. John M. Mar-
tin; independent company Florida infantry, Capt. J. C.
Eichelberger; independent company Florida infantry,
Capt. B. L. Reynolds; independent company Florida
infantry, Capt. John McNeill; five companies Second
Florida cavalry, Lieut.-Col. A. McCormick; company
independent cavalry, Capt. James D. Starke; company
independent cavalry, Capt. W. H. Cone; Milton light ar-
tillery, Company A, Capt. Joseph L. Dunham; Milton
light artillery, Company B, Capt. H. F. Abell.
District of Middle Florida, Brig.-Gen. W. M. Gardner:
five companies Second Florida cavalry, Col. Caraway
Smith; Fifth battalion Florida cavalry, Col. G. W. Scott;
Fourth battalion Florida infantry, Maj. James F. Mc-
Clellan; Florida partisan rangers, Capt. W. J. Robinson;
Florida light artillery, Capt. Robert H. Gamble.
Having satisfactorily arranged matters in Florida and
instructed the major-general in command as to the mode
of operations decided upon, General Beauregard returned
to South Carolina. On his arrival at Charleston he sent
the following report, March 25th, to Gen. Samuel Cooper,
at Richmond:
.On February 7th Brigadier-General Finegan
reported by telegraph that five gunboats and two trans-


ports of the enemy had made their appearance in the St.
John's within 5 miles of Jacksonville; and on the next
day announced the arrival of eighteen vessels (gunboats
and transports), the landing of the enemy in large force,
and an immediate advance on the night of February 7th.
General Gilmer was at once directed to put in motion
and to report to General Finegan all the troops he had
been previously ordered to hold in readiness for such an
emergency. General Gardner, commanding in middle
Florida, was telegraphed to send to the imperiled quarter,
with all possible celerity, every soldier he could spare.
Colquitt's brigade was ordered from James island to Sa-
vannah with a light battery. General Finegan was advised
of what was done and instructed to do what he could with
his means to hold the enemy at bay and to prevent the
capture of slaves; and at the same time I reported to you
this hostile movement and my intention to repel it as far
as practicable with infantry to be withdrawn from Charles-
ton and Savannah, but requested in consequence of the
very recent discharge of some 5,000 South Carolina mili-
tia, that other troops should be sent to take their place
and avoid danger to Charleston and Savannah. Scarcely
had Colquitt's brigade begun to move when the enemy,
in anticipation, doubtless, of my attempt to reinforce Fin-
egan, made a strong demonstration on St. John's island.
Though assured of the purpose of this movement it as-
sumed, however, so serious a form as to compel me to di-
vert temporarily General Colquitt and three and a half
regiments of his brigade to reinforce General Wise, then
confronted by at least two brigades of the enemy, about
4,500 strong, pushed forward in advance of the bridge-
way between St. John's and Seabrook islands, and in ad-
dition several regiments of infantry were detached from
Sullivan's and James islands to be in readiness for the de-
velopment of the enemy's purposes.
On the night of the Ith of February I ordered all
our batteries bearing on Morris island to open a heavy
simultaneous fire on that position, as if a cover for an as-
sault, and with the hope of forcing the enemy to with-
draw from St. John's island to the protection of his own
works. This stratagem seemed to have produced the de-
sired effect, or assisted to make him abandon the
movement on St. John's island and withdraw hastily be-
fore daybreak, thus releasing and enabling Colquitt's


command to meet and defeat the enemy at Ocean Pond,
some 13 miles in advance of Lake City.
In the meanwhile other troops had been dispatched to
the theater of war from the works around Charleston
and Savannah and the positions covering the Savannah
railroad. This was done, indeed, to a hazardous degree,
but as I informed the secretary of war by telegraph on
the 9th ult., I regarded it as imperative to attempt to
secure the subsistence resources of Florida. General
Finegan was also apprised of these reinforcements on
February IIth, and instructed to maneuver meantime to
check or delay the enemy, but to avoid close quarters and
unnecessary loss of men. While these reinforcements
were en route the enemy again attempted to delay them
by a movement against Whitemarsh island near Savan-
nah, and it became a measure of proper precaution to halt
at Savannah two of the regiments on their way to Gen-
eral Finegan for the development of the enemy's plans,
one of which regiments I felt it prudent to detain there
to the present.
The want of adequate rolling stock on the Georgia &
Florida railroad and the existence of the gap of some 26
miles between the two roads, subjected the concentration
of my forces to a delay which deprived my efforts to that
end of full effect. The absence of General Hill making
it injudicious for me to leave this State, I directed Brig-
adier-General Taliaferro to proceed to Florida and assume
the command, not knowing at the time that Brigadier-
General Gardner, commanding in middle Florida, his sen-
ior, had returned from sick leave and was fit for field
service. Apprised of this, I directed General Gardner,
on the 2Tst ult., to assume command and organize for a
vigorous offensive movement preliminary to the arrival
of General Taliaferro; but subsequently, the victory at
Ocean Pond having taken place in which I supposed
General Gardner, though not in immediate command,
had taken an active part, I directed that officer to as-
sume chief command and, dividing his forces into divi-
sions, to assign General Taliaferro to one of them; soon
after which I was advised by the war department of the
assignment of Maj.-Gen. James Patton Anderson to the
command of the forces in the State of Florida.
Gen. D. H. Hill having arrived at these headquarters
on the 28th of February, I left for Florida the same


evening. On the 2d inst., I reached Camp Milton, Gen-
eral Gardner's headquarters, in rear of McGirt's creek,
12 or 23 miles distant from Jacksonville, where I found
our troops in position. The day preceding our advance
pickets had been thrown forward to Cedar creek, within
6 or 7 miles of Jacksonville.
On the 3d inst. Maj.-Gen. J. Patton Anderson also
arrived at Camp Milton and assumed command on the
6th inst. of the forces, now about 8,000 effective of all
arms. In the meantime it had been ascertained from re-
liable sources that the enemy occupied Jacksonville with
at least 12,000 men; that the position, naturally strong,
had been much strengthened since the battle of the 2oth
ult., and that four or five gunboats in the St. John's
effectually commanded the approaches to the place. Un-
der these circumstances it was determined not to attempt
to carry the position by assault, as in effect instructed by
your telegram of the 4th inst.
Everything indicates that the rout of the enemy at
Ocean Pond was complete; nevertheless the fruits of the
victory were comparatively insignificant, mainly because
of the inefficiency of the officer commanding the cavalry
at the time, no serious attempt being made to pursue
with his command, while the exhaustion of the infantry,
so gallantly and effectively handled and engaged, and our
want of subsistence supplies and ammunition, made an
immediate pursuit by them impracticable.
Unless our present forces should be considerably in-
creased and amply supplied with means for a regular
siege of Jacksonville, our operations in this quarter must
be confined to the defensive-that is, to prevent the pene-
tration of the enemy into the interior, on the line toward
Lake City or into the lower portion of the State, to
which end a position has been selected on the St. John's
a few miles above Jacksonville for a battery of one rifled
32-pounder, three rifled 30-pounders, one 2o-pounder and
one io-pounder (Parrotts) and two 8-inch siege howit-
zers, by which, with torpedoes in the river, it is expected
transports at least can be obstructed from passing with
troops beyond Jacksonville. Cavalry pickets have also
been established for the protection of the railroad to
Cedar Keys from injury by raiding parties set on foot
from the west bank of the St. John's.
I have for the present organized the forces under Gen-


eral Anderson into three brigades, commanded respective-
ly by Brigadier-Generals Finegan and Colquitt and Col.
George P. Harrison, Jr.,three meritorious officers, the
last two of whom have won promotion by their active
participation in the combat of the 2oth ult., at which it is
proper to say Brigadier-General Colquitt commanded on
the immediate field of battle. He has seen much service
likewise in the army of Northern Virginia.
The cavalry has also been organized into a brigade
under Col. Robert H. Anderson. The four light batter-
ies of four pieces each were placed under command of
Lieut.-Col. Charles C. Jones, and two batteries of siege
guns (six pieces), present on the field under Maj. George
L. Buist. It is hoped this arrangement will enhance the
efficiency of the troops, who are in fine spirits and good
Too much praise cannot be awarded to the brave
officers and men who encountered and defeated twice
their number at Ocean Pond, and I commend them to
the notice of the government. They are in all respects
worthy comrades of those who on other fields have done
honor to Southern manhood.
After the battle of Olustee the Second Florida cavalry,
Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick, skirmished in the vicin-
ity of McGirt's creek and Ten-mile station, driving in
the enemy's pickets and preventing their advance. While
it was deemed hazardous to venture on any decided as-
sault, the general commanding, appreciating the spirit
which animated our troops, who were growing impatient
at the inactivity forced upon them, determined upon
making an advance upon the enemy's outposts to ascer-
tain his position and strength and, if advisable, make an
attack. For this purpose a reconnoitering party was sent
forward, consisting of Scott's battalion of cavalry, under
Major Scott, and Company H, Captain Dickison, Second
Florida cavalry. They soon came up with the advanced
force of the enemy, who was also reconnoitering, consist-
ing of infantry, cavalry and artillery. Our troops imme-
diately charged, and the enemy stubbornly resisted, while
falling back, until they reached Cedar creek, within 6


miles of Jacksonville. A large number of the enemy,
having concealed themselves in a thick palmetto scrub,
opened fire from their ambush upon a detachment of
about 80 of our cavalry while crossing the long cause-
way, instantly killing Captain Stephens, Second Florida
cavalry, a splendid young officer greatly beloved by his
command, and wounding several others. At this critical
time our main force of four regiments of infantry, 200
cavalry and three pieces of artillery, came up and advanced
over the causeway, and the fight became general, about 5
miles of ground being contested, the skirmishing and
general engagement lasting from i a. m. to 3 p. m.
Our forces having effected a crossing on the enemy's right,
intending to turn their flank, they hastily retired, falling
back to the Three-mile run, where they halted and were
reinforced by cavalry and artillery. This vigorous repulse
of a force numbering about 3,000 infantry, 500 cavalry
and 2 pieces of artillery, after contesting our advance step
by step, attested the bravery with which they fought
against superior numbers. Our loss was 7 killed
and 12 wounded. The enemy acknowledged a loss
of 2 killed, 4 wounded and 5 taken prisoners, but
later information gave the number of their wounded at
about 40. To have advanced upon the enemy in their
fortified position would have been attended with disas-
trous consequences.
The defensive campaign now entered upon was one of
great activity. The troops, divided into detachments of
infantry, cavalry and sections of artillery, were quartered
at such points as were most exposed and upon which the
enemy was expected to make an early advance. The only
security was in untiring vigilance, and several cavalry
companies were deployed for outpost duty, notably
among them Col. G. W. Scott's battalion of cavalry, and
Company H, Second Florida cavalry, commanded by Capt.
J. J. Dickison; Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick with the
remaining companies of the Second Florida cavalry com-


mand being stationed in the vicinity of McGirt's creek,
about 12 miles from Jacksonville. The infantry was
placed on the entire line of railroad from Mc.Girt's creek
to Waldo, and through the unprotected country lying be-
tween the railroad and the Ocklawaha river. Detach-
ments from the Fourth Georgia cavalry were on duty in
this locality to strike the enemy in an advance from Pal-
atka to Orange Springs, at that time a "city of refuge"
for families who had been driven from their homes on the
St. John's river.
Captain Pearson, while en route for Tampa, was or-
dered to repair to Orange Springs, as the enemy was sup-
posed to be advancing up the Ocklawaha river in barges
from Welaka. At the same time an order was given to
send a train down toward Cedar Keys to bring back
Captain McNeill's company to the point nearest Orange
Springs, to co-operate with Capt. John W. Pearson of the
Sixth Florida battalion, and others. Thus every necessary
precaution was taken to prevent the enemy from pene-
trating the country.
The Fourth Georgia cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel
Harris, was quartered at Waldo, to be ready when neces-
sary to unite with the cavalry force under Col. R. H.
Anderson, who was to operate upon the right flank of the
enemy in case of a general advance of the enemy upon
the front. While these preparations were under way, a
request was made by General Gardner for Colonel Scott's
battalion, but the exigencies of the service did not admit
of compliance. No troops could be spared from the
seat of war. therefore a detachment of the siege train
was ordered to guard the Aucilla trestle, and Caper's bat-
talion, Wimberly's company and two infantry companies
were posted at the Suwannee bridge to prevent depreda-
tions in middle Florida.

Fla .6


THE districts of Middle and East Florida having
been united in the district of Florida and embraced
in the department of South Carolina, Georgia and
Florida, Maj.-Gen. Patton Anderson was assigned to the
command of the district. He assumed control March
4, 1864. His territory was divided into sub-district No.
i, embracing all that portion of Florida between the Choc-
tawatchee river and bay (in west Florida) and the
Suwannee river, commanded by Brig.-Gen. William M.
Gardner; and sub-district No. 2, embracing all of Florida
east of the Suwannee river, Brig.-Gen. Joseph Finegan
General Beauregard issued special orders for disposi-
tion of forces March 5, 1864, transferring the Twenty-
sixth Virginia regiment from Finegan's brigade to that
commanded by Col. George P. Harrison, Jr.; the Fifty-
ninth Virginia regiment from Harrison's brigade to Fine-
gan's; the First Georgia regulars from Finegan's brigade
to Colquitt's; and Capt. J. J. Dickison was ordered to
proceed at once with his company to Palatka and resume
his post there, and the commanding officer of the Fourth
Georgia cavalry was directed to hold himself in readiness
to support him with his whole command if necessary.
Brigadier-General Gardner was ordered to establish the


military posts from Clay landing on the Suwannee river
to Tampa, garrisoning the post with the troops previously
occupying them, under the order of General Finegan.
Major Buist, commanding heavy artillery, was directed
by Major-General Anderson to order a detachment of 85
men under his command at Madison to be armed with
small-arms and posted at the Aucilla bridge as a guard for
its defense, leaving the siege pieces and a sufficient guard
at Madison. Col. John M. Martin was directed to proceed
with troops detached from the Sixth Florida battalion to
the point nearest Orange Springs, and thence by forced
marches to the most favorable locality for intercepting
the boat expedition of the enemy, now supposed to be
operating on the Ocklawaha river, Pearson's, Westcott's
and McNeill's companies to co-operate. Colonel Harris,
commanding at Waldo, was directed in the event of Col-
onel Anderson falling back from his position to join him
with all the cavalry under his command, including Cap-
tain Dickison's company. In this disposition of our forces,
the most advantageous positions were taken, with a view
to be ready for an immediate concentration in any emer-
At the time Major-General Anderson assumed com-
mand the enemy occupied Jacksonville with a force esti-
mated at about 12,ooo, having strong fortifications on the
land side of the place and the additional defense of gun-
boats in the St. John's river. The Florida troops, with
reinforcements from other States, numbering about 8,000
of all arms, had taken position on the west side of Mc-
Girt's creek, 12 miles from Jacksonville. Under the su-
pervision and direction of Generals Beauregard and An-
derson, breastworks and stockades were constructed at
this position, and similar fortifications of a more permanent
character were thrown up at Baldwin, 8 miles in the
rear of McGirt's creek, and at the intersection of the rail-
roads running from Fernandina to Cedar Keys and from
Jacksonville to Lake City. For a time there were many


indications which gave promise of an advance of the
Federal, and every preparation was made to meet them at
McGirt's creek in the first place, or in the event they
should turn that position, then at Baldwin, where it was
believed a successful defense might be made against a
superior force.
Our effective force operating near Jacksonville was, in-
fantry 6,290, cavalry 1,568, artillery 487. Brigadier-Gen-
eral Gardner, by vigorous measures with the limited force
at his command, assisted by civilians, had by this time
succeeded to a great extent in suppressing the lawlessness
of the bands of deserters and disloyal persons, restoring
quiet and establishing a sense of security within the
threatened settlements. Preparations were also made for
similar measures against such bands in south Florida,
whenever a sufficient force could be safely detached from
our main force, then confronting superior numbers at
To prevent the enemy's gunboats from so defiantly navi-
gating the St. John's a number of torpedoes were planted
in the channel of the river, 15 miles above Jacksonville,
through the skill and energy of Capt. E. Pliny Bryan,
of General Beauregard's staff, and the enemy's communi-
cation with the garrison at Palatka was rendered precari-
ous. Therefore, another advance not being probable, it
was deemed practicable to make a vigorous assault upon
Palatka, the movement being greatly encouraged by the
fact that one of the largest transports, while descending
the river from Palatka, exploded a torpedo and sunk in
three fathoms of water. A section of artillery, under
Lieutenant Gamble, supported by infantry under Captain
Grieve, First Georgia regulars, was sent to complete the
wreck, and firing a few rounds at that portion above water,
Captain Bryan with two men boarded her and set fire to
her upper works. She proved to be the steamer Maple
Leaf with the camp and garrison equipage of three regi-
ments, recently arrived at Jacksonville and hurried up to


Palatka. A few weeks later the transport Hunter, on a
return trip from Picolata. having on board quartermaster
supplies, was also destroyed by a torpedo near the wreck
of the Maple Leaf.
An aggressive movement being determined upon, Gen-
eral Finegan was directed to proceed by rail from Baldwin
to Waldo with about 2,500 infantry and six pieces of ar-
tillery; thence by nearest route to Palatka, which place
he was to attack and carry, after which he was to be
governed by circumstances and await further orders.
Between Waldo and Palatka he was to be joined by
Colonel Martin, Sixth Florida battalion, with about 450
infantry, and Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, Fourth Georgia
cavalry, with the same number of cavalry. On account
of the condition of transportation by rail from Baldwin
to Waldo, he was provokingly detained, consuming more
hours than miles traveled, so that when he was to have
begun the assault at Palatka he had not been able to
move his command from Waldo, 38 miles distant. Our
scout on the river bringing in information that a large
reinforcement of infantry and cavalry had arrived at
Jacksonville, it was deemed prudent to recall General
Finegan and hold all our available force to meet any at-
tempt on the part of the enemy. On April i3th Lieu-
tenant-Colonel McCormick was ordered to scout the
country on his left and front, round Broward's neck and
Yellow bluff, with the view of discovering if the enemy was
making any movement from that quarter; and Col. R. H.
Anderson, commanding the cavalry force in front, was
directed to send Captain Dickison's company immediately
to Palatka and take position as formerly and report to
Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, Fourth Georgia cavalry, at
Waldo. Under this special order and information that
the enemy had passed up the river toward Palatka,
Company H, Second Florida cavalry, 145 strong, was sent
with all haste to that point. On their arrival they ascer-
tained that the enemy had landed with 5,000 men. Cap-


tain Dickison reported to Colonel Harris asking for rein-
forcements, and the latter moved his command, about
125 effective men, to Sweetwater branch, 12 miles from
Palatka. Scouts were sent out and reported that the
enemy occupied the town. A detachment of the Fourth
Georgia cavalry was ordered to support Captain Dickison
in driving in the pickets and ascertaining their position
and strength, which was soon accomplished, and three
pickets with their horses captured. Simple as was this
capture, the event was marked by a daring that gave
luster to the heroic deed.
The enemy were strongly fortified and remained in
Palatka nearly six weeks. During this occupation of the
town our cavalry frequently skirmished with them, and
with untiring vigilance awaited results. A detachment
of 16 men under Captain Dickison, on one occasion was
met by a superior force of the enemy, and after a hot skir-
mish which lasted forty minutes, holding their position
without giving an inch, the enemy was reinforced and our
men fell back in good order without loss. The enemy's loss
was 5 killed and 8 wounded. A few days after we drove
in their pickets and took position on the hill overlooking
the town. Lieutenant McEaddy was sent to ascertain
the true position of the enemy's pickets, and a secret
night expedition was planned to capture the post, which
proved successful, the entire guard of 8 men being cap-
tured. Subsequently Colonel Tabb, now in command at
Waldo, ordered Captain Dickison to make a reconnaissance.
This was done and the enemy opened fire on our advance
guard. The firing soon became general; the enemy sent
forward two regiments, one white and one colored, which
were held in check for about four hours. Night coming
on, the enemy withdrew, with a loss of 11 killed and 22
captured. Our troops then retired in good order without
any loss, though the enemy outnumbered them eight to
one. On April 22d, in conveying notice of his relief by
Col. J. M. Martin, Sixth Florida battalion, Colonel Tabb


expressed to Captain Dickison "the high appreciation in
which you and your command are held. The faithfulness,
promptness and superior judgment which you have at all
times manifested, give assurance of those soldierly qual-
ities which inspire confidence and command respect and
admiration everywhere."
The following communications from Adjutant-General
Barth to Captain Dickison commanding, will give a clearer
idea of the stirring events that followed and the oper-
ations of this gallant command:
"April 3oth-The enemy, about a regiment strong,
are reported as being at Fort Butler in Volusia county on
the evening of the 28th inst. The major-general com-
manding desires that you be on your guard and ready for
any emergency."
"May 3d-Your dispatch of the 3oth ult. relative to
the enemy being at Fort Butler was received last evening,
and the major-general commanding directs me to say that
your dispositions as detailed therein are fully ap-
"May iith:-Another company is ordered to report
to you. Major-General Anderson approves your sugges-
tions and directs that you strike the enemy whenever you
have an opportunity of doing so to advantage."
May 17th-Capt. J. W. Pearson's company is ordered to
leave Orange Springs. This change will render it neces-
sary for you to watch the approaches to Marion and Sum-
ter counties."
In obedience to these instructions Captain Dickison, ac-
companied by two of his men, reconnoitered near the en-
emy's post on the river side opposite Welaka; and the
next day at sundown, with a detachment of 35 men of his
command, accompanied by Capt. H. A. Gray, Second
Florida cavalry, with 25 of his command, marched 9 miles
before reaching the St. John's river. Under cover of
night they crossed the river in their small boats, then
marched 7 miles to reach the enemy's post. At day-
break they arrived at Welaka. Placing two detachments
on the flank of the enemy, Dickison moved in on the cen-
ter with a detachment, capturing the pickets and com-


pletely surprising the enemy. He then sent in a de-
mand to the officer commanding for an unconditional
surrender, which was complied with. Being advised that
a large cavalry force was not far distant, no time was lost
in returning to the boats and recrossing the river, with a
capture of 62 men, i captain and i lieutenant, without
having fired a gun. After crossing the river, feeling as-
sured all was safe, a needed rest was taken.
Having planned another expedition, 15 miles up the
river to Fort Butler, and having transportation for not
more than 25 men, he set out with this heroic little band
and his gallant Lieutenant McEaddy. He crossed little
Lake George and, leaving a guard of three men with the
boats, marched a short distance. Anticipating another
capture, Captain Dickison wrote demanding the surren-
der of the Federal command. While thus engaged, a cav-
alryman rode from a farmhouse near by and was within
50 yards of our men before he was seen by our picket.
The men were ordered not to fire and a vigorous pursuit
was made, one detachment of 12 men under Sergt. Charles
Dickison-son of the captain-following in the direction
of the house, while the other detachment under Captain
Dickison pursued the horseman down the road, but he
succeeded in making his escape. Captain Dickison then
made a rapid advance with his detachment on the enemy's
post, 2 miles distant, the location being shown by a
bright camp fire. Moving cautiously within two hundred
yards Lieutenant McEaddy was sent forward with a de-
mand for surrender. The captain in command held a
short parley, and very reluctantly complied.
Apprehending the possibility of a revolt when the Fed-
erals should see that they had surrendered a garrison of
26 infantry and 6 cavalry to a small detachment of Con-
federates without firing a gun, the captured arms were
secured and given in charge of two men, with orders to
push off without delay. By this capture 12 slaves and
2 farm wagons were recovered. Captain Dickison re-


crossed the river and arrived at headquarters at xo o'clock
the next morning. The detachment under Sergeant Dick-
ison marched 15 miles down the swamp to avoid the Fed-
eral cavalry, and reached the camp next evening, shouts
of welcome greeting them on their safe return from their
perilous and tiresome march. The following announce-
ment of this spirited exploit was made by General Ander-

"The major-general commanding has great pleas-
ure in announcing to the troops under his command the
result of a gallant expedition against the enemy's detached
posts, undertaken-on the i9th inst. by Capt. J. J. Dick-
ison, Second Florida cavalry. Crossing the St. John's
river in small boats, Captain Dickison surprised and cap-
tured the enemy's garrisons at Welaka and Fort Butler,
taking 88 infantry and 6 cavalry, with the arms and equip-
ments, and returning with his brave command safely to
their camp, bringing in the whole capture, after an ab-
sence of forty-four hours, during which time they traveled
85 miles and effected the results herein detailed without
the loss of a man. Such an exploit attests more emphat-
ically the soldierly qualities of the gallant men and their
skillful leader who achieved it than any commendation it
would be possible to give. The major-general command-
ing feels, however, that his thanks are due them, and,
while thus publicly rendering the tribute so justly due,
indulges in the confident hope that every officer and
soldier in his district will emulate the patriotic endurance
and daring displayed by Captain Dickison and his com-

On May 24th General Anderson assigned still more ex-
tended duties to this command, advising Captain Dickison
of "inability to picket Green Cove Springs and Bayard with
any other forces than those you command. He therefore
directs that you picket these points."
The withdrawal of a large number of troops from Jack-
sonville to join the Federal forces concentrating in South
Carolina and Virginia, afforded Major-General Anderson
the opportunity so long desired of sending a command


to south Florida to the support of the few scattered com-
panies who were so bravely defending the wide extent of
country along the Gulf coast against the destructive raid-
ing parties that were continually alarming the citizens by
ruthless invasion of their homes-plundering the planta-
tions, carrying off slaves and destroying valuable property.
On account of the difficult access of our troops to this
more distant part of the State, without railroad facilities,
an expedition to that field was one attended with great
inconvenience and fatigue, and could not have been un-
dertaken while threatened by so formidable a force of the
enemy in front. But the time for action in this depart-
ment had come, and for such purpose the Sixty-fourth
regiment Georgia volunteers was detached. Lieut. -Col.
Theodore Brevard, of the Second Florida battalion, fa-
miliar with the country and citizens, and upon whose
judgment, skill and courage reliance could be placed,
was assigned to the command of the expedition. His in-
structions were of a general character-to repel the
advance of raiding parties, arrest deserters, punish and
drive out plunderers, and to afford every assistance in
his power to the agents of the government whose duty it
was to collect beef cattle for the army.
He had proceeded only a little over Ioo miles, reaching
the borders of the field of operations, when urgent orders
reached headquarters which caused the immediate recall
of the regiment for service in South Carolina. As soon,
however, as new dispositions could be made and trans-
portation obtained, another force-Bonaud's battalion-
was sent to the same quarter under Lieutenant-Colonel
Brevard. Much good was derived from the expedition,
generally by reason of the protection afforded by it to the
agents of the commissary department, in collecting sup-
plies for the army, as well as the confidence its presence
inspired in loyal citizens and planters, whose property
was in constant danger from lawless bands.
On the 15th of April, 1864, the enemy began sending


troops away by sea to Hilton Head, and continued to do
so until the izth of May, when it was estimated that 8,000
Federal soldiers had been withdrawn from Jacksonville.
Meanwhile, Major-General Anderson was directed by
the commanding general at Charleston to transfer to
Savannah the Eleventh and Eighteenth South Carolina
volunteers, Twenty-sixth and Fifty-ninth Virginia and
Sixty-fourth Georgia regiments, this depletion of our
forces being unavoidable in consequence of orders from
the war department transferring a large number of troops
from South Carolina to Wilmington, N. C. Owing to the
continued call for troops for the army in Virginia, other
orders rapidly followed, and by May 8, 1864, nearly
all the troops that had been sent to reinforce our Florida
forces had been sent away. All the cavalry and part of
the infantry and artillery marched across the country
from Camp Milton through Georgia, by the most expedi-
tious route to Savannah under the circumstances. On
account of the removal of these troops from the State, the
most vigorous preparations were made to so dispose of
our forces that the middle and eastern portions of the
State could be guarded and protected against raiding ex-
Orders were issued to every department to be on guard
and ready for every hostile demonstration. Lieut. C. B.
Dyke was ordered to report at Camp Milton without
delay with the section of Gamble's battery under
his command, and Lieut. Mortimer Bates, with one
section c. artillery from Captain Dunham's battery,
was ordered to report to Captain Dickison. Our
forces at this crisis were scarcely sufficient for a vig-
orous defense against a large invading force, and the
utmost caution and vigilance were required. Sec-
tions of Gamble's and Abell's batteries were held in
middle Florida awaiting the attacks which from indica-
tions were imminent. On the west side of the Chatta-
hoochee river the country was guarded by two detach-


ments from Scott's battalion of cavalry, one independent
company of cavalry and a few independent companies of
infantry, assisted in every emergency by civilians, who
were ever ready to fall into line.
After the bombardment of Pensacola and its subsequent
evacuation, the Confederate forces, consisting of Alabama
and Georgia regiments and a detachment of Florida
troops, had taken strong positions a few miles from Pensa-
cola at Pollard, Blakely and Gonzales, guarding all ap-
proaches to Mobile, Montgomery and Tallahassee against
any expedition that might advance from Pensacola. Vigi-
lance at every point was our only security at this trying
crisis-one that indicated that the great conflict was rapidly
determining to a momentous issue. Even in the darkest
hour hope lured us on. God, the Creator and Supreme
Ruler of the Universe, alone governs the destiny of na-
tions. To man-the master work of His hand-is given
dominion over earthly things, subject to His gracious
overruling and by Him led to carry out His deep designs
and work His will. What God has wrought let no one
make the impious attempt to destroy. "He is His own
The principal problem in the summer of 1864 was to
cover with the forces at our command the large area of
country lying between the St. Mary's and the St. John's
rivers, and the more thickly populated counties between
the rivers and the Gulf coast. The Federals, still in strong
force at Jacksonville under the protection of their gun-
boats, could advance at will into the country. Our only
practicable preparation was in providing all facilities for
a rapid concentration of our forces and making such dis-
positions of detachments of infantry and cavalry as would
check and harass the enemy in his approach. The cav-
alryformedavaluable adjunctin such operations. Colonel
Scott's battalion was in position at Camp Milton; Lieuten-
ant-Colonel McCormick, Second Florida cavalry, in the
neighborhood of Cedar creek and Front creek, with sec-

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