War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0449 Chapter XVI. ACTION ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND, FLA.

Search Civil War Official Records

by Company G, Sixth New York Volunteers, Captain Dobie. After proceeding a short distance up the north beach, Captain Dobie was directed to deploy his company as skirmishers on the right flank. The company became separated from the rest of the command, and I saw no more of it. We proceeded along the beach until some distance above Camp Brown. A large force appeared on our right flank and rear. Owing to the darkness it was impossible to tell whether this force was the enemy or New York volunteers. Major Vogdes, who was in front, immediately faced the command to the right and rode towards the right of the line. This was the last I saw of him. A moment afterwards an officer [of the enemy] stepped up to me, stating that our commanding officer was a prisoner, and requesting me to surrender the command. The first firing [two shots] was directed at this officer. I then moved the command to and formed as well as circumstances would permit behind some rising ground about 20 yards in front. First Lieutenant F. W. Seeley, Fourth Artillery, who had volunteered and joined the advance guard during the march, here rendered valuable service in forming and encouraging the men.

After some very effective firing from this point it became necessary to move part of the command to the left, to oppose a threatened flank attack. The men became more exposed and the fire of the enemy very severe. Finding ourselves greatly outnumbered, and encumbered by the wounded, we fell back diagonally towards the opposite beach and the enemy's flank, halting behind the numerous sand-hills and delivering our fire. A party of 3 surgeons and guard of 8 men were at this time made prisoners. Several other prisoners had been previously taken. As soon as his front was clear the enemy proceeded along the north beach. His force, as given by the prisoners, was 1,010 men. Our actual force engaged, owing to the flankers being made prisoners previous to the action, did not exceed 80 men. We then proceeded to collect our remaining wounded until the arrival of Major Arnold's command. The men generally behaved well. Many could be mentioned who were conspicuous. Among them First Sergt. David Grier, Company E, Third Infantry, who, although with the flankers, succeeded in eluding the enemy and joining the command; Corp. Thomas G. Duncan, Privates James Clark, James Corcoran, John Moran, Michael Coleman, Company E, Third Infantry, and Privates James Connelly, Timothy Kelly, and Michael Lavelle, Company A, First Artillery. I desire to mention particularly Corp. Charles Schafer, Private William Dougherty, Company E, Third Infantry, and Lance Corp. Edward B. Fitzgibbons, Private Franklin Eastman, Company A, First Artillery. Lieutenants Seeley and Taylor throughout the affair acted with marked coolness and bravery, and by their exertions and examples contributed largely to the safety of the command.

Our loss was 4 killed, 20 wounded, and 1 officer and 8 men missing. The loss of the enemy, judging from the number of dead left on the ground, was much larger. A list of the killed, wounded, and missing I herewith inclose.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. McL. HILDT,

Captain, Third Infantry.

Major L. G. ARNOLD,

First Artillery.

29 R R-VOL VI