War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0459 Chapter XVI. ACTION ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND, FLA.

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R. H. Anderson conducted the expedition with a zeal and gallantry worthy of high commendation. At the close he received a painful wound in the left elbow, temporarily disabling him; but it is trusted we shall not long be deprived of his valuable services.

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


Major-General, Commanding.


Richmond, Va.


Near Pensacola, Fla., October 29, 1861.

SIR: Owing to the disability of Brigadier-General Anderson from his would I have been unable to procure earlier a detailed report of the affair with the enemy on Santa Rosa Island on the night of the 8th and 9th instant, with a tabular statement of killed, wounded, and prisoners. It is herewith inclosed [Numbers 15.] The circumstances attending this little expedition rendered it a most daring and successful feat of arms.

Landing from steamers and flats on the enemy's shore with sight of his fleet, marching some 3 or 4 miles int he darkness of night over an unknown and almost impassable ground under his guns, killing his pickets, storming his entrenched 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 individually in a state of destitution, and this under the close range of the guns of his strong-hold, Fort Pickens, without his discovering our object or firing a gun, was almost entirely the result of exhaustion from the fatigue of the march and from the over-zeal of the hospital guard left to protect the enemy's sick when they were captured.

From the natura of the service and the necessity of rapidly retiring with our small force before the enemy could rally from his surprise some of our wounded were left on the field, and, I regret to say, indications show they were brutally murdered by the enemy. Of 13 dead bodies recovered 11 were shot through the head, having at the same time disabling wounds in the body. This fact admits of but one inference.

Brigadier-General Anderson commends in very just terms the gallantry of his little band, who have fully justified the high estimate I had formed of this excellent little army. They have shown it is only necessary to order and they will promptly execute, however desperate the undertaking. The general modestly omits to mention that at the close of the affair he received a painful wound in the left arms from a musketball, which will disable him for several weeks.

In commending the troops generally for their good conduct I cannot omit to mention the separate commanders of the three small columns-Colonel J. Patton Anderson, First Florida Volunteers; Colonel J. K. Jackson, Fifth Georgia Volunteers, and Colonel J. R. Chalmers, Ninth Mississippi Volunteers. The darkness and nature of the service rendered it necessary for each one to act an independent part. They proved themselves not only gallant leaders, bur competent commanders.

To Captain W. R. Boggs, engineer, C. S. Army, and First Lieutenant J. E. Slaughter, C. S. Artillery, acting inspector-general, I am indebted for the perfect knowledge of the enemy's pickets and positions, obtained by