War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0461 Chapter XVI. ACTION ON SANTA ROSA ISLAND, FLA.

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buildings, gun-carriages, &c., were placed under command of Lieutenant and Hallonquist, acting ordnance officer. Lieutenant Nelms, adjutant Fifth Georgia Regiment, was attached to this command.

The medical officers who accompanied the expedition were: Dr. Micks, of the Louisiana infantry; Dr. Tompkins, of the Fifth Georgia Regiment; 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 20 men was made to attend on and assist them.

Arriving at Pensacola at about 10 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 delay. 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 Pensacola at a little after 12 o'clock, crossed the bay, and effected a landing at the point which had been indicated by instructions. Disembarkation was rapidly executed in good order and silence, and the battalion 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 the south beach, and Colonel jackson, following a few hundred yards in 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. Colonels Chalmers and Anderson had been further directed to endeavor to restrain men from firing, to capture guards and sentinels, and to place their commands, if possible, between Fort Pickens and the camp of the enemy. Lieutenant Hallonquist followed in rear of Colonel Jackson'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 out troops, and was himself instantly shot down. The alarm having been thus given, and it becoming impossible to conceal our further advance from the enemy, I ordered Colonel Jackson to use his way through the thickets to the middle of the island, and advance 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. Without 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, store-houses, and sheds of Wilson's Zouaves.

In the mean time Colonels Chalmers and Anderson, advancing along the shores of the island, encountered pickets and outposts, with which they had some sharp skirmishing, but quickly beat them off, and joined in the work of destroying the camp. This having been most thoroughly 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 appearing, and there being no longer a possibility of a surprise of the batteries, I directed the signal for retiring to be sounded and the troops to be put in march for the boats.