between two of the enemy's steamers, with their boats, and Captain Cottrill's command, for the possession of the schooner Andracita, formerly J. W. Wilder, which had been run on shore at that place, with the hope of saving her cargo. All the particulars of the affair cannot be given at this time, as I have not a report as to the part taken in it by the force, consisting of two field pieces and two companies ordered up from Fort Morgan and Camp Bragg, and which were on the west side of the lagoon, under Acting Assistant Adjutant-General Jones.
Upon my getting on this side of the lagoon to put Captain Cottrill's company in action, that officer had already moved his available force across the lagoon to within a short distance of the schooner and the boats of the steamers as to drive those of the enemy, who had previously reached her below and prevented the boats from getting to their assistance, while he sheltered his men so securely behind the sand hills as to maintain his position, though it was only about 100 yards from the beach and not more than 600 or 800 yards front he steamers, without losing a life.
Captain Cottrill and his command deserve great credit for the skillful and daring manner in which they performed their parts in a defense which, judging from the effect of their fire while continued, must have been successful, if it had not been the case that the schooner was run on shore at low tide, and that the enemy succeeded in making a hawser fast to her before he got his men into position, by which she was hauled out of range after the tide, in rising, had caused her to float.
What loss the enemy met with I will not pretend to state, as I was not fortunate enough to reach the scene of action; but it must have been considerable, as two of their boats, one of which is now reported as on the beach and in the possession of our men, were sunk or turned over, and another had every oarsman shot or driven off their seats, and was towed out of range by another sent to her assistance.
As I mentioned above, there was no loss of life from this command so far as heard from, and we have only to regret that of the schooner and cargo, which I am sorry to say the captain neglected to fire in his desire to save it. Upon returning to Fort Morgan I shall be able to furnish any further particulars which may be brought to my notice.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. POWELL,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.
Captain D. E. HUGER,
MARCH 27-31, 1862.-Reconnaissance on Santa Rosa Island, Fla.
Numbers 1.-Brigadier General Lewis G. Arnold, U. S. Army.
Numbers 2.-Captain Henry W. Closson, First U. S. Artillery.
Numbers 1. Report of Brigadier General Lewis G. Arnold, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA,
Fort Pickens, April 4, 1862.
I respectfully forward a report of Captain Closson, First Artillery, of an armed reconnaissance 40 miles up the island of Santa Rosa, made in