War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0237 Chapter XXVI. SKIRMISH AT PALATKA, FLA.

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manding a detachment of Captain [W. H.] Milton's company (G), Second Florida Cavalry, who had been watching the movements of the enemy during the night, I determined on an immediate attack, and disposed my troops accordingly. A reconnaissance having been effected by Lieutenant Simmons, and the men having been dismounted, I advanced the command at a double-quick through the open woods to the beach and opened on the enemy with Maynard rifles at a distance of about 300 yards. The enemy replied with shell and grape from a howitzer they had mounted on the prize and with musketry. After a spirited engagement, which was maintained for an hour and ten minutes, the enemy abandoned the prize and succeeded in making their escape in small boats, having previously fired the schooner to prevent its falling into our possession.

The loss of the enemy in this engagement it is not possible to determine accurately. When the action commenced from 24 to 28 men were counted on the deck of the schooner, and at its termination not more than from 9 to 12 were seen to escape in the boats. Many were seen to fall while the action was in progress. On our side not a man was hurt. The enemy fled precipitately, leaving behind their flag, which, through Sergeant Strickland, of Company G, Second Florida Cavalry (whose gallantry in rescuing it from the burning vessel I would desire in an especial manner to commend), fell into our possession.

I cannot too highly extol the coolness and bravery displayed by the troops under my command on this occasion. Without exception they behaved with the greatest gallantry, evincing the utmost composure in the face of danger.

To Lieutenant Simmons, of Company G, Second Florida Cavalry, I am indebted for valuable assistance, and take pleasure in referring to the gallantry displayed by him throughout the engagement.

The detachment of 30 men from Company I, Second Florida Cavalry, under command of Lieutenant [J.] Tucker, I regret to state, did not arrive at the scene of action until 10.30 p. m. of the same day, at least an hour after the engagement had terminated.

All of which is respectfully submitted.


Captain, Commanding.

MARCH 27, 1863.- Skirmish at Palatka, Fla.

Report of Captain J. J. Dickison, C. S. Army, commanding post, and congratulatory orders.

CAMP LEO, Palatka, E. Fla., March 27, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report to you a signal victory over the enemy, which occurred at this place about 7 a. m., as they were making an attempt to land their forces.

On the day before my pickets reported a boat coming up the river. I immediately marched to town as infantry, leaving my horses in camp, and took a position previously selected by me, placing one detachment of 30 men, under Lieutenant [W. H.] McCardell, within 50 yards of the river to cover one of the positions which [where] it was supposed the enemy might make an effort to land; the other, under command of Lieutenant [W. J.] McEaddy, of 10 men, to cover one of the main