falling back. In doing this, having about 2 mils to go before they reached the outposts, and being closely pursued by the cavalry, they became somewhat scattered, and lost 24 men taken prisoners. News of this affair having been brought to me on brigade drill, in less than an hour after I received the report of the scout mentioned above, I immediately went out with the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, but the enemy had gone. As they had two hours the start of me, I did not pursue them. If I had had a company of cavalry, I am confident I could have overtaken them, and not only have rescued my own men, but also have captured some besides, for from their trail they were mounted on small horses.
I deeply regret to report such an unsatisfactory result of this affair, but i impute it all to the unfortunate circumstances of Lieutenant Walker's being wounded. Had he remainder unhurt, I am and skillful officer, and had his men well in had when he fell. I am grieved to say that his wound is considered a very serious one by the surgeon in attendance.
The loss of the enemy is not known, as they carried off all their dead and wounded. I append a list of casualties in my command.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. A. OSBORN,
Colonel Twenty-fourth Mass. Vols., Commanding Post.
Brigadier General J. W. TURNER,
Chief of Staff, Department of the South.
Numbers 2. Report of Captain J. J. Dickison, Second Florida Cavalry.
EXTRACT FROM JOURNAL OF OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C.
On the 29th instant, crossed on east side of the Saint John's River, with detachments from Companies C and H, Second Florida Cavalry, consisting of 68 privates, 1 sergeant, 1 corporal, and 2 lieutenants,a nd marched to vicinity of Saint Augustine. Arriving at Fort Peaton same night, he posted pickets at all the roads leading to the city.
At 3 o'clock next morning marched for Hurlbut's place, crossing above the bridge, and placed his men from 300 to 400 yards from the bridge on the road leading to the Fairbanks.
About 9 the enemy made their appearance, and their advance guard had passed part of our force, when they discovered our horses placed in the rear under cover of a swamp. Captain Dickison demanded a surrender, to which they replied by firing into Company H, which then charged. Company C now opened fire upon the main force of the enemy, who, after firing one or two rounds,retreated.
Our men mounted, and charged most gallantly, capturing 24 prisoners and wounding 6-3 mortally, left on the field. One of the wounded was a lieutenant, who was paroled on the field. The others could not be found, having concealed themselves in the thick scrub
48 R R-VOL XXVIII, PT I