War of the Rebellion: Serial 065 Page 0305 Chapter XLVII. THE FLORIDA EXPEDITION.

Search Civil War Official Records

lying down quiet for a time, only a few of the men firing at single rebels or small groups. Colonel Montgomery's brigade had come up. The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, Colonel Hallowell, went into action on our left. The First North Carolina, Lieutenant-Colonel Reed, on our right, between us and Barton's retiring brigade, went up into the field, halting and firing fiercely, with its right well forward, so as to form an angle of perhaps 120 degrees with the line of the Fifty-fourth, with full space for us between. Just before they went up, the Seventh Connecticut advanced again a short distance and, lying down, opened fire for a short time, with guide sights at 400 yards, upon the enemy fairly in view. I had before this sent Lieutenant Van Keuren to the general to say that we seemed to be crowding the enemy's left, and to ask for orders, and about this time an aide came to say that the general wished me to fall back, as the enemy were only feinting on our right, and were preparing to flank us in force. I repeated what I had said to Lieutenant Van Keuren, and waited, permitting only such firing as seemed to be necessary and useful. Captain Skinner held foot until the forces on our right and left had fallen back, when he went back in line a short distance, halted, and faced the enemy a short time, and then moved by the right of companies to the rear some distance to a new line of battle, where, under my orders, he halted and came into line on the left of a light battery (which I do not know) and with a body of cavalry on his left. The firing here was chiefly by artillery.

After the battery went to the rear, we followed it to another line. Here all joined in the loud and defiant cheers which, started by the general, rang along the whole line of our army, and showed that though defeated we were not routed nor broken in spirit. We then moved to the field hospital, where we made a longer halt. Just before this, Colonel Abbott reported to me, bringing a large portion of his command to his colors, Captain Bailey also coming up with the Eighth U. S. Colored Infantry. The general ordered them to continue their retreat. Not long after, he detailed the Seventh Connecticut to cover their retreat, by deploying across the rear of all the infantry. At Sanderson I placed the Seventh New Hampshire and the Eighth U. S. Colored Infantry in line north of the hamlet to check any advance in that direction. After the stragglers and wounded had been started, by the general's orders I guarded the train, marching those two regiments by the flank and by the side of the wagons and ambulances to Baldwin, where we bivouacked on the ground we left eighteen hours before, having marched about 32 miles, and having been about three hours in battle. The Seventh Connecticut arrived an hour or two latter, having marched without rest 16 miles after the battle, with a large portion of its men deployed as skirmishers.

On the morning of the 21st, my brigade was ordered to follow th e wagon train, with Colonel Montgomery's brigade following me and under my command. We had gone half a mile when the Seventh Connecticut was again detached as a rear guard. It covered the rear, the mounted command of Colonel Henry excepted, to Baldwin, and when all other forces on foot left, remained over night there with Colonel Henry, on picket and fatigue, and, after loading cars, pushed some a portion of the way, leaving Baldwin at 9 a.m. on the 22nd.

From Baldwin I went on to McGirt's Creek, where the command bivouacked for the night in a good position. The train and Colonel