Numbers 6. Report of Captain Benjamin F. Skinner, Seventh Connecticut Infantry, of engagement at Olustee.
HDQRS. SEVENTH REGIMENT CONNECTICUT VOLUNTEERS,
Six-Mile Creek, King's Road, Fla., February 25, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to make the following report, for the information of the colonel commanding, of the part my command took in the engagement at Olustee, Fla., on the 20th instant:
My command consisted of detachments from ten companies, comprising the Seventh Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, consolidated and divided into four companies, as follows: Companies A and G, commanded by Captain C. C. Mills, assisted by Second Lieutenant Charles A. Wood, composed the first company; Companies F, D, and I, commanded by First Lieutenant Jeremiah Townsend and Second Lieutenant John B. Young, composed the second company; Companies E and H, commanded by First Lieutenant Robert Dempsey, composed the third company; Companies B, C, and H, commanded by Captain John Thompson and Second Lieutenant Raphael Gilbert, composed the fourth company; Surg. George C. Jarvis, Second Lieutenant John J. Hutchinson, acting adjutant, Second Lieutenant W. H. Augur, acting regimental quartermaster, amounting in all to 10 commissioned officers and 365 enlisted men.
The regiment left Barber's Ford at 7 o'clock on the morning of the 20th, in connection with the rest of Colonel Hawley's brigade, which moved in four distinct columns, the Seventh Connecticut forming the second column from the right and on the right of the road, in this order, for about 5 miles, when I was ordered by Colonel Hawley to march my command into the road and in advance of the brigade; afterward, by direction of General Seymour, I held my regiment about half a mile in advance until we arrived at a station (name unknown), perhaps 3 miles beyond Sanderson, when I was directed by General Seymour to send forward two companies as skirmishers. I immediately ordered the first two companies, under Captain Mills and Lieutenant Townsend, to move forward, which were deployed on the left of the railroad, the second company forming a reserve for the left of the line. I was also directed by the same authority to throw one company forward upon the right of the railroad as skirmishers, and follow with the remainder of my force within supporting distance. Our advance soon came up with the enemy's advance guard and exchanged a few shots with them, when they retreated, firing occasionally as they went. We followed them in this way about 3 miles, when, after firing a few shots from our advance battery, Captain Elder's, the enemy replied with a battery of three or four guns, when I was directed by General Seymour to go forward with the rest of my command and, if possible, secure the enemy's battery. I moved the remainder of my command forward immediately, in double-quick time, upon the right of the railroad for about 300 yards, when we came up with my line of skirmishers. I immediately directed the remainder of the third company, which had been held in reserve, to deploy as skirmishers and move up to the support of the advanced line. I also deployed the fourth company with the same directions, the enemy having made a flank movement in order to mass his advance on our right. Captain Mills