ceived, orders to "put his regiment in," when we were ordered to change direction to the left, moving now in double-quick time by the right flank on a line nearly parallel with the railroad and about 300 yards to its right. We were soon under fire of the enemy, when our line of battle was formed under a terrific fire of musketry at short range, we apparently being opposed by the entire left wing of the enemy, who very soon poured in a deadly fire on our left flank, which was unprotected wholly. Colonel Fribley now ordered the regiment to fall back slowly, which we did, firing as we retired, being unable to withstand so disastrous a fire. The order has just reached me on the extreme right when the colonel fell mortally wounded. The command now devolved on Major Burritt, who soon received two wounds and retired from the field, the regiment at this time engaging the enemy with steadiness, and holding the ground for some time near Hamilton's battery, which we were trying to save. We here lost 3 color-sergeants and 5 of the color guard while attempting to save one gun, but we were driven back, leaving the gun and, as I afterward learned, the color beside it during the excitement.
I now learned that I was in command of the regiment, and seeing that a regiment at least of the enemy was moving down the railroad to again attack our left, and knowing that our ammunition was exhausted, I took the responsibility to withdraw the regiment from the field, moving by the right flank, slowly and in good order, passing in the rear of the Fifty-fourth Regiment Colored Troops, (Massachusetts), where we remained until the retreat commenced, when we with the Seventh New Hampshire Regiment guarded the wagon train into Barber's.
The regiment went into the engagement with 21 officers and 544 men. Our losses were as follows: Officers killed, 1; wounded and missing, 1; wounded, 8; total, 10. Enlisted men killed, 65; wounded and missing, 49; missing, 15; wounded, 204; total, 333. Total killed, wounded, and missing, 343.
Having taken command of the regiment at a late period of the engagement I cannot give as accurate a report as I might under other circumstances, but the above is, I believe, a true report of everything that came to my notice during the battle, and in conclusion permit me to say that both officers and men did their duty to the extent of their ability.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. BAILEY,
Captain, Commanding Eighth Regiment U. S. Colored Troops.
Lieutenant E. L. MOORE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS EIGHT U. S. COLORED TROOPS,
Jacksonville, Fla., March 10, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following statement in relation to the loss of the national color of the Eighth Regiment U. S. Colored Troops, at the battle of Olustee, Fla., on the 20th ultimo:
I will call your attention to the fact that I was, at the time the color was lost, in command of my company on the right of the regiment, which post I kept until, noticing that the color company was