War of the Rebellion: Serial 065 Page 0313 Chapter XLVII. THE FLORIDA EXPEDITION.

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nearly annihilated, both officers being disabled also, I went with the few men that I had left (about 20) to its assistance observing only the regimental color, which I ordered to fall back with my men, and did not at the time notice that the national color was gone. Having learned at this time that I was in command of the regiment, I made every effort to bring the men off the field (our ammunition being exhausted) in order, they having been driven back from the battery where the color in question was lost, as I learned from Lieutenant E. Lewis, Company F, of this regiment, whose statement I inclose,, with the signatures of those officers who were present at the time.

I will here state that of 43 men of the color company who went into the action 30 were killed, wounded, and missing, losing 5 of the color guard and 3 sergeants, who at different times seized the colors while attempting to save the battery, beside which they were planted by Lieutenant Lewis, who left them to stop the horses belonging to the battery, which he did, and delivered them to one of the drivers, when he was compelled to fall back, leaving the color with the gun.

I believe the above to be a correct statement of the facts as far as II am acquainted with them, and hope that no stigma will be attached to our regiment for what was, I believe, the unavoidable loss of our colors.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Comdg Eighth Regiment U. S. Colored Troops.

Lieutenant R. M. HALL,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 10. Report of Lieutenant Elijah Lewis, Eighth U. S. Colored Infantry, of engagement at Olustee.


March 10, 1864.

SIR: In pursuance to verbal orders from regimental headquarters, I have the honor to make the following report in reference to the loss of the colors of our regiment at the battle of Ocean Pond, Fla., February 20, 1864:

After the colonel was killed an order to fall back was given by Major Burritt, who was immediately after wounded and carried off the field. The enemy's fire at this time was very severe, and my company, having had a large number killed and wounded, fell back in considerable confusion. In the retrograde movement we did not move directly to the rear, but obliquely to our right, thus passing near where the colors were. My attention was directed to a flag lying on the ground. I picked it up; it was our national color. An officer of the battery now rode up and said, in words as nearly as I can recollect, "Don't leave that battery; bring your flag and rally the men around it." I carried the colors up to the gun, when Lieutenant Norton, of Company K, said, "Don't carry that flag; give it to one of the men, and help form some kind of a line." Lieutenant A. F. Ely also came to assist in collecting the men together. At this time the horses attached to a limber of one of the guns, having no