War of the Rebellion: Serial 065 Page 0314 S. C., FLA., AND ON THE GA. COAST. Chapter XLVII.

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one to control them, started to the rear, breaking through the small number I was endeavoring to rally. I caught the near leader by the bridle and succeeded, with the help of some of our men, in stopping them. They were then taken in charge by one of the drivers of the battery. The fire from the enemy now became so destructive we could not keep our men in line. We were in disorder and falling back when Captain Bailey (on whom the command of the regiment now devolved) came and gave the order for us to retire.

In conclusion I would beg leave to state that both officers of the color company were severely wounded, that two color-sergeants were killed and another wounded, and half the color guard wounded or killed. I do not know on whom the responsibility of losing the colors should properly rest. We had two stand of colors belonging to the regiment; I was misled by seeing one of them being carried out, thinking both were there. I do not know whether these facts are stated in the consecutive order in which they happened, but they are as nearly correct as it was possible for me to remember amid the excitement and confusion of that sanguinary day.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


First Lieutenant, Eighth Regiment U. S. Colored Troops.

Lieutenant J. E. RICHARDSON,

Adjutant Eighth U. S. Colored Troops.

Numbers 11. Report of Lieutenant Andrew F. Ely, Eighth U. S. Colored Infantry, of engagement at Olustee.

JACKSONVILLE, FLA., March 10, 1864.

SIR: In obedience to orders from regimental headquarters, I have the honor to submit the following statement in regard to the loss of our national colors at Olustee, Fla., February 20, 1864:

I was near Lieutenant Lewis when he picked up the colors and saw him carry them toward the battery on our left. I called to the men to rally around the colors and save the battery. Lieutenant Norton also attempted to rally those on my left. We succeeded in bringing up a fragment of the regiment within a few years of the battery, when the horses of one of the guns came rushing onto our little line, throwing us into some confusion, I think at this time Lieutenant Lewis gave the colors to one of the men. I saw him strike one of the horses with his sword, and in conjunction with some others seize the horses by the bits to stop them. He did not get the colors again, and we commenced falling back obliquely to the right in obedience to an order from Captain R. C. Bailey, then commanding the regiment. I saw a corporal carrying our battle-flag, and supposing they had the other, paid no further attention to the matter.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. F. ELY,

Second Lieutenant, Eighth U. S. Colored Troops.

Lieutenant RICHARDSON,

Adjutant Eighth U. S. Colored Troops.