had been ordered to Baldwin. Reached Baldwin at daylight on the 9th instant. Remaining a short time, they continued on to Barber's the same night. At this point they were met on the 10th instant by two companies of cavalry under Major Robert Harrison, Second Florida Cavalry, whom I had ordered to join me, and who, with much gallantry, checked their progress for several hours at the Saint mary's Crossing, with but small to us and a considerable loss to the enemy.
On the 9th instant, I removed all the Government stores from Sanderson, except 1,500 bushels corn, which was burned under my orders.
On the 10th, the enemy reached Sanderson. On the 11th instant, they were within 3 miles of Lake City. Here I had hastily collected, principally from the District of Middle Florida, a small force of 490 infantry, 110 cavalry, and two pieces of artillery. On the night of the 10th, I placed this force in a favorable position, 2 1/2 miles from Lake City, in the direction of the enemy. At 9.30 the enemy advanced upon us with a force estimated to be 1,400 mounted infantry and five pieces of artillery. Here they opened upon us, fighting as infantry, and skirmished heavily with my advance line. Discovering my position and its strength, and probably presuming my force larger than it was, they retreated to Sanderson, thence to Barber's, on the east bank of the Saint Mary's, where they constructed field-works and concentrated their whole force for a final movement on Lake City.
In the mean time I used every possible effort to gather re-enforcements, and on the 13th, moved to Ocean Pond, on Olustee, 13 miles from Lake City, and occupied the only strong position between Lake City and Barber's. Here I had field-works thrown up, and for several days, with a force less than 2,000 strong, awaited the enemy's advance.
In this time my command was increased by the arrival of re-enforcements, and I organized the command as follows: The Sixth, Nineteenth, Twenty-third, Twenty-seventh, and Twenty-eighth Georgia Regiments Infantry and Sixth Florida Battalion Infantry, as the First Brigade, under the command of Brigadier-General Colquitt, with the Chatham Artillery (four guns) attached. The Thirty-second Georgia Volunteers, First Georgia Regulars, Sixty-fourth Georgia Volunteers, First Florida Battalion, and Bonaud's battalion, as the Second Brigade, under command of Colonel George P. Harrison, Thirty-second Georgia Volunteers, with Guerard's light battery attached, the Florida Light Artillery being held in reserve. I assigned Colonel R. B. Thomas, C. S. Army, to duty as chief of artillery, and organized the cavalry into a brigade, under the command of Colonel Caraway Smith, Second Florida Cavalry, my whole effective force being as follows: Infantry, 4,600; cavalry, less than 600; artillery, 3 batteries-twelve guns.
On the 20th instant, the enemy advanced in three columns, since ascertained to have been twelve regiments of infantry (nine of white troops and three of black), estimated at 8,000, and some artillery (number of guns unknown), and 1,400 cavalry. At 12 m., the enemy were within 3 miles of my position. I ordered the cavalry, under Colonel C. Smith, Second Florida Cavalry, supported by the Sixty-fourth Georgia, Colonel Evans commanding, and two companies of the Thirty-second Georgia, to advance and skirmish with the enemy and draw them to our works. The remaining force was placed