night coming on, they were obliged to abandon the pursuit. Our cavalry operated on the flanks of the enemy during the engagement, but did not pursue them beyond a few miles, which is too be regretted, as it is probable that in the disorganized and demoralized condition of the enemy we might have captured a large proportion of their troops, if not destroyed their army.
The infantry fire during the whole engagement was continuous, and on our side very effective. The artillery fire on both sides, did comparatively little damage. Our men sheltered themselves behind the trees, as was evident from the number who were wounded in the arms and hands, thus gaining considerable advantage over the enemy, who used the trees to a less extent.
This fight occurred upon ground which furnished a fair field to both parties, and no advantage to either. The advantage of the enemy upon this occasion consisted in the superiority of numbers and equipment. Their force was, at the lowest estimate, twice that of ours. As usual with the enemy, they posted their negro regiments on their left and in front, where they were slain by hundreds, and upon retiring left their dead and wounded negroes uncared for, carrying off only the whites, which accounts for the fact that upon the first part of the battle-field nearly all the dead found were negroes.
This victory like many others, was mainly due to the superior fighting qualities of our troops, their determination and unflinching valor. So far as I was able to learn there was no preconceived plan battle or combined movement of our troops after General Colquitt put them in position on the field.
To General Colquitt and Colonel Harrison, who commanded on the left, am I mainly indebted for much valuable information in reference to the positions and movements of our troops, which aided me much in arranging my sketch, as also in the account of the battle.
The entire plan of battle on our part, as represented on sketch, is compiled from my own observation in part, and from careful inquiry among the principal officers engaged in the fight, and many be relied on as accurate. The topography of the ground is taken from a personal reconnaissance by myself, and is correct. I was upon the battle-field during the last hour of the fight, having been engaged upon the works at Olustee during the first portion. Major Clarke having been on the battle-field during the engagement, and thus being conversant with its details from personal observation, regards this sketch as correct as possible, considering that no regular survey was made of the ground.
Mr. G. W. Killen, assistant engineer, who accompanied me to Florida, rendered efficient and faithful service.
Upon the fourth day after the battle our forces advanced to Sanderson, where you found us upon your arrival.
I found it necessary to a thorough explanation and understanding of my sketch to describe, in so far as I have done, the principal positions and movements of our regiments and battalions.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. B. GRANT,
Lieutenant, Corps of Engineers.
Colonel D. B. HARRIS,
Chief Engineer, Dept. of S. Carolina, Georgia, and Fla.