his regiment and drive them back, which he did effectually. Thus by the vigilance of the cavalry on the right and left the enemy was prevented from deploying his large force so as to turn either flank. The Fifth Florida Cavalry Battalion (Major G. W. Scott commanding) was not brought upon the field until late in the evening, in consequence of the jaded condition of the men and horses from hard service for the twenty-four hours preceding. He, however, joined with Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick on the right about the middle of the contest and rendered him prompt assistance.
The fight terminating at night, and our infantry lines not being perceptible to me through the woods, and the face of the country being cut up by swamps, making it very favorable for ambushing under the cover of night, I deemed it unadvisable to press forward with the whole cavalry force until further information could be had of the position of affairs. In addition to this, after the order to move forward was being executed another order was received to the effect that we were getting under the fire of our men, and also that I should beware of an ambush. I attached the more importance to this order because it had already been discovered that a large body of the enemy's cavalry were resting on the opposite side of a swamp from us. The cavalry, however, as soon as possible followed up the enemy and gathered a number of prisoners, amounting to about 150. In addition to this several prisoners were taken by Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick and Major Scott while protecting the right flank.
I have to report that Colonel Clinch and 3 men of the Fourth Georgia Cavalry were wounded. One of the wounded men is missing, and supposed now to be dead.
It is due to the companies of Captains Stephens and Maxwell, of the Second Florida Cavalry, to state that the conduct of the men and officers, while acting as the rear guard of the cavalry as we were falling back before the enemy, was highly satisfactory. They behaved with the coolness and deliberation of veterans.
I have the honor to be, captain, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Brigade.
Captain W. CALL,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF S. CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Camp Milton, Fla., March 7, 1864.
Major JOHN F. LAY,
Inspector of Cavalry, &c.:
MAJOR: I am instructed by the general commanding to inform you that the report of Colonel Caraway Smith of the operations of the Cavalry Brigade during the engagement at Ocean Pond and pursuit the same evening is not satisfactory, and to direct you to make inquiries in regard to the same, and report if the orders of superior officers were carried out by Colonel Smith, and if his command took such share in the attack on the enemy as could reasonably be expected under those orders. I am instructed to communicate to you, for your attention, the following extracts from official reports:
First. From Brigadier-General Finegan's, in regard to the opening of the engagement:
I ordered Brigadier-General Colquitt to advance with three of his regiments and assume command of the entire force then ordered to the front.
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23 R R-VOL XXXV, PT I