War of the Rebellion: Serial 065 Page 0354 S.C., FLA., AND ON THE GA. COAST. Chapter XLVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

During the continuance of the battle, also after the enemy had given may, I sent repeated orders to Colonel Smith, commanding cavalry, to press the enemy on his flanks and to continue in the pursuit; but through some misapprehension these orders failed to be executed by him, and only two small companies on the left, and these but for a short distance, followed the enemy.

Second. From Brigadier-General Colquitt's report, which, having given an account of the fight, states:

We continued the pursuit for several miles, when night put an end to the conflict. Instructions were given to the cavalry to follow close upon the enemy and seize every opportunity to strike a favorable blow.

Third. Colonel Caraway Smith's report, which, after summing up the fight (and which does not show that the cavalry made any positive attack after the fight began), states:

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 was not brought upon the field until late in the evening, in consequence of the jaded condition of the men and horses.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The fighting 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 cover of night, I deemed it unadvisable to press forward with the whole cavalry 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 commanding general also directs that you will inquire who gave Colonel Smith the order that he was getting under the fire of our own men and to beware of an ambush; also, how it was that our infantry lines were not perceptible to Colonel Smith at the termination of the fight, although a large body of the enemy's cavalry were discovered resting on the opposite side of a swamp.

It is a matter of some surprise to the commanding general, which you will endeavor to explain, that the 202 men of the Second Florida Cavalry should have escaped without a casualty, none being mentioned in the report; also, that out of the whole cavalry only 1 officer and 3 privates were wounded.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

P. S.-The commanding general desires that you will also investigate the following extract from General Finegan's report:

And in consequence of a report from our advance cavalry picket that the enemy had halted for the night and taken a position (which was subsequently ascertained to be incorrect), I withdrew the order.

Very respectfully, &c.,


Assistant Adjutant-General.

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., March 20, 1864.

Major JOHN F. LAY,

Assistant Inspector-General:

MAJOR: Understanding from the official reports of the late battle of Ocean Pond that impressions had been formed prejudicial to my