I may add, in conclusion, that my opinion, expressed verbally to the general commanding, is still unchanged. In indorsing Colonel Smith's application, not knowing that an investigation was to be had, I acted as I should wish my commanding officer to act by me.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. M. GARDNER,
Major J. F. LAY,
Assistant Inspector-General, Tallahassee, Fla.
FEBRUARY 9, 1864.-Skirmish near Point Washington, Fla.
Report of Lieutenant Colonel David B. Peck, Seventh Vermont Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH VERMONT VOLUNTEERS,
Camp Roberts, Barrancas, Fla., February 17, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report respecting the capture of Lieutenant George Ross, Company B, Seventh Vermont Volunteers, with a portion of his company, based upon the statements of First Sergt. E. B. Hendry, Company B:
On the 8th instant, an expedition, consisting of Captain Galloway, with 14 men, and Lieutenant Ross, Company B, Seventh Vermont Volunteers, with 17 men of his company, left the camp at Point Washington for the purpose of capturing Floyd's company (rebel infantry) stationed at Cedar Bluff, about 40 miles up the Choctawhatchee River, on the east bank. A rebel picket of 5 men was surrounded and captured within 6 miles of the rebel camp. Our troops surrounded Floyd's camp at 10 p.m., and demanded the surrender. Two lieutenants and 50 men were in camp, and all surrendered without resistance. A sentinel was placed over the rebel officers but was taken off by Captain Galloway, and both of them made their escape during the night.
Out troops left the camp at 4 a.m., February 9, with the prisoners, arms, ammunition, and four mule teams. When about 15 miles from Floyd's camp on their return, and while stopping for dinner at noon, a force of about 100 rebel cavalry charged upon them, and after a little firing on both sides succeeded in capturing Captain Galloway and 5 refugees, and Lieutenant Ross with 11 of his men. First Sergeant Hendry, Corporal Cooley, and Privates Daniels, Porter, and Pitts, of Company B, Seventh Vermont Volunteers, succeeded in making their escape and returned to Point Washington in company with 9 refugees, arriving at 11 o'clock the next day. The remainder of the company, in charge of First Sergeant Hendry, left Point Washington February 11, stopped two days at East Pass, and arrived at Barrancas, Fla., February 16.
The following is a list* of the captured men belonging to the Seventh Vermont Regiment.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. B. PECK,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Lieutenant E. T. SPRAGUE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
*Nominal list of prisoners omitted.