of water. Vessels drawing 6 feet can get up as high as the mills at low water. After taking Captain Savage and party on board we started on our return, and arrived at this place in the evening.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DE WITT CLINTON LEWIS,
Captain, Ninety-seventh Pa. Vols., Commanding Detachment.
Colonel HENRY R. GUSS,
Commanding Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers.
FEBRUARY 10, 1864.-Capture of Camp Cooper, Fla.
Report of Major Galusha Pennypacker, Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry.
FERNANDINA, FLA., February 11, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to your orders and written instructions furnished me, I made an incursion upon Camp Cooper, on the mainland, on the night of the 9th of February instant.
My command consisted of 290 men, composed of detachments from Companies A, B, D, E, G, H, I, and K of the Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers.
On the afternoon of the 9th, I marched the force as far as the drawbridge, where we remained secreted until dark. We then crossed the river in a scow provided for the purpose. The whole force was safely landed on the mainland about 8.30 o'clock. We advanced along the railroad until within a short distance of the trestle-work, about 4 miles from the drawbridge, where we struck off to the left, through a large pine woods. Traversing a road through these woods for several miles, we again came to the railroad and crossed it about 1 mile this side of Lofton bridge. We then proceeded along what is called Hartz road until we had passed through Lofton Swamp, the headwaters of Lofton Creek, where I ordered a halt, and sent out a reconnoitering party in addition to my advance guard, to examine the country. This was about 3 a.m. The scouts soon returned and reported that Camp Cooper lay a little to the right of this road, about 1 mile in advance. I moved the battalion silently and cautiously up, and formed it on the north and west of the camp. At the first dawn I ordered a charge, at which the men swept impetuously through the camp, but found it almost entirely deserted. We captured 2 prisoners and 3 horses.
From the prisoners I learned that the enemy had marched on the 8th instant to Camp Finegan, in the vicinity of Jacksonville, with three companies of cavalry, their entire force. The camp had been commanded by Major Harrison, and was large and well located. The prisoners had been left behind to have an oversight over the camp. They report that they had no thought of an attack from this quarter. The public property consisted of a little inferior subsistence stores and a small quantity of clothing, all of which I destroyed. The quarters of the officers and men, as well as the stables, were principally rude shanties, but quite comfortable. I caused them all to be burned.
After halting an hour I commenced the return march by the route which I came, reaching the drawbridge at 2 p.m. On the return I dispatched two companies under the command of Captain J. M. C.