prisoners I learned that the former of these roads was obstructed and well fortified, both for artillery and infantry. The latter was open. I determined to use it to turn the position.
I concentrated my force by night at Jacksonville. Troops were brought down the river from Picolata, to which place a portion of them had marched from Saint Augustine. I directed one column to effect a landing at the intersection of Cedar Creek and McGirt's Creek, at a point about 10 miles from the mouth of the latter creek; to move rapidly at night, gain the crossing of McGirt's Creek; the enemy's line of intrenchments. I directed another column to move out at the same time from Jacksonville, proceed upon the dirt road that runs south of the railroad, and threaten the intrenched line in front. The first column numbered about 1,400 men, the second a about 1,059.
The first was commanded by Colonel Noble, Seventeenth Connecticut Volunteers, and consisted of the following regiments: The One hundred and fifty-seventh New York, 135 officers and men; the Thirty-fifth U. S. Colored Troops, 504 officers and men; the Third U. S. Colored Troops, 275 officers and men; the Seventeenth Connecticut, 135 officers and men; the One hundred and seventh Ohio, 338 officers and men.
The second column, under Colonel Shaw, Seventh U. S. Colored Troops, consisted of the Seventh U. S. Colored Troops, 716 officers and men; the One hundred and forty-fourth New York, 343 officers and men; the Seventy-fifth Ohio (mounted), 120 officers and men; the Third Rhode Island Artillery (six pieces), 120 officers and men.
Colonel Noble effected a landing at 3 a. m., on the morning of the 1st of June, without opposition. Colonel Shaw moved about the same time to the front from Jacksonville. The front and rear of the enemy's works were gained by the two columns about the same time, but too late to capture the enemy. Evidences of his hasty flight were apparent in burning trestle-work upon the railroad and in abandoned stores and forage. I found the line of fortifications one of great strength, capable of offering a successful resistance to a very large force.
The breast-works were made of huge logs firmly fastened and covered with earth. The log part was 6 fee wide at the bottom and 3 at the top. They were proof against field artillery. The stockades were composed of timber from 12 to 16 inches thick, with loop-holes 2 feet apart. Their base was protected by earth thrown up from a ditch which ran along the whole line of works. There was a salient or re-entering angle at about every 150 yards. Two batteries in the rear completely commanded the railroad, and in addition to being very strong were most elaborately finished, having a sharpness of outline almost equal to masonry. This line extended about 1 1/2 miles, when a new line began. Across the dirt road north of the railroad the works were of the same class as those described, except that the stockades had platforms and embrasures for field pieces. The works at that point were most solidly constructed and beautifully finished.
In conformity with my order these works were fired and completely demolished. The labor of many thousands of men for many weeks was thus destroyed, and one of the most formidable barriers to the march of an army to Tallahassee removed. The column that move