to the rear was strong enough to hold its own against any probable force it would meet. It moved with its right resting on the creek, and gradually opened easy communication with the column moving from Jacksonville. So successfully was the rear of the enemy's position gained that not an attempt to defend it was made.
The accompanying sketch* will show the position of the line of works, the railroad, the creek, and the line of movement of the two columns.
The object of the movement having been accomplished, I ordered, on the morning of the 2nd June, a return to Jacksonville. As the troops were about forming the enemy appeared in their front and opened a skirmishing fire with some show of numbers. Several reports from the front represented the enemy in strong force, and attempting to cut off my retreat by turning my position and gaining the defile at Cedar Creek. Although I believed the force and intention of the enemy to have been exaggerated and misunderstood, I did not feel that it would be prudent to totally disbelieve it and even allow a chance for the enemy to occupy a defile upon my line of communication with Jacksonville, which place was defended by less than 400 men. For this reason, and because I had accomplished my purpose, I returned to Jacksonville without other offensive operations than driving the enemy's skirmishers from my front whenever he opposed me.
I have to command the action of the troops. It was praiseworthy in the highest degree. Colonels Noble and Shaw led their columns with rapidity and executed my plans with promptness. I am indebted to Commanders Balch and Lewis, of the navy, for assistance in landing my troops at night within the lines of the enemy.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. GORDON,
Captain W. L. M. BURGER,
Numbers 2. Report of Major General Patton Anderson, C. S. Army.
LAKE CITY, FLA., June 3, 1864.
Enemy, with about eight regiments of infantry, six pieces of artillery, and a battalion of cavalry, advanced from Jackson ville toward Baldwin on night of 31st May. On morning of 1st instant (June), drove our cavalry from Cedar Creek and McGirt's creek back upon Baldwin. On morning of 2nd, all our cavalry was advanced, met advanced guard of the enemy between Baldwin and McGirt's Creek, drove him back to Jacksonville. Our lines are as they were before the movements. It was probably a reconnaissance by the enemy. Our loss trifling.
General SAMUEL JONES.