they fell back. I took advantage of this circumstance to fall back, beyond a point where I knew the force of infantry from Chambers' could get into our rear. We fell back without haste and in good order; halted once ten minutes for the men to rest, and after placing my men in good position on the railroad, or rather behind the bank of it, ordered them to eat their dinners, thinking they would have about time to eat before the enemy would be down. I should have crossed the bayou immediately had it not been high water and therefore impassable. The men has scarcely finished their dinners when a force of infantry of about 150 on the left of the road, and about the same number on the right, were discovered advancing through the brush. I kept my men down, and when they were within short musket range I opened fire. They stood two rounds and then left. They tried this three times, my men behaving all the time with the utmost coolness. The third time they gained possession of a small portion of the railroad, on the left of Company E, Second U. S. Colored Infantry. I ordered the negroes to charge, which they did in fine style, let by Sergt. William Wilson, who behaved very bravely. The enemy broke and scattered in every direction and did not attempt to face us again. When the water had fallen enough to allow of crossing I made a feint of pushing up the railroad, and in that way succeeded in bringing more than half of my force across before the movement was discovered. It was then too late for them to do us much damage, though they wounded 3 men.
I think their intention was to have this place. I know they have boats building on the Suwannee River. They can be placed upon cars and put into the water at Station 4 in six or eight hours. I do not apprehend any danger from them now. I am throwing up rifle-pits as fast as I can, and in a few days shall consider this place safe against any force that they may be able to bring, and also know that in any operations on this portion of the coast it will be necessary to move in pretty strong force. We have some 30 or 40 able-bodied negroes here. Shall I enlist them, and for what regiment?
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDMUND C. WEEKS,
Major Second Florida Cavalry, Commanding Forces.
General D. P. WOODBURY,
Commanding Dist. of Key West and Tortugas.
JULY 3, 1864.-Skirmish near White Point, S. C.
Report of Brigadier General William Birney, U. S. Army.*
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF FLORIDA,
Jacksonville, July 13, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the force under my command on the 3rd instant:
Having disembarked on the evening of the 2nd, we bivouacked about a mile from White Point, near the Dawho River. At 5.15 a.
See also Foster's report, p. 14.