Collection: The Civil War
Publication: The Charleston Mercury
Date: February 23, 1864


We are glad to say that the news of our victory in Florida is fully confirmed. General BEAUREGARD yesterday received a despatch from General FINNEGAN, dated Lake City, February 20th, and giving additional details. We took five cannon and drove the enemy from the field, on which he left his dead. Our loss was 250 killed and wounded. COLQUITT'S brigade, we learn, distinguished itself. ANDERSON'S cavalry had not yet arrived, but the rest of our cavalry were in full pursuit of the retreating foe.

The Yankee force beaten in this fight is estimated to have been 3000 strong. They landed at KingFerry, on the St. MaryRiver, and were about midway on Saturday between that point and the Satilla Bridge. A despatch to the Savannah papers, dated Lake City, Saturday afternoon, says:

A severe battle has been going on all this p.m., near Olustee, thirteen miles east of this place, the enemy slowly retreating, and our forces pressing them. Their dead and wounded lay thick on the field. But few casualties are yet reported - among the gallant Lieut. Col.James Barrow, of the 64th Georgia Regiment, killed; the Colonel and Major of same regiment were wounded. Col. Clinch was wounded. Col Carraway Smith had his horse shot from under him.

The Savannah News of Monday contains the following: On Friday night last, eight deserters from the Yankee army in Florida arrived in this city by the Gulf train. They state that they left their regiments on the 13th instant, previous to their advance on Sanderson, and therefore had no knowledge of any movements of importance. They are all conscripts, and give as a reason for their desertion ill treatment and the deception practiced upon them. They, with their regiments, left RikerIsland, New York harbor, on the 8th of October, and with one or two exceptions, have received no pay from the Federal Government up to the present time. They state that the Yankee force which landed at Jacksonville, Florida, numbered from four to five thousand men, and among them are the 48th New York Infantry, 7th Connecticut, 7th New Hampshire, 115th New York, 47th New York, and two negro regiments. These troops are commanded by General Seymour, of New York. One of the Negro regiments is the 40th Massachusetts. They are mounted infantry, and number about six hundred. The 1st Massachusetts negro cavalry numbers about two hundred and forty men. They have also a small force of negro infantry called the 3d South Carolina, and the 54th egro regiment from Pennsylvania, from eight to nine hundred strong.

They stated that the main object of the expedition, as they learned from their officers, was to devastate the country and destroy the railroads in that section. They represent that they lived on half rations, and were instructed to live off the country through which they passed. If the statements which they give are true, there is great dissatisfaction in the whole Yankee army in Florida. One of the deserters, a German, informed us that his whole regiment would desert if they thought they could reach our lines in safety and not be recaptured. They are very hostile to the negro troops, and assert that they are not to be trusted in battle, but will retreat on the first fire. Their officers instructed them to capture all the Negroes they could, asserting that it was the intention of the Federals to colonize Florida with blacks.






©2011 - 2018 this site is owned by and contents compiled by Anne Huffman
and is not affiliated in any way with USGenWeb, Inc.