This night a band of forty rebels landed at Cape Lookout, took possession of the lighthouse, put the keeper and his wife in durance, and exploded a keg of powder, which seriously damaged the building. They then retired on the approach of the steamer City of Jersey.
General J. P. Hatch, commanding the district of Florida, issued the following order from his headquarters at Jacksonville:
The Brigadier-General Commanding desires to make known to his command the successful accomplishment of a daring and difficult expedition, by a detachment of twenty-five men of the One Hundred and Fifteenth New York volunteers, commanded by Captain S. P. Smith, of the same regiment. This little party, sent from Pilatka to a point thirty-two miles from the post, surprised and captured a picket of the enemy, consisting of one sergeant and nine men, with their arms, and thirteen horses, and equipments complete. To bring off the horses, it was necessary to swim them across the St. John's River, and force them for a mile and a half through a swamp previously considered impracticable. The energy, intrepidity, and skill with which this expedition was conducted demands the praise of the commander of this district, and the imitation of troops hereafter detached on similar expeditions. II. The Brigadier-General Commanding announces that the Marine Battery, which was so promptly and cheerfully placed on the line of our intrenchments when they were first thrown up in the vicinity of Jacksonville, and at a time when it was much needed, has been ordered on board the sloop-of-war Mahaska. He takes this opportunity to return his thanks to Captain G. B. Balch, commanding United States naval forces on St. John's River, for his kindness, and to Ensign Augustus E. French, and the petty officers and men under him, for their valuable services, very good conduct, and exhibition of excellent discipline, throughout their intercourse with the troops of this command.