previous next

[397] twenty yards of the camp. The Fortieth Massachusetts mounted infantry were formed in line of battle directly in front of Captain Elder's flying artillery. Colonel Henry and Major Stevens placed themselves at the head of the battalion, and at the word of command the two buglers blew a terrific blast, which was instantly followed by the charge of the battalion. In half a minute's time our cavalry had dashed into the centre of the camp and surrounded it on all sides. With two or three exceptions, all of the rebels escaped, so easy was it for them to just slip into the woods and conceal themselves under cover of the darkness. The very first note of the bugle gave them the alarm.

The capture of four guns at this place, beside a large quantity of camp and garrison equipage, including wagons, tents, commissary stores, officers' baggage, and, in fact, every thing that could be of value to the enemy, were the fruits of this handsome little dash. In another portion of this letter I insert a list which comprises some of the important articles captured at this camp. The guns, two of which were twelve-pounder rifled, and two six-pounder smooth-bore, belonged respectively to Dunham's and Able's batteries. Every thing that was captured here belonged to either one or the other battery. Three prisoners were taken. Captain Dunham, hearing that we were within six miles of his camp, had deserted his men and gone to Lake City. Able was also absent. The prisoners said that the men wanted to fight, but Dunham told them it was of no use, that we were on the way up with a large force, and the best thing that could be done was to get off as soon as possible. A train was expected from Lake City at twelve o'clock that night to take them away. The telegraph operator, however, had time to send a despatch keeping it back. His office was in a house just beyond the camp. Major Stevens walked into the room and seized the fellow by the throat as he was on the point of sending another message. In a few seconds his instrument was knocked to pieces and the wire cut.

The valor of our cavalry not only on this but other occasions, cannot be too highly extolled. The Independent Massachusetts cavalry battalion, with Major Stevens at its head, and for its company officers such men as Captains Richmond, Webster, and Morrell, and Lieutenant Holt, has achieved for itself during the past week a high reputation. In this connection I must not omit to mention the eagerness with which Captain Ray, formerly a Lieutenant in company C, accepted the opportunity to accompany Major Stevens as volunteer aid. He recently received his commission as captain in the Fourth Massachusetts cavalry, and when the expedition left Hilton Head, was on the point of going North to join his regiment. All the distance from Jacksonville, either Captain Ray or Lieutenant Holt led the advance-guard. The Fortieth Massachusetts mounted infantry also performed admirable service, and by no means lessened the good name they have long enjoyed for bravery and discipline. To one who had never seen artillery keep close up with cavalry on a march, the feat of Captain Elder on Monday night would have astonished him beyond measure. No matter where or how fast the cavalry went, Captain Elder was sure to be up to the spare horses with his artillery. Through ditches, over stumps, turning short corners, walking, trotting, galloping, the artillery never lagged in the rear. Captain Elder is widely known as one of the most successful and dashing officers we have in the artillery service. General Seymour evidently knew his men when he selected officers for his raiding party.

In order to allow the men and horses a little rest, and thinking that perhaps the rebels at Camp Finnigan would be coming down the road, Colonel Henry concluded to remain at the artillery camp, or Ten-Mile Run, as it is called, till four A. M. In the mean time, the horses were baited, and the men fell to work to breaking open trunks and valises, and making a thorough inspection of the property the rebels had abandoned. It so happened on that same day the rebels had received from Lake City a large quantity of clothing, most of it entirely new. Our men, although they did not really need them, took such articles as struck their fancy. The three prisoners captured were told to help themselves to all they wanted. They thought it very strange we should reject clothing that had cost their people a vast sum of money. We explained to them that clothing was not scarce in our country. A contraband, formerly Captain Able's servant, was dumbfounded to see how little we prized a package of a dozen shirts that had been sent to a rebel officer. This same contraband gave us much valuable information relating to the enemy's force and movements, which was subsequently confirmed. While the men were engaged in their task of inspection, Colonel Henry and a few more of us adjourned to the house in which the telegraph operator had been at work, and discussed the events of the night. A rousing good fire was built, and very fortunately a bottle of whisky was discovered in one corner of the room. The three prisoners were brought in and examined, and what they said carefully noted. The family were not disturbed. Two boys came down-stairs after a while, and entertained us with their views of the war. I judged the family to be milk-and-water Union. At four A. M. “Prepare to mount!” was sounded. Captain Jenkins, of company H, Fourtieth Massachusetts, was left with his men at Ten-Mile Run, to guard the property. It seems the rebels at Finnigan did not dare to follow us. Colonel Henry proceeded a distance of ten miles, before he met the enemy. In following the main road, the railroad is crossed several times. Colonel Henry made every effort to capture a train of cars which we had been told would come down a certain distance from Lake City, for the purpose of taking up supplies. Between Ten-Mile Run and Barber's Station, two or three rails were taken up at three different places. This would not only prevent the rebels from getting off their supplies, but keep them from sending


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Lake City (Florida, United States) (4)
Jacksonville (Florida, United States) (1)
Hilton Head (South Carolina, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Guy V. Henry (5)
T. H. Stevens (4)
Elder (4)
Thomas Dunham (3)
John F. Ray (2)
Joe Holt (2)
Able (2)
J. D. Webster (1)
F. Seymour (1)
Lewis Richmond (1)
Morrell (1)
Fourtieth Massachusetts (1)
Thornton A. Jenkins (1)
Finnigan (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: