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[399] encountering the enemy, at eleven A. M. In a belt of woods, one mile and a half this side of Lake City, General Finnigan had posted his skirmishers. Captain Elder again placed his guns in battery, and the Independent battalion and Fortieth Massachusetts, as skirmishers, went forward on a reconnoissance. The enemy had a heavy line of skirmishers one mile in length, and although one company of the Fortieth broke the left of the enemy's line, it was impossible, in consequence of the paucity of our numbers, to prevent him from throwing forward his right, so as to get on our left and rear. Under the circumstances, Colonel Henry wisely decided to fall back to a distance of five miles, and await the arrival of infantry to aid him. The entire command fell back on a walk, and were covered by the Independent battalion. A dozen rebels followed in the rear, but the moment two or three of our men would make a dash at them, away they would run toward Lake City. The rebel loss at this place was two killed and several wounded. One of the killed was a signal-officer. When we crossed the railroad I saw him waving his flag. We had three slightly wounded.

Following is a complete list of our casualties from the time we left Jacksonville:

Sergeant C. C. Conkling, Co. A, Fortieth Massachusetts, killed; Thomas F. C. Dean, Co. A, Ind. battery, killed; Thomas Cahill, Co. B, Ind. battery, killed; Captain A. W. Bartlett, Co. A, Ind. battery, since dead; Richard Burns, Co. C, Ind. battery, since dead; E. Pasho, Co. C, Ind. battery; arm; Geo. W. Hankins, Co. C, Ind. battery, hand; Geo. Hutchinson, Co. C, Ind. battery, arm; Geo. E. Fernand, Co. B, Ind. battery, thigh; Sergeant F. Blaisdell, Co. B, Ind. battery, scalp; F. P. Howland, Co. A, Ind. battery, arm; Charles Pierson, Co. A, Fortieth Massachusetts, thigh; C. E. Lee, Co. D, Fortieth Massachusetts, arm;----Johnson, Co. D, Ind. battery, neck;----Wormwood, Co. D, Ind. battery.

The bivouac of Henry's command Thursday night was any thing but pleasant. It commenced raining in the afternoon, with every prospect of continuing to rain through the night. The men were weary and hungry, and there was nothing in the shape of provisions in the vicinity. The horses, too, were very much jaded. We succeeded in getting some forage at a farm-house not far off. This the poor animals disposed of with avidity. At night, Colonel Henry sent a message to General Seymour, who Was now at Sanderson, asking for further orders. He was firm in his belief that with one regiment of infantry added to his own force he could go into Lake City. He was thirty-four miles away from the infantry, and the difficulty was in getting a regiment up in season to accomplish the object aimed at. Another drawback was in getting provisions to the troops. At Sanderson the troops were forty miles away from their base, and all the supplies had to be transmitted in wagons. It was finally resolved that Henry should fall back to Sanderson. To that point several regiments of infantry had advanced.

The evacuation of Lake City by the rebels Thursday night shows how badly they were frightened. That they did evacuate the town, we have full assurance. I am told by deserters that the rebel General Finnigan was in a fearful state of trepidation, not knowing which way to turn. He had at Lake City three thousand cavalry and infantry, and yet did not dare to make a stand. He threw out a heavy line of skirmishers for the purpose of keeping our force back until he could get the government property on the way to Madison. He notified the women and children of his intention to evacuate Lake City, and offered them the facilities of a railroad-train to take them away. Every prisoner and deserter within our lines, with whom I have conversed, agrees in saying that General Finnigan is the greatest coward in the Confederacy. I have no doubt of the truth of the remark. Lake City has a population of three thousand. In a strategic point of view, it is an important place for us to hold. It is half-way between Jacksonville and Tallahassee.

I estimate the amount of rebel government property captured and destroyed thus far by the raid into Florida, will reach the value of one million and a half dollars. I will give a list of the most important items:

Two twelve-pounder rifled-guns, two six-pounder guns, one three-inch gun, two other guns, five caissons, a large quantity of ammunition, an immense supply of camp and garrison equipage, four railroad-cars, one hundred and thirteen bales of cotton, four army-wagons, one hundred and five horses and mules, a large stock of saddlery, tanning machinery, three thousand and eighty-three barrels of turpentine, six thousand bushels of corn, three large warehouses destroyed.

In the above list I have not enumerated the cattle we have slaughtered, nor the railroad-track we have destroyed, nor the officers' baggage captured, nor a thousand things which would amply warrant my estimate.

We have taken altogether, including those who have been obliged to leave the woods and bushes and give themselves up, over seventy-five prisoners. Many of them have taken the oath of allegiance. They are constantly coming in our lines, and, with few exceptions, say they have no heart to fight against the Union cause. One young fellow, who lived in Jacksonville before the war, and who, on account of poor eyesight, is obliged to wear glasses, said that did not avail against his conscription. He protested against the severity of the authorities, and after having been released once, was, six months later, put again into the ranks. The most prominent prisoner we have is Lieutenant-Colonel Ponce, who was in front of Lake City, looking at the skirmishers, in the garb of a civilian. We also have a captain of cavalry, who fought Colonel Henry's force at the South-Fork.

I have given, at some length, the work accomplished by the cavalry. It so happened the infantry did not have a chance to show its metal. If infantry ever wanted to get into a fight, this


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