previous next

[14] sick leave, and was fit for field service, and had gone to General Finnegan's Headquarters with the troops of his district. Apprised of this, I directed General Gardner, on the 21st ultimo, to assume command, and organize for a vigorous offensive movement preliminary to the arrival of General Taliaferro; but subsequently the victory at Ocean Pond having taken place, in which it was supposed General Gardner, though not in immediate command, had taken an active part, I directed that officer to assume the chief command, and dividing his forces into divisions, to assign General Taliaferro to one of them; soon after which, however, I was advised by the War Department of the assignment of Major-General J. Patton Anderson to the command of the forces in the State of Florida.

General D. H. Hill having arrived at these Headquarters on the 28th ultimo, I left for Florida the same evening, although that officer was unwilling, for personal reasons, to assume the duty at once, I had desired to entrust to him the immediate command of the troops in the State of South Carolina, but he promised to repair to any point threatened or attacked by the enemy, and give the officer there in command the benefit of his experience and assistance.

On the 2nd instant I reached Camp Milton, General Gardner's Headquarters, in rear of McGirt's creek, twelve or thirteen miles distant from Jacksonville, where I found our troops in position. The day preceding, our advanced pickets had been thrown forward to Cedar creek, within six or seven miles of Jacksonville. On the 3rd Major-General J. Patton Anderson also arrived at Camp Milton, and assumed command on the 6th instant of the forces, now about eight thousand effectives of all arms.

In the meantime it had been ascertained, from reliable sources, that the enemy occupied Jacksonville with at least twelve thousand men, that the position, naturally strong, had been much strenghtened since the battle of the 20th ultimo, and that four or five gunboats in the St. John's effectually commanded the approaches to the place. Under these circumstances it was determined not to attempt to carry the position by assault, as, in effect, instructed by your telegram of the 4th instant. Everything indicates that the rout of the enemy at Ocean Pond or Olustee was complete, nevertheless the fruits of the victory were comparatively insignificant, and mainly because of the inefficiency of the officer commanding the cavalry at the time, in consequence of whose lack of energy and capacity for the service, no serious attempt was made to pursue with his command, while the exhaustion of the infantry, so gallantly and efficiently handled and engaged, and our want

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 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.
William M. Gardner (3)
Taliaferro (2)
J. Patton Anderson (2)
D. H. Hill (1)
Joseph Finnegan (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
28th (1)
21st (1)
20th (1)
6th (1)
4th (1)
3rd (1)
2nd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: