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[17] collected, principally from the District of Middle Florida, a small force of four hundred and fifty infantry, one hundred and ten cavalry, and two pieces of artillery. On the night of the 10th I placed this force in a favorable position two and a half miles from Lake City, in the direction of the enemy. At half past 9 the enemy advanced upon us with a force estimated to be fourteen hundred mounted infantry and five pieces of artillery. Here they opened upon us, fighting as infantry, and skirmished heavily with my advanced line. Discovering my position and its strength, and probably presuming my force larger than it was, they retreated to Sanderson, thence to Barber's, on the east bank of the St. Mary's, where they constructed field works, and concentrated their whole force for a final movement on Lake City.

In the meantime I used every possible effort to gather reinforcements, and on the 13th moved to Ocean Pond, on Olustee, thirteen miles from Lake City, and occupied the only strong position between Lake City and Barber's. Here I had field works thrown up, and for several days with a force less than two thousand strong, awaited the enemy's advance.

In this time my command was increased by the arrivals of reinforcements, and I organized the command as follows: The Sixth, Nineteenth, Twenty-third, Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Georgia regiments, infantry, and Sixth Florida battalion, infantry, as the first brigade under the command of Brigadier-General Colquitt, with the Chatham artillery (four guns) attached.

The Thirty-second Georgia Volunteers, First Georgia Regulars, Sixty-fourth Georgia Volunteers, First Florida Battalion, and Bonaud's Battalion as the Second brigade, under command of Colonel George P. Harrison, Thirty-second Georgia Volunteers, with Guerard's Light Battery attached.

The Florida Light Artillery being held in reserve, I assigned Colonel R. B. Thomas, Confederate States Army, to duty as chief of artillery, and organized the cavalry into a brigade under the command of Colonel C. Smith, Second Florida Cavalry, my whole effective force being as follows: infantry, 4,600; cavalry, less than 600; artillery, three batteries, twelve guns.

On the 20th instant the enemy advanced in three columns, since ascertained to have been twelve regiments of infantry (nine of white troops and three of black), estimated at eight thousand, and some artillery (number of guns unknown), and fourteen hundred cavalry. At 12 M., the enemy were within three miles of my position. I ordered the cavalry under Colonel C. Smith, Second Florida Cavalry, supported

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Caraway Smith (2)
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