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[531] miles of Lake City. Here I had hastily collected, principally from the District of Middle Florida, a small force of 450 infantry, 110 cavalry, and two pieces of artillery. On the night of the 10th I placed this force in a favorable position, two and a half milse from Lake City, in the direction of the enemy. At halfpast nine the enemy advanced upon us with a force estimated to be 1400 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 mean time 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 2000 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 6th, 19th, 23d, 27th, and 28th Georgia regiments, infantry, and 6th Florida battalion, infantry, as the first brigade, under the command of Brigadier-General Colquitt, with the Chatham Artillery (four guns) attached. The 32d Georgia Volunteers, 1st Georgia Regulars, 64th Georgia Volunteers, 1st Florida battalion, and Bonaud's battalion, as the second brigade, under command of Colonel George P. Harrison, 32d 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, 2d Florida Cavalry, my whole effective force being as follows: infantry, 4600; 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 8000, and some artillery (number of guns unknown), and 1400 cavalry. At 12 M. the enemy were within three miles of my position. I ordered the cavalry, under Colonel C. Smith, 2d Florida Cavalry, supported by the 64th Georgia, Colonel Evans commanding, and two companies of 32d Georgia, to advance and skirmish with the enemy and draw them to our works. The remaining force was placed under arms and prepared for action. Apprehending that the enemy were too cautious to approach our works, I ordered General Colquitt, commanding first brigade, to advance with three of his regiments and a section of Gamble's artillery and assume command of the entire force, then ordered to the front, and feel the enemy by skirmishing, and, if he was not in too heavy force, to press him heavily. I had personally instructed Colonel Smith, commanding cavalry, to fall back as soon as infantry advanced, and protect their flanks. This movement was predicated on the information that the enemy had only three regiments of infantry, with some cavalry and artillery.

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