On the 10th the Light Brigade, consisting of the Massachusetts Cavalry Battalion, the Fortieth Massachusetts (mounted), and Elder
's horse battery, First United States Artillery, some nine hundred men, under Colonel Henry
, started out, followed by the infantry.
About 11 A. M. the mounted force reached Barber
's. A reconnoissance, with loss, disclosed the enemy, consisting of about one hundred and fifty men of the Second Florida Cavalry, under Maj. Robert Harrison
, holding the south fork of the St. Mary's River
, securing a position enfilading the ford, and the cavalry battalion charging across, drove the enemy in confusion, capturing their horses and arms.
We lost four killed and thirteen wounded; the enemy, two killed and three wounded. Henry
resumed the advance at 1 P. M., entering Sanderson
three hours later.
Gen. Joseph Finegan
, the Confederate
commander of East Florida
, had retired, firing buildings and stores.
The column reached Barber
's at midnight on the 10th.
, at Sanderson
, rested until 2 A. M. on the 11th, when he again set out. No enemy was encountered until 11 A. M., when his skirmishers were found in the woods near Lake City
After developing his line, and a company had broken through the enemy's left, Henry
, fearing to be outflanked by a stronger force, retired five miles. But the Confederate
reports show that General Finegan
had there in Henry
's front only four hundred and fifty infantry, one hundred and ten cavalry, and two guns.
Our loss was three men wounded; the enemy's, two killed and several wounded.
The result of this affair was most unfortunate.
It was the turning-point of the Florida expedition, for had the smaller Confederate force been driven by Henry
's superior one, and followed up sharply at that time before Finegan