Disregarding his instructions, Seymour
prepared to execute the advance which he had resolved to make, seemingly in complete ignorance of the enemy's force.
Disaster and failure were inevitable.
By letter on the 17th, he informed Gillmore
that he would move to the Suwanee River
to destroy the railroad.
His letter closed with a postscript reflecting upon all his higher officers in these words: ‘Send me a general for the command of the advance troops, or I shall be in a state of constant apprehension.’
On the 18th Gillmore
did send him a general in the person of General Turner
, his chief of staff, not for the purpose requested, but to suspend the movement, bring Seymour
back to Baldwin
, and deliver letters expressing his surprise at the advance.
, delayed many hours by stormy weather, reached Jacksonville
was engaged with the enemy.
In response to calls in every direction for help, General Finegan
began to receive aid immediately after our retirement from Lake City
On the 13th, with a force numbering two thousand men, he moved forward toward Sanderson
, taking post at Olustee
, where he constructed strong works, to better defend his position.
Reinforcements continued to join, so that on the 18th he had forty-six hundred infantry (largely veterans), about six hundred cavalry, and three batteries of twelve guns.
The enemy's knowledge of our force was accurate, and of our plans considerable, for despatches from Gillmore
at Folly Island
were intercepted and deciphered.
therefore stripped his garrisons elsewhere to meet us in Florida
A diversion made by General Schimmelfennig
on John's Island, S. C.
, occurred too early, and another by Col.