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[79] An independent company of 53 men, selected from the Fifth Georgia regiment and Captain Homer's company of artillery, lightly armed with pistols and knives, carrying materials for spiking cannon, burning and destroying buildings and gun carriages, was placed under command of Lieutenant Hallonquist. Lieutenant Nelms, adjutant of the Fifth regiment, was attached to this command, and Surgeon Tompkins was one of the medical officers in attendance.

The troops were carried to Pensacola by steamer on the night of the 8th, then embarked on other boats about midnight, and two hours later were landed secretly on the sandy island several miles beyond Fort Pickens. The object was to put the forces between the fort and the camp of the New York Zouaves, under Col. Billy Wilson, and capture the latter. For this purpose Anderson's and Chalmers' battalions took opposite sides of the island, followed by Jackson and Hallonquist at first in the rear of Chalmers. After a march of three or four miles a sentinel suddenly encountered by Chalmers' command was shot down, the alarm thereby being given to the Federal camp. Jackson immediately pushed his way through the thickets to the middle of the island and advanced as speedily as possible toward the camp. His command of Georgians rapidly drove in or shot down the outposts, and a rush of a few hundred yards brought them at charge bayonet into the camp ahead of either of the battalions. But they found the camp deserted, the Zouaves having been warned in time by the unfortunate shot at the sentinel. The Georgians speedily burned the tents, storehouses and sheds, but as daylight arrived before a newly-concerted advance could be arranged against the enemy's batteries between the camp and fort, such as would insure success, the march back to the boats was ordered. During the withdrawal a sharp skirmish occurred with two Federal companies which attempted to intercept the retreat. While the troops were embarking

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Fort Pickens (Florida, United States) (1)

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James R. Chalmers (3)
John K. Jackson (2)
Hallonquist (2)
Billy Wilson (1)
J. W. Tompkins (1)
Llewellyn A. Nelms (1)
Homer (1)
J. Patton Anderson (1)
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8th (1)
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