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[29] fired ineffectually at our troops, and was himself instantly shot down. The alarm having been thus given, and it becoming impossible to conceal our advance further from the enemy, I ordered Colonel Jackson to push his way through the thickets to the middle of the island, and advance as rapidly as possible. The guards and outposts of the Zouaves were now rapidly driven in or shot down, and the progress of a few hundred yards, quickly accomplished by Colonel Jackson, brought him upon the camp of the enemy in advance of either of the other battalions. Without a moment's delay he charged it with the bayonet, but met with no resistance. The camp was almost entirely deserted, and our troops speedily applied the torch to the tents, storehouses and sheds of Wilson's Zouaves.

In the meantime Colonels Chalmers and Anderson, advancing along the shores of the island, encountered pickets and outposts, with which they had some sharp skirmishing, but quickly beat them off and joined in the work of destroying the camp. This having been most thoroughly executed, the troops were reassembled, with a view to proceeding against and destroying the batteries which lay between the camp and Fort Pickens; but daylight appearing, and there being no longer a possibility of a surprise of the batteries, I directed the signal for retiring to be sounded and the troops to be put in march for the boats. At about half way between the Zouave camp and the point of embarkation of our troops we encountered two companies of United States regulars, which had passed us under the cover of the darkness and posted themselves behind a dense thicket to intercept our retiring column, and a very sharp but short skirmish ensued. The enemy was speedily driven off, and our troops resumed their march. The re-embarkation was successfully accomplished, and the order given to the steamers to steer for Pensacola, when it was discovered that a hawser had become entangled in the propeller of the Neaffie, and that she could not move.

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Fort Pickens (Florida, United States) (1)
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