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[34]

The situation at this time outside of the Pensacola region is described in a letter of October 29th from Governor Milton to President Davis, in which he said that the Third regiment, commanded by Col. W. S. Dilworth, was scattered from Fernandina to the mouth of the St. John's, while the Fourth, composed of eight companies, commanded by Col. Edward Hopkins, was stationed part at St. Vincent's island, part at St. Marks under Captain Dial, and at the lighthouse near there, and part at Cedar Keys. The State troops (500 or 600) at Apalachicola were under command of the governor's aide-de-camp, Col. Richard F. Floyd.

On the morning of November 22d began the most imposing military demonstration in the history of Florida, the artillery battle between Fort Pickens assisted by the men-of-war Niagara and Richmond, and Fort McRee and other Confederate batteries. The thunder of the guns continued through two days, and considerable damage was done to the works on each side, the Federal commander testifying that the Confederate fire was ‘heavy and well directed.’ The loss of life was small and the result indecisive, except as it indicated that the batteries which had been erected along the coast fronting Pickens could not be expected to do much more against her than maintain the defensive.

General Bragg reported that the enemy opened fire about 9:30 a. m. from Fort Pickens and all his outer batteries without the slightest warning.

His first shots were directed principally upon the navy yard and Fort McRee, the former known to be occupied by women and children and non-combatants, and used by us for defensive purposes only. In less than half an hour we were responding, and the enemy distributed his fire on our whole line. Soon after Fort Pickens opened two large naval steamers, supposed to be the Niagara and Hartford, took position due west from Fort McRee and within good range, from whence they poured in broadsides of the heaviest

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