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‘ [59] credit me with a much larger force than I have. At Lake City they skirmished heavily with my forces for several hours, till they discovered my works and artillery, when they withdrew and retreated to Sanderson. I was not in a position to follow.’

After the main body of the Federal force had reached Barber's plantation, the advance was delayed for want of transportation. General Gilmore, who had accompanied the expedition, returned from Baldwin to Jacksonville and thence sailed for Hilton Head, where he issued a proclamation, announcing that he had occupied Florida, and calling on the people of the State to take the oath of allegiance to the United States. Before leaving he instructed Seymour to hold Baldwin and the south fork of the St. Mary's as his outposts from Jacksonville, and occupy Palatka and Magnolia, on the St. John's. But on the 7th, Seymour informed him that he was advancing toward the Suwannee river, though without supplies. Gilmore answered hastily, complaining that Seymour was not following instructions and repeating that the objects of the Florida expedition were as follows: First, to bring Florida into the Union; second, to revive the trade on the St. John's river; third, to recruit the negro regiments and organize a regiment of Florida white troops; fourth, to cut off in part the Confederate supplies drawn from Florida. On the morning of February 20th, General Seymour moved out from Barberjs, with all the disposable force at his control, ‘with the intention,’ he afterward reported, ‘of meeting the enemy at or near Lake City, and of then pushing the mounted force to the Suwannee river, to destroy if possible the railroad bridge at that stream.’

By the 13th of February there was concentrated near Lake City a Confederate force of 4,600 infantry, 600 cavalry and three field batteries, 12 guns. This force was organized into two brigades. The First brigade, Col. A. H. Colquitt, included the Sixth, Nineteenth, Twenty-third, Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth

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