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.
, who had accompanied the expedition, returned from Baldwin
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
, on the St. John
's. But on the 7th, Seymour
informed him that he was advancing toward the Suwannee river
, though without supplies.
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