I accordingly ordered Colonel Clinch to occupy the left with his regiment and Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick with the Second Florida cavalry to take position on the right. Early in the action Colonel Clinch received a severe wound in the leg which made it necessary for him to retire from the field and the command of his regiment then devolved upon Captain Brown, who kept an efficient guard on the left flank while Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick protected the right. On two occasions I discovered that the enemy was attempting to cross the railroad on the right of our infantry, evidently for the purpose of turning that wing, when I directed Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick to dismount a portion of his regiment and drive him back, which he did effectually. Thus by the vigilance of the cavalry on the right and left, the enemy was prevented from deploying his large force so as to turn either flank. The Fifth Florida cavalry battalion, commanded by Maj. G. W. Scott, was not brought upon the field until late in the evening, in consequence of the jaded condition of the men and horses from hard service for the twenty hours preceding. He, however, joined Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick on the right, about the middle of the contest, and rendered him prompt assistance. The fight terminating at night and our infantry lines not being perceptible to me through the woods, and the face of the country being cut up by swamps, making it very favorable for ambushing under cover of night, I deemed it inadvisable to push forward with the whole cavalry force until further information could be had of the position of affairs. In addition to this, after the order to move forward was being executed, another order was received to the effect that we were getting under the fire of our men and also that I should beware of an ambush. I attached the more importance to this order because it had already been discovered that a large body of the enemy's cavalry were resting on the opposite side of a swamp from us. The cavalry, however, as soon as
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