under Captain Gray
he promptly returned to his encampment, verified the report, and hurried a dispatch to headquarters, requesting the commanding officer
to return his command at once, that he might hold the enemy in check and prevent an invasion of the interior.
Meanwhile he took a small detachment from Captain Rou
's company, under Lieutenant Dell
, and with 15 of his pickets made a reconnoissance, meeting a battalion of cavalry, which with greatly superior force pushed him back, captured three of his pickets and took possession of his camp.
then sent to Orange Springs
for Capt. W. A. Owens
' command of militia, and late that evening Company H returned.
Next morning Captain Dickison
moved forward cautiously, sending Lieutenant McEaddy
in advance, who soon reported the presence of the enemy.
Presently his advance encountered the enemy's rear guard and a hot skirmish commenced.
Very soon Captain Dickison
was up with the main force of the enemy, consisting of one battalion of well mounted cavalry, about 280 strong, armed with Spencer rifles, six shooting navy pistols and sabers.
Scorning all odds, charge after charge was made by our brave men, the enemy giving way sullenly.
They were 6 miles from Palatka
, at which place they had a large force of infantry and artillery, not less than 3,000 or 4,000 strong; but our little band of determined men continued to press on, driving back the ruthless invaders of our homes, killing, wounding and capturing them, until the hill overlooking the city of Palatka
with about 30 men was engaged in a hand-to-hand fight, the rest of the command having charge of prisoners, when the commanding officer
of the Federals
ordered them to cease firing.
This indicated a surrender, and the Federals
, coming down from a half-speed to a walk, threw our men more than half way down the enemy's lines.
, believing it a surrender, ordered his men to cease firing, and dashed down the line to prevent any escape.
Just at this critical moment the enemy