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[87] expressed to Captain Dickison ‘the high appreciation in which you and your command are held. The faithfulness, promptness and superior judgment which you have at all times manifested, give assurance of those soldierly qualities which inspire confidence and command respect and admiration everywhere.’

The following communications from Adjutant-General Barth to Captain Dickison commanding, will give a clearer idea of the stirring events that followed and the operations of this gallant command:

April 30th—The enemy, about a regiment strong, are reported as being at Fort Butler in Volusia county on the evening of the 28th inst. The major-general commanding desires that you be on your guard and ready for any emergency.

May 3d—Your dispatch of the 30th ult. relative to the enemy being at Fort Butler was received last evening, and the major-general commanding directs me to say that your dispositions as detailed therein are fully approved.

May 11th—Another company is ordered to report to you. Major-General Anderson approves your suggestions and directs that you strike the enemy whenever you have an opportunity of doing so to advantage.

May 17th—Capt. J. W. Pearson's company is ordered to leave Orange Springs. This change will render it necessary for you to watch the approaches to Marion and Sumter counties.

In obedience to these instructions Captain Dickison, accompanied by two of his men, reconnoitered near the enemy's post on the river side opposite Welaka; and the next day at sundown, with a detachment of 35 men of his command, accompanied by Capt. H. A. Gray, Second Florida cavalry, with 25 of his command, marched 9 miles before reaching the St. John's river. Under cover of night they crossed the river in their small boats, then marched 7 miles to reach the enemy's post. At daybreak they arrived at Welaka. Placing two detachments on the flank of the enemy, Dickison moved in on the center with a detachment, capturing the pickets and completely

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