's battalion of cavalry, one independent company of cavalry and a few independent companies of infantry, assisted in every emergency by civilians, who were ever ready to fall into line.
After the bombardment of Pensacola
and its subsequent evacuation, the Confederate forces, consisting of Alabama
regiments and a detachment of Florida
troops, had taken strong positions a few miles from Pensacola
, guarding all approaches to Mobile
against any expedition that might advance from Pensacola
Vigilance at every point was our only security at this trying crisis—one that indicated that the great conflict was rapidly determining to a momentous issue.
Even in the darkest hour hope lured us on. God, the Creator and Supreme Ruler of the Universe, alone governs the destiny of nations.
To man—the master work of His hand—is given dominion over earthly things, subject to His gracious overruling and by Him led to carry out His deep designs and work His will.
What God has wrought let no one make the impious attempt to destroy.
‘He is His own interpreter.’
The principal problem in the summer of 1864 was to cover with the forces at our command the large area of country lying between the St. Mary's
and the St. John's rivers
, and the more thickly populated counties between the rivers and the Gulf coast
The Federals, still in strong force at Jacksonville
under the protection of their gunboats, could advance at will into the country.
Our only practicable preparation was in providing all facilities for a rapid concentration of our forces and making such dispositions of detachments of infantry and cavalry as would check and harass the enemy in his approach.
The cavalry formed a valuable adjunct in such operations.
's battalion was in position at Camp Milton; Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick
, Second Florida cavalry, in the neighborhood of Cedar creek
and Front creek
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