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[99] the bridge being burned, compelling him to cross a ford higher up. He reports that from the appearance of their camps their force must have been larger than had been reported. He did not come up with the enemy, they having taken to their boats. Major Scott then returned with his command, and on the 19th reoccupied Camp Milton and re-established his videttes on the line of Cedar creek. It is but due to Captains McElvey and Gwynn and Lieutenant Cone, who were sent to watch the enemy, to say that I consider their statements entirely reliable. They are cool, intelligent and discreet officers, and gentlemen of unquestioned veracity.

It was the determined purpose of the general commanding at Hilton Head to make such vigorous advances in the interior of Florida with overwhelming forces, that our troops would be forced, after a desperate resistance, to surrender or retire into Georgia and fall in with our army concentrating there. ‘His dream at midnight in his guarded tent’ was of the hour when Florida, her knee in suppliance bent, should tremble at his power. But the trophies of a conqueror were not for him. Florida's beautiful capital, Tallahassee—the rose garden of the State, the city of fairest women—was never captured. The enemy held every place on our Atlantic coast, and at Key West, a Gibraltar for them, their fleet could be reinforced at will and expeditions sent out to bombard every important town and city on the Gulf coast. Once obtaining possession of east Florida their victory would be complete, and soon the entire State would be under Federal authority.

About the 15th of July, indications pointing to an advance of the enemy toward Cedar creek and Camp Milton, Captain Dickison was ordered to report with his command at the headquarters of the general commanding. On the march he was overtaken by a courier from his pickets on the river, with the information that the enemy had landed a large force at Palatka. Sending his men forward

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G. W. Scott (1)
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