meet him at or near Braddock
's farm, about 6 miles east of the river.
He then rapidly proceeded with his detachment.
They had marched but a few miles when Lieutenant McEaddy
, commanding the advance, met a detachment of cavalry under Captain Staples
and captured 1 man and 2 horses, the others making their escape in the swamp near by. Upon reaching the main road, a bright moonlight smiling upon them, they continued to press forward until midnight, when a halt was ordered for an hour.
They continued their march, every few miles meeting deserters on their way to St. Augustine
Gaining all the information desired from them they were sent to the rear as prisoners.
On the evening of the third day they learned from two deserters who were just from Wilcoxson
's headquarters at Braddock
's farmhouse, only 2 miles distant, that they were making ready to start back their wagons loaded with cotton.
then advanced a little nearer, halted, and arranged his little command for a desperate encounter, as he well knew the enemy outnumbered him two to one, their regiment a fine and well disciplined one. Lieutenant McEaddy
, the only commissioned officer with him except his surgeon, Dr. Williams
, was directed to keep his men in good line, ready for the charge, the signal to be given to him from the head of the advance by a wave of his handkerchief.
Moving on slowly, his surgeon by his side, he saw the enemy at some distance moving down a long hill with a heavy train of wagons.
He could see them marching along in no particular order by the side of the wagons, having no advance guard, as they had just left their headquarters.
A branch being between the enemy and our men, he ordered our advance, consisting of 10 men under Sergt. William Cox
, to dismount and take position at the branch and await orders.
The enemy halted not over 150 yards distant, and our advance under the excitement fired into them without orders.