o'clock the next morning, a period of 25 hours, the last boat, bearing Captain Dickison
, landed, greeted by repeated shouts of welcome.
After ten days from the time Dickison
left his headquarters he returned with his proud command, all rejoicing over their brilliant victory, and feeling richly rewarded for the dangers and privations they had experienced by the assurance that the loyal citizens on the east side of the river, who had lived in constant dread of raiding parties, would now enjoy a happy security from their merciless enemies, who were now restrained in their vandalism by the brilliant and signal successes of our gallant and intrepid men in every expedition they had ventured upon in that section of country.
During the absence of the brave defenders of our homes, a weary period of ten days sad vigil, loved ones suffered great anguish of heart and every citizen felt the most intense anxiety.
Appreciating the distress of such harrowing suspense Dickison
lost no time in sending dispatches to his telegraph operator at Waldo
, a distance of 50 miles, to be forwarded to the department at Tallahassee
, also to his family at Quincy
The bearer of these dispatches was D. G. Ambler
, a member of Company H, Second Florida cavalry, whose fearlessness and executive ability admirably fitted him for any important trust.
On this memorable occasion, as on every other, he was not found wanting, and soon the electric current did its heaven-directed work.
The wires flashed joy into every heart, and loud peans were heard from every home in the ‘land of flowers,’ and the good tidings borne to our sister States made glad the whole Southland, for all hearts beat as one that were enlisted in our sacred cause.
On the night Captain Dickison
returned from his expedition just described, he received a dispatch from Capt. E. J. Sutterloh
, reporting the enemy landing in large force at Cedar Keys
, under cover of their gunboats, and marching out in the interior.
A few hours later, another