dispatch from this vigilant officer stated that the enemy were at Levyville and a portion of their command moving in the direction of Lake City
This was communicated to headquarters at Tallahassee
, whence orders came to move forward, with all the force available, to get in the rear of the enemy and harass them until General Miller
could arrive with his brigade, which would soon leave by train for Lake City
, and thence march through the country with all the ordnance stores needed.
Dickison at once set out with 52 men from Company H, under Lieutenants McCardell
, and 20 from Company H, Fifth battalion of cavalry, in command of Lieutenants Haile
, with one 12-pound howitzer, commanded by Lieutenant Bruton
The prisoners were forwarded to Tallahassee
under a strong guard.
Though almost broken down by fatigue, Dickison
's men pressed on with great rapidity.
A scout reported that the enemy had left Levyville in a hasty retreat.
It was soon found to be impossible to cut them off. Just before sundown they reached ‘No. 4,’ near Cedar Keys
, about 4 miles in the rear of the enemy.
When night came on a halt was ordered and a strong picket put out. At daylight the next morning the following troops reported to Captain Dickison
: Captain Sutterloh
, with 18 men from the outpost, and the militia numbering 37 men, under Captains King
, making our entire force 160 men, including the artillery.
A courier brought in a dispatch that General Miller
was about 50 miles in our rear, on the road leading from Lake City
Confident that the enemy would fall back to the island, under cover of their gunboats, it was decided to engage them at once.
The enemy's force consisted of two regiments of white and negro troops, from 600 to 700 strong, occupying a strong position behind the high embankment of the railroad.
put out a picket line on his right and, with 142 men, moved and encountered the fire