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‘ [135] honor to report that my picket of two men on the east side of the St. John's river intercepted the courier line between St. Augustine and Jacksonville, killing four of the enemy and wounding the fifth, capturing two horses and the mails from St. Augustine and Jacksonville. I have allowed the gallant party to retain these horses for their use, and hope this reward to brave men may meet with approbation from the department.’

After the defeat of the Federals at Cedar Keys on the 13th of February, 1865, they determined upon making another effort to capture Tallahassee, and for this purpose an expedition was planned by Gen. John Newton for a concentration of forces from Cedar Keys, Punta Rassa and Key West, to land in the neighborhood of St. Marks and, in conjunction with a naval force, ascend the river. Landing their forces of cavalry, infantry and artillery at the lighthouse, they marched to Newport and, finding that the bridge had been burned, advanced about 8 miles further up to the Natural Bridge, where some of our troops had taken position and were ready to meet them. This was a surprise to the enemy, as the opinion prevailed that our forces were so scattered from Fort Myers to the extreme western border of the State that it would be an opportune time for a successful expedition.

Our troops made a most gallant and determined charge, repulsing the Federals at every point until they were forced to fall back to their gunboats, sustaining a very heavy loss. In this engagement the negro troops were commanded by Maj. Edmund C. Weeks, who a few weeks previous had been completely defeated and routed by Dickison's command and the militia forces at ‘No. 4,’ near Cedar Keys. During the dark days when our people were passing through the fiery furnace of the reconstruction stage and withering under carpet-bag rule, Major Weeks, with other carpet-baggers, made his home in the city of Tallahassee. Among the captured papers was an order from his commanding general, John

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Edmund C. Weeks (2)
John Newton (1)
Jackson Captain Dickison (1)
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February 13th, 1865 AD (1)
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