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[137] two or three hours duration he punished them so severely that they retired hastily to Cedar Keys, leaving their dead on the field; the loss on our part 6 wounded. Our men inflicted on the enemy a loss of 70 in killed, wounded and captured, and captured a quantity of cattle, wagons and other property which the enemy had taken on the march. Captain Dickison and his men started on this service the day after they had returned from the last on the St. John's river, where, without the loss of a man, they killed 4 of the enemy, including the adjutant, and captured 88 prisoners, including a lieutenant-colonel and 3 captains, an ambulance and 10 wagons with their teams, a number of small arms and horses and several thousand pounds of cotton. The lieutenant-colonel (Wilcoxson) captured was mortally wounded, and has since died in hospital at this place.

On the 4th inst. a fleet of fourteen vessels, most of them transports, appeared off Saint Mark's lighthouse and landed a force estimated from 1,500 to 2,000 men, Brig.-Gen. John Newton commanding. On the 5th they moved inland, retarded in their march by a part of the Fifth battalion Florida cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Scott commanding. They reached Newport in the afternoon, after capturing a piece of artillery, the horses of which became unmanageable, shelled the village and burned two houses on the left bank. We burned the bridge at that point. I went to Newport early in the night of the 5th, where I found Brigadier-General Miller, who had promptly gone there with a company of cadets and a small body of militia. On the first intimation that the enemy had landed, the militia were called out and all the available troops in the district within reach were ordered to Tallahassee. During the night of the 15th, the enemy left a detachment opposite Newport and moved the principal force up to cross the St. Mark's at the Natural Bridge. Brigadier-General Miller, anticipating the movement, sent Colonel Scott with a small body of cavalry to meet them there. I ordered the reserves, militia and two sections of artillery, and the force at Newport under command of General Miller, to the same point. They arrived at the Natural Bridge about 4 o'clock in the morning, just in time to meet and repel two attacks. The enemy then formed under cover of a thick hammock and kept up an obstinate fight at intervals for ten or twelve hours.

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