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[412] before night, and get there more in a hurry than they were when they passed forward. Again the devoted soldiers formed, and set out in three columns, keeping, as before, near the railroad track. The column on the right was led by Colonel Barton, of the Forty-eighth New-York, in command of his brigade, consisting of the Forty-seventh, Forty-eighth, and One Hundred and Fifteenth New-York regiments. The column in the centre was made up of the cavalry, under Major Stevens; the mounted infantry, under Colonel Guy V. Henry; the Seventh Connecticut, Colonel Hawley; and the Seventh New-Hampshire, Colonel Abbott. The left was commanded by Colonel Montgomery. under whom were the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, Colonel Hallowell; the First North-Carolina, Lieutenant-Colonel Reed; and the Eighth United States volunteers, under Colonel Fribley.

About six miles from Sanderson, the rebel pickets were driven in by our cavalry, and fell back upon their main forces, posted between swamps about two miles from Olustee, a railroad station ten miles beyond Sanderson. The railroad intersected their position. Their line rested upon the right on an earthwork, very low and slight, and protected by rifle-pits. In their centre they were defended by a swamp. On their left was a slight elevation, concealed by pines, among which their cavalry was drawn up. On the railroad track a battery was placed to operate against the left of our line, or capable of being turned against the centre. A rifled gun was mounted on a truck, and commanded the road. Sharp-shooters swarmed in the pine-tops.

The position chosen by the rebels for our troops to occupy, and which they did occupy during the temporary exigencies of the occasion, was between two swamps; that one in our front prevented a charge upon the rebels' front, that one behind was to impede our retreat. The railroad could only be reached by going up to the waist in water, or by an immense detour. To fall away from the railroad was to cut ourselves off from our reserves, which were coming up on the left of the track, and to endanger the safety of our train, which also was near the reserve. Nothing could have been better planned or more civilly acquiesced in than was this whole scheme. General Seymour accepted the issue just as it stood, pushed the guns into position upon low ground about eighty yards from the nearest rebel battery, and saw his gunners and their horses shot down with unmatched equanimity.

The Seventh New-Hampshire had so deadly a fire poured into their ranks that they broke and fell back in confusion. Dissatisfaction and want of confidence had been created in the regiment by depriving it of the “Spencer repeating-rifle,” and the issue, instead, of Springfield muskets in bad condition; some lacking locks, others rusted or wanting crews, proper springs, or otherwise useless. Unable to protect themselves with these curious weapons, one wing of the regiment gave way and could not be rallied. The other wing, which had retained the “Spencer” arm, remained until they had expended their ammunition, and their officers could supply no more. Then they withdrew to the rear, and the Eighth (colored) United States volunteers, commanded by Colonel Fribley, was pushed forward to stand the brunt of the enemy's fire.

In twenty minutes, three hundred and fifty men, including the Colonel, (killed,) were stricken down by the storm of bullets. They were withdrawn, and the left did not again offer any vigorous resistance to the enemy. Meanwhile, on the right and centre, persistent efforts were made to crush in our lines. A rapid and furious cannonade and concentric fire was poured in. The cannon-shots generally crashed among the trees, and brought down, among the wounded in the rear, branches of the pines, to inflict gratuitous injuries upon the helpless men and their attendant surgeons. Three times successively did Dr. Adolf Majes, Chief Medical Officer with the army of Florida, order the removal of the field-hospitals still further to the rear. The enemy's sharp-shooters on the opposite side of the railroad, in the tree-tops or the long grass, poured in bullets upon the bleeding fugitives; and succeeded in making it necessary to remove the wounded eight miles away, to Sanderson.

The stream of disabled men naturally took the railroad track as the easiest path from the battlefield. Unseen enemies pursued them. The spiteful bullets whistled near them. Many were thus killed; among others Colonel Fribley, of the Eighth United States colored, who was being removed from the scene by one of his lieutenants, when both were mortally wounded.

The centre stood firmly until desired to fall back, in order to give the batteries a better and more elevated position. Captain Hamilton, with battery M, Third United States artillery, lost two Parrott guns by the death of his men and horses, after fighting continuously for an hour and a half. Captain Langdon, of the First United States artillery, lost three brass Napoleon guns in the same way. First Lieutenant E. Eddy, of the First United States artillery, received a wound in his leg, and First Lieutenant T. McCrae, of battery M, First United States artillery, was also wounded. Captain Hamilton was wounded in the arm.

Desperate assaults on the Union right failed to drive in the brave One Hundred and Fifteenth New-York, holding the extremity of the line. The genial and chivalrous Colonel S. Sammiss was wounded in the foot; Major Walrath's shoulder-strap was cut away by a bullet. He will soon replace it with a device proper to a lieutenant-colonel. With the imperturbable cheerfulness and the cool courage which distinguished him, he moved along the line, cheering and encouraging his soldiers. They lost dreadfully. Among the killed were Second Lieutenant Schaeffer, company G, and Second Lieutenant W. Tompkins, company C. Captain G. Vanderbeer was wounded in the leg and breast; Second Lieutenant J. Davis, of company A, was fatally wounded in the breast, and was left on the retreat at Sanderson, to be treated by the rebels. Second Lieutenant


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