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Santa Rosa Island, battle on

Fort Pickens stands on Santa Rosa Island, off the harbor of Pensacola. In June, 1861, the 6th New York (Zouave) Regiment, Col. William Wilson, arrived there as a part of the defenders of the fort. There was also a small blockading squadron near. On the night of Sept. 2 a party from Fort Pickens under Lieutenant Shepley burned the dry-dock at the navy-yard at Warrington, and on the night of the 13th about 100 men under Lieut. J. H. Russell, of Commodore Merwin's flag-ship Colorado, crossed over to the navy-yard and burned the Judah, then fitting out for a privateer. There were then near the navyyard about 1,000 Confederate soldiers. These daring feats aroused the Confederates, and they became aggressive. Early in October they made an attempt to surprise and capture Wilson's Zouaves on Santa Rosa Island. About 1,400 picked men, commanded by General Anderson, crossed over from Pensacola in several steamboats, and at 2 A. M. on the 9th landed 4 or 5 miles eastward of the Zouave camp. They marched upon the camp in three columns, drove in the pickets, and completely surprised the Zouaves. The war-cry of the Confederates was “Death to Wilson! No quarter!” The Zouaves fought desperately in the intense darkness while being driven back to the shelter of the batteries, 400 yards from Fort Pickens. There were only 133 effective men. While falling back they were met by Major Vogdes with two companies, which were followed by two other companies, when the combined force charged upon the Confederates, who, having plundered and burned the Zouave camp, were in a disorganized state. They were driven in confusion to their vessels, and were assailed by volleys of bullets as they moved off. One of the vessels was so riddled by bullets that it sank. In this affair the Nationals lost in killed, wounded, and prisoners, sixty-four men. Among the latter was Major Vogdes. The Confederates lost about 150, including those who were drowned.

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William Wilson (3)
Israel Vogdes (2)
George Foster Shepley (1)
John Henry Russell (1)
Merwin (1)
Charles Anderson (1)
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