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Doc. 34. attack on Santa Rosa Island. October 9, 1861.

Colonel Brown's report.

Headquarters, Department of Florida, Fort Pickens, October 11, 1861.
Colonel: I briefly reported to you on the 9th instant that the rebels had landed on this island, partially destroyed the camp of the Sixth regiment New York Volunteers, and had been driven off by our troops. I now report in more detail the results of the attack. For the better understanding of the several movements, it may be well to state that the enemy landed about four miles from this fort. The place may be recognized on the map by three ponds and a mound — that the island there is about three-fourths of a mile wide; that a short distance below it narrows to some two hundred yards, then widens again, and at the camp the distance across is about five-eighths of a mile; that a succession of three or four sand ridges run on the sea side, parallel to the coast, along the island; and low, swampy ground, interspersed with sand hillocks, some bushes, and a few trees, extend along the harbor side, both shores being sandy beach. Wilson's camp is near the sea-coast, and a short mile from the fort. The two batteries spoken of in this report, and to which he retreated, batteries Lincoln and Totten, are the first on the harbor, and the other on the Gulf side, about four hundred yards from Fort Pickens.

About two o'clock on the morning of the 9th instant I was awakened by the officer of the day, who reported that a picket driven in had reported the landing of sixty men on the point. Having little confidence in the correctness of the report, I directed that no alarm should be made; and shortly after he reported that the alarm was false.

About half-past 3 o'clock he again reported that volleys of musketry were heard at the camp of the Sixth New York Volunteers. I immediately ordered the roll to be beaten, Major Vogdes to take two companies and proceed to the spot, and Major Arnold to man the guns on the ramparts on the space. About half an hour after this time the firing was heavy, and the light of the burning camp was seen; and I sent a staff officer to communicate with Major Vogdes, who returned very soon, and said that he had fallen in with a large body of the enemy on the inside shore and could not find the Major. [84]

Pensacola harbor.


I immediately ordered Major Arnold to proceed to support Major Vogdes with two companies, and at the same time sent an order to Colonel Wilson to advance and attack the enemy. I also despatched a staff officer on board the steamer McClellan, with orders for him to take position opposite the landing place and open on the enemy; unfortunately at the same time directing him to go to the Potomac, lying near, and ask for some men to assist him, in ease landing was necessary. Captain Powell directed him to tow his ship to the scene of action, which so delayed him that he did not arrive until after the enemy had vacated. Captain Powell acted from the best motives, and, under ordinary circumstances, from correct principles. But the result was unfortunate; as the McClellan could have driven the rebel steamers away, and we must have made prisoners of most of the invaders.

At the request of Major Arnold, late in the morning, I sent forward a light field-gun, which, however, did not reach him until the affair was over.

As I propose only briefly to allude to the volunteers, I respectfully refer you to the official report, marked A, of the colonel of the regiment. The picket of this regiment and the guards sustained its principal if not entire loss, and behaved well. Capt. Daly's company, on duty with the regulars, did good service, and the Captain is spoken of by Major Arnold in terms of high approbation. He had two men killed. Capt. Bailey's company was at a battery, and not called out. He was performing his appropriate duty during the fight.

Major Vogdes, with Companies A, First Artillery, and E, Third Infantry, proceeded beyond the Spanish fort, about a mile from this fort, when, from the obscurity of the night, he found himself and command completely intermingled with the enemy. He was immediately recognized, and made prisoner; the command devolving on Capt. Hildt, of the Third Infantry, who disengaged his command from their perilous position, and opened a heavy fire on the enemy, and finally, with great gallantry, forced them to retreat, (he being ably supported by Lieut. Seely, my assistant adjutant-general, who volunteered for the occasion,) with a loss of eleven killed.

Major Arnold at this moment came up and, the enemy retreating, followed on. During this time Major Tower and Lieut. Jackson, whom I had successively sent on to push forward the Zouaves, succeeded in getting some collected, and Col. Wilson also advanced — the enemy precipitately retreating. Major Arnold, with Capt. Robertson and Lieut. Shipley's companies, promptly followed, and attacked, as they were embarking, the other companies arriving up successively. Capt. Robertson opened a heavy fire, at short musket range, on the crowded masses, and Lieut. Shipley, some fifteen minutes later, joined him, and their fire must have been very effective.

This was continued so long as they were within range. When they had got beyond it, the gallant Major ordered them to cease firing, and to give them three cheers, to which no response was made. During the time of this occurrence Major Tower came up with two small companies of Zouaves, and subsequently Col. Wilson with a portion of his regiment.

When it is considered that less than two hundred regulars, with some fifty volunteers, pursued five times their number four miles, and expelled them, under a heavy fire, from the island they had desecrated, it will, I trust, be considered an evidence of their having gallantly performed their duty.

The plan of attack of the enemy was judicious; and, if executed with ordinary ability, might have been attended with serious loss. But he failed in all save the burning of one-half of the tents of the Sixth regiment, which, being covered with bushes, were very combustible, and in rifling the trunks of the officers. He did not reach within five hundred yards of either of the batteries, the guns of which he was to spike; nor within a mile of the fort he was to enter pell-mell with the fugitives retreating before his victorious arms! I have now in my possession nine spikes taken from the bodies of the dead, designed for our guns.

Our loss is — of regulars, four killed, twenty wounded, most very slightly, and eight missing, among whom is Major Vogdes; of the Sixth regiment of New York Volunteers, ten killed, nine wounded, and sixteen missing. The enemy lost, as known to us--fourteen killed, including one captain; seven wounded, including one lieutenant, (two since dead;) and five officers and twenty-two enlisted men prisoners; and as he was known to have carried off some of his dead, and probably most of his wounded, those in our hands being all severely so, and unable to be removed, and as the heaviest loss is supposed to have been in the boats, at the re-embarkation, it was probably three times as great, in killed and wounded, as I have named.

I close with the agreeable duty of naming to you the officers engaged, who so faithfully performed their duty. I mention Major Vogdes first, who unfortunately was taken prisoner before a gun on our part was fired, to say that as second in command, and my executive officer, he has efficiently and industriously performed his duty during the whole time of my command, and his services have been very valuable.

Major Arnold, who succeeded to the command after the capture of his superior, conducted the affair with great gallantry, prudence, and ability. He speaks in the highest terms of Captains Robertson and Hildt, and Lieutenants Shipley and Seely, and indeed of all the others whose names I give: Major Tower and Lieut. Reese, of the Engineers; Lieuts. Duryea, Langdon, Jackson, and Taylor, United States Artillery; and Captain Dole, of the New York Volunteers. And it gives me great pleasure to append the names of non-commissioned officers [86] and privates named by their company commanders for distinguished good conduct, and to recommend them to the favorable notice of the Government.

The following are the companies of Major Vogdes and Arnold who participated in the battle, and (with a very few exceptions of individuals) to whom the greatest praise is due: Company A, First Artillery; H, Second Artillery; and Companies C and E, Third Infantry.

I estimated the force of the enemy at twelve or fifteen hundred, having closely observed them through a fine telescope as they retreated. Their two large steamers, and a large barge of equal size, and five or six launches, were all crowded with troops, and the almost unanimous estimate of the officers is fifteen hundred from personal observation.

I am, Colonel, very respectfully, yours,

Harvey Brown, Colonel Commanding. Col. E. D. Townsend, Asst. Adj.-Gen.

P. S.--I have seen a Pensacola paper, which gives their loss as follows: killed, twenty-one; wounded, thirty-eight; prisoners, twenty-two; which probably is not one-fourth their actual loss. General Anderson is severely wounded.

Colonel Wilson's report.

Sixth regiment N. Y. S. V., camp Brown, Fort Pickens, Oct. 14, 1861.
General Arthur--Sir: We have had our first fight. It was a terrible one for the enemy. We lost nine men — wounded, seven; missing, ten--out of what few I had with me. You must know my companions are scattered about. I have with me five companies, numbering three hundred and sixty, of which fifty were sick, forty-seven detailed on service at the fort, and about seventy on guard that night. We have to watch a mile of the beach and three-fourths of a mile in front of our encampment. The island is three-fourths of a mile wide at this point. We had one hundred and thirty-three men to turn out.

On the morning of the 9th instant, at half-past 3 o'clock, the enemy attacked us in three columns, commencing by attacking with small parties of twenty or thirty men every sentinel. Two companies charged the picket tent, the three bodies, numbering in all two thousand men, simultaneously firing volleys of musketry into the hospital and guardhouse. We were out and formed in quick time. The sentinels, the guard, and officers came running in. They had fought retreating, until over-powered, killing quite a number of them. Several of our pickets were killed and wounded. Private W. Scott deliberately waited until one column was within ten feet of him, and then shot the commanding officer, Capt. Bradford. In an instant after we were formed, fronting, as I supposed, the enemy. It was so dark that I could not discover a man ten feet off. We were fired into from three sides. I had just sent out Capt. Harelton with his company to the front as skirmishers, and Capt. Duffy with twenty men to the left flank, to endeavor to find out the whereabouts of the enemy, and draw their fire, when bang, we got it from all sides. By companies and file I wheeled my men into line to the left and returned their fire. At this moment a blaze arose — the tents were all on fire; the quartermaster's and commission store or building was also on fire, all at one time. The distance from the camp to the commission building is an eighth of a mile. We could then see our enemy, for the first time, in dense masses in the centre of our camp and extended along the ridge. Companies were seen moving across the ridges endeavoring to surround us. A large body of men were also drawn up fronting the camp, firing into our camp and us, setting fire to every thing. We retired behind the first ridge toward the sea, halted, and faced the enemy. I had but sixty men with me. I sent out for the rest of my men and officers, but could not find them. Stragglers came in and reported that Lieutenant-Colonel Creighton, Captains Harelton. Huherer, Hotrel, and Lieutenant Silloway had retired toward the fort. On hearing this, I said to my few men: “We will be cut off; they are trying to surround us; we are too few to fight so many,” and they gradually, being in good order, moved toward the beach on to the first battery, where we halted and rested a few moments. We then, as daylight appeared, marched in chase of the enemy. Until this time I heard no news of my men or that of the regulars. I then learned from Major Tower that several companies were in chase of the enemy. We hurried up, some seven miles, and arrived a few moments too late at the place where the enemy were getting slaughtered by our men while they were endeavoring to embark. There were three steamboats and three barges. The enemy lost in killed and wounded about five hundred men. Gen. Anderson led them on. Their war-cry was “Death to Wilson. No quarter to Wilson's Zouaves.” Five thousand dollars was the reward for him dead or alive. All our loss is about twenty killed, fifteen wounded, and twenty prisoners.

Our new clothes are all destroyed. I have lost every thing I had; my men also. They burned us out completely. Our papers and books are burned. My commission is safe. I sent it to the post-office the day before the fight. My men did well. They have smelt gunpowder — now they are all right. We commence the fight to-morrow. They have twelve thousand men. They are exhibiting my hair and head in Pensacola — the reward is already claimed; also an old flag which I nailed to a flagstaff on the 4th of July, which has been hanging there ever since; nothing left, however, but the stars. The ladies have cut it up in pieces, and have it pinned on their bosoms as a trophy. Every one in Pensacola has my sword and uniform. I must have had a large quantity of hair, plenty of swords and uniforms. [87] They say if I was to be taken alive, I was to be put in a cage and exhibited.

Yesterday five Americans and two ladies escaped from Pensacola, and gave us all the news of how they describe the terrible victory. We lay upon our arms every night. I have slept but very little this week. I don't feel well. I have got the diarrhea. We will want eight hundred uniforms.

Your obedient servant,

William Wilson, Colonel Commanding.

Captain Norman's statement.

The following account of the engagement was furnished by Captain Norman, of the Wilson Zouaves:

On the morning of the 9th of October, at three o'clock, it being pitchy dark, the attack was made. On the evening previous to the fight the rebels landed five hundred men on the lower part of the island, and on the same evening two steamboats were noticed to leave Warrenton, which circumstances had the effect of putting the Zouaves a little on their guard. On the muster being called, but two hundred and fifteen of the Zouaves were reported ready for immediate action, several companies of the regiment being sent to Tortugas and intermediate localities. Colonel Wilson and Lieutenant-Colonel Creighton were on the island, however, with their handful of men. The steamboats, with the rebels on board, proceeded to a point three miles below the camp, and succeeded in landing one thousand more men, thus leaving the rebel attacking force on the island, one thousand five hundred in all, the whole under command of General Anderson of the rebel army. They remained under cover of night in this locality up to two o'clock in the morning, when they made a sudden and furious onslaught on the Zouaves.

The night was dark and lowering, so that a man could scarcely be distinguished twenty yards ahead. Not a sound was heard save the regular tramp of the pickets and the voice of command as it rang through the silent night air. The movements of the rebels were conducted with the greatest caution, and the Zouaves little imagined so incensed and blood-thirsty a foe was so near them, panting for their blood, until the first shot was fired, which instantly aroused the camp. Onward, however, through the gloom of the hour the attacking party came, certain of an easy victory. They formed in three columns: one on the right taking the Gulf shore, one in the centre taking centre column, and one on the left taking Pensacola Bay shore.

Previous to this order of march, five rebels were detailed to challenge each picket, and stop their voices forever should they give the alarm too soon. This movement was effectually done, almost at the same instant of time; but the rebels found that, though they had five of their men against one of the Union pickets, yet they had to cope with soldiers and heroes, for the pickets fought with dogged obstinacy. The ground was contested foot by foot, and a hand-to-hand conflict was going on in the mean time. The main body was now fast approaching. Colonel Wilson had his little party of men drawn up in line of battle, expecting the attack to be made on the right, but he, unfortunately, was deceived on this point, it being commenced on the left. About one hundred and fifty men of the regular army had joined the Zouaves from the fort, so that the whole force actually engaged was three hundred and sixty-five, pitted in deadly strife against fifteen hundred rebels.

As the right column was coming up and rounding the hospital, private Scott was challenged by Captain Bradford, of the rebel army, whose men, without waiting for a reply, shot Scott dead on the spot. The gallant soldier fell without a groan. The rebels then sent a volley through the surgeon's tent, but finding they were attacking tile hospital, orders were at once given to march toward the camp. By this time the left wing of the enemy had succeeded in entering the camp of the Zouaves, and now came the most terrible and exciting part of the conflict. Tile pickets being engaged with the right and centre columns of the enemy, and the main body of the Union troops expecting an attack on the right, the left wing of the assailants entered the camp almost without a shot being fired. The enemy then fired a murderous volley into the gallant band, which was returned with unerring aim, causing havoc and confusion among the rebels.

The Zouaves, however, so sudden was the attack, were thrown into confusion, but speedily rallied by the efforts of their officers. The fighting was now conducted with a desperation on the part of the Wilson boys. They, however, did not fight with regard to order. Bush fighting was the mode adopted, and several of the Zouaves were seen to hold their ground against treble their number of opponents for over an entire hour. Various were the acts of daring and impetuous valor displayed in this unequal contest by the Federal troops. Lieutenant Baker, of Company F,. distinguished himself bravely throughout the whole struggle.

Colonel Wilson fought valiantly. Captain Norman was cut off three times by the rebels from the main body, and would have been taken prisoner but for his cool and determined bravery. But for the steady action of the entire force they would no doubt have been cut to pieces.

Capt. Hildt, of the regular army, with but eighty men under his command, it is conceded, did the most service of any officer in the action. When the fighting first commenced, he ordered his company to march down upon tile island, taking the left of the battle. When about a half mile from the camp, he was met by some seven hundred of the enemy, when the most spirited part of the entire conflict began. The little band of eighty men at once attacked the [88] seven hundred, and succeeded in cutting their way through them. The superiority of the Union forces was well attested on this occasion. The command of Captain Hildt were all regular troops to be sure, but then they were pitted against nearly nine times their own number--nine men to one! At this period of the engagement, the rebel General Anderson ordered the retreat to be sounded. When this was done the rebels fell into immediate confusion. The cause of the retreat being sounded appears to be a misconception as to the position of the Union forces, the rebels thinking that they were in their front instead of in their rear. If the Unionists were in their front, between them and the mode of escape from the island, it would be quite natural that in retreating toward the shore they should overwhelm their assailants. But this mistake proved the defeat of the rebels. In retreating they ran to the right of the island, where they were met by a body of regular troops under command of Adjutant Seely. Running to the left, they also encountered a force of Zouaves, who repelled the attack with great bravery. The Union forces now closed in on the rebels, and they ran like sheep down to the shore, pursued by their brave antagonists. The battle cry of the enemy was, “No quarter for Wilson and his men;” but they found that the first part of the sentence would be applied with truthful force to themselves. They now pursued their headlong course down to their boats, on board of which they hurried in the greatest confusion. The boats, unfortunately for the enemy, were fast in the mud and could not be got off for some time, with all the exertions that were being made by the steamboats. Now was the time when the carnage commenced in earnest among the rebels. The Federal troops, pursuing them to the shore and concealing themselves behind embankments and other places erected for the better defence of the island, poured down murderous volleys upon the heads of their enemy. Very little defence could be made by the rebels, and they had to receive the balls of their victorious enemy without being able to shelter themselves in any way. The scene of this portion of the contest is described as being dreadful — the cries of agony and the moans of the dying breaking forth through the pauses of the firing; the shouts of the victors and the curses of the defeated, the voice of command and the sharp click of the musket following shortly after — all, indeed, rendered the scene one of horror and heart-sickening. From the proximity of the Zouaves to their defeated foes every ball sped with unerring aim, and it is affirmed that on this occasion alone there could not have been less than one hundred and fifty rebels killed. At length the flatboats were got off by the steamers, but before they got into the centre of the river one of them sunk, riddled with several balls, and many of the rebels here met a watery grave. The morning after the battle a large number of dead bodies were found floating on the water, and nineteen lying dead on the battle-field. The loss of the rebels is estimated at about three hundred and fifty; loss of Zouaves, ten killed and sixteen wounded; regular troops, six killed, twenty wounded, ten prisoners. The Union forces took thirty-five prisoners, three of whom, being surgeons, were let go the next morning. General Anderson, of fillibuster notoriety, who had command of the rebel expedition, was wounded in both arms in the early part of the conflict.

Lieutenant D'orville's statement.

On the night of the 8th instant the enemy commenced landing troops at Deer Point at about nine o'clock in the evening, the moon having gone down. The attacking force was two thousand five hundred in all, one thousand five hundred being engaged in the attack, and one thousand held in reserve on the two steamers. Beside the steamers, there were two large launches and some small boats. The debarkation completed, the enemy divided into three columns, one marching down the south beach, one along the sea-shore, and the other down the centre. Their intention was to surprise and surround the camp, cutting off the retreat of the Zouaves to the fort, and driving us before them. They, however, encountered one of our outstanding pickets about two miles from the camp, who challenged them and fired, killing two of the enemy, but falling himself after being pierced by three balls.

The sergeant of the guard running up to see what was the matter was killed, and the remainder of the picket guard retreated to the main guard, and gave the alarm. By this time the camp was gained, and the men being hastily roused from sleep were drawn up under arms. They advanced under command of Col. Wilson and Lieutenant-Colonel Creighton, and encountered the centre column of the enemy, with whom they exchanged shots. Thinking that the attacking force in the centre was smaller than it really was, one company was left to hold it in check, and the remaining four companies were deployed to the right to prevent the camp from being surrounded. On reaching position, however, it was found that the enemy's left column had already outflanked us, and were actually firing the colonel's quarters, and other tents in our rear. We then turned upon them, deployed by companies as skirmishers to right and left, and surrounded the enemy. A general fight ensued, in which the rebels fought with desperation and malice, and our men stood their ground with unflinching courage. We charged them three times, and at the last got them beyond the camp. They then sounded the retreat and retired in good order for about two miles, when our side being reinforced by two companies from Battery Lincoln and two from the fort, the enemy made off at double quick for their boats. We followed them up as closely as possible, and fired volley after volley into the boats and launches as they pushed off from shore. One of the launches, containing about two hundred and [89] fifty men, was completely riddled by our balls and sunk before our eyes. The steamer Times, which was crowded with troops, got aground while trying to push off, and our men, numbering now five companies, poured their volleys into the mass of human beings for more than half an hour. We could not have killed less than one hundred and fifty to two hundred on board the Times. Among the wounded was the rebel Gen. Anderson, who was hit in both arms. One of the Zouaves, familiarly called “Scotty,” was lying sick in the hospital, but hearing firing leaped out of bed, seized a musket, and was met at the tent door by Captain Bradford, commanding the enemy's right column, who asked, “Who are you?” “I'll show you who I am,” said Scotty, and levelling his piece he shot Bradford through the heart, killing him instantly. Our men took thirty-nine prisoners, including three surgeons, who were released. One of the officers, Lieut. Sayres, of the Louisiana Volunteers, was so severely wounded in the leg as to render amputation necessary. While the enemy were burning our camp their cry was, “No quarter to Wilson's men!” The officers' tents were pillaged and destroyed, and they, as well as their men, lost every thing they had except the clothes they stood in. Col. Wilson lost his clothes and money, but the regimental colors, which were in his tent, were saved by Quartermaster's Sergeant, James Chadwick, who rushed into the burning tent and brought the flag out safely. The regulars all fought exceedingly well. Captain Hildt's company, from the Third Infantry, particularly distinguished itself. Our total loss in killed, wounded, and missing is sixty-five, of whom there were ten Zouaves killed, nine wounded, and nineteen missing. The regiment lost all its tents, baggage, clothing, and ready money. All but the money and clothes, however, were replaced from the fort the next day, and the men are now comfortably quartered again.

Statements of three negro fugitives.

The following is an account of the attack as given by three contrabands who were sent to the North in the McClellan, by Colonel Brown, from Fort Pickens. They are Peter Dyson, an intelligent black man, about thirty-five years of age, who, with his wife, a yellow woman, escaped from a Mrs. Hanson, a boarding-house keeper in Pensacola; they got to Fort Pickens in a skiff about two and a half months ago. Dyson is a first-rate mason and bricklayer, and has worked on the Government forts at Pensacola for the last twenty years. The third is a young colored married woman, about twenty-five years old, who was owned by Cole Crosby, and hired out to a Mrs. Wm. O'Brien, at Pensacola. She left with two men in a sloop, and while beating up for Fort Pickens was fallen in with by the Colorado, and taken on board, and to the fort; her name is Olive Kelly, and she has been at the fort about a month. From the three we glean the folowing:

Between three and four A. M. firing was heard about two miles from the fort, beyond Wilson's camp; and it appeared subsequently, by information got from the prisoners, that a deserter, who had been paid off from Pickens two days previous, had given such information to the Confederates as induced them to land on the inside beach and cross over to the south beach, and so come upon Wilson's camp suddenly, without encountering the heavy guns of the batteries. They first came upon and shot two of Wilson's picket guards and drove in the rest near the old Spanish fort, following up the Zouaves and driving them from the camp, and setting the tents and stores and camp equipage on fire. As soon as a messenger reached the fort, (previous to the fire,) Colonel Brown ordered out thirty regulars, under Major Vogdes and Lieutenants Langley and Taylor, who lost no time in marching to the scene of commotion, where they encountered a large body of the invading force, who surrounded them and demanded their surrender. Major Vogdes, being in advance, seeing himself overpowered and without support from the Zouaves, surrendered as a prisoner, and, with two or three men, was disarmed. Lieutenant Taylor was also grasped by the arm, and told to surrender; but, suddenly extricating himself, drew his sword, and said if they wanted it they must fight for it, and giving the word, “Open order, fire,” to his men, commenced an attack on the enemy, who had been divided whilst setting fire to the tents. In the mean time Lieutenant Langley had galloped back to the fort and obtained from Colonel Brown a reinforcement of two companies of regulars, which marched in double-quick to the conflict.

The Confederates, finding that the alarm was general, and having succeeded in firing the tents, &c., retired before the small body of troops rallied under Lieutenant Taylor, this time taking their route through a swamp-wood and along the inside beach, firing as they retreated on the regulars and some Zouaves who had rallied to their assistance. In this way they reached the rebel flotilla, which consisted of four lighters, a number of six and eight-oared launches, and two steam-tugs, which latter were hard aground at about six o'clock A. M. The landing had taken place at about two miles from the old Spanish fort, and upon first arriving at this point on their retreat, Major Vogdes and the other prisoners were taken off to the launches, the rebels wading over the flats to get to them and aboard the steamers, which did not float for a full half-hour. In the mean time the two companies of regulars had come up, and with a few Zouaves, fired volley after volley upon the rebels. One launch was so riddled that she sunk between the dry dock and navy-yard, as she was being towed back by the steamer, and after the rebels, some of whom were wounded, had been transferred to the steamer. While the steamers were stuck fast, scores were seen to fall over-board under the fire from the shore, and upon [90] information received next day, upon the arrival of a flag of truce, it is supposed that between three and four hundred fell. In the first attack, eight of our side (privates) were killed and two wounded. Fifteen rebels were killed between the camps and Spanish fort, on the retreat before the regulars. They were buried in the sand, but disinterred the next day and delivered over to Lieutenant Slaughter, C. S. A., under the flag of truce. He had come over to reclaim the dead. Twenty-eight prisoners were taken, three of whom were wounded, also three officers, and a Major Anderson, (mortally wounded, and supposed to be a brother of Gen. Anderson, U. S. A.) The latter died, and his body was given up to Lieutenant Slaughter, as were three doctors of the C. S. A. The rebels took on board their boats many wounded, and great numbers were shot dead while wading in the water. Just as the reembarkation of the rebels took place, a steam tug, the Times, made her appearance with reinforcements, but upon seeing the state of things ashore, she contented herself by taking in tow the launches, which had hauled off from under the raking fire of the troops on shore. The flotilla had a narrow escape, as the Potomac, upon observing the fire at Wilson's camp, got under way, and was towed by the McClellan just within shelling distance as the rebels got their steamers afloat, and left the island for the navy-yard. Two false alarms had been given on the previous night, or, Colonel Brown was heard to say, he would, instead of thirty men, have ordered out a sufficient force at once to have given a greater defeat to the rebels.--N. Y. Times, October 27.

Augusta Constitutionalist account.

camp Stevens, Pensacola, Fla., Oct. 9, 1861.
At length we have had an opportunity of being relieved from a state of “masterly inactivity,” and of measuring arms with the enemy near this place. During last night an expedition, composed of detachments of several Confederate companies and regiments, set out for Santa Rosa Island for the purpose of breaking up the encampment of the notorious Billy Wilson and his celebrated Zouaves, who had taken a position on the island. Early in the evening Col. Jackson visited our camp and informed us that he required one hundred and fifty from our regiment (the Fifth Georgia) to perform a very important service; twenty-seven from the Clinch Rifles, and nineteen from the Irish Volunteers. Every man who was willing to volunteer was requested to shoulder arms, and every man came to a shoulder. The captains of the companies were then requested to pick out the required number, which was done. These were taken from the Clinch Rifles, Irish Volunteers, Cuthbert Rifles, and McDuffie Rifles; and were under command of Lieut. Hallonquist, formerly of the United States Army. Lieut. Day, of the Clinch Rifles, being the junior officer, was on the left, but that wing arrived too late to take part in the action.

Col. Jackson accompanied the expedition, and the entire force, which consisted of about twelve hundred men, was under command of Gen. Anderson. About two o'clock this morning we landed on the island, and marched about five miles through the enemy's lines, and into his camp, which we completely destroyed, burning up his tents, &c., and killing his sentinels as we proceeded. The Zouaves were taken almost completely by surprise, but as soon as they recovered, fought desperately; at times, however, they acted rather cowardly; but, upon the whole, gave us some pretty warm work. We finally succeeded in driving them into Fort Pickens, killing quite a number of them, taking some thirty or forty prisoners and a lot of camp equipage and other trophies. Some of our men have brought away money, hats, caps, guns, swords, pistols, and pieces of Billy's standard. Our men acted with great coolness and bravery; and having accomplished the object of our mission, we returned to the main land. As we did so, we found that the balance of the regiment was advancing to reinforce us, but finding us coming back they also returned to the camp.

Our loss has been very severe. Among the killed are Lieut. L. A. Nelms of the McDuffie Rifles, of Warrenton, and aid to Col. Jackson; Joseph H. Adams and Fred. Cooke of the Clinch Rifles; and J. Stanton of the Irish Volunteers. Among the wounded are the following: N. Rice, of the Clinch Rifles, shot in the arm; William H. Smith of the same company shot in the shoulder; J. H. Harris, of the same company, shot on the right ear. I will send you the casualties in the Irish Volunteers as soon as I can obtain them. They have one killed and two wounded. The Clinch Rifles, Irish Volunteers, and McDuffie Rifles faced the front all the time.

James Gorman, of the Volunteers, captured one prisoner; J. H. Harris, of the Clinch Rifles, is set down for two of Abe's dead men, and several others for the same, and for burning the enemy's camp and provender. The man who shot Nelms was also made to bite the dust by one of our own men. Too much cannot be said in praise of the officers and men; and the only regret is, that some of our men were taken prisoners by the enemy. Such is the fate of war, and we must expect, while often successful, to have the cup of victory dashed with the bitters of adversity.

Yours truly,

The following extracts are from private letters received from the volunteers at Pensacola:

We killed about one hundred of them, and lost heavily in killed and wounded on our side, but I do not know the exact number. We also took some thirty or forty prisoners. One of our men got three hundred and forty dollars in cash; William E. McCoy took a gun from one of the enemy; another took the Zouave Major's hat; others took coats, hats, caps, swords, a fine pair of navy pistols; one of our [91] men captured a fine German-silver horn. Ben Bolt — son of Judge Bolt--is missing; we think he has been taken prisoner. The whole regiment was anxious to participate, and were about crossing over to the island this morning, when they met the expedition returning, and all came back together.


We set out, and before daylight were landed on Santa Rosa Island, among Billy Wilson's Zouaves, away below, and marched five miles, fighting several battles before we got off the island — losing several men from the regiment. * * * I never did see as calm a set of men in my life as last night. We killed the Federal sentinels all the way up, and took the enemy by surprise. I was by Gen. Anderson's side, and fired, by his orders, more than a dozen tents — among them the Commissariat; we also burnt up two hundred barrels of flour, several bales of hay, and many other articles. I killed two of Abe's men and took two prisoners while burning the camp. Jim Gorman, of the Irish Volunteers, took one. Barney Haney is a bruiser, and Lieut. Joseph Cummings is as good a man as you'll want to find. Gen. Anderson goes in for destroying rather than killing. By mistake we had some of our men killed by their comrades. We laid down to fire, and many times the sand flew in our faces by the balls striking the ground. I claim the honor of killing the man that killed Nelms. Two of us fired at the same time, but I am satisfied that my shot took effect

J. H.

Pensacola, Fla., Oct. 10, 1861.
The following is the list of casualties in the McDuffie Rifles, of Warrenton, Georgia, in the recent fight with the Federalists on Santa Rosa Island:

Lieut. Shivers is absent; Lieut. Nelms died of a wound — he was shot through the lungs; 2d Sergeant Beddo died of his wounds; 1st Corporal Canton killed and left on the island; Private D. L. Cody missing, supposed to be killed; Privates Allen Casen and L. C. Wheeler wounded, but not dangerously;----Wall, E. E. Cody, and B. Smith wounded very slightly. There was warm work on the island, and a good many of the enemy were killed and wounded. The Fifth Georgia regiment behaved nobly, while the enemy acted cowardly. We have taken some prisoners — among them a Major.

Another secession account.

Mobile, Oct. 10.
The special correspondent of the Mobile Advertiser writing last evening (Wednesday) at Pensacola, sends the following details of the night attack of our forces on Santa Rosa Island:

There were eleven hundred men in the expedition, under Brig. Gen. Ruggles. They crossed over to the island at two o'clock on the morning of Wednesday. At twenty minutes past four, the first gun was fired, and in forty-six minutes all that was left of the numerous camps, the extensive commissary buildings that had been erected there, was but one mass of smouldering ruins. The hospital structure is the only building now standing upon the Island of Santa Rosa.

Wilson's New York Zouaves camp was the first one reached. The sentinels, completely surprised, were either killed or captured, and the whole regiment, with its chief, found safety only in a rapid flight beyond the eastern walls of Fort Pickens. The scenes which occurred when the camp was invaded are described as being ludicrous beyond description or belief. The gallant colonel took to his heels, with nothing but a brief skirted nether garment to cover his nakedness, and the race between him and his valiant braves presented a struggle for precedence more closely contested than any ever witnessed over the race course. Bull's Run was as nothing in comparison with it. Our men pursued the fugitives with determination, pausing now and then to fire a building or encampment, or to drive a rat-tail file into the touchholes of the huge cannon that met them at almost every step. They advanced to within a mile of Pickens. Not a gun from the ramparts was fired to check the advancing column; while the nearest sentinels, including those on the very mound that goes down to the heavy swinging gates of the fortress, were sent to their long account. The expedition having succeeded beyond the hopes of the most sanguine, our forces turned eastward. On their return corpse after corpse of the enemy met their view, while many were badly wounded. Not a gun all this time had been fired from the fleet, whose presence and whose menaces have so long insulted us. Our troops were on the island from two until six in the morning. The boats engaged in the expedition were towed back by the steamers Ewing, Times, and Neafie. Of the Confederates a dozen or more were killed, and twenty-nine were wounded. The latter are now in the hospital at Pensacola. Among the killed are Capt. Bradford of Florida, and Lieut. Nelms of Georgia. The latter, an Adjutant of one of the Georgia regiments, died just as the boat on its return reached the wharf. A braver or more chivalric gentleman and soldier never breathed. Lieut. Sayre, a volunteer aid to Gen. Anderson, was shot through the hip. Some of our exhausted men were probably overlooked and left on the island. Major Vogdes, U. S. A., and some thirty other Federals, are prisoners in our hands. Lieut. Slaughter, of the Mobile Continentals, who was taken prisoner while bearing a white flag to Fort Pickens, has been released.

--N. O. Picayune, Oct. 11.

Atlanta Intelligencer account.

A correspondent of the Atlanta (Georgia) Intelligencer gives the following account of the fight. After describing the landing on the island of the rebel force, to the number of one thousand eight hundred, the writer says:--Ascending [92] the back hill of the beach, we found ourselves among a squad of picket guard, who gave our close ranks a most destructive fire, throwing the company of which I was a member into great disorder. We were charging them with the bayonet, thus hoping to drive them from their strong position, when I rushed in their midst and received a severe blow over the head, which sent me rolling to the foot of the hill. We were in line again, and as friends were engaged with Wilson's Zouaves, and our misfortune had prevented the possibility of cutting off their retreat, we double quickened for those quarters; after a little skirmishing along the way we reached the encampment just in time to see the quarters fired and the guns spiked. The Fifth Georgia and the Tenth Mississippi each claimed the honor of having first reached the tents, &c., and applying the torch. As these composed one column, and they arrived there together, I suppose they will have to share the glory. As much fuss as the Northern papers have made of Wilson's Zouaves, and as proud as the United States is of such “pets,” I think them the most contemptibly cowardly wretches that ever disgraced the face of the earth. Here, in an intrenched camp, where were quartered an entire regiment, having all their clothing, arms, and much property, these men were surprised and fled without firing a gun, except in retreat. This, too, was after we had been fighting all around them, and they ought to have been able to slaughter every man upon the island. They were snugly fixed, and have lost a vast deal, beside being utterly disgraced. We formed round the burning camp and shot down the wretches as they dodged about, and took a good many prisoners. A large hospital building was within the intrenchments, which we left without the slightest molestation. Our men nearly all took some prizes, embracing mules, clothing, guns, pistols, money, swords, &c. I felt interested in other things and made no captures. After remaining till the camps were consumed and our object accomplished, we retreated for our launches, as the fort could not be carried by storm. Amid this excitement and conflagration, the wildest disorder reigned. Companies were disorganized and no such thing as a regiment was known. Our men retired in great confusion, and the line was a confused mass, moving without orders, and almost without object. We expected every moment to be shelled by Pickens and the fleet, which could have swept the island and not left a man. Unfortunately for us they had sent out several companies to intercept our boats and cut off our retreat. These lay behind the sand hills and embankments, and fired upon our disorganized masses. Several attempts were made to rally into line, but without effect. The island is alternate marshes, ravines, and hills, with occasional long sandy plains. Whenever we met these squads, we had to carry the place by storm, yet their advantage was too manifest. They could hide behind sand hills, completely protecting themselves from our bullets, and shoot into our disorganized body for several minutes before we could come upon them. Several times we met these hostile squads and mistook them for friends, occasioning us heavy loss. One time, I remember in particular, we were assailed by a body of Zouaves who stood in a swamp. As they commenced firing we gave the watchword, and were answered, Friends. I thought perhaps they had forgotten the reply, yet they continued to shoot down the men around me at a fearful rate. I noticed them more closely, and could perceive the peculiarity of their dress, and could tell by the whiz of their bullets that they were armed with rifles that were not like ours.

We then turned upon them and soon cleaned out the company. This was the severest tug of all, and we suffered severely before we discovered their complexions. In the spot I fought from I saw some seven or eight of our men fall within five feet of me, while several others fell around. This was about the last skirmish we had, yet straggling bodies fired for miles, doing but little damage. Scattered as we were for such a distance, and exhausted as were our men, they could have completely cut us off with cavalry or flying artillery had they had either. It took a long time for us to reembark. As we were huddled together in open scows, they fell upon us after we were out of reach, and shot several of our men. Their large Enfield rifles carry a ball a great distance, and, elevate my musket as I would, the bullet fell short of the beach, while their balls fell among us or passed just over our heads. Here Brigadier-General Anderson was wounded very severely, though he had passed all danger on the island, and that, too, far in the rear of the enemy.

It was wonderful that our soldiers should have fallen into such disorder and been so entirely given up to excitement. Our men were as brave and daring as it was possible for soldiers to be, and in the presence of the enemy acted with as much gallantry as the occasion warranted. One cause of the confusion of ranks was the strange land we had to climb over and the deep bogs we had to wade. I should rather attempt to scale the ruggedest peak of the Rocky Mountains than to make a forced march on Santa Rosa Island. It is impossible for the best drilled troops in the world to keep in line in such a place. Another thing that prevented was, that the advanced bodies were less tired than the rear, and marched too fast. Again, one section just in front of us had their captain killed and a lieutenant wounded, and came crowding back into our ranks. I scarcely know whether we achieved a victory or suffered a defeat. We did the duty which we went to perform, and did it well; yet we shot down our own friends in numbers. Indeed, I think as many of our men were shot by friends as by foes. Night skirmishing is a dangerous business, especially in an unknown country, as was the island of Santa Rosa. It is impossible to estimate the damage done on [93] either side as yet. I came across and saw at least seventy-five dead bodies; to which side they belonged I could not always tell. The column that fired the Zouave camp report a great many killed while escaping from their tents. The loss of the enemy is perhaps fifty killed and twenty taken prisoners. I do not know any thing about the wounded. We captured a major, captain, and lieutenant among the prisoners. Gen. Bragg sent a boat over to Fort Pickens this morning for the dead. They gave them up, and report only fifteen bodies found and thirty prisoners. I fear the loss may prove heavier after investigation. The siege is momentarily expected to commence, and every preparation made; perhaps it will happen as soon as the dead and wounded are cared for and the soldiers have rested from last night's fatigue. The enemy appear boastful that we did not assault the fort after we had driven their men in, and gone almost under its guns. We accomplished all, and, the great misfortune is, more than we intended.

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