Today in History:

37 Series I Volume XXXV-I Serial 65 - Olustee Part I


Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, and one section of Light Battery A, Third Rhode Island Artillery, all in command of Colonel Harris, Seventy-fifth Ohio, started same day on an expedition. Moved southward through New River and Alachua Counties, arriving at Gainesville August 17, where a severe engagement took place, with heavy loss to our side. Colonel Harris, with the remnant of his command, cut his way out of Gainesville and retreated, fighting, towards Magnolia, on the Saint John's River, which place he reached August 18. Colonel Noble, Seventeenth Connecticut, who left Baldwin August 15, with an infantry column composed U. S. Colored Troops, reached Magnolia on the evening of August 19, bringing in about 75 contrabands, some horses, wagons, and other captured property, not having encountered any of the enemy's forces.


District of Florida, commanded by Brigadier General John P. Hatch.

September 24.-A slight skirmish near Magnolia between 12 of the Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, under Captain Stales, and a portion of the rebel Captain Dickinson's command; no casualties.

The troops at Magnolia, under direction of the engineer department, were employed during the greater part of the month in erecting earth-works and preparing their position for defense.

Company A, Third Rhode Island Artillery, Captain William H. Hamner, was relieved from duty in District of Florida by Company F, Third New York Artillery.

September 28.-All the available troops of the Seventy-fifth Ohio Mounted Infantry, Colonel Andrew L. Harris, also portions of the Seventeenth Connecticut Volunteers and Thirty-fourth U. S. Colored Troops, left camp on an expedition to the vicinity of Enterprise, Volusia County. The expedition commanded by Colonel William H. Noble, Seventeenth Connecticut Volunteers, not yet returned.

The regiments and detachments stationed at the several posts of the district engaged during the month in improving their drill, equipment, means of defense, and general efficiency.

District of West Florida and South Alabama, Major General Gordon Granger.

September 16.-A force of 700 cavalry and infantry, mounted, left Barrancas, under command of General Asboth, on a expedition into the west part of Florida. They penetrated as far as Marianna, where they met and repulsed, after a sharp fight, a rebel force under Colonel Montgomery, capturing him and 80 of his men, 200 horses and mules, 100 stand of arms, several wagons, 400 cattle, and 600 contrabands, all of which were brought safely within our lines. Our loss was 39 killed, wounded, and missing. Brigadier-General Asboth was severely wounded, but retained command until the close of the expedition. Major Cutler and Lieutenant Adams, with several enlisted men of the Second Maine Cavalry, were badly wounded and left at Marianna. Captain Young, Seventh Vermont Volunteers, and Lieutenant Ayer, Second Maine, Cavalry, were killed. The losses are not reported on this return, as no official reports were received from the regiments in season.