Lieutenant Colonel James Hall
1st New York Engineers

Lieutenant Colonel James Hall
Image provided by Chris Ahrendt

This is a letter written by Lieutenant Colonel James Hall, on 23 Febuary 1864, to his wife after his return to Jacksonville Florida. The letter describes his participation in the Battle of Olustee.

Jacksonville, Fla.
23 Feb. 1864

My Dear Ones..... Thank God I am safe, and it is only by his mercy.

My clothes are cut. I have lost two horses poor hoxie shot down by my side and death chance (Deaths Havoc) all around me and I have not had a scratch.

We have had a hard fight with nearly three times our force where the enemy had their chosen ground ready to receive us.

Scenes and incidents I cannot give you, as I have come to the state of entire exhaustion. We have lost one fifth of our force, but punished the enemy so that they could not follow us and we retreated in good order, taking all our wounded except those in the immediate front and saving all our stores.

A good many noble spirits are gone. Seymour did gallantly and all together it was a gallant though unsuccessfull fight.


Images are from the Richard Ferry Collection. Used with permission.

Chris Ahrendt originally provided the text of Lieutenant Colonel Hall's letter and his photograph.
Richard Ferry later provided images of the actual letter.

Other Letters from Olustee
Battle of Olustee home page