Jacksonville, Fla., March 10, 1864.
Sir: In obedience to orders from regimental headquarters, I have the honor to submit the following statement in regard to the loss of our national colors at Olustee, Fla., February 20, 1864:
I was near Lieutenant Lewis when he picked up the colors and saw him carry them toward the battery on our left. I called to the men to rally around the colors and save the battery. Lieutenant Norton also attempted to rally those on our left. We succeeded in bringing up a fragment of the regiment within a few yards of the battery, when the horses of one of the guns came rushing onto our little line, throwing us into some confusion. I think at this time Lieutenant Lewis gave the colors to one of the men. I saw him strike one of the horses with his sword, and in conjunction with some others seize the horses by the bits to stop them. He did not get the colors again, and we commenced falling back obliquely to the right in obedience to an order from Capt. R. C. Bailey, then commanding the regiment. I saw a corporal carrying our battleflag, and supposing they had the other, paid no further attention to the matter.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. F. Ely,
Second Lieutenant, Eighth U.S. Colored Troops.
Adjutant Eighth U.S. Colored Troops.
Copied from The Official Records of the War of Rebellion.
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