Camp Battalion Seventh Connecticut Vols.,
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that at or near Olustee, at 1.30 of the
20th day of February, 1864, being so instructed, having moved forward the
first two companies of the battalion, and having received additional
instructions from Brig. Gen. T. Seymour to deploy as skirmishers such a portion of my command as I deemed necessary, I caused the first company to be deployed, holding the second company under Lieutenant Townsend as reserve. The line of skirmishers advanced from Olustee between 3 and 4 miles, occasionally discovering a large force of cavalry, which continued to retreat by lines in front of us occasionally for a few moments, threatening our flanks, and then precipitately retreating. During the first half mile of the advance of skirmishers our right was extended by the deployment of 30 men
under Lieutenant Dempsey. The advance of our line of skirmishers commenced to be very much impeded at about 3 1/2 miles from Olustee. At a distance of 4 miles its advance was entirely checked, all the left of the line being thrown into a swamp and exposed to a galling fire from the enemy's right. From this position the right was advanced a few rods, the ground being more open and passable, and then ordered to lie down, maintaining all the while a lively
fire. In this position, with an occasional slight advance, our ammunition was nearly all expended, and our line gradually withdrew, being charged upon by a regiment of the enemy.
In our advance and retreat the general deportment of the men was
such that it is difficult for me to single out those deserving of especial praise. I would, however, recommend First Sergt. William H. Haynes, of G; Sergt. D. D. Keys, of A; Acting Corpls. H. P. Bosworth and William H. Johnson, of G; Privates Harris, of A, and Gosson, of G.
One man, of G Company, deserves censure, Private Thomas Wallet (substitute) having fallen to the rear without orders. He received a saber cut on the head from one of the Massachusetts cavalry.
The company having reformed with the battalion, I can but simply say I believe they performed their duty well.
King's Road, Six-Mile Creek, February 25, 1864
CHAS. C. MILLS,
Captain, First Company, Battalion Seventh Conn.
Capt. B. F. SKINNER,
Copied from The Official Records of the War of Rebellion.
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