Report of Col. George P. Harrison, Jr.,
Thirty-second Georgia Infantry,
commanding Second Brigade,
on the engagement at Olustee, Florida

In the Field, near Sanderson, Fla., February 22, 1864

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of my command in the engagement with abolitionists near Ocean Pond on the 20th instant:

By direction of Brigadier-General Finegan this brigade consisting of the Thirty-second Georgia Volunteers, Maj. W. T. Holland Commanding; First Georgia Regulars, Capt. H. A. Cannon commanding; Sixty-fourth Georgia Volunteers, Col. J. W. Evans commanding; First Florida Battalion, Lieut. Col. C. F. Hopkins, commanding, and Guerard's light battery, Capt. John M. Guerard commanding, was drawn up in line of battle behind the intrenchments near Olustee Station about 10 a.m.

About 12 m.. Pursuant to instructions, I sent forward the Sixty-fourth Georgia Volunteers, under Colonel Evans, and two companies (H and E) of Thirty Second Georgia Regiment, under Captain Mobley, to meet the enemy, then reported 3 miles in our front, with orders to engage them lightly and fall back with a view to draw them to our works. About one hour and a half later I advanced to the front with the remainder of my command (except First Florida Battalion) and Sixth Georgia Regiment (Colquitt's brigade), and one section of Guerard's battery, for the purpose of supporting Brigadier-General Colquitt, who was now in advance with a portion of his brigade and that portion of mine sent out at 12 m. I had advanced about a mile to the front when I received a message from General Colquitt to move up rapidly. I had scarcely put my command in the double-quick when the report of artillery in my front indicated that the fight had opened. Quickening our pace we moved on until within a few hundred yards of the place where the road we were upon crossed the railroad. Here I halted for a moment, but observing General Colquitt forming his line, and seeing the enemy's position across the railroad, who was then sweeping the front of my column with a battery in position near the cross-roads, I moved to the left in double-quick, crossed the railroad, and formed line of battle upon the left of that just established by General Colquitt.

About this time the engagement became general. In a few moments I was informed by one of General Colquitt's staff that I was in proper position. Being now at long range (300 yds) I advanced in conjunction with the right of the line to within about 200 yards of the enemy, who stubbornly stood their ground. In about this position, the field was hotly contested by both parties for about an hour, when the enemy gave way slowly before the close pressure of our gallant men (it was during this, while riding with my staff down the line from the left toward the center, that my ordnance officer, Lieut. R. F. Dancey, was instantly killed, and my aide de camp, Lieut. Horace P. Clark, and one of my couriers had their horses shot from under them); but soon a new line of the enemy appeared and our advance was checked. His resistance now seemed more stubborn than before for more than twenty minutes, when the enemy sullenly gave back a little, apparently to seek a better position, but still held us at bay. Now the results of the day seemed doubtful. It was whispered down the line, particularly in the Sixth and Thirty-second Georgia Regiments, that our ammunition was failing and no ordnance train in sight. This I immediately reported to General Colquitt, who urged that we hold our ground, stating that ammunition would certainly reach us directly. This I am proud to say, was heroically complied with by my command, many of them for fifteen or twenty minutes standing their ground without a round of ammunition. Seeing the critical position of affairs, I dismounted myself, placed one of my staff whose horse had been disabled upon mine, who, together with the remainder of my staff and couriers, was employed in conveying ammunition from a train of cars some half mile or more distant. It was in the discharge of this duty that Lieut. George M. Blount, may acting assistant adjutant-general, was shot from his horse, but not seriously wounded. By several trips they succeeded in supplying sufficient ammunition to our line to enable the reopening of a rapid and effective fire, before which the enemy had commenced to retire slowly, still keeping up their fire upon us, when the First Florida Battalion under command of Lieut. Col. C. F. Hopkins and a section of Guerard's battery, under Lieut. W. Robert Gignilliat, arrived from the intrenchments. I at once ordered the former to the support of the Sixty-fourth Georgia Regiment, whose ammunition was nearly all exhausted, and the latter to take position and open fire near the left center. These re-enforcements, together with some that arrived upon the right, served to embolden our men and intimidate the enemy, for their retreat now became more hurried and their fire less rapid and effective.

Under instructions from General Colquitt I now threw forward the Sixth and Thirty second Georgia Regiments (the extreme left of our line) to flank the enemy upon their right, which movement succeeded admirably, for soon their right was exposed to a cross-fire which told upon their ranks with fine effect. A general advance of our line now drove the enemy, who retreated, at first sullenly, but now precipitately, before our victorious arms for some miles, when night came on, and by order of General Colquitt we ceased firing and our line halted.

During the engagement the detachment of the Thirty-second Georgia (Companies H and E, Captain Mobley commanding) won for itself much honor in charging and capturing three pieces of the enemy's artillery. While refraining from a mention of the individual bearing of officers belonging to commands of my brigade, for the reason that all greatly distinguished themselves, I take pleasure in reporting the intrepid commander of Sixth Georgia Regiment (General Colquitt's brigade), Colonel Lofton, for meritorious service with my command throughout the action. Corporal Buchanan, Company E, Sixty-fourth Georgia Regiment and Sergt. Thomas Battle, Company C, First Georgia Regulars (color bearer). Deserve mention for conspicuous bravery and daring.

I would ask particular attention to the gallantry of Capt. E. L. Guerard, acting brigade quartermaster. His services, together with the gallantry and promptness of Lieut. Horace P. Clark, my aide-de-camp, was of the greatest importance during the whole engagement and particularly after the remainder of my staff had gallantly fallen and been borne from the field. My entire command behaved with a degree of coolness and bravery worthy of emulation.

The following-named officers were killed and wounded, gallantly discharging their duties:

Thirty-second Georgia Volunteers, Major Holland commanding: Capt. W. D. Cornwell, wounded in shoulder; Lieut. R. J. Butler, Company B, wounded in abdomen, mortally; Lieut. W. T. Moody, Company C, wounded in knee, severely; Lieut. W. L. Jenkins, Company E, wounded in shoulder, slightly; Lieut. J. H. Pittman, Company F, wounded in leg, severely; Lieut. Morris Dawson, Company G, wounded in head, slightly.

First Georgia Regulars, Capt A. A. F. Hill commanding; Capt. H. A. Cannon, commanding when killed; Lieut. P. H. Morel, wounded in arm, slightly.

Sixty-fourth Georgia volunteers, Capt. C. S. Jenkins commanding; Col. J. W. Evans, in right thigh, severely; Lieut. Col. James Barrow, killed; Maj. Walter H. Weems wounded in left leg, severely; Lieut. J. S. Thrasher, Company A, wounded in thigh, severely; Lieut. M. L. Raines, Company C, wounded in thigh, severely; Capt. J. K. Redd, Company F, wounded in left arm, slightly; Capt. R. A. Brown, Company H, wounded in leg, slightly; Lieut. P. A. Waller, Company H, wounded in neck and head, mortally; Lieut. J. F. Burch, Company I, wounded in wrist, slightly.

First Florida Battalion Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Hopkins commanding; Lieut. Col. C. F. Hopkins, wounded in arm and thigh, slightly; Lieut. S. K. Collins, Company E, wounded in face, slightly; Lieut. Theophilus Williams, Company F, wounded in breast, slightly.

Bonaud's Battalion Georgia Volunteers: Lieut. J. W. Hall, Company D, wounded, slightly; Lieut. Cater Pierce, Company G. Wounded slightly; Lieut. W. W. Holland, volunteer company, Florida, killed.

See enclosed report of casualties.

Respectfully submitted:
Geo. P. Harrison, Jr.
Colonel, Thirty-second Georgia Infantry,
Commanding Second Brigade, Army of East Florida
Capt. W. Call,
Assistant Adjutant-General

Copied from The Official Records of the War of Rebellion, Chapter XLVII , pp. 348-350. Provided by Robert Hurst.

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