HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Jacksonville, Fla., February 17, 1864
On the 8th instant, at 4 p.m., believing that the enemy would make a stand with some force of cavalry and artillery, known to be at Camp Finegan, 8 miles from this place, the command was moved forward, Col. G. V. Henry, Fortieth Massachusetts, commanding the mounted force; Major Stevens' battalion Massachusetts Cavalry, and the Fortieth Massachusetts Mounted Infantry, and Captain Elder's battery, First Artillery, forming the extreme right, Colonel Barton's brigade the center, and Colonel Hawley's the left.
Colonel Henry came first in contact with the enemy's line of battle at Camp Finegan, about 8 o'clock, and rode it down, pursuing for several miles and capturing 5 field guns, with caissons, battery wagon, and forge complete, and 3 flags. In the camp was found a considerable quantity of transportation material, of clothing, and of camp equipage.
Colonel Henry was directed to advance immediately to Baldwin, at the intersection of the Florida and Central Railroads, which was reached about 6 a.m. on February 9. One field gun with caisson was captured here, 106 bales of cotton, 83 barrels of turpentine, several cars, and quantities of provisions, forage, and supplies, valued in all at about $500,000. At Johnson's Station over a thousand barrels of rosin fell into our hands.
Continuing to advance, at the South Fork of the Saint Mary's, Barber's plantation, the passage across the stream was disputed by two companies of cavalry, dismounted, and occupying a very strong position, but it was energetically forced by Colonel Henry, with a loss of 3 killed and 10 wounded, and a greater loss to the enemy, who was completely disorganized. Arriving at Sanderson, 10 miles beyond Barber's, it was found that the enemy had fired a storehouse filled with forage, and a large amount of rosin and turpentine was also destroyed. Pursuing vigorously toward Lake City a strong force of the enemy was found in position, with which an hour's severe skirmishing was had, but infantry coming to the attack of Colonel Henry, he withdrew and encamped a few miles distant.
The infantry column was, of course, compelled to move more slowly, and advanced to Sanderson, 45 miles from Jacksonville, when it found itself so short of subsistence and transportation that it could not advance, and Colonel Henry was ordered to return.
I cannot commend too highly the brilliant success of this advance, for which great credit is due to Colonel Henry and his command, and I earnestly recommend him to your attention as a most deserving and energetic officer.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
Brig. Gen. J. W. TURNER,
Chief of Staff.
Copied from The Official Records of the War of Rebellion.