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United States Troops in Spanish East Florida, 1812-1813

[Author's Note. This series of papers comprising the correspondence of Lieut. Col. Thomas A. Smith, commander of the detachment of U. S. regulars that invaded Spanish East Florida in March, 1812, began in the July, 1930, issue of THE QUARTERLY, which should be consulted for an explanation as to why the American troops invaded the Spanish province; and also for the details concerning the discovery of these important Florida records. T. FREDERICK DAVIS]

Lieut. Col. Smith to Gov. Mitchell (copy)

Camp before St. Augustine, 7th September, 1812 Sir :

Nothing of importance has occurred since my communication of the 21st ulto. Colo. Newnan is at Mr. Fatio's a few miles below Picolata with the Detachment of Volunteers. I ordered him soon after his arrival on the St. John's to proceed to & destroy some of the nearest Indian Towns, but I learnt today that he had not commenced his march probably for the want of guides or the means of transporting his provision. The Contractor, Maj. Long, is I am told very sick at St. Mary's, For the want of arrangement in his Department we have not received our necessary supply of provisions.

My Detachment continues very sickly, between eighty & ninety being confined at a time at this place & Davis's creek. Indeed it is with difficulty that I can furnish the necessary camp guards & an escort to the provision wagons. Unless a part of the Volunteers can be prevailed on to remain after their term of service expires I dont know what will be the consequences,

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as I am persuaded nothing but their presence on the St. John's has prevented the Indians & negroes from cutting off our communication with the depot at Davis' creek. I find from experience that Volunteers for one or two months only add to the difficulty of procuring supplies without rendering any essential service, as by the time arrangements can be made for any important enterprise their term of service will have ex pired. If the sick were in a situation to be removed I would fall back to some healthy situation on the St. John's, but it is impossible at present without sacrificing the lives of many valuable men. I hope however, by the end of the month or middle of October to see them in good health and ready for any service they may be ordered on. I have been so unwell since my return from St. Mary's that I could pay but little atten tion to duty.

There are parties of Indians constantly in search of cattle; indeed there are very few left on this side of the St. John's. The inhabitants on the North River have all gone to Town & one also who was in our camp that had been a Militia officer in the Spanish service & taken by the Patriots whom he pretended to join; but I have no doubt he has acted the part of a spy. I console myself with the belief that if we should be sacrificed it will promote the National good as the Government will then no longer hesitate about taking im mediate possession of the Province so important to the Southern States.

I have the honor to be sir With high respect, Your obt. servt., Note: A Marine has deserted and gone to St. Augustine.

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Lt. Col. Smith to Col. Newnan (copy)

Camp before St. Augustine, 12th Sept. 1812 Sir :

I wish you without delay to join me with eighty or ninety of your men & all the horses you have or can obtain. The escort with the waggons have been cut off & without your aid I shall not be able to secure our baggage & save the sick, fifteen or twenty of which are unable to march. If you can possibly bring one or two waggons or carts they will be very important. Bring as much provision with you as possible. We want harness or traces for the field pieces, if you can possibly obtain any bring them with you.

You will perceive the necessity of using every possible dispatch in joining me.

I am Sir respectfully Your obt. servt.

P.S. I intend to fall back as soon as you join me, when measures can be concerted for the chastisement of our enemies. Your horsemen had better come from Fatio's direct, as it is nearer than the route by the block house.

I have been unable to ascertain the fate of Captns. Williams & Fort. They are in all probability both killed. None of the party has come in. I will keep out scouts to discover if they have any intention of continuing on the road. Capt. Woodruff was dispatched as soon as I had information that they were out, but he was a few hours too late. I think if they will venture in the plain they will meet with a warmer recep tion than their small parties have yet received. You will send a sufficient number of men down to the Block house to collect Oxen for the Ox carts.

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Lt. Col. Smith to Gov. Mitchell (copy)

Depot Davis' Creek 20 Miles North of St. Augustine Sept. 22, 1812 Sir :

The period has at length arrived when it is absolutely necessary to order a respectable reinforcement to aid me in the reduction of St. Augustine and the distruction of all the Indian settlements in this province, or that we should be withdrawn. The latter would be to me the most painful moment of my life & I hope your Excellency will order the force necessary to effect the former as soon as possible.

The escort with the Provision waggons under the command of Capt. Williams was attacked on the 12th Inst by a party of Indians & Negroes from St. Augustine to the number of fifty or sixty. Capt. Williams' command consisted of a Non Commissioned Officer & nineteen privates besides drivers. Capt. Fort of the Milledgeville Volunteers was with the party. The attack was made at the Twelve Mile swamp between eight & 9 o'clock at night & lasted about twenty-five minutes. The result was unfavorable to us, having lost our waggons, had both officers & six privates wounded (Capt Williams in eight places & I fear mortally) & the Non Commissioned Officer killed.

Capts. Williams & Fort acquitted themselves highly to their honor & would have been victorious beyond a doubt if either of them had escaped for a few minutes, as an order had been given to charge & the enemy began to give ground. `The Indians fled the second fire yelling like devils. I would have made an effort to take St. Augustine immediately, but my Detachment is so reduced by disease that I cannot furnish the necessary Camp Guards. I expect to remove to a healthy position on the St. John's in a few days & if

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the Volunteers (gone at present against the LotchWay Towns) will consent to serve to the fall of St. Augustine, I will proceed without delay to procure the necessary transport & supplies & invest it closely the moment that three or four hundred additional men can be raised for that service.

The Volunteers have been very unhealthy, as many as one hundred & five on the sick list at a time & I am fearful that I shall not be able to get more than one hundred & twenty of my Detachment on their legs in time. Capt Neeley 29 died on the 20th Inst. His men have acted like veterans, without shoes or indeed clothing of any kind. They have always been ready for any duty they were ordered on. They would be infinitely more serviceable if they could be clothed. I hope your Excellency will devise some plan by which they can be supplied, as the laws of the United States do not provide for clothing Volunteers.

The following is the plan I have in view if a reinforcement is sent: My Detachment, One Hundred & Twenty ; Volunteers, one hundred & fifty ; then wanting three hundred, making 570 to be disposed of as follows, Twenty at Picolata, Forty at the Depot at six mile creek, a block house to be thrown up; Forty at the big swamp with a block house being about half way ; two hundred & fifty on the neck formerly occupied by me, with two field pieces to prevent boats go ing up the North river; Two hundred & twenty with the heavy pieces and a strong redoubt opposite the lines by Solinoe's [Solana's] ferry. This arrangement will prevent any communication with the Indians & secure the convoys with provisions if they should be supplied by the British. It will then be an easy matter to destroy the Town & see what effect that will produce. There should be an allowance for sick, lame

29. Captain Samuel Neeley, commander of a company of Georgia Volunteers.

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& lazy, as a smaller force capable of duty will not secure the fall of the place. The Dons did not attempt to molest me on my way to this place. I commenced the movement about 10 o'clock & set fire to my huts, which was no doubt a pleasing sight to them.

The inhabitants have all abandoned their homes with as much of their movables as they could carry with them. Some have stopped on Amelia, but I believe the greater part have gone to Georgia. The Province, never thickly settled, will soon become a wilderness.

A Spaniard who escaped from the Indians informed me that they intended to attack St. Mary's as soon as they had given us a little employment here. They made an attack some time since on Picolata, but were beaten off. They succeeded however, in burning the trading houses with what was in them.

I have the honor to be sir With high respect, Your obt. servt.

Lt. Col. Smith to Capt. Massias (copy)

Fort Stallings 30 22nd Sept. 1812. Dear Captain :

I have been very uneasy least your messenger Mr. Holland should have been taken on his return, as he was the bearer of letters from me under cover to you which gave to our head men a faithful account of our sufferings & perilous situation, since which they have attacked our escort consisting of twenty men under the command of Capt. Williams. Their force from the best information I can obtain was between fifty &

30. The post at Davis' Creek was called Ft. Stallings in honor of Lieut. Elias Stallings, who built the block house and commanded there.

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sixty. The attack was made on the 12th at twelve mile swamp about eight o'clock at night and lasted about twenty-five minutes. The result was unfavorable to us, having lost our waggons & had the Non Commissioned Officer killed & eight men wounded.

Captns. Williams & Fort both wounded, the former badly in eight places, the latter shot through the knee. They both acted nobly & would have been victors if they had not been disabled. The order was just given. for a charge as Capt. Williams received the first shot. He continued to encourage his command to do their duty. As Capt. Fort was carrying him a few paces in the rear he received several other wounds while in his arms. Capt. Fort returned, took the command & renewed the order to charge ; but the men I presume not feeling that confidence in a Volunteer Officer did not obey the order. They behaved in other respects well, except Hampton of your company, who is I fear of the dunghill family. The Indians fled the second fire, yelling like devils.

I have been compelled to fall back for the want of Provisions. I intend however to present to them a more formidable appearance in a short time than they have witnessed since the revolutionary war. Mr. Ryan is the only officer with me for duty, the others all being sick. We have had nearly two hundred in the different camps on the report at a time. They are however mending. I fear Capt. Williams will not be able to weather the storm. I will however cause every possible exertion to be made to save so brave and honest a brother Officer. The others will I think recover, some of them may be disabled in their limbs. Neeley's Volunteers act like veterans ; their Captn., poor fellow, died on the 20th. I had him interred with all due honors.

I wish you to do with my little Affrican as you would if he were your own until I can have him with

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me. The Patriots having acted so ungratefully towards my Detachment it will be well in no instance to acknowledge them as a, Public body, but afford all the aid in your power to deserving individuals.

Your favour of the 21st Inst has this moment reached me. I have given the Patriots no instructions or authority whatever & you ought to cause the horse taken from Lieut. John D. Kerr to be returned. You must in all respects be governed by the instructions you receive from the Governor & your own discretion.

When I wish any service performed you will receive it in writing.

I am Sir respectfully, Your obt. servt.

Lt. Col. Smith to Gen. Floyd 31 (copy)

Mr. Hollingsworth's 32 30th Sept. 1812 Dear General :

I have at length been compelled for the want of provision & to save the Detachment confided to my care to fall back to this place. My force for duty does not exceed seventy, among which are only two Officers. Colo. Newnan at the head of one hundred & ten men had an action on the 27th Inst with the Indians to the number of 120 within 7 miles of the Lotchway Town. He charged them repeatedly & succeeded in giving them a complete defeat. He is how ever unable to advance or retire without leaving his wounded to be sacrificed to the savages. He has sent to me for aid, but I can with my force afford him

31. Brig. Gen. John Floyd, commanding the Georgia state militia.

32. Wm. Hollingsworth's farm was immediately on the east bank of the St. Johns River about ten miles above the Cowford. The Cowford was at the foot of Liberty Street in Jacksonville.

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little, there being one hundred blacks & some Indians on the river below me said to be coming up it. I will however collect and send to him all the horses in the neighborhood. Are you not authorized to attack their Towns? One hundred & fifty or two hundred mounted Infantry & Riflemen can effect a great deal against such an enemy, & the safety of our own frontier requires that it should be done. What in the name of God can our rulers be about that they have not before this time ordered a force to join me sufficient to enable me to maintain my position before St. Augustine in opposition to all the Spaniards & their Indian allies could do? Without a change in their policy the little force they have at present or the establishment will be sacrificed. It is to be hoped however that they will benefit by experience. I have received information from a Spaniard who deserted from the Indians that they intended to attack St. Mary's as soon as they had given us a little employment here. I have no doubt but the party met by Colo. Newnan was on their way to join the Spaniards to carry into effect their long threatened attack on me.

Poor Capt. Williams has just expired & will be interred with the honors of war in the morning. 33

I have the honor to be sir, With high respect, Your obt. servt.

33. The remains of Capt. John Williams, U.S.M.C., were afterward removed to the cemetery at St. Marys, Georgia, where they rested until August, 1904, when they were removed by officers of the U. S. Marine Corps and reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery. This information was procured for me by Capt. Chas. Dunbeck, U.S.M.C., retired.

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Col. Smith 34 to Gen. Flournoy 35 (copy)

Hollingsworth's 10th Oct. 1812 Sir :

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 21st Ulto. I will meet the Militia ordered to my support at Point Petre & have that part of them intended by his Excellency, Govr. Mitchell, to act with me ordered to my present Camp immediately. I hope a sufficient supply of Arms, Accoutrements & Camp equippage may be sent on with them, as a supply cannot be procured in this quarter; indeed I have had my doubts about the propriety of furnishing them from the U. S. stock; The loss and destruction of those articles will be found very great among Troops where neither officers nor privates have any idea of subordination or are sensible of the necessity of preserv ing their Arms.

If the health of my Detachment should be sufficiently restored I will lose no time in investing St, Augustine closely on the land side. If Commodore Campbell feels authorized. to co-operate, I will take such steps with the aid of some of the Gunboats as will insure the speedy surrender of the place, unless they should have been reinforced & have received a supply of provision. The good of the service requires that there should be a Quarter Master appointed to this District, as it is impossible for me to attend to that & my other duties. Forty Dragoons would be of the greatest service & unless there is a speedy termination of hostilities in this quarter will be found abso lutely indispensable. Lieuts. Haig & Barton of the 1st Regt are with me & there is not perhaps a more enterprising or competent officer in the service than

34. Promoted to colonel.

35. Brig. Gen. Thomas Flournoy, U.S.A., commanding U. S. quota of militia in Georgia.

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the former. I am therefore induced to request when they are furnished that the Command may be given to him. I wish authority also to purchase as many horses as may be found necessary to convey the heavy & field artillery to the points where they may be wanting. For this service also you will readily perceive the necessity of at least a subaltern's command of artillerists. It is impossible that our men should be com petent to every kind of service & the guns unless properly served can be of but little utility. A sufficient number of wagons to transport our baggage, sick & wounded are indispensably necessary.

If the severe handling Colo. Newnan has given the Indians & Negroes (many of the latter being in the several engagements with the former) does not check their depredations, it will be absolutely necessary for the preservation of our own frontiers to destroy all their Towns in this Province. If mounted Infantry & Riflemen are not employed on this service it will require a considerable number of pack horses. Colo. Newnan's not being able to destroy Lotchway & the little Towns near it is entirely owing to the insufficiency of transport.

I have been compelled from a sense of duty to arrest Capt. Ridgeway on the inclosed Charges & Speci fications 36 & if he can be brought to trial before the witnesses are dispersed, I have not the smallest doubt but each of them will be fully supported. As a majority of the Officers of the Detachment do not hold him in the highest estimation I would be glad if it could be done without injury to the service that the Court may consist entirely of Officers from other posts.

I have the honor to be sir With high respect, Your obt. servt.

36. Mainly drunkenness while on duty.

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Col. Newnan to Gov. Mitchell. 37

New Hope, 38 St. John's, Oct. 19, 1812. Dear Sir:

I have now the honor of transmitting to your excellency an account of the several engagements which have taken place between the Lotchaway and Alligator Indians, and the detachment of Georgia volunteers under my command. As the object of this expedition, and the views of the persons engaged in it, have been misconstrued and mis-statements relative to its protraction circulated, I ask the indulgence of your excellency to detail every transaction from its commencement to its termination.

I arrived upon the St. John's, in obedience to your orders, about the 15th of August, with the whole of my detachment, consisting, including officers, of about 250 men, and with few on the sick report. I immediately waited on Col. Smith before St. Augustine, and received orders dated the 21st of August, to proceed immediately against the hostile Indians within the province of East Florida, and destroy their towns, provisions and settlements. I then returned to the detachment upon the St. John's, and made every preparation to comply with my orders, by dispatching par ties to procure horses from the few inhabitants that had not fled from the province ; in preparing packs and provisions ; and taking every step which I deemed necessary to insure success to the enterprise. In consequence of the sickness of myself and nearly one half of the detachment, the period of our maching was delayed; and when just upon the eve of departing, an express arrived from Col. Smith informing me that his provision wagons and the escort was attacked by

37. Niles' Weekly Register, December 12, 1812.

38. The U. S. encampment at Hollingsworth's was named "Camp New Hope" about Oct. 12th. The name was probably suggested to Col. Smith by the brighter prospect of procuring reinforcements sufficient to attack St. Augustine.

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a body of Negroes and Indians, and ordering me to join him immediately with 90 men, and bring all the horses and carriages I could command, for the removal of his baggage, field-pieces, and sick, he having only 70 men fit for duty.

I marched to the relief of the colonel with 130 men and 25 horses, and assisted him in removing to the Block-house upon Davis's creek. This service delayed for a few days our expedition to the nation ; and when the detachment again assembled upon the St. John's, and were about to commence to march, the men had but six or seven days to serve. About this time I received a letter from Col. Smith, advising me to pro pose to the detachment an extension of their service for 15 or 20 days longer, as the time for which they were engaged was deemed insufficient to accomplish any object of the expedition. This measure I had contemplated, and its sanction by the colonel met with my most hearty approbation ; for I was unwilling to proceed to the enemy's country with a single man, who would declare that, in any event, he would not serve a day longer than the time for which he had originally volunteered. I accordingly assembled the detach ment, and after stating the necessity of a tender of further service, proposed that the men should volunteer for three weeks longer; when 84 men, including officers, stepped out and were enrolled, which, with the addition of 23 volunteer militia sent to my aid by Col. Smith, and 9 Patriots under the command of Capt. Cone, made my whole force amount to 117. With this small body, provided with four days' provisions and 12 horses, I was determined to proceed to the nation and give those merciless savages at least one battle; and I was emboldened in this determination by the strong expectation of being succored by a body of cavalry from St. Mary's, and which it has since

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appeared did assemble at Colerain, but proceeded no farther.

On the evening of the 24th of September we left the St. John's, marching in Indian file, Capt. Humphreys' company of riflemen in front; Capt. Fort's company, under the command of Lieut. Fannin, 39 in the center; and Capt. Coleman's company, with Cone's detachment, under the command of Lieut. Broadnax, in the rear. A small party marched in front of the main body, and another in the rear, the openness of the country, except in particular places, rendered it unnecessary to employ men upon the right and left.

Our encampment at nights, there being three companies, was in the form of a triangle, with the bag gage in the center, the men with their clothes on, lying with their feet pointing outwards, and their fire locks in their arms. In case of an attack, the officers were instructed to bring up their companies upon the right and left of the company fronting the enemy, and attend to the Indian mode of fighting until ordered to charge. In case of meeting the enemy upon our march, Humphreys' company was instructed to file off to the right; Fort's company to advance and form to the front in single rank ; and Coleman's company to file off to the left; the whole then to advance in the form of a crescent, and endeavor to encircle the enemy.

On the morning of the fourth day of our march, when within six or seven miles of the Lotchaway towns, our advanced party discovered a party of Indians marching along the path meeting us, and at the same moment they appeared to have discovered us. As soon as I was informed of it, I lost no time in giving the necessary directions for the companies to advance, and

39. Captain Fort, owing to wounds received in the fight at Twelve Mile swamp, was unable to be with his company, the Milledgeville Volunteers, on this expedition.

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obey the instructions which had been previously given to them, and which appeared exactly suited to the situation in which we found the enemy. As soon as Fort's company, at the head of which I had placed myself, had advanced to its proper ground, I discovered the Indians falling back, and making every preparation for battle, by unslinging their packs, trimming their rifles, and each man taking his place. We continued to advance, taking advantage of the trees in our progress, until we were within 130 yards of the Indians, when many of them fired, and I immediately ordered the charge, which drove them from behind the trees, and caused them to retire with the greatest precipitation ; our men all the while firing at them, slew sev eral, and by repeated charges, drove them half a mile, when they took shelter in the swamp. It unfortunately happened, I presume through inadvertence, that Humphreys' company in filing to the right took too great a circuit, got a small swamp between them and the enemy, and thereby rendered the victory less decisive than it would have been had the whole charged together, and before the Indians had dispersed themselves and extended their force, which they soon did, nearly half, a mile up and down the swamp. The company, however, was of service afterwards, in prevent ing the enemy, after their dispersion, from entering our camp, retaking their baggage and provision, all of which fell into our hands, or falling upon the wounded that had been sent to the rear. The action, including the skirmishing upon the flanks, lasted two hours and a half, the Indians frequently attempting to outflank us and get in our rear, but were repulsed by the companies extending to the right and left. We had one man killed and nine wounded, two of which have since died of their wounds. The loss of the enemy must have been considerable. I saw seven fall to the ground with my own eyes, among whom was their

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king, Payne ; two of them fell near the swamp, the rest our men had the curiosity to scalp. 40 The rifle company on the right and Broadnax's on the left, speak of killing several near the swamp, who were borne off by their comrades, it being a principle among the savages to carry off their dead at the risk of their lives.

We remained on the battle ground watching the movements of the Indians, who were near the swamp painting themselves, and appeared to be in consultation, all of which indicated an intention to renew the combat. Accordingly, a half an hour before sunset, having obtained a considerable reinforcement of Negroes and Indians from their towns, they commenced the most horrid yells imaginable, imitating the cries and noise of almost every animal of the forest, their chiefs advancing in front in a stooping, serpentine manner, and making the most wild and frantic gestures, until they approached within two hundred yards of us, when they halted and commenced firing. Our men were not to be alarmed by their noise and yells, but as instructed, remained perfectly still and steady behind logs and trees until the enemy, by this forbearance, had approached somewhat nearer, when a brisk and well-directed fire from our line soon drove them back to their original ground. I would now have ordered the charge, but being under the necessity, from the extension of the enemy's line, of detaching nearly one-half of my force to protect our camp and wounded, the assailing of which is a great object with Indians, I was left to contend with a force three times as numerous as my own. The action lasted until eight o'clock, when the enemy was completely repulsed in every attempt, whether made upon our center or

40. Here the whites scalped the Indians. These scalps were brought back and decorated the walls of Zephaniah Kingsley's house at "Laurel Grove". The Indians found this out and afterwards besieged "Laurel Grove" causing great damage there. [picture caption] SECTlON 21, T. IO S., R. 2l E.

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flanks. We had two men killed and one wounded; the enemy carried off several of their men before it was dark-after which all firing, of course random, was at the spot from whence the flash arose.

After fighting and fasting the whole day, we had to work throughout the night, and at daylight had a tolerable breastwork of logs and earth, with port holes, on the ground on which the battle was fought. 41 We were reduced to this necessity, for in dispatching Capt. Whitaker about dark to the St. John's for a reinforcement, six more men took the liberty to accom pany him, taking with them our best horses ; our pilot and surgeon, who was sick, was among the number.

The two days succeeding the battle, we neither saw nor heard anything of the enemy, but on the evening of the third day they commenced firing at our work at a long distance, and renewed it every day for five or six days, but without killing or wounding any of our men. After killing two or three of them through our port holes they seldom came within gun-shot.

Seven or eight days had now elapsed since our express had left us, hunger was staring us in the face, and we were now reduced to the necessity of eating one of our horses ; we had no surgeon to dress the wounded, and apprehensions were entertained that the enemy would receive reinforcements from Augustine or the Makasukie Indians. Expecting relief every hour, I was unwilling to leave our breastworks while we had a horse left to eat, but I understood from some of my officers that a certain captain was determined to leave us with his company, and that many of the men, giving up all hopes of relief, talked of deserting in the night, rather than perish, or fall a sacrifice to the

41. A part of Newnan's breastwork is still in evidence. It is in the NW corner of the SE 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Sec. 21-10-21, on the farm of Andrew J. Feaster, near Windsor, Alachua County. This historic spot is very accessible, being within 100 yards of a paved road. See the accompanying chart.

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merciless negroes and Indians, whom they were taught . to believe would surround us in great numbers in a few days. In this trying situation, when our few remaining horses were shot down by them, and the num ber of our sick daily increasing, I reluctantly assented to leave our works that night, and directed the litters to be prepared to carry the wounded. About nine o'clock we commenced, our distressing march, carrying five wounded men in litters and supporting two or three more. We had not proceeded more than eight miles when the men became perfectly exhausted from hunger and fatigue, and were unable to carry the wounded any farther. About two hours after we left our breastworks, 25 horsemen, with provisions, arrived to our relief, on a different road from the one we had taken, but, from motives best known to themselves, instead of following us, returned to the St. John's, and we were left to encounter new difficulties, two men that I had dispatched on the path the horsemen came, by some means or other missing them. 42

We again constructed a place of defence, and I dispatched Sergeant-major Reese with one private to Picolata, to learn what had occasioned the delay of our expected supplies, and told him I should remain where I was until I could hear from him, and endeavored to procure cattle, as we discovered signs of their being near us. The evil genius of Captain [name deleted] again prevailed, and I have since learned from Captain Cone, that this person instigated not only him, but many of the privates to urge a departure from our works even in the day time, when I was convinced that the Indians knowing our weak situation would endeavor to ambuscade. This

42. The horsemen reached Col. Newnan's breastwork in the night and being unable to tell in what direction the Colonel had marched, they returned by the path they had come.

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gentleman, if innocent, will have an opportunity of proving himself so before a court-martial.

With a burning fever on me, and scarcely able to walk, the march was ordered about three. o'clock in the afternoon. I had directed the adj't., Captain Hardin, to march in front, to avoid all places where there could be an ambuscade, and the litters should be distributed among the different companies. Being ex tremely weak I marched in the rear with Captain [name deleted], who carried my firelock, Lieutenant Fannin, and about fifteen or twenty privates. We had scarcely marched five miles before the front of the detachment discovered the heads of several Indians on both sides of the path, from among several pine trees that were laid prostrate by the hurricane ; the same instant, the enemy fired upon our advanced party, and shot down four of them, one, a Spaniard, died on the spot, and two survived a few days ; my negro boy was one of them. The moment I heard the firing I ordered the detachment to charge, and the Indians were completely defeated in fifteen minutes, many of them drop ping their guns, and the whole running off without ever attempting to rally. Four were left dead on the field, and I am convinced from the constant fire we kept up, that many more must have been slain, but were hid from our view by the thick and high Palmetto bushes. We lay on the battle ground all night, and started next day at 10 o'clock, marched five miles and again threw up breastworks between two ponds, living upon gophers, alligators and Palmetto stocks, until Sergeant-major Reese arrived with provisions, and 14 horses, when we were enabled to proceed to the St. John's with all our sick and wounded, where a Gun-boat by the direction of Colonel Smith was in waiting for us, which conveyed us to his camp, where we met with every attention that humanity or benevolence could bestow.

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I cannot refrain from expressing the high sense I have of the care and anxiety which Colonel Smith has manifested for the detachment under my command, and his promptitude in affording every aid in his power, when apprized of our situation. My pen can scarcely do justice to the merits of the brave officers and men under my command, their fortitude under all their privations and distresses never forsaking them.

Captain Hamilton, who volunteered as a private, his company having left him at the expiration of their time ; Lieutenant Finnin, Ensign Hamilton and Adjutant Hardin distinguished themselves in a particular manner, being always among the first to charge, and first in pursuit; Sergeants Holt and Attaway likewise acted very bravely, and Fort's company in general, being always near me, and under my immediate view, advanced to the charge with the steadiness of veterans. Lieutenant Broadnax shewed a great deal of courage and presence of mind, and Ensign Mann, who was wounded in the first action, fought well. Captain Cone, who was wounded in the head early in the action, behaved well, and Lieutenant Williams did him self great honor in every action, but particularly in the bold and manly stand he made in the night engagement. Sergeant Hawkins and Corporal Neil of Cole man's company acted like soldiers, and Sergeant-major Reese's activity was only surpassed by his courage; he was everywhere and always brave. Captain Humphreys' company acted bravely, particularly Lieuten ant Reed, Sergeant Fields, Sergeant Cowan, Sergeant Denmark, and many of the privates. I can only speak of Captain Humphreys from the report of some of his men, who say he acted well; it so happening he never met my eye during either of the engagements, while the conduct of every other person that I have mentioned, except one or two, came under my personal observation.

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The number of Indians in the first engagement, from every circumstance that appeared, must have been seventy-five to an hundred-in the second engagement, their number, including negroes who were their best soldiers, was double ours, and in the third engagement there appeared to be fifty, which was nearly equal to our force, after deducting the sick and wounded. From every circumstance, I am induced to believe that the number of killed and wounded among the Indians must be at least fifty.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant, DANIEL NEWNAN

His excellency David B. Mitchell

Accounts of Col. Newnan's expedition were published throughout the country and he was proclaimed a hero, especially in the South. Georgia has honored his name. In Florida, Newnansville in the early days was the county seat of Alachua and the most important town in central Florida. Newnan's Lake, a beautiful body of water near Gainesville, was named for him, as also an original and principal street in Jacksonville.

Three soldiers were killed in the fights with the Indians on Sept. 27th, and they were probably buried within or just outside Col. Newnan's breastwork. Some years ago Mr. Feaster found the hilt of a sword at the breastwork, and he has musket balls of varying sizes that he picked up in the surrounding fields.

The memory of this detachment of American volunteers can appropriately be honored by the erection of a marker there.

(This series will be continued in the following issue. of the QUARTERLY.) Click here for Part Four.

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