|Fighting of February 10, 1864|
The fight erupted when the head of the Union column reached Barber's Plantation at the South Prong or South Fork of the St. Marys River. The stream flows between today's communities of Macclenny and Glen St. Mary.
|Barber's is shown between Baldwin and Sanderson|
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The Union force involved in the fight consisted of the Independent Battalion of Massachusetts Cavalry, the Fortieth Massachusetts Infantry (Mounted) and Elder's horse battery of the First U.S. Artillery.
|Union troops in Sanderson|
...On Wednesday they moved as far as they Little Saint Mary's, when they were met by Major Harrison with two companies of cavalry, who were marching from Camp Cooper (near Fernandina) to this place, and being unaware of the force of the enemy, gave them battle at a strong position. The enemy's loss at this point, as reported by a woman, whom they have permitted to come through their lines, was 15 killed and 30 wounded. We lost 2 killed and 2 wounded, the latter in the enemy's hands. The enemy's wounded are at a hospital at Barber's place, which they have established for their reception. - Brig. Gen. Joseph Finegan (CS) to Brig. Gen. Thomas Jordan (CS), February 13, 1864.
|Lake City, Florida|
Heavily outnumbered, Harrison was forced back from his position and withdrew to join Finegan at Lake City. The Federals continued to move west along the railroad and reached Sanderson by nightfall. The Confederates had removed most of the supplies warehoused by the railroad there, although they were forced to burn 1,500 bushels of corn.
By reaching Sanderson, the Union force had advanced roughly 38 miles into eastern Florida from their landing point at Jacksonville with known losses of only 4 killed and 10 wounded. At least one other Federal soldier had been captured. Known Confederate losses totaled 2 killed and a handful captured.
Although the Federals had maintained the initiative up to the night of February 10th, the situation would begin to change the next day. Brigadier General Joseph Finegan was at Lake City assembling a force to oppose their advance. He would achieve the first Confederate success of the Olustee Campaign on the following day. I will post on the fighting at Lake City tomorrow.
To learn more about the Battle of Olustee and to watch the new mini-documentary on the battle, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com.