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trash," or Florida Crackers,” who ran away to escape conscription, and generally were an ignorant, lazy and worthless lot. As these fugitives accumulated they formed quite a large camp, and it became something of a problem to decide what to do with them.

On the 7th of November I was relieved by Brig.-Gen. A. Asboth, who assigned me to the command of the First Brigade, which then consisted of the undetached companies of my own regiment commanded by Lieut.-Col. Peck, and two colored regiments. It was supposed, however, that a considerable body of troops would soon rendezvous at Barrancas and Pensacola to co-operate with Admiral Farragut in the meditated attack upon Mobile, and we began to flatter ourselves that we were soon to see more active service. But our expectations of participating in an attack upon Mobile were not to be immediately realized. Soon after Gen. Asboth's arrival he set about utilizing the deserters and refugees, by attempting to form a regiment of cavalry from among their number. Adjutant Sheldon of the Seventh, who had seen service in the regular artillery, was also authorized to recruit and organize a light battery, and I believe secured men enough to man four guns. It was not altogether safe, however, to rely too much upon troops made up from such an element. They were not entirely loyal, and hence were unreliable and untrustworthy.

Gen. Asboth was a Hungarian by birth and a compatriot of Kossuth's, and came to this country with him. He was a brave man, but rash and injudicious, and, like many other

138

GEN. ASBOTH'S CHARACTERISTICS.

officers of foreign extraction, was prone to expose his men, and sacrifice their lives unnecessarily. Still he never asked his troops to go where he was not willing to lead. He was very fond of dogs and horses, and had a half-dozen or more of each.

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CHAPTER VII.

COMBAT AT JACKSON'S BRIDGE-CAPTURE OF LIEUT. ROSS-
ARRIVAL OF RECRUITS-RE-ENLISTMENT OF REGIMENT-
COMBAT NEAR NIX'S CLEARING-ORDER FOR VET-
ERAN FURLOUGH-ACTION AT GONZALES STA-
TION-RETURN TO VERMONT AND RECEP-
TION AT BRATTLEBORO-ACTION AT
MARIANA, DEATH OF CAPT.

YOUNG-RETURN TO NEW

ORLEANS.

1864.

N the 25th of January, I crossed the bayou with three

companies of my regiment and about twenty men of the Fourteenth N. Y. Cavalry for the purpose of securing a quantity of lumber which we needed. Leaving the infantry at the head of the bayou to get the lumber, I started with the cavalry accompanied by Capt. Young and Lieut. George Brown of the Seventh, on a scouting and foraging expedition. After scouring the country for several hours we returned to Jackson's Bridge, which crosses a small run on the direct road to Pensacola, where we halted to water our horses and eat dinner. We had dismounted and had just begun our repast, when

140

COMBAT AT JACKSON'S BRIDGE.

several stray shots were fired in quick succession, and directly our vedettes came dashing in at a gallop, closely followed by several gray-backs. We had barely time to mount and wheel into position before we saw the rebels coming down upon us at the charge. It was impossible to tell what their force was,

but as we were both about the same distance from the bridge I knew if the heads of column struck there we stood a pretty good show, even though they outnumbered us, as our men were the best armed and mounted, so I gave

the order to charge, instructing the men to yell as loud as possible, and we bore down upon our opponent with much style. At this they discharged their pistols and carbines, killing one horse and slightly wounding one of our men, and then took to their heels. We pursued them about a mile capturing a lieutenant and nine enlisted men. Two rebels were wounded. Capt. Young and Lieut. Brown behaved very handsomely and with their accustomed gallantry. This following so closely upon the capture by Capt. Young at Pensacola exasperated our friend Maury still more, and he sent us word that the next time we“ took a gallop” outside of our lines we would meet with more formidable opposition.

On the 27th of January, Lieut. George Ross of B Company, was ordered by Gen. Asboth to proceed with a detail from his company to Point Washington, at the head of Choctawotchie Bay, to protect and forward refugees wishing to enter our lines and enlist in our army, and he accordingly. embarked on the schooner Sarah Breeze” with seventeen men for his destination. From Point Washington. he advanced about twenty-five miles inland, where he

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LIEUT. ROSS AND HIS CAPTURE-RE-ENLISTING.

141

struck and surprised a camp of rebel infantry, capturing three officers and forty privates, besides one or two army wagons.

This
company,

it

seems, had been stationed there to prevent refugees and deserters escaping to our lines. In trying to bring in his prisoners and plunder he was unable to make as rapid progress as he otherwise would, and before he could get back to his starting point he was overtaken and in turn surprised by a superior force of the enemy's cavalry and after a stubborn resistance was captured with eleven of his men and all his prisoners. It was reported at the time that several rebels were killed and wounded before Lieut. Ross was overpowered. He was a plucky officer and if he had a chance I have no doubt he made a stout fight, before giving up. A few days later all of his men not taken prisoners reached our lines in safety.

On the 13th of February, Lieut. Frank N. Finney of D Company returned from Vermont with 110 recruits which we were very glad to receive.

During the same month all of the enlisted men of the regiment remaining from those originally mustered in, except fifty-eight, re-enlisted for three years further service, or for the war, the War Department having previously decided that the original term of service of the regiment would expire June 1st, 1864. By the provisions of this order the re-enlisted men were entitled to return to Vermont early in April for a furlough of thirty days. But owing to a series of vexatious delays we were not able to embark until August 10th. From the time of the re-enlistment the regiment was authorized to assume, and

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