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Andersonville — Volume 2 by John McElroy
page 2 of 163 (01%)
Winter, preparing for the death grapple in the Spring. There had been
nothing done, save a few cavalry raids, such as our own, and Averill's
attempt to gain and break up the Rebel salt works at Wytheville, and
Saltville. Consequently none but a few cavalry prisoners were added to
the number already in the hands of the Rebels.

The first lot of new ones came in about the middle of March. There were
about seven hundred of them, who had been captured at the battle of
Oolustee, Fla., on the 20th of February. About five hundred of them were
white, and belonged to the Seventh Connecticut, the Seventh New
Hampshire, Forty Seventh, Forty-Eighth and One Hundred and Fifteenth New
York, and Sherman's regular battery. The rest were colored, and belonged
to the Eighth United States, and Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts. The story
they told of the battle was one which had many shameful reiterations
during the war. It was the story told whenever Banks, Sturgis, Butler,
or one of a host of similar smaller failures were trusted with commands.
It was a senseless waste of the lives of private soldiers, and the
property of the United States by pretentious blunderers, who, in some
inscrutable manner, had attained to responsible commands. In this
instance, a bungling Brigadier named Seymore had marched his forces
across the State of Florida, to do he hardly knew what, and in the
neighborhood of an enemy of whose numbers, disposition, location, and
intentions he was profoundly ignorant. The Rebels, under General
Finnegan, waited till he had strung his command along through swamps
and cane brakes, scores of miles from his supports, and then fell
unexpectedly upon his advance. The regiment was overpowered, and another
regiment that hurried up to its support, suffered the same fate. The
balance of the regiments were sent in in the same manner--each arriving
on the field just after its predecessor had been thoroughly whipped by
the concentrated force of the Rebels. The men fought gallantly, but the
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