Battle of Olustee
Date: February 20, 1864
Location: Near Lake City in Northern Florida
Union General: Seymour Confederate General: Finegan
Union Force: 5,000 men Confederate Force: 5,000 men
Union Losses:203 killed Confederate Losses: 93 killed
1,152 wounded 847 wounded
506 missing 6 missing
Casualties: 40% of total force 20% of total force
Other Facts: 3rd bloodiest battle in terms of percentage for the Union
The Confederate Troops dug in at a railroad that passed over a narrow strip of dry ground surrounded by swamp and lakes. When the Union troops advanced, Finegan sent out his cavalry to push the Union into his main line. Despite this action, most of the fighting was done two miles in front of the main Confederate line. This minor skirmish intensified into a significant battle as both sides sent in reinforcements. Key mistakes plagued the Union as wrong commands were given to the 7th New Hampshire and caused great confusion, leading to a scrambled retreat of the unit. The Confederates began to push back the Union soldiers. By the afternoon, General Seymour decided to flee the battle and live to fight another day, giving the Confederates the victory. Due to disorganization, the Union troops were able to escape to Jacksonville.
7th Connecticut Involvement:
The 7th Connecticut was a key piece of the retreat. They, along with several other units, held the line and gave the rest of the Union army time to withdraw before evacuating themselves.