Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/503

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in the work of destroying the camp and storehouses. When this work was done, daylight appeared, and the troops were withdrawn to the landing place, after a sharp skirmish with a force that attempted to intercept them. On account of trouble with the boats, the enemy had time to do considerable damage by firing into the massed soldiers on the shore. A number of brave men were killed, wounded or captured in this affair.

On November 22d and 23d, the Mississippians, with the other troops, were under the forty hours' bombardment from Fort Pickens and the sand batteries. Fort McRee suffered mostly in this fiery trial, and the Mississippians there, under Col. John B. Villepigue, with their Georgia comrades, made a gallant defense which elicited the laudatory comments of General Bragg.

During 1861 other Mississippi regiments arrived at Pensacola, the Fifth, Col. A. E. Fant; Eighth, Col. C. G. Flynt; Twenty-seventh, Col. Thomas M. Jones; and a battalion. On March 9, 1862, Colonel Jones was put in command at Pensacola, preparations having been made to evacuate the city. The Twenty-seventh Mississippi, which had been assigned to Fort McRee and adjacent batteries and had been distinguished for coolness and gallantry, was the last to leave the Florida post.

The Third Mississippi, Col. J. B. Deason, was on duty during 1861 at New Orleans and on the coast. It was composed of coast men, and though ordered up to Columbus in December, 1861, was soon afterward sent back for service on the Mississippi coast. Also at New Orleans were the Seventh regiment, Colonel Goode, and Vaiden's artillery. The Twenty-fourth regiment, Col. W. F. Dowd, was stationed at Tallahassee, and several companies at Mobile. All of these were ordered back to Mississippi late in 1861 and early in 1862, to meet the threatened invasion from the north.

It was in Virginia, however, that Mississippians won the greatest military distinction during the first year of