The fighting during the Battle of Gainesville occurred in the town square with many of the locals watching from the windows of the Beville house on August 17th 1864. About 350 Union men made up of parts of the 75th Ohio Mounted, Company B of the 4th Massachusetts Cavalry and Battery A of the 3rd Rhode Island Heavy artillery. Under the command of Colonel Andrew Lintner Harris occupied the Gainesville, Florida. The Union would face about 290 Confederates under the command of Captain John Jackson Dickison. Dickison’s force was made up of parts of the 5th Florida Cavalry Battalion and local militia.
Harris’ troops arrived in the town after a long march in the summer heat of Florida. Dickison hit the Union men before they had time to fully deploy. The fighting went on for over 2 hours, before the Union troops were forced to retreat.
Union losses were high with 28 killed, 5 wounded, 274 missing or captured. They also lost 260 horses and a cannon. Harris and the remains of his men escaped. The Confederate losses were light in the battle with only 8 men killed or wounded. Gainesville, Florida remained under Confederate control for the remainder of the war.