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[2] ever, nothing daunted, drew up his company across the road, and making a bold stand, defied the approaching force, which, though not large, was quite respectable in numbers. The enemy pressed forward, confident of making our colored troops run by such a display of chivalry; but they were disappointed, as the negroes behaved well and kept up a sharp and effective fire for over half an hour, until the John Adams came to the rescue; and dispersed the rebels with a few well-directed shells. During this skirmish one of Colonel Heyward's horses was shot, and our men left his carcass upon the field to solace the enemy. The other horse was brought away in safety. They were both valuable animals, as was seen from the bill of sale found by our troops in the Colonel's house. The horses had been imported, and cost one thousand dollars. Captain Hoyt's company all returned to the John Adams in safety.

At the same time that Captain Hoyt started up the right bank, Captain Brayton, with his battery section, proceeded up the left bank of the river, and was equally successful. The rebel pickets did not fall back upon a large force of the rebels stationed on the Ashapoo River, but hurried around in hot haste to the different plantations, notifying owners and overseers of the coming of negro troops. Captain Brayton destroyed every building within reach, and cotton and rice crops gathered and growing, mills, storehouses, and residences, were burned to the ground. He also captured a large number of horses, mules, and cattle, but owing to our lack of transportation, they were left behind. It is a matter of regret that this question of transportation had not received more attention before the expedition started, as by this means we should have brought away much valuable property.

The shores were lined with slaves of all sizes, ages, and descriptions, who rushed down to the banks, hailing our troops with delight, and praying to be taken on board. The transports, however, could only accommodate about seven handred of them, not near the number that sought deliverance, or stood upon the banks cheering the Stars and Stripes. This was the saddest sight of the whole expedition — so many souls within sight of freedom, and yet unable to attain it. But the transports were filled to their utmost capacity; they looked more like slavers than the harbingers of liberty; and as they turned away from the river-banks, and started homeward bound, moist eyes were on those decks, for they saw in the distance those whom a cruel fate had left behind. The song of liberty floated upon the river, but the wail of despair went up from the dismal shore.

During the absence of the main part of the expedition, under Colonel Montgomery, the rebels attacked both Captains Carver s and Thompson's companies, stationed at the above-named points. Our forces, however, held the enemy in check, though outnumbered and subjected, as Captain Carver was, to the fire of a rebel field-piece, when his own ammunition was nearly exhansted. Our men, however, boldly stood their ground, and awaited the arrival of the John Adams, which, coming up in the nick of time, dispersed the enemy with a brisk shelling. None of our men were injured.

The expedition returned to Beaufort, and received a grand reception. The captured slaves, as they marched through the streets, attracted much attention, and were overwhelmed with the congratulations of their brethren who have been enjoying liberty for some time. They were quartered in one of the Beaufort churches, but will soon be provided with quarters. The males will be put into the Second South-Carolina regiment, and are numerous enough to make two large companies.

This expedition reflects great credit upon Col. Montgomery and the men of his command. He has destroyed property of the enemy estimated at a million of dollars, proved himself a capable commander, and that the negro troops can be made efficient soldiers. He has also provided his regiment with two additional companies, deprived the rebels of seven hundred and twenty-seven negroes, and accomplished the most successful raid in this department.

--Philadelphia Inquirer.

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James Montgomery (2)
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