The cases were merely flesh wounds, the balls easing through the limbs without injuring the bone. The patients are doing well. Water dressings used.
Charleston, S. C., Jan. 14.About ten o'clock New-Year's morning the enemy came up from Brook River toward Port Royal Ferry. Taking a position just opposite Page's Point, and west of the ferry, they opened a heavy fire of shot and shell against a small battery which had been constructed at Page's Point, but which had never received its complement of guns. Judging from the severity of the enemy's fire, it is supposed that he was not aware of the defenceless condition of the fort. There were no troops at Page's Point at the time, excepting two companies of Col. Donnavan's regiment, under Capt. Bookter, and two guns of Capt. Leake's Virginia field-battery. They fell back a short distance, and obtained cover behind the embankment of a fence. The Yankees kept up a vigorous shelling of the earthwork, the plantation and the dwelling of H. M. Stuart, Esq., showing excellent artillery practice by knocking down chimneys and perforating the houses in the most promiscuous and unceremonious style. Finally, satisfied there were no masked batteries in the neighborhood, they sent a boat's crew ashore, which reconnoitred the place and immediately returned to their gunboats. This ended the hostilities at Page's Point. Not a gun was fired by our side, and when the gunboats desisted from the bombardment our forces at the Point retired. There is a rumor that subsequently they returned with reenforcements to hold that position, but on this we have no satisfactory assurance. In the mean time the Yankees were making far more serious demonstrations on the other side of Port Royal Ferry. Five of their gunboats came up from St. Helena Sound, and landed a force estimated to consist of about three thousand men, upon the plantation of Alexander Chrisholm, Esq. While they were performing on the shore the gunboats proceeded up to the ferry, and opened a furious fire of shells upon a small three-gun battery, which we had erected on our side of the ferry, so as to command the causeway. It soon became evident that our men would be unable to hold the battery, so they fell back, carrying off with them two of their guns. The heaviest of the three guns was accidentally overturned in a ditch by a nervous mule, which had taken flight at the noise of the shells. As there was no time for delay, this gun was hurriedly spiked and abandoned. While this was going on, the Yankees, whose landing at Chrisholm's had been effected without opposition, began their march along the shore in the direction of Port Royal Ferry. When their advance had reached a field in the rear of Mr. John Chaplin's house, they were suddenly met by Col. Jones's regiment and four companies of another regiment. Pouring one volley into the ranks of the enemy, our boys advanced with the bayonet at double quick. The Yankees, thrown somewhat into disorder by the fire which they had received, did not wait to close, but dropped their guns and fled toward the river, where they were separated from their gunboats by only a strip of marsh. Col. Jones kept up the pursuit until he had nearly overtaken the enemy, when the gunboats opened a brisk fire upon him to cover the retreat of their men. A single shell which exploded killed six and wounded nine of our soldiers. The fire of the gunboats being quite severe, Col. Jones desisted from the pursuit, and retreated, leaving the Yankees huddled together on the shore, under the guns of their steamers. The enemy now hold that position of the mainland bordering on the Coosaw River, and stretching from Chrisholm's to the ferry. They have mounted guns on our deserted batteries at the latter place, and otherwise strengthened their position.
Another rebel account.
Norfolk, January 9, 1862.We have some further and very interesting accounts of the fight which took place in the neighborhood of Port Royal Ferry on Wednesday last, the 1st inst. The narrative of the affair, as published in the Mercury of Saturday last, was in the main correct. Our forces consisted of Col. Jones's regiment, South-Carolina Volunteers, a battalion of three companies from Col. Dunovant's regiment, South-Carolina Volunteers, under Lieut.-Col. Barnes, and a detachment of mounted men under Major Oswald, of Col. Martin's regiment of cavalry. After it had been determined to attack the enemy, it became necessary to have their position, number, and material carefully reconnoitred. This duty was cheerfully undertaken by Ord. Sergt. Thomas B. Chaplin, of the St. Helena Mounted Rifles. On the night of the 31st, he mounted his horse and rode down to a point within sight of the Yankee camp, where he dismounted, hid his horse, and, being familiar with every road and path, approached to within forty yards of their bivouacs. He was so close as to discover that they had lanterns, with blinds on their sides, so as not to be seen either in front or on the flanks. Following the instructions of his General, he counted the bivouacs and sentinels, and ascertained that there were about five hundred men on the west side of the ferry. He then sought his horse (which he was for some time unable to find, owing to the care with which he had secreted him,) and then rode over to the other side of the ferry, where, by similar means, he ascertained that the main body of the enemy, consisting of about three thousand five hundred men, was on the east side. After gaining every possible information, he returned to headquarters