in Port Royal Island, by placing obstructions in Coosaw River and Whale branch, by constructing batteries at Port Royal Ferry, at Seabrook, and at or near Boyd's Creek, and by accumulating men in this vicinity in such manner as to be able to throw a force of twenty-five hundred or three thousand troops upon any of these points at a short notice. In a confidential communication of the 28th ultimo, the General informed me that the time had arrived for arresting peremptorily the designs of the enemy, and for doing it in such a manner as would serve a subsequent purpose, and he requested me to furnish my quota of the force to be employed in the combined operation. The plan of conduct having been fully determined in several conferences between the commanders-in-chief and the heads of the expedition, and the first day of the new year having been selected for the time of attack, I appointed Commander C. R. P. Rodgers to the command of the naval forces, consisting of the gunboats Ottawa, Lieutenant Commanding Stevens; Pembina, Lieutenant Commanding Bankhead, and the four armed boats of this ship, carrying howitzers, under the charge of Lieutenants Upshur, Luce, and Irwin, and Acting Master Kempff, all of which were to enter the Coosaw by Beaufort River; and of the gunboat Seneca, Lieutenant Commanding Ammen, and the tugboat Ellen, Acting Master Commanding Budd, both of which were to move up Beaufort River and approach the batteries at Seabrook and Port Royal Ferry by Whale branch. The armed tug E. B. Hale, Acting Master Foster, under the command of Lieutenant Barnes, was afterwards despatched to Commander Rodgers. The part assigned to the naval force was to protect the landing of the troops at Haywood's plantation, the first point of debarkation, to cover the route of the advancing column, and the second point of debarkation, and to assail the batteries on their front. I refer you, with pleasure, to the official reports for the occurrences of the day, and I have only to add, that from the note of Brigadier-General Stevens, a copy of which accompanies this report, and from various other sources, I learn that the naval part of the expedition was conducted by Commander Rodgers with the highest skill and ability. I have the honor to transmit herewith his detailed report, which the department will read with pleasure. Respectfully, etc.,
Report of Commander C. R. P. Rodgers.
Beaufort at noon on the 31st of December, with the gunboats Ottawa, Lieutenant Commanding Stevens, and Pembina, Lieutenant Commanding Bankhead, and the four large boats of this ship, each carrying a twelve-pound howitzer, under Lieutenants Upshur, Luce, and Irwin, and Acting-Master Kempff. At sunset Lieutenant Barnes, of this ship, joined me with the armed steamer E. B. Hale, Acting-Master Commanding Foster. In order that no intimation might be given to the enemy of our approach, these vessels remained at Beaufort until after dark, when they ascended the river to a point about two miles from the Coosaw. where we anchored to await daylight. At four the next morning I moved on with the launches, and at daylight joined General Stevens, at the head of his column, and at the appointed place of rendezvous. The troops having all embarked, we crossed the Coosaw, and at eight A. M., the first detachment of volunteers landed, under cover of our boat-guns, at Haywood's plantation, and with them went the two light howitzers of the Wabash, to serve as a section of light artillery, under Lieutenant Irwin, of this ship. At sunrise Lieutenant Commanding Stevens succeeded in getting the Ottawa through the difficult passage of the Brickyard, and in joining me in front of the column, the Pembina and E. B. Hale arriving shortly afterwards. We proceeded to the next landing, at Adams's plantation, where the re mainingtroops were ordered to disembark. On our way up we threw a few shells into what seemed an outpost of the enemy, near a long embankment. Anchoring the gunboat at ten o'clock so as to cover the route of the advancing column, and the second point of debarkation, where also our launches were stationed, I went up in the Hale to within range of the battery at Port Royal Ferry, at which Lieutenant Barnes threw a few shot and shell, dislodging a body of troops stationed in the adjoining field, but eliciting no response from the battery. At half-past 1 P. M., General Stevens being ready to move, the gunboats shelled the woods in front of his skirmishers, and then advancing we threw a rapid fire into the fort at Port Royal Ferry, and anchored in front of it at two forty P. M., the Ottawa passing between the heads of the two causeways. The enemy had succeeded in taking off all their guns save one, but I could not learn whether any except field-pieces had been removed on the day of attack. We found a quantity of eight-inch shells and thirty-pounder rifled shells in the magazines. At half-past 2 the Seneca, Lieutenant Commanding Ammen, and the Ellen, Master Commanding Budd, the other vessels which you had placed under my orders, having passed from Broad River through Whale branch, came within signal distance, and their commanders came on board the Ottawa, having assisted in the destruction of the works at Seabrook; but their vessels were prevented by the lowness of the tide from joining me. The Ellen came up at eight o'clock, and the Seneca the next morning. Immediately after the Ottawa had anchored, the ferry was reopened, and the Pennsylvania Roundheads passed over and occupied the Fort, where they were joined, about four o'clock, by General Stevens's advanced guard. The enemy appearing in force and in line of battle upon the right of our troops, at fifteen minutes past four o'clock, the Ottawa moved down the river a short distance, with the Pembina, and opened fire with eleveninch and Parrot guns, their shells filling among