the enemy's troops with great effect, driving them into the woods, and clearing the flank of our column, where the skirmishers had been engaged, and the enemy had opened fire from a field-battery of several pieces. Soon after sunset we ceased firing for a while, and the enemy sent a flag of truce to one of our advanced posts, to ask permission to carry off their killed and wounded. Just then the gunboats reopened, and before General Stevens's messenger could convey his reply, that the firing should cease for an hour, to enable the enemy to carry off their wounded, the officer who had brought the flag had galloped off. At sunset I landed our heavy howitzer, directing Lieutenant Upshur to place it in battery with the guns already on shore under Lieutenant Irwin, there being no artillery with the brigade but that of the Wabash. At the same time Lieutenant Luce, with the second launch and its rifled gun, and Lieutenant Barnes, with the Hale, were sent to the lower landing to protect the boats and steamer in which our troops had crossed, and superintend their removal to the ferry, which was accomplished about midnight. At sunrise we reembarked our boat-guns. At thirty minutes past nine o'clock on the morning of the 2d, the enemy again appearing in the wood, we opened a hot fire of shot and shells from the Ottawa, Seneca, Pembina, Ellen, and Hale, and after firing briskly for a time slackened the fire so as to drop a shot or shell into the woods about once a minute. At forty minutes past nine o'clock our troops began to recross the ferry, and were all over by noon, our field-guns having been landed, at the request of General Stevens, to cover the rear of the returning column. The enemy made no further demonstration. The scows which had been used in crossing were taken to our vessels, to be towed to Beaufort, and at two P. M. we got under way and moved down the Coosaw to a point near the Beaufort River, where we were compelled to wait for the morning's tide to pass through the Brickyard channel. I beg leave to express to you the great satisfaction I found in cooperating with General Stevens, and my admiration of the skilful manner in which he handled his troops and made his combinations. About twenty-five hundred of our volunteers crossed the Coosaw. Their conduct and bearing were excellent. I have to thank the commanding officers of the vessels for the skilful and prompt support they gave me. The manner in which their guns were served, and their vessels handled, under very difficult circumstances, shows the highest professional merit. The manner in which the boat and field-guns of the Wabash were managed by the officers in charge of them did those officers much credit. Lieutenant Commanding Ammen will make a separate report of the service of the Seneca and Ellen, at Seabrook, before I met him, at half-past 2, on New-Year's day. It is unnecessary for me to say to you that his work was thoroughly done. The channel of the Coosaw is so narrow and so shallow in many parts that it does not afford a vessel room to turn by the ordinary methods, and our gunboats were, consequently, very often aground; but so admirably are they adapted to this kind of service that we never felt any solicitude for their safety. Lieutenant Coggswell, a signal officer of the army, was directed to report to me for duty, and furnished me with the means of constantly communicating with General Stevens with a facility and rapidity unknown to the naval service. I take this opportunity of recommending that the code of signals invented by Major Meyer be at once introduced into the navy. I have the honor to be, etc.,
The part taken by the Michigan troops.
headquarters Eighth Michigan regiment, main land, Port Royal Ferry, January 1, 1862-8 P. M.sir: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with your order, this regiment was safely landed at the Adams House, on the main land, having effected the crossing in flat-boats from Brickyard Point, Port Royal Island, and took up its line of march towards the enemy's battery at this place, at one o'clock P. M. On our approach towards the ferry, we were ordered to attack (as skirmishers) a masked battery which opened fire on us from the right. I immediately detached the first two and the tenth companies, and directed their march to the left and front of the battery, which was followed by four additional companies to the right and front. The fire of the battery, with shells, continued on our line until the skirmishers reached the right, when it was turned on them, and, on our approach, right, left, and front, to within fifty to one hundred yards of the enemy's position, a fire of musketry was opened on them. The force of the enemy, as well as the battery, were concealed to a considerable extent by trees, brush, and underwood, appeared to consist of two mounted howitzers, supported by a regiment or more of infantry, and some cavalry. The skirmishers were measurably protected by underbrush and furrows, and continued their fire upon the enemy, which was returned by volleys of musketry and shells from the battery. Our fire was well directed and seemed to be effective. One mounted officer, who appeared to be very active, was seen to fall from his horse, at which the troops on the enemy's right were thrown into confusion. Their position seemed to be changing to the rear, and, as our skirmishers were called off, and the regiment formed in line, the enemy's fire ceased. The regiment was then marched to its position in the line of battle, in rear of the fort at this point. Lieut.-Col. Graves led on the left, and Major Watson the right of skirmishers. The Major, in leading on the line, received a severe flesh-wound in the leg. I have to report that officers and men behaved with admirable bravery and coolness. The loss of the enemy, from the well-directed