to the enemy. When the field was visited next day by some of our officers, it was covered with fragments of human bodies, and blood stood around in puddles, as if it had been a slaughter-yard. No other opposition was offered to the advance of our troops, and the Seventy-ninth New-York was sent on to the fort. They advanced without flinching. Meanwhile, however, the gunboats had been pouring a heavy fire into the battery; but it was still uncertain whether it had been abandoned, when the Seventy-ninth entered and ran up the American flag. Immediately two companies of pioneers and the whole Roundhead (Pennsylvania) regiment, Col. Leasure, crossed Port Royal Ferry on the ferry-boats, as had been previously arranged, and set to work destroying the fort. They completely levelled the earth-walls, burned the wood-work, seized the solitary gun left behind, a bronze eighteen--pounder, marked Georgius Rex, and fired the buildings which had been used by the rebels for military purposes. The enemy's force had been entirely withdrawn at an early hour in the morning, and five guns removed. This was reported by the negroes. While all this was occurring, the two gunboats, Seneca and Ellen, had come up from Broad River through a short cut, the Whale Branch, into the Coosaw, and shelled an incomplete work of the enemy at Seabrook, two miles beyond Port Royal Ferry. After this was accomplished, a body of two hundred troops crossed under cover of their guns from the island and destroyed the work. The Seneca and Ellen then joined their consorts, and all five of our gunboats closed around our land force at the ferry while the complete destruction of the rebel battery was consummated. It was long after nightfall before this was completed, and the flames of the burning buildings were answered in twenty different directions by the blazing cotton-houses, fired by the rebels, who thus proved that they expected to be driven still further back, and were making preparations for defeat. Before midnight, Gen. Stevens received a flag of truce, asking permission for the enemy to bury his dead. One hour was granted; but before the reply reached the rebel officer who bore the flag, he had galloped off. Whether the whole affair was a ruse or not, it is impossible to say. If in earnest, the loss of the enemy must have been large, or he would not have deemed it necessary to make the request. Some four or five bodies of the rebels were found and interred by our troops, and many more fragments of bodies seen lying on the fields. In the morning of the 2d, Gen. Stevens recrossed his troops at Port Royal Ferry; the gunboats opening a heavy cannonade, so that the operation should not be disturbed. The troops were all taken across in two hours and a half, and, as the number of flats was not greater than twenty, the celerity and perfection of the movement are manifest. The two regiments from Gen. Viele's brigade at Hilton Head went aboard the transports, and returned as they had come; two others, the Roundheads and Fiftieth Pennsylvania, remained on the Port Royal island side of the ferry, with a section of Capt. Hamilton's light battery, which had been placed here during all the movements of the two preceding days, but had no opportunity to take any part. The remaining portion of Gen. Stevens's brigade marched across the island to Beaufort. The gunboats, after everything had been accomplished, returned to Port Royal harbor, on Friday, the 3d, by the way of Brickyard Creek and the Beaufort or Port Royal River. On the 3d of January, a reconnoissance was made across the river, and it was discovered that the enemy had withdrawn his entire force five miles back into the interior, to a place known as Garden's Corners. There were several points made manifest by this demonstration, as well as several objects thoroughly accomplished. The two batteries were completely demolished, the enemy driven back five miles, the navigation of the Broad and Coosaw Rivers rendered secure for our gunboats or transports, and a salutary lesson administered to the rebels for their New Year's consideration; these were the objects accomplished. What was ascertained was that our men were full of nerve and coolness, ready to fight troops that were under cover, ready to attack batteries in front, ready to scale forts, or do whatever else they were ordered to; also, that the enemy — although in at least as large force as ourselves — although on his own soil — refused to come out from under cover, would not fight except upon the old plan of lying in ambush and skulking under woods and masked batteries. The fact that he removed his guns from the fort shows that he expected to be beaten, and the fact that he was still retreating two days after his discomfiture, proves how severe that discomfiture must have been.
Report of the killed and wounded of the Second brigade, E. C., Jan. 1, 1862.
Amasa Watson, Major, Eighth Michigan, gunshot wound in left thigh. Ira Armstrong, private, Company A, Eighth Michigan, gunshot wound in right thigh. A. B. Miller, private, Company A, Eighth Michigan, gunshot wound in right thigh. John Q. Adams, corporal, Company A, Eighth Michigan, killed. Edward Brooks, private, Company A, Eighth Michigan, wounded and missing. Amos Wetherby, private, Company B, Eighth Michigan, gunshot wound left thigh. Nathaniel K. Thayer, private, Company C, Eighth Michigan, gunshot wound left thigh. William Woad, private, Company I, Eighth Michigan, gunshot wound right thigh. John W. Rich, sergeant, Company I, Eighth Michigan, gunshot wound right thigh. John Weidenheimer, private, Company A, Fiftieth Pennsylvania, gunshot wound right foot. A. Herbert, ensign, Company A, Fiftieth Pennsylvania, wounded in leg by shell.