Doc. 136.-fight at Spanish Wells, S. C.
A National account.
Fort Royal, S. C., March 14, 1863.Late last night our slumbers were disturbed by the long-roll calling the troops in and around camp to arms, and giving us to understand that at last something of a belligerent nature was on the tapis by the soldiers who have been so long in complete idleness on this island. All sorts of surmises and conjectures ran rapidly through the long barracks and sleeping-rooms at Hilton Head, and every one wondered what was the cause of the sudden alarm. It was soon learned, however, that, as usual, a few bold rebels had stirred up all this hubbub, had silently, to the number of seventy heavily-armed men, stolen up Skull Creek from the main land, sprung ashore at Spanish Wells, where we had a signal station, captured one of the signal officers and five privates, then set tire to the building, and hastily returned to their boats and rowed back to the point from which they started. One officer, one private, and from four or five negroes managed to escape and reach headquarters. Before, however, the negroes came in, they extinguished the flames and saved the mansion at Spanish Wells from destruction. The following is an official account of the affair:
Lieutenant: I have the honor to report that at twelve o'clock last night this station was attacked by a party of about seventy rebels. They came from the south-east, and were not discovered till near the back-door. The surprise was complete. They entered the room occupied by the signal men, set the house on fire by a fire that was still burning in the room, and took Hudgen, Newman, and Williams prisoners. Lieut. Rushley ran immediately below, and was just in time to be hurried off by the rebels. Considerable clothing belonging to the signal men was destroyed by fire. I have one man left. Five pickets were captured. Very respectfully, etc.,