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[207] but landing, captured the Brook's gun battery. They then pressed on toward Johnson under heavy fire, before which they were obliged to retire to the captured battery where they all surrendered. The retreating boats communicated their disorder to those carrying the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh; and they too fell back against the peremptory orders of Maj. Edward H. Little, commanding, and Captain Little and Lieutenants Little and Abercrombie, who brought their men of the One Hundred and Twentyseventh to land. This surprise, which, if successful, might have sealed the fate of Charleston soon after, thus failed. A military court, on Nov. 7, 1864, found that—
Colonel Gurney, One Hundred and Twenty-seventh New York Regiment, commanding Morris Island, who was charged with sending the expedition, did not accompany it, but remained at Payne's Dock. There seems to be no sufficient reason for this conduct.’

The report further says,—

‘The chief cause of failure was the lack of spirit, energy, and power of command on the part of subordinate officers.’

Captain Homans with the Fifty-fourth companies at Black Island was ordered to cross in boats to James Island, and attack toward Secessionville, to co-operate with the movement against Johnson. Preparations were made, and the boats transported across the island in accordance with specific instructions; but in transit, without proper means, they were so damaged as to make their use impracticable, and the expedition necessarily impossible.

At Port Royal three brigades of troops embarked on transports and sailed for the Edisto on the evening of July

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