, the channel was immediately found, sounded out and buoyed.’
Seamen will appreciate this celerity of movement, and the fact that pn the first high tide thereafter all of the vessels were taken within the bar.
The gunboats Ottawa
, and Penguin
had anchored, after aiding in sounding out the channel, only some three miles outside of the headlands upon which the earthworks were plainly visible without the aid of a glass.
Near sunset three steamers came out from between the headlands, and at long range opened fire on these vessels.
They were soon under way, stood toward the enemy's vessels, commanded by Commodore Josiah Tatnall
, formerly of the U. S. Navy, and opening fire, soon caused them to retreat.
Shortly after sunrise the following day (the 5th), the same manoeuvre was repeated by the enemy.
Just at this time Commander John Rodgers
, accompanied by BrigadierGen-eral H. G. Wright
, had gone on board of the Ottawa
for the purpose of making a reconnoissance of the batteries of the enemy.
The Ottawa made signal to the Seneca
, the Curlew
, and the Isaac Smith
to follow, and standing in, opened fire on Tatnall
's steamers, and drove them within the headlands, coming themselves within a distant cross-fire from Fort Walker
on Hilton Head
, and Fort Beauregard
on Bay Point
. Flag-Officer Dupont
says: ‘These vessels made a reconnoissance in force, and drew the fire of the batteries on Hilton Head
and Bay Point
sufficiently to show that the fortifications were works of strength, and scientifically constructed.’
In this affair the rigging of the gunboats was considerably cut by the shells from the earthworks, but no other damage was sustained.
They had the satisfaction of noting an explosion at Bay Point
, which General Drayton
stated in his report to have been caused by a rifle-shell striking a caisson.