Under further orders, on the 5th of December Commander Drayton
again revisited those waters in the Pawnee
, accompanied by the Unadilla
, Isaac Smith
, and Coast Survey steamer Vixen
He extended his observations up the Ashepoo River
to the entrance of Mosquito Creek
, where the inland route to Charleston
A day or so thereafter he continued up the river and landed on Hutchinson's Island
; two days earlier the negro houses, overseer's house, and outbuildings had been burned by the enemy.
An attempt had been made at the same time to drive off the negroes, many of whom had escaped into the woods, and he was told that many of their number had been shot in attempting to escape.
‘The scene was one of complete desolation; the smoking ruins and cowering figures which surrounded them, who still instinctively clung to their hearthstones, although there was no longer shelter for them, presented a most melancholy sight, the impression of which was made even stronger by the piteous wailing of the poor creatures, a large portion of whom consisted of the old and decrepit.’
The vessels left soon after dark, when a bright signal light was burned on the place to announce to the enemy the departure of the vessels.
The following morning Commander Drayton
went up the Coosaw River
with his command.
Soon after leaving, the Unadilla
was disabled by the breaking of a cross-head; the two other vessels proceeded.
Off Fort Heyward, before described but not named, the Isaac Smith
was left, her size not permitting her to go farther with safety.
proceeded in the Vixen
to the entrance of Beaufort Creek, known as the ‘Brick-yards,’ where a fort was said to be. The plantation of Mr. Blythewood
was visited, where a great number of negroes was seen.
Here the cotton-house with its contents had just been burned, and all of the slaves