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[72] up the Pocotaligo River and the Patroon and the Vixen up the Coosawhatchie, the last-named to cover the landing of Colonel Barton's forces from the Planter. The services of these vessels are officially commended. Also at the request of the general, the three howitzers of the Wabash, in charge of Lieutenant Phenix and Ensigns Wallace, Pearson, and Adams, were landed and sent to the front; the conduct of these officers and the men under their command was highly commended by the general commanding the troops. A message from the general that he was falling back was received at 5 P. M. The next day (23d) the troops re-embarked and the whole force returned to Port Royal. The escape of the picket was in itself sufficient to make the move abortive, and the failure of the vessels to arrive for five hours after those leading, was also enough, as the troops of the enemy in half that time could be sent to the line of railroad from Savannah and from Charleston.

While the intended results of the expedition, to make a lodgment on the Charleston and Savannah Railroad, were not attained, the services of the naval co-operating force were duly acknowledged by the military commander in his official report.

On the afternoon of January 30, 1863, the gunboats Commodore McDonough, Lieutenant-Commander George Bacon, and the Isaac Smith, Acting Lieutenant F. S. Conover, were lying in Stono Inlet. At 4.40 P. M. the Isaac Smith got under way and proceeded up the river above Legareville, for the purpose of making a reconnaissance, and being fired upon from concealed and unsuspected heavy field batteries, hotly engaged them. The McDonough proceeded to her relief, but before getting within supporting distance a white flag was seen flying over the Isaac Smith. A nearer approach showed that the vessel was apparently aground1 and two of her

1 Confederate reports say ‘she dropped anchor and unconditionally surrendered.’ No surrender of a vessel has come to the knowledge of the writer that was not unconditional. January 31st the McDonough reports the Isaac Smith ‘still on shore at the same place. She must have been injured below the waterline or else they would certainly have gotten her off at high tide this morning.’

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