boats were taking the officers and men on shore.
Three field batteries then opened on the McDonough
, one of six guns, on John's Island
; the fire from the enemy was at once returned, the engines reversed and the vessel dropped down the stream.
The report of the officer commanding the Smith
states that he anchored opposite Grimball
's plantation, four and a half miles from the inlet; an excellent lookout was at the mast-head and nothing suspicious was seen.
A few minutes later a battery of three rifled guns on James Island
six hundred yards distant, and concealed by trees, opened fire; the vessel at once was got under way and engaged the battery.
At the same time two other batteries lower down, on John's Island
, also opened fire on the vessel.
An endeavor was made to pass down, but for a mile or more the vessel was exposed to a raking fire and unable to reply, except occasionally from a pivot gun. Passing by the two batteries, at an estimated distance of from two to four hundred yards, a broadside of shell and grape was delivered, but the vessel received a shot in her steam-chimney which at once disabled her, and there was nothing left to do but surrender.
Eight men had been killed and 17 wounded, some of them mortally.
The batteries were properly supposed to be composed of siege and field guns, and their fire was supplemented by a number of riflemen on or near the banks of the river.1
The Isaac Smith
was a vessel of four hundred and fifty-three tons, purchased in 1861, and was armed with one 30-pounder Parrott
and eight Viii-inch columbiads.