Further particulars of the fight on New Year's day.
The Charleston Mercury
has some further and very interesting accounts of the fight which took place in the neighborhood of Port Royal
; Wednesday last, the 1st inst. The narrative of the affair, as published in the Mercury,
of Saturday last, and which was transfered to our columns, was in the main correct.
Our forces consisted of Col. Jones
' Regiment, S. C. V., a battalion of three companies from Col. Dunovant
's Regiment, S. C. V., under Lt. Col. Barnes
, and a detachment of mounted men under Major Oswald
, of Col. Martin
's Regiment of cavalry.
of the 7th inst., adds.
After it had been determined to attack the enemy, it became necessary to have their position, numbers and material carefully reconnoitered.
This duty was cheerfully undertaken by Orderly Sergeant Thomas B. Chaplain
, of the St. Helena
On the night of the 31st, he mounted his hors and rode down to a point within sight of the Yankee
camp, where he dismounted — hid his horse, and being familiar with every road and path, approached to within forty yards of their bivouacs.
He was so close as to discover that they had lanterns, with blinds on their sides, so as not be seen either in front or on the flanks.
Following the instructions of his General, he counted the bivouacs and sentinels, and ascertained that there were about 500 men on the west side of the Ferry
He then sought his horse, (which he was for some time unable to find, owing to the care with which he secreted him,) and then rode over to the other side of the Ferry
, where, by similar means he ascertained that the main body of the enemy, consisting of about 3,500 men, were on the east side.
After gaining every possible information, he returned to headquarters at day break, having been in the saddle, or on foot, all night.
When starting on this perilous under taking, he left his roll book with his Colonel
, who gave him the necessary permit to pass our lines — remarking that if he was taken, he must destroy it--‘"I don't intend to be taken alive"’ was his reply.
One of the principal features of the fight of Wednesday was the deployment of an entire regiment of the enemy as skirmishers, with the view of crossing Kean
's Neck, in order to turn our left.
They were met by our skirmishers, conspicuous among whom was Captain Tompkins
's company, from Jones
These brave fellows left their mark upon the invaders, and many a Yankee fell before their unerring aim; but, owing to the complete arrangements and forethought of the enemy in providing litters, their killed and wounded were all rapidly removed.
During their retreat, Major Oswald
's cavalry, with double-barrel guns and revolvers, did good service.
It is due to truth to state that the Yankees
did not, as at first stated, throw away their guns.
In advancing, they were never beyond the range of their gun-boats, and were always well covered by the forest or undergrowth.
Just as the enemy had reached the shore, Gen. A. J. Bonelson
, with Moore
's 1st regiment Tennessee volunteers, came up, flushed with their quick march — a noble set of fellows.
Great was their disappointment at finding the enemy gone.
's Regiment, a graduate of the Citadel, occupied an advanced post on Chisholm's Island, and marched his company in retreat in complete order.
He remained in the rear with five others, and tore up the bridge on the causeway, which effectually prevented the crossing of the enemy's artillery.
So arduous was this task, that the delay occasioned painful suspense, and at one time it was feared that he was out off.
Soon after the fight, Col. W. E. Martin
, and Lieut. Col. S. McGowan
, of Jones
' regiment determined to reconnoiter the field.--They galioped rapidly through an old field down the causeway, to the spot where the shell had burat among our troops, for the purpose of ascertaining the number of our wounded.
This brought them within 100 yards of the enemy's infantry, who were in Chaplin's house, and within range of their howitzers.
They found five or six South Carolina
soldiers helplessly wounded.
As they could not be removed on horseback, both officers retired, and securing a wagon, with proper escort, reached and removed these brave men, Before moving off Dr. Turnipseed
, had to take up an artery, and during all this time, and until under cover, the enemy kept up a sliarp fire of shells at the wagon and guard, fortunately without damage.
The enemy disappeared on the night of the 3d, Colonel Savage
, with a hattery of the 16th Tennessee Regiment, went down to the cause way, and did not see them.
We learn that our men have always held Page's Point
, and do so now.