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Doc. 2.-fight at Port Royal, S. C. January 1, 1862.

Report of Flag officer S. P. Dupont.

Flag ship Wabash, Port Royal harbor, January 4, 1862.
sir: I have the honor to inform the department, that the attention of General Sherman and myself has been drawn for some time past to the design of the enemy to shut up our troops [2] in Port Royal Island, by placing obstructions in Coosaw River and Whale branch, by constructing batteries at Port Royal Ferry, at Seabrook, and at or near Boyd's Creek, and by accumulating men in this vicinity in such manner as to be able to throw a force of twenty-five hundred or three thousand troops upon any of these points at a short notice. In a confidential communication of the 28th ultimo, the General informed me that the time had arrived for arresting peremptorily the designs of the enemy, and for doing it in such a manner as would serve a subsequent purpose, and he requested me to furnish my quota of the force to be employed in the combined operation.

The plan of conduct having been fully determined in several conferences between the commanders-in-chief and the heads of the expedition, and the first day of the new year having been selected for the time of attack, I appointed Commander C. R. P. Rodgers to the command of the naval forces, consisting of the gunboats Ottawa, Lieutenant Commanding Stevens; Pembina, Lieutenant Commanding Bankhead, and the four armed boats of this ship, carrying howitzers, under the charge of Lieutenants Upshur, Luce, and Irwin, and Acting Master Kempff, all of which were to enter the Coosaw by Beaufort River; and of the gunboat Seneca, Lieutenant Commanding Ammen, and the tugboat Ellen, Acting Master Commanding Budd, both of which were to move up Beaufort River and approach the batteries at Seabrook and Port Royal Ferry by Whale branch. The armed tug E. B. Hale, Acting Master Foster, under the command of Lieutenant Barnes, was afterwards despatched to Commander Rodgers.

The part assigned to the naval force was to protect the landing of the troops at Haywood's plantation, the first point of debarkation, to cover the route of the advancing column, and the second point of debarkation, and to assail the batteries on their front. I refer you, with pleasure, to the official reports for the occurrences of the day, and I have only to add, that from the note of Brigadier-General Stevens, a copy of which accompanies this report, and from various other sources, I learn that the naval part of the expedition was conducted by Commander Rodgers with the highest skill and ability. I have the honor to transmit herewith his detailed report, which the department will read with pleasure.

Respectfully, etc.,

Report of Commander C. R. P. Rodgers.

United States Flag ship Wabash, Port Royal harbor, S. C., January 3, 1862.
sir: I reached Beaufort at noon on the 31st of December, with the gunboats Ottawa, Lieutenant Commanding Stevens, and Pembina, Lieutenant Commanding Bankhead, and the four large boats of this ship, each carrying a twelve-pound howitzer, under Lieutenants Upshur, Luce, and Irwin, and Acting-Master Kempff. At sunset Lieutenant Barnes, of this ship, joined me with the armed steamer E. B. Hale, Acting-Master Commanding Foster. In order that no intimation might be given to the enemy of our approach, these vessels remained at Beaufort until after dark, when they ascended the river to a point about two miles from the Coosaw. where we anchored to await daylight. At four the next morning I moved on with the launches, and at daylight joined General Stevens, at the head of his column, and at the appointed place of rendezvous.

The troops having all embarked, we crossed the Coosaw, and at eight A. M., the first detachment of volunteers landed, under cover of our boat-guns, at Haywood's plantation, and with them went the two light howitzers of the Wabash, to serve as a section of light artillery, under Lieutenant Irwin, of this ship. At sunrise Lieutenant Commanding Stevens succeeded in getting the Ottawa through the difficult passage of the Brickyard, and in joining me in front of the column, the Pembina and E. B. Hale arriving shortly afterwards. We proceeded to the next landing, at Adams's plantation, where the re mainingtroops were ordered to disembark. On our way up we threw a few shells into what seemed an outpost of the enemy, near a long embankment.

Anchoring the gunboat at ten o'clock so as to cover the route of the advancing column, and the second point of debarkation, where also our launches were stationed, I went up in the Hale to within range of the battery at Port Royal Ferry, at which Lieutenant Barnes threw a few shot and shell, dislodging a body of troops stationed in the adjoining field, but eliciting no response from the battery.

At half-past 1 P. M., General Stevens being ready to move, the gunboats shelled the woods in front of his skirmishers, and then advancing we threw a rapid fire into the fort at Port Royal Ferry, and anchored in front of it at two forty P. M., the Ottawa passing between the heads of the two causeways. The enemy had succeeded in taking off all their guns save one, but I could not learn whether any except field-pieces had been removed on the day of attack. We found a quantity of eight-inch shells and thirty-pounder rifled shells in the magazines.

At half-past 2 the Seneca, Lieutenant Commanding Ammen, and the Ellen, Master Commanding Budd, the other vessels which you had placed under my orders, having passed from Broad River through Whale branch, came within signal distance, and their commanders came on board the Ottawa, having assisted in the destruction of the works at Seabrook; but their vessels were prevented by the lowness of the tide from joining me. The Ellen came up at eight o'clock, and the Seneca the next morning.

Immediately after the Ottawa had anchored, the ferry was reopened, and the Pennsylvania Roundheads passed over and occupied the Fort, where they were joined, about four o'clock, by General Stevens's advanced guard. The enemy appearing in force and in line of battle upon the right of our troops, at fifteen minutes past four o'clock, the Ottawa moved down the river a short distance, with the Pembina, and opened fire with eleveninch and Parrot guns, their shells filling among [3] the enemy's troops with great effect, driving them into the woods, and clearing the flank of our column, where the skirmishers had been engaged, and the enemy had opened fire from a field-battery of several pieces. Soon after sunset we ceased firing for a while, and the enemy sent a flag of truce to one of our advanced posts, to ask permission to carry off their killed and wounded. Just then the gunboats reopened, and before General Stevens's messenger could convey his reply, that the firing should cease for an hour, to enable the enemy to carry off their wounded, the officer who had brought the flag had galloped off. At sunset I landed our heavy howitzer, directing Lieutenant Upshur to place it in battery with the guns already on shore under Lieutenant Irwin, there being no artillery with the brigade but that of the Wabash. At the same time Lieutenant Luce, with the second launch and its rifled gun, and Lieutenant Barnes, with the Hale, were sent to the lower landing to protect the boats and steamer in which our troops had crossed, and superintend their removal to the ferry, which was accomplished about midnight.

At sunrise we reembarked our boat-guns. At thirty minutes past nine o'clock on the morning of the 2d, the enemy again appearing in the wood, we opened a hot fire of shot and shells from the Ottawa, Seneca, Pembina, Ellen, and Hale, and after firing briskly for a time slackened the fire so as to drop a shot or shell into the woods about once a minute. At forty minutes past nine o'clock our troops began to recross the ferry, and were all over by noon, our field-guns having been landed, at the request of General Stevens, to cover the rear of the returning column. The enemy made no further demonstration. The scows which had been used in crossing were taken to our vessels, to be towed to Beaufort, and at two P. M. we got under way and moved down the Coosaw to a point near the Beaufort River, where we were compelled to wait for the morning's tide to pass through the Brickyard channel.

I beg leave to express to you the great satisfaction I found in cooperating with General Stevens, and my admiration of the skilful manner in which he handled his troops and made his combinations. About twenty-five hundred of our volunteers crossed the Coosaw. Their conduct and bearing were excellent. I have to thank the commanding officers of the vessels for the skilful and prompt support they gave me. The manner in which their guns were served, and their vessels handled, under very difficult circumstances, shows the highest professional merit. The manner in which the boat and field-guns of the Wabash were managed by the officers in charge of them did those officers much credit.

Lieutenant Commanding Ammen will make a separate report of the service of the Seneca and Ellen, at Seabrook, before I met him, at half-past 2, on New-Year's day. It is unnecessary for me to say to you that his work was thoroughly done. The channel of the Coosaw is so narrow and so shallow in many parts that it does not afford a vessel room to turn by the ordinary methods, and our gunboats were, consequently, very often aground; but so admirably are they adapted to this kind of service that we never felt any solicitude for their safety.

Lieutenant Coggswell, a signal officer of the army, was directed to report to me for duty, and furnished me with the means of constantly communicating with General Stevens with a facility and rapidity unknown to the naval service. I take this opportunity of recommending that the code of signals invented by Major Meyer be at once introduced into the navy.

I have the honor to be, etc.,

C. R. P. Rodgers, Commander. To Flag Officer S. F. Dupont, Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

The part taken by the Michigan troops.

headquarters Eighth Michigan regiment, main land, Port Royal Ferry, January 1, 1862-8 P. M.
Brigadier-General Stevens:
sir: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with your order, this regiment was safely landed at the Adams House, on the main land, having effected the crossing in flat-boats from Brickyard Point, Port Royal Island, and took up its line of march towards the enemy's battery at this place, at one o'clock P. M. On our approach towards the ferry, we were ordered to attack (as skirmishers) a masked battery which opened fire on us from the right. I immediately detached the first two and the tenth companies, and directed their march to the left and front of the battery, which was followed by four additional companies to the right and front. The fire of the battery, with shells, continued on our line until the skirmishers reached the right, when it was turned on them, and, on our approach, right, left, and front, to within fifty to one hundred yards of the enemy's position, a fire of musketry was opened on them. The force of the enemy, as well as the battery, were concealed to a considerable extent by trees, brush, and underwood, appeared to consist of two mounted howitzers, supported by a regiment or more of infantry, and some cavalry. The skirmishers were measurably protected by underbrush and furrows, and continued their fire upon the enemy, which was returned by volleys of musketry and shells from the battery. Our fire was well directed and seemed to be effective. One mounted officer, who appeared to be very active, was seen to fall from his horse, at which the troops on the enemy's right were thrown into confusion. Their position seemed to be changing to the rear, and, as our skirmishers were called off, and the regiment formed in line, the enemy's fire ceased. The regiment was then marched to its position in the line of battle, in rear of the fort at this point.

Lieut.-Col. Graves led on the left, and Major Watson the right of skirmishers. The Major, in leading on the line, received a severe flesh-wound in the leg. I have to report that officers and men behaved with admirable bravery and coolness.

The loss of the enemy, from the well-directed [4] fire of our skirmishers, cannot be less than forty. Our loss is seven wounded, and two missing. A list is appended.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

William M. Fenton, Colonel Eighth Michigan Regiment.

Order referring to Corporal J. Q. Adams.

headquarters Second brigade, Beaufort, S. C., January 7, 1861.
Report relative to J. Q. Adams, Eighth Michigan, Company A, wounded in the battle of the 1st inst., and left on the field:

Negroes Mingo and wife Anthor testify: Saw him in a wagon at the railroad, wounded in the right side; was surrounded by spectators; he would give no information; he received water to drink from them; the rebels asked him if it was right to run them off their own land; he said it was, and there were those behind that would revenge his fall; remaining true to his flag and conscious till twelve o'clock at night, at which time he died.

headquarters Eighth Michigan regiment, camp near Beaufort, S. C., January 7, 1862.
special order:

In consideration of the noble and patriotic action, and heroic death of John Q. Adams, Corporal of Company A, the above report will be entered upon the regimental records, with this order.

By order of

Congratulatory order of Colonel Fenton.

headquarters Eighth Michigan regiment, camp on Port Royal Island, January 8, 1862.
order no. 41:

The Colonel commanding, congratulates the regiment on their coolness and bravery in the battle of Coosaw River, on the 1st inst. The American flag was planted that day by you on the mainland of South-Carolina, and you were the the only regiment directly engaged with the enemy, and have given renown and honor to the State which sent you forth to battle for a nation's rights. Emulate the daring (while you sympathize with the afflictions) of your comrades, who were suffering from wounds in their country's cause, and the Eighth Michigan may yet have an opportunity to strike a harder blow for the Constitution and the Union.

By order of

Boston Transcript account.

Beaufort, S. C., January 2, 1862.
On December 31st, orders were issued at headquarters on Hilton Head, for the Forty-seventh New-York and the Forty-eighth New-York, Col. Frazier and Col. Perry, to be in marching trim in one hour, with rations for three days, and report to Gen. Stevens, commanding the Second brigade E. C., at Beaufort, S. C. At the same time Corn. Dupont issued orders to the gunboats Ottawa, Capt. Rogers, Pembina, Captain Bankhead, the Seneca, the Ellen, and Hale. The Forty-seventh and Forty-eighth embarked on the transports Delaware and Boston, under convoy of the Ottawa and Pembina, all of which, with one thousand men of the Forty-eighth, and about six hundred men of the Forty-seventh, reported ready for service at headquarters, about five o'clock on the 31st December. Gen. Stevens's command consisted of the Seventy-ninth Highlanders, quartered at and near the ferry called Port Royal Ferry, ten miles from Beaufort, and the Fiftieth Pennsylvania, quartered half-way out, and the Eighth Michigan, quartered in town, and the One Hundredth Pennsylvania, ( “Roundheads,” ) also quartered in town. The Roundheads marched and halted at the ferry, a ten-mile tramp over the shell road.

The Fiftieth Pennsylvania and the Eighth Michigan were marched to “Brickyard” Landing, about six miles out on the “Shell road,” and about two and a half miles on a cross-road to the right, there to be conveyed by flat-boats across to the main land, the Seventy-ninth, also, in advance, with Gen. Stevens in person. The boats containing the Forty-seventh and Forty-eighth New-York, were to move at daylight. All knew they were to make a New-Year's call upon the enemy, but none knew where until under way. The Ottawa and Pembina, convoying the troops on the transports, went up Beaufort River, and turned into the Coosaw River — the other gunboats went up through Broad River, and thence into the Coosaw.

The first call of the New-Year was to be at the Port Royal ferry landing, where the rebels had a fort that mounted seven guns. The order for landing was as follows: The Seventy-ninth in advance, landed at “Chisholm's” Plantation, supported by the Fiftieth and Eighth Michigan, under cover of three boat-howitzers, from the Ottawa; the Highlander sent one boat-load ahead as skirmishers, with a negro, “Isaac,” as guide, landed, and, after a short time occupied in deploying, finding all clear of the enemy, sufficient for landing, they disembarked, the Seventy-ninth still in advance with one company as skirmishers, supporting the howitzers, which were also landed.

After advancing about one mile, to within rifle distance of the woods, discovered mounted rebel pickets passing in the road at the woods. The howitzers were immediately brought to the front on double-quick — unlimbered, and threw some half-dozen shells into the woods, and such a scampering you never witnessed before. The deploy of two companies were then sent, right and left, advancing toward the woods, with the balance of the Seventy-ninth on the road, with the howitzers, all on double-quick. They entered the woods, still in pursuit of the fleeing enemy. The route through the woods, I am told, was dreadful for the deploying party, as, when they came out the other side, about one mile, they were bloody, and torn from scratches received by the thorns and underbrush; but what were “scratches” when they “played for a good shot?”

I will say here, that owing to a misunderstanding, [5] only the Seventy-ninth, and the Fiftieth Pennsylvania, landed here at this first landing, called “Chisholm's plantation,” the Eighth Michigan, understanding that they were to land at the “Adams House,” so called; consequently the point to be reached first was the “Adams House,” where the Forty-seventh and Forty-eighth New-York were to land from the steamers, while the Eighth Michigan went over in flat-boats to the same place.

The Highlanders and the Fiftieth, with the navy howitzers, were still pushing on at double-quick, and arrived at the Adams House, four miles from their first landing, just in time to see the Forty-seventh and Forty-eighth New-York, and Eighth Michigan landing with their first boat-loads. The stars and stripes were placed on the “Adams” just as the Highlanders brought up the advance.

I forgot to mention, the rebels first seen in the woods fired upon our men (signal-officer Lieut. Taft being in advance) one round as they retreated. We were informed by the negroes at Heyward's plantation, that some three hundred men had been there that night, having some intimation that we were going to make an attack. It was at this plantation (Heyward's) where Lieut. Porter, of the Eighth Michigan, took seven pickets as prisoners, a few days since. The seven rebels are all now quartered in the next house to where I am living.

All the while we were landing, our gunboats were advancing and shelling the woods immediately on our right, and playing at long distances upon the fort.

The gunboats Ottawa, Pembina, and Hale covering the landing of troops, and the Seneca and Ellen having gone round the other way through the Broad River, were also pitching into the Fort from that side.

Now, then, the troops all landed and within three miles of the fort, the order of battle was formed with a view of cutting off the retreat of some four thousand to fifteen thousand rebels who were in and near the fort, (as we knew they must retreat when our gunboats had obtained the range.) It was as follows:

Left wing--The Highlanders, Seventy-ninth New-York, in advance, with three hundred men, commanded by Major Morrison; the Navy Howitzers, commanded by Lieut. Irwin of the Wabash, with forty men; Eighth Michigan, Colonel Fenton, five hundred men; the centre--Fiftieth Pennsylvania, Col. Crist, five hundred men; the reserve--Forty-seventh New-York, Lieut.-Col. Frazer, six hundred men, commanding, assisted by Major Bedell, of the Third New-Hampshire; Forty-Eighth New-York, Col. Perry, (as Col. Perry was acting as Brigadier, under Gen. Stevens, Lieut.-Col. William B. Barton took command, and did it nobly.)

The total of the force was three thousand and forty men. The balance of the Seventy-ninth, consisting of two companies, went over to the main, from the other side of the Ferry, covered by the gunboats there, and the Roundheads were ordered to cross at the Ferry in face of the battery. Lieut. Ransom, of Hamilton's battery, with two rifle Parrots, six-pounders, were at the Ferry on the Beaufort side, supported by the Roundheads, Col. Lesure, seven hundred men.

The advance sounded, moving in column and flanking movements, and after about one mile advance (which was a great drill for our troops) without seeing the enemy, we were suddenly fired upon by a rebel battery on the right, in the woods. The shells fell thick and fast all about us; our skirmishers all the while were picking off the rebels who were so unlucky as to get too much exposed from their beautiful cover.

Owing to this sudden outbreak from the rebel batteries, a change of position in column was made. The Eighth Michigan were ordered to advance by companies as skirmishers, leaving about three companies to fall back upon; the “Highlanders,” in the extreme advance, still doing their duty nobly, as skirmishers — the Fiftieth, and the “Howitzers,” being left as a reserve; the Forty-seventh and Forty-eighth moving by flank immediately on the rebels' left. After severe fighting on both sides, for about half an hour, news was brought that the Fort was vacated. The only object of our tete-à--tete being to take the Fort, the order was given to fall back, and our skimishers came in, formed in column.

The Forty-seventh and Forty-eighth came in first, with the Seventy-ninth still in “deploy skirmishing,” but gradually falling back. We all moved for the Fort. The rebels had every advantage in the world, both as to numbers and position; and though they retreated, even from the woods, carrying along their battery of five guns with them, they are not to be blamed for going, for who in the kingdom could ever stand, when Heaven seemed pouring down a thundershower of iron?

I began to give the order of our return. The Roundheads, not having had so much hard work, having gained entrance to the Fort, from the ferry directly opposite, were now placed within the Fort to act as reserve. The Forty-eighth were now on the way back to their transports, closely followed by the Forty-seventh, went directly across the ferry, and marched about one hundred yards, and halted. Each regiment returned from the field, by right and left wing, back into the Fort, and down the shell road to the ferry, with deploy skirmishers still out, but gradually moving in, for the expectation was that the rebels were going to assail our retreat, as they were still in the woods, with an addition of cavalry. The Fiftieth Pennsylvania were on their knees ready to receive a cavalry charge, but the enemy were too much afraid of our “Baby gun” on the Pembina. The Seventy-ninth now over, and the Eighth Michigan falling back, orders were given to burn all the buildings in the immediate vicinity, and Lieut. Porter was detailed for this purpose. Soon the buildings were all in a bright [6] flame, and our little army all safe and secure from surprise.

The Fort was a miserably poor concern. In a short time after our occupation of it, the enemy came back in force, in the woods near, fronting the enclosure. It was now about four o'clock. We had accomplished our object, and “filled the bill,” and as night was fast setting in upon us, Gen. Stevens, expecting the enemy would make a night attack, gave orders for the men to lie on their arms. Pickets were extended and advanced. We called it a kind of “reconnoissance in body,” and were well satisfied with our day's work. I might say night and day, for we were on the march (those who did any marching) from four A. M. until we met the enemy, except while crossing on to the “Main.”

Gen. Sherman gave the orders to go to Port Royal Ferry, take the Fort, bring off the guns, feel of the enemy, and come back; and I can heartily and truly express the sentiments of officers and men — especially of Gen. Stevens, for he is “fight way up to the handle” --and say, not one but what could go to “Uncle Tim,” as they call him in his battery, and say, “General Sherman (as Metamora)

You've sent for me and I've come.
Umph! if you don't want me,
Why, I'll go back again.

And so they would go back, every man of them, and only give them their field artillery, their light batteries, they could easily take the enemy's artillery.

It seems, to all appearances, the rebels had six guns in the Fort, five six-inch and one twelve-pounder cannon — an old English piece. The five, undoubtedly, were the self-same guns which did not arrive on Hilton Head, when sent for by the enemy to cover a retreat from old “Fort Walker.” The enemy tried to get the twelve-pounder off, but no go; so they spiked it.

You can count on the loss of the enemy as hundreds, while we lost only two wounded and taken prisoners. Their names are: Corporal J. Q. Adams, and private Edward Brooks, both of Company A, Eighth Michigan; M. Weidenheimer, Company E, Fiftieth Pennsylvania, wounded in right foot; Ensign Herbert, wounded in right leg by rebel shell.

One man of the Forty-eighth New-York was wounded in the leg. The names of the wounded, all belonging to the Eighth Michigan, are as follows: Major A. B. Watson, Minie rifle — ball in upper part of thigh, getting along very comfortably. Privates Ira Armstrong, Company A, shot through the lower right thigh; A. B. Miller, Co. A, upper right leg; Amos Wetherbee, Co. B, shot through the side. Nathaniel K. Thayer, Co. C, left leg; William Wood, Co. I, lower part of right thigh; James W. Rich, Sergt. Co. I, slightly in right thigh. All wounded by riflebullets, and all in the legs.

Summary.--One officer wounded; nine privates wounded; two privates wounded and missing. Total, twelve. None killed.

In the affair, Gen. Stevens has shown himself worthy to occupy the position he now occupies, and any position which requires military skill, accompanied by cool-headed planning. He is a brave soldier, and I am not doing him more than common justice, when I say that to a dot our arrangements were a perfect success, formed by a soldier of the first order.

The rebels, right in the heat of our heavy firing from the gunboats, sent a flag of truce, but only got far enough along a causeway, near the woods, to inform us, in a loud voice, that they wanted to get their wounded and dead; but the shells burst around them so thick and fast, that they were obliged to go back. As soon as the message was received by the General, he signalized, and the gunboats ceased, and he immediately sent Lieut. A. J. Holbrook, Aid-de-camp on Gen. Viele's staff, and Lieut. Lynn, of the Eighth Michigan, with a flag of truce; but to no purpose — the rebels were no where to be seen or heard. They penetrated the woods, and called at the top of their voices, but received no answer.

These officers reported three men lying dead, most horribly mangled. One man had a leg blown off close to his body, and lay crosswise on the causeway; of another, nothing remained but his head and shoulders; one with a leg gone, and piece of shell through him. All along the causeway they saw fingers, hands, arms and heads!

I went there this morning, and found the description given, had been too true. Dr. Kemble, Brigade Surgeon, went out and buried the dead. We observed one poor man lying in a large white house, formerly the rebel headquarters, wounded from a shell, and picked up by the negroes, and carried into this house. He was nearly disembowelled. On our retreat, we took him along, poor fellow, but he cannot live; he will die before morning, and yet has his senses.

We know only what we saw, and should say three hundred rebels were killed outright, and the havoc and slaughter in the woods, caused by the bursting of those shells, God only knows. The rebels themselves will know at roll-call.

The name of the wounded rebel brought in is Vallandigham, and related to the man of the same name from Ohio, a representative at Washington, who made such rabid secession speeches last winter.

The negroes came out to meet us with their “God bless my massa,” “Jesus be praised,” and their poor limbs shook with joy and gladness, while the big tears coursed down their faces. They carried out the statements made by their masters, “that their negroes would fight for them,” beginning in the following order, to wit: while we were halting, previous to the advance, they rushed into the house, and pulled out feather beds, mattresses, bedding, crockery ware, and anything else they could lay their hands upon.

During the fight, a rebel officer was shot from his horse, and the horse captured by Dr. Kemble. Surgeon Kemble performed double duty — attending promptly to the wounded when brought [7] to the rear, and immediately mounting his horse, and acting as aid-de-camp to Gen. Stevens.

The way young Adams came to be taken prisoner was this: Our men reported him wounded, and Surgeon Kemble went after him, but was fired upon, and had to leave him.

As Capt. Rodgers went alongside of his men, landed with the howitzers from the Ottawa, he addressed them, saying: “Now, my men, I have given you my guns, and you are about to land; they were entrusted to me, and I would sooner die than leave them; when you come back, I want those brought also. Will you stand by them, my lads?” And if you could only have witnessed the expression, when every one, to a man, answered, “Ay, Ay, sir,” it would have done you good.

The Chisholm plantation was our first landing, the Heywood next, marching to the Adams, and then by another Chisholm, and thence into the Fort.

Lieut. J. A. Power, we found, by a bill for his uniform in his pocket, belonged to the Fourteenth South-Carolina Volunteers. He was found on the causeway, poor man, all gone but his right leg and one side. Two others, also, literally torn to pieces, were taken up by Brigade-Surgeon Dr. Kemble, and buried.

The troops were rowed by negroes, in launches and flatboats, nearly four miles, against tide, before arriving at the landing-place, which I stated was Col. Heywood's plantation. The whole time the troops were occupied in their embarkation, disembarkation and landing, going the four miles, etc., was only about two hours, and so quietly, that only the dipping of our oars could be heard.

On the walls of the house at the Ferry, used as rebel headquarters, was marked out in pencil: “On the 18th day of December, the battery under charge of Lieut. McIlvaine, opened fire upon, and effected a total rout of the Yankees, killing fifty and wounding a hundred.” Also: “Dec. 18, 1861, we repelled an attack made by the Yankees, killing one half their command.” I suppose the rebels referred to a time when Col. Fenton, of the Eighth Michigan was making reconnoissances in launches — at which time we lost one man killed, none wounded.

Capt. C. R. P. Rodgers, of the Wabash, was Acting Commodore of the Navy on this occasion.

The howitzers were under command of Lieut. John Irwin, of the Wabash, and Acting Master Kemp. The Seneca was commanded by Capt. D. Ammen; the Pembina, Capt. J. Bankhead, a Southerner, and well acquainted with all the inhabitants here; the Ottawa, Capt. T. Stevens; the Hale only arrived at Hilton Head the night before the battle, and I could not learn the name of her commander; the Ellen was commanded by Capt. W. Budd.

Capt. Bankhead invited me with the company of Surgeon George S. Kemble, of the Second brigade, Capt. Charles E. Fuller, of Gen. Sherman's staff, and Lieut. A. J. Holbrook, on board, as he had a curiosity to show us in the shape of a present from Mrs. Chisholm, formerly a resident of Beaufort, which she sent from Charleston by one of her “high cost” negroes, who, by the way, took care not to go back to her. The present consisted of six pairs extra silver-plated coffinhandles; a note accompanying them saying, that if he came that way again, to bring them with him. These he received at Beaufort, a short time since, and he says he knows he caused more coffins to be used yesterday, than have been used in Charleston lately.

The rebel battery in the fort did not return fire from the fort once, but retreated to the woods, and there first showed fight.

The Roundheads were ferried across, and entered the fort at half-past 2 o'clock P. M., Jan. 1st, going up the shell-road and over the embrazon at a double quick; and the first intimation Gen. Stevens had.that the fort was ours, was by Capt. Fuller's riding down and informing him. Hence the falling back of our troops, as explained, to the fort.

The feeling of satisfaction at the entire arrangement is duly reciprocated to his own staff and to Acting Brig.-Gen. Col. Perry, of the Forty-eighth, and Col. Frazier, of the Forty-seventh New-York, and to all, officers and rank and file, from Gen. Stevens..

He took Col. Perry by the hand, and shook it heartily, while the tears of manly courage and pride stood in his eye, and openly complimented him and his Lieut.-Col., Barton, and officers, for their superior merits as soldiers and leaders.

The Navy have at last paid a high tribute of praise to the Volunteers, for whom, until yesterday, they had only a meagre opinion; but when they (the officers of the Navy) saw from their ships the unflinching forward, and the bold skirmishing done by our men, and the manner in which they allowed shells to be hurled over their heads and into the enemy, they were loud in their appreciation of their coolness. Why, time after time, the whole atmosphere seemed moving by the wind caused by passing shells directly over the heads of our troops.

The duty of signalizing from the land to the ships was in charge of First Lieutenant Taft and Second Lieut. Coggswell, of Gen. Stevens's staff and was done in a manner which brings credit to both these gentlemen. Lieut. Taft being detailed with the skirmishing party, and Coggswell on the ships, one other officer occupying a position near the reserve, kept up a complete communication.

The big twelve-pounder cannon, captured from the enemy, now stands in front of Gen. Stevens's headquarters.

Philadelphia press account.

Port Royal, Jan. 5, 1869.
A very skilfully planned and skilfully executed little movement has just occurred here, which begins the new year in the pleasantest manner possible. Beaufort lies on the eastern side of Port Royal Island, and about ten miles north of it, on the Coosaw River, is Port Royal Ferry, which affords the, best means of crossing from [8] the island to the main. The principal road in this part of the country, leads across this ferry, toward which causeways are built on both sides of the Coosaw. The Ferry can be approached from Hilton Head, by water, in two ways: by the Broad River, on the western side of the island, and through the Port Royal River and its arm, Brick yard Creek, which form the eastern boundary of the same island. Almost immediately after the battle at Hilton Head, the rebels began entrenching themselves on the farther side of the Ferry; here they crossed whenever they visited Beaufort, previous to its occupation by our troops, and since this has been prevented, they have established themselves conspicuously, in sight of our pickets, and attempted to command the navigation of the Coosaw River. Some two weeks ago they fired into the little steamer Mayflower, used for transporting purposes, and one man, in her convoy of small boats, was killed. It was determined to instruct the rebels that no such demonstrations could be made by them with impunity.

On Tuesday, December 31st, the gunboats Ottawa, Capt. Stevens; Pembina, Capt. Bankhead; and armed transport Hale, temporarily under command of Lieutenant Barnes, of the Wabash, were despatched to Beaufort, and thence through Brickyard Creek to its junction with the Coosaw. Capt. C. P. R. Rodgers, of the Wabash, had entire command of the naval force of the little expedition, including the Seneca, Captain Ammen, and the Ellen, Captain Budd; which were to go up through the Broad River, on the other side of island. At three o'clock on New Year's morning, Captain Rodgers took four of the armed launches of the Wabash, which had accompanied him under command of Lieut. Upshur, and proceeded by a narrow arm of Brickyard Creek to its entrance into the Coosaw, some two miles nearer the Ferry than the mouth of the Brickyard itself. Here six companies of the Seventy-ninth New-York, and five of the Fiftieth Pennsylvania, were ready in flats to be rowed across the river to Col. Hayward's plantation, under cover of the guns of the launches. This manoeuvre was executed under the personal supervision of General Stevens and Capt. Rodgers, and was completely successful. The troops were gotten across without either delay or accident, or interruption of any sort. Immediately after landing, they proceeded to a place somewhat on their right, where negroes informed them of a force of rebels. Only tents were found, about sufficient for four hundred men; they were destroyed, and the possibility of any annoyance being caused to the rear of Gen. Stevens's larger force, about to be landed further down the Coosaw, was prevented.

Meanwhile the three gunboats Ottawa, Pembina and Hale, had come out of the Brickyard Creek, higher up the stream, passed the troops landing at Hayward's, and proceeded to Adams's plantation, two miles further toward the Ferry, and remained there to cover the crossing and landing of the Michigan Eighth, under Colonel Fenton, and the other five companies of the Fiftieth Pennsylvania, Colonel Crist. During the night, the gunboats had also been joined by the two steamers from Hilton Head, Delaware and Cosmopolitan, which carried the Forty-seventh New-York, Lieut.-Col. Frazier, and the Forty-eighth New-York, Col. Perry. These two regiments were also landed at Adams's plantation, and the first detachment having by this time arrived from Hayward's, the whole body, five regiments, was ready to proceed toward the Ferry. Thus far they had met with no extraordinary delays or contretemps. The combinations and connections were all made in time — the whole plan was carried out according to pre-arrangements.

Gen. Stevens now threw out skirmishers from all his regiments, along the right of his line; he had between four and five miles to march, and great part of the way across broken fields, over two creeks, amid bushes and thickets, and probably in the face of an enemy. His skirmishers soon drew fire from the rebels concealed in woods, about a miles to his right. Nearly the whole Michigan Eighth regiment, under Colonel Fenton, was thus engaged, when a heavy fire from field artillery was opened upon them. Under this fire, the regiment still advanced as skirmishers, and were fired into at last by musketry, which was not a hundred yards off, but completely under cover. The Michiganders returned the fire, scrambled through brushes, and tore their faces and hands with briers, dared the enemy to come out in the open field and show fight, and finally, when nobody came, retired in good order, but rapidly. They had lost one man killed, and twelve wounded, including Major Watson. Their behavior was the subject of universal admiration from the Navy and their own comrades in other regiments. No attempt was made to pursue them. Meanwhile the Fiftieth Pennsylvania was pushing on in advance of the Michigan people, and, in consequence of information afforded to Gen. Stevens by a negro, deviated from the route originally proposed. It seems a trap had been prepared for them. A small body of about four hundred rebels showed themselves outside of the woods, and endeavored to decoy the Fiftieth; behind them, and in the woods, could be seen from the mastheads of the gunboats, as many as two thousand troops drawn up in line. Had it not been for the negroes, Stevens would have known nothing of this force; as it was, he allowed the Fiftieth Pennsylvania to drive back the decoying party; but before it reached the larger force, lying in ambush, a wellaimed shell from the vessels burst in the advance party of the rebels, who broke and fled at once. After this, the gunboats proceeded to shell the woods — signals being constantly made them from shore of the progress of the skirmishing, and of the direction to be given to their guns. Every company of Federal troops carried flags, so that there was no danger of injuring our own men. The force of rebels in the woods was effectually dispersed by this shelling, which was remarkably accurate, and must have done great damage [9] to the enemy. When the field was visited next day by some of our officers, it was covered with fragments of human bodies, and blood stood around in puddles, as if it had been a slaughter-yard. No other opposition was offered to the advance of our troops, and the Seventy-ninth New-York was sent on to the fort.

They advanced without flinching. Meanwhile, however, the gunboats had been pouring a heavy fire into the battery; but it was still uncertain whether it had been abandoned, when the Seventy-ninth entered and ran up the American flag. Immediately two companies of pioneers and the whole Roundhead (Pennsylvania) regiment, Col. Leasure, crossed Port Royal Ferry on the ferry-boats, as had been previously arranged, and set to work destroying the fort. They completely levelled the earth-walls, burned the wood-work, seized the solitary gun left behind, a bronze eighteen--pounder, marked Georgius Rex, and fired the buildings which had been used by the rebels for military purposes. The enemy's force had been entirely withdrawn at an early hour in the morning, and five guns removed. This was reported by the negroes.

While all this was occurring, the two gunboats, Seneca and Ellen, had come up from Broad River through a short cut, the Whale Branch, into the Coosaw, and shelled an incomplete work of the enemy at Seabrook, two miles beyond Port Royal Ferry. After this was accomplished, a body of two hundred troops crossed under cover of their guns from the island and destroyed the work. The Seneca and Ellen then joined their consorts, and all five of our gunboats closed around our land force at the ferry while the complete destruction of the rebel battery was consummated.

It was long after nightfall before this was completed, and the flames of the burning buildings were answered in twenty different directions by the blazing cotton-houses, fired by the rebels, who thus proved that they expected to be driven still further back, and were making preparations for defeat. Before midnight, Gen. Stevens received a flag of truce, asking permission for the enemy to bury his dead. One hour was granted; but before the reply reached the rebel officer who bore the flag, he had galloped off. Whether the whole affair was a ruse or not, it is impossible to say. If in earnest, the loss of the enemy must have been large, or he would not have deemed it necessary to make the request. Some four or five bodies of the rebels were found and interred by our troops, and many more fragments of bodies seen lying on the fields.

In the morning of the 2d, Gen. Stevens recrossed his troops at Port Royal Ferry; the gunboats opening a heavy cannonade, so that the operation should not be disturbed. The troops were all taken across in two hours and a half, and, as the number of flats was not greater than twenty, the celerity and perfection of the movement are manifest. The two regiments from Gen. Viele's brigade at Hilton Head went aboard the transports, and returned as they had come; two others, the Roundheads and Fiftieth Pennsylvania, remained on the Port Royal island side of the ferry, with a section of Capt. Hamilton's light battery, which had been placed here during all the movements of the two preceding days, but had no opportunity to take any part. The remaining portion of Gen. Stevens's brigade marched across the island to Beaufort. The gunboats, after everything had been accomplished, returned to Port Royal harbor, on Friday, the 3d, by the way of Brickyard Creek and the Beaufort or Port Royal River.

On the 3d of January, a reconnoissance was made across the river, and it was discovered that the enemy had withdrawn his entire force five miles back into the interior, to a place known as Garden's Corners.

There were several points made manifest by this demonstration, as well as several objects thoroughly accomplished. The two batteries were completely demolished, the enemy driven back five miles, the navigation of the Broad and Coosaw Rivers rendered secure for our gunboats or transports, and a salutary lesson administered to the rebels for their New Year's consideration; these were the objects accomplished. What was ascertained was that our men were full of nerve and coolness, ready to fight troops that were under cover, ready to attack batteries in front, ready to scale forts, or do whatever else they were ordered to; also, that the enemy — although in at least as large force as ourselves — although on his own soil — refused to come out from under cover, would not fight except upon the old plan of lying in ambush and skulking under woods and masked batteries. The fact that he removed his guns from the fort shows that he expected to be beaten, and the fact that he was still retreating two days after his discomfiture, proves how severe that discomfiture must have been.


Report of the killed and wounded of the Second brigade, E. C., Jan. 1, 1862.

Amasa Watson, Major, Eighth Michigan, gunshot wound in left thigh.

Ira Armstrong, private, Company A, Eighth Michigan, gunshot wound in right thigh.

A. B. Miller, private, Company A, Eighth Michigan, gunshot wound in right thigh.

John Q. Adams, corporal, Company A, Eighth Michigan, killed.

Edward Brooks, private, Company A, Eighth Michigan, wounded and missing.

Amos Wetherby, private, Company B, Eighth Michigan, gunshot wound left thigh.

Nathaniel K. Thayer, private, Company C, Eighth Michigan, gunshot wound left thigh.

William Woad, private, Company I, Eighth Michigan, gunshot wound right thigh.

John W. Rich, sergeant, Company I, Eighth Michigan, gunshot wound right thigh.

John Weidenheimer, private, Company A, Fiftieth Pennsylvania, gunshot wound right foot.

A. Herbert, ensign, Company A, Fiftieth Pennsylvania, wounded in leg by shell. [10]

The cases were merely flesh wounds, the balls easing through the limbs without injuring the bone. The patients are doing well. Water dressings used.

George S. Kemble, Brigade-Surgeon, U. S. N. To Surgeon Geo. E. Cooper, Medical Director, E. C.

Secession accounts.

About ten o'clock New-Year's morning the enemy came up from Brook River toward Port Royal Ferry. Taking a position just opposite Page's Point, and west of the ferry, they opened a heavy fire of shot and shell against a small battery which had been constructed at Page's Point, but which had never received its complement of guns. Judging from the severity of the enemy's fire, it is supposed that he was not aware of the defenceless condition of the fort. There were no troops at Page's Point at the time, excepting two companies of Col. Donnavan's regiment, under Capt. Bookter, and two guns of Capt. Leake's Virginia field-battery. They fell back a short distance, and obtained cover behind the embankment of a fence. The Yankees kept up a vigorous shelling of the earthwork, the plantation and the dwelling of H. M. Stuart, Esq., showing excellent artillery practice by knocking down chimneys and perforating the houses in the most promiscuous and unceremonious style. Finally, satisfied there were no masked batteries in the neighborhood, they sent a boat's crew ashore, which reconnoitred the place and immediately returned to their gunboats. This ended the hostilities at Page's Point. Not a gun was fired by our side, and when the gunboats desisted from the bombardment our forces at the Point retired. There is a rumor that subsequently they returned with reenforcements to hold that position, but on this we have no satisfactory assurance.

In the mean time the Yankees were making far more serious demonstrations on the other side of Port Royal Ferry. Five of their gunboats came up from St. Helena Sound, and landed a force estimated to consist of about three thousand men, upon the plantation of Alexander Chrisholm, Esq. While they were performing on the shore the gunboats proceeded up to the ferry, and opened a furious fire of shells upon a small three-gun battery, which we had erected on our side of the ferry, so as to command the causeway.

It soon became evident that our men would be unable to hold the battery, so they fell back, carrying off with them two of their guns. The heaviest of the three guns was accidentally overturned in a ditch by a nervous mule, which had taken flight at the noise of the shells. As there was no time for delay, this gun was hurriedly spiked and abandoned.

While this was going on, the Yankees, whose landing at Chrisholm's had been effected without opposition, began their march along the shore in the direction of Port Royal Ferry. When their advance had reached a field in the rear of Mr. John Chaplin's house, they were suddenly met by Col. Jones's regiment and four companies of another regiment. Pouring one volley into the ranks of the enemy, our boys advanced with the bayonet at double quick. The Yankees, thrown somewhat into disorder by the fire which they had received, did not wait to close, but dropped their guns and fled toward the river, where they were separated from their gunboats by only a strip of marsh.

Col. Jones kept up the pursuit until he had nearly overtaken the enemy, when the gunboats opened a brisk fire upon him to cover the retreat of their men. A single shell which exploded killed six and wounded nine of our soldiers.

The fire of the gunboats being quite severe, Col. Jones desisted from the pursuit, and retreated, leaving the Yankees huddled together on the shore, under the guns of their steamers.

The enemy now hold that position of the mainland bordering on the Coosaw River, and stretching from Chrisholm's to the ferry. They have mounted guns on our deserted batteries at the latter place, and otherwise strengthened their position.

--Charleston Mercury.

Another rebel account.

Norfolk, January 9, 1862.
We have some further and very interesting accounts of the fight which took place in the neighborhood of Port Royal Ferry on Wednesday last, the 1st inst. The narrative of the affair, as published in the Mercury of Saturday last, was in the main correct. Our forces consisted of Col. Jones's regiment, South-Carolina Volunteers, a battalion of three companies from Col. Dunovant's regiment, South-Carolina Volunteers, under Lieut.-Col. Barnes, and a detachment of mounted men under Major Oswald, of Col. Martin's regiment of cavalry.

After it had been determined to attack the enemy, it became necessary to have their position, number, and material carefully reconnoitred. This duty was cheerfully undertaken by Ord. Sergt. Thomas B. Chaplin, of the St. Helena Mounted Rifles. On the night of the 31st, he mounted his horse 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 to 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 five hundred 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 had 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 three thousand five hundred men, was on the east side. After gaining every possible information, he returned to headquarters [11] at daybreak, having been in the saddle or on foot all night. When starting on this perilous undertaking, 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 Capt. Tompkins' company, from Jones's regiment. These brave fellows left their mark upon the invaders, and many a Yankee fell before their unerring aim; but, owing to the complete arrangement 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 gunboats, and were always covered by the forest or undergrowth. Just as the enemy had reached the shore, General A. J. Donelson, with Moore's First regiment Tennessee Volunteers, came up, flushed with their quick march, a noble set of men, and great was their disappointment at finding the enemy gone.

Capt. Croft, Jones'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 cut off.

Soon after the fight, Col. W. F. Martin and Lieut.-Col. H. McGowan, of Jones' regiment, determined to reconnoitre the field. They galloped rapidly through an old field, down the causeway, to the spot where the shell had burst among our troops, for the purpose of ascertaining the number of our wounded. This brought them within one hundred 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 sharp fire of shells at the wagon and guard, fortunately without damage.

The enemy disappeared on the night of the 3d. Col. Savage, with a battery of the Sixteenth Tennessee regiment, went down to the causeway, and did not see them.

We learn that our men have always held Page's Point, and do so now.

--Norfolk Day Book.

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