Doc. 139.-fight at Simon's Bluff, S. C.
Flag-officer Du Pont's report.
flag-ship Wabash, Port Royal, S. C., June 28, 1862.sir: I enclose another interesting report from Lieut. Commanding Rhind, of further operations in North-Edisto. On the twenty-first instant, with the Crusader and the Planter, and piloted by Robert Small, he ran up North-Edisto River into Wadmelan Sound, as far as Simon's Bluff, which is on the main land. The rebels had a camp there and some artillery, but made no use of the latter. A few broadsides from the Crusader dispersed the enemy, and Lieut. Commanding Rhind, on landing with a company of the Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania volunteers, under command of Capt. Bennett, met with no resistance. About thirty tents and some cabins, used as quarters, were fired, and a few muskets brought away. We had no casualties. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Planter, Acting Master Phoenix, up to Simon's Bluff, on Wadmelan Sound, and, after a short engagement, drove off the enemy stationed there, and captured and destroyed their camp. On board the Planter were four officers and seventy men of the Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania volunteers, under command of Captain Bennett. From orders and papers found in the camp, it appears that the force at the point consisted of the Marion artillery and two companies of the Eleventh South-Carolina volunteers, and that the regiment was placed two miles back. As we approached the point, the artillery (which seemed to be quartered in some plantation-houses near a mile off) was seen advancing, and some baggage-wagons going off from the bluff. We advanced slowly without firing, my object being to draw the artillery down, but they seemed to halt in a clump of trees some distance off from the point, and apparently retired, as we saw no more of them during the day. We slowly passed the bluff, at half-pistol-shot distance, and received a smart musketry-fire from rifle-pits and the houses. Our nearness seems to have disconcerted their aim, as their volleys passed harmlessly over our heads. A couple of broadsides were discharged, and when the smoke had cleared away, the enemy had disappeared. Rounding to above the bluff, we passed slowly down again, and anchored abreast the rifle-pits and houses. I then went on board the Planter, and taking her in to the shore, landed with Capt. Bennett's command, and fired their tents, about thirty in number, and some cabins used as quarters. The enemy had taken off the baggage, etc., before we landed. A few muskets and other articles were brought away. We returned to our anchorage off the wharf about six P. M., without loss and with very trifling damage. Colonel White, of the Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania, commanding the post here, and his officers and men, cooperated with us with great cordiality. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,