complete inventory of the amount of public property captured is being prepared and will be duly furnished. Besides the wreck of small-arms, &c., thrown away by the rebels in their hasty retreat, as stated in my last, a light battery of two fine 12-pounder howitzers has been found to have been abandoned near the ferry, about 6 miles distant. I have also ascertained by examination that the flight of the rebels extended to Braddock's Point, at the south end of the island, and about 15 miles distant, the fort at that point being deserted and its guns spiked. It has one 10-inch columbiad and two 5 1\2-inch guns.
On clearing out the fort at Hilton Head the dead body of Dr. Buist, formerly an assistant surgeon in the Army, was found in one of the galleries leading from the terre-plain to a caponiere, he having been killed by the explosion of a shell and buried by the falling in a parapet. He was the principal surgeon of this fort.
The effect of this victory is startling. Every white inhabitant has left the island. The wealthy islands of Saint Helena, Ladies, and most of Port Royal are abandoned by the whites, and the beautiful estates of the planters, with all their immense property, left to the pillage of hordes of apparently disaffected blacks, and the indications are that the panic has extended to the fort on the north end of Reynold's Island, commanding the fine anchorage of Saint Helena Sound. Of this, however, I shall have satisfactory information in a few days. I am now in the occupation of the forts at Hilton Head, the two on Philips's Island, and the one at Braddock's Point. The task of unloading our vessels will be a very slow and difficult operation, in consequence of the extended shallow shores, until wharves can be constructed; nevertheless it is expected to be able to leave here with a large force as soon as our defenses are fully under way, to further carry out the grand objects of the expedition.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. W. SHERMAN,
The ADJUTANT-GENERAL U. S. ARMY,
Washington, D. C.
Numbers 2. Report of Brigadier General Thomas F. Drayton, C. S. Army, of the bombardment of Forts Walker and Beauregard.
HDQRS. PROV. FORCES, THIRD MIL., DIST., DEPT. S. C., Camp Lee, Headeeville, November 24, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor of presenting my official report of the engagement on on the 7th instant between the Federal fleet, numbering fifteen war steamers and gunboats, and Forts Walker and Beauregard, upon Hilton Head and Bay Point, at the entrance of Port Royal Sound. The fleet was commanded by Captain S. F. DuPont, flag-officer of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and the troops on board the transports by Brigadier-General [T. W.] Sherman. The distance between the forts is by Coast Survey tow and five-eighths miles.
The enemy's fleet had been collecting in our waters since the morning of the 4th instant, and had increased in the afternoon to thirty-two war steamers and transports. On receiving a dispatch to this effect from Colonel William C. Heyward, commanding the troops at Camp Walker, I