Dunovant, Twelfth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers. Of the above, 149 garrisoned Fort Beauregard, under the immediate command of Captain Stephen Elliott, jr., Beaufort Volunteer Artillery, Company A, Ninth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers. The infantry force of Colonel Dunovant's regiment was intrusted with the protection of the eastern part of the island, and of the defense of the bastion line at the Island Narrows, where an attack was expected from the enemy.
Knowing how small a force Captain Elliott had to command his batteries, I ordered, as soon as I reached Hilton Head, on the 5th instant, Captain Stuart's company (Hamilton Guards), Ninth [Company E., Eleventh] Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, to march upon Fort Walker from Braddock's Point, and take thence the steamer Edith for Bay Point, but the failure of Captain Sapard, of the Edith, to fulfill his appointment at the hour designated, prevented me from supporting Captain Elliott as I desired. But on Thursday morning, 7th instant, having obtained the steamer Emma, I dispatched Captain Stuart's company in her to Fort Beauregard. The rapid advance of the enemy's fleet, however, to the attack on the batteries cut off and compelled her, at the risk of being intercepted, to turn back and seek shelter in Skull Creek, on the shores of which Captain Stuart's company safely disembarked and joined me in the afternoon; and here again was exhibited another act of heroism on the part of our veteran commodore, who to save the Emma interposed his own frail flag-steamer between her and the advancing flag-ship of Commodore DuPont, drawing upon himself her entire broadside, and thus diverting this huge leviathan temporarily from her course, secured the safety of the Emma at the peril of his own vessel.
The non-arrival of any re-enforcements at Camp Walker until the night of the 6th instant also prevented me from sending the four companies of the Twelfth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, under Major Jones, to the support of the other six companies of the regiment at Bay Point.
For the details of the engagement at this post, the notable examples of bravery, the general good conduct, their well-timed retreat in the direction indicated by the dotted red lines on the map appended,* I beg leave to refer you to the official reports of Colonel Dunovant and Captain Elliott. But among the many officers and men honorably noticed on this occasion in the official report of Colonel Dunovant, none of them are so justly entitled to well-merited encomium as Captain Stephen Elliott, the commander of the fort. Others may have exhibited an equal amount of cool bravery in front of the foe, but his opportunities enabled him to surpass all his brother officers in the skillful arrangement of his defenses, superb condition of his batteries, and in the high discipline which he had imparted to his model company, the creature of his own indefatigable exertions.
The delays and dangers incident to the manner in which troops and supplies of all kinds were landed at the forts of Port Royal and the absence of all means of retreat in case of disaster had attracted my most serious attention immediately after I assumed command at Beaufort, on the evening of the 7th instant. I immediately took steps for remedying the first and providing for the last.
With the double object of landing supplies in all weather at Bay Point, and at the same time of furnishing the means of retreat beyond the range of the enemy's guns, I directed one of my volunteers aides, Captain T. R. S. Elliott, to make an examination of the adjacent creeks