The most intense excitement prevailed in Beaufort amongst some of the citizens. They threw up rockets about 11.30 or 12 o'clock at night, as to indicate the approach of the enemy. We immediately packed up all the papers and books we could get and sent them in charge of Mr. Caldwell to Pocotaligo, Mr. H. C. Robertson and the undersigned awaiting the arrival of the troops from Bay Point, whom we furnished transportation for.
On the morning of 8th instant, about 4 o'clock, a report was then in circulation that communication was cut off at Port Royal Ferry. Feeling anxious for the safety of what books and papers we had saved, as they were important, we left Beaufort about 4 o'clock a. m. on foot for about three and a half miles.
Previous to our leaving Beaufort we had all the sick men in the hospital cared for, about 16, who were kindly treated by Captain C. M. Morris, of steamer Huntress, and taken to Charleston. The medicates and brandy left in Beaufort for Drs. Johnson and Prioleau were taken charge of by Colonel R. G. M. Dunovant, as he gave me to understand.
I am, very respectfully,
Captain H. E. YOUNG,
I certify that the above is a correct statement of things that transpired at Beaufort, S. C.
HENRY C. ROBERTSON.
NOVEMBER 8, 1861.-Reconnaissance on Hilton Head Island, S. C.
Report of Captain Q. A. Gillmore, U. S. Corps of Engineers.
OFFICE OF CHIEF ENGINEER E. C., Hilton Head, S. C., November 8, 1861.
SIR: In obedience to your directions of this date to proceed on a reconnaissance of Hilton Head Island, or so much thereof as I could examine, returning to headquarters on the same day, I have to report a completion of the day's operations under the escort promised to me, to wit, the Seventh Connecticut Regiment, 900 strong, Colonel Terry commanding.
The regiment was placed at my disposal at 11 o'clock a. m., when I at once set out upon the reconnaissance, the principal object of which was to proceed across the island to Seabrook, on Skull Creek, a distance of 6 miles, by the nearest practicable route, and locate suitable positions for batteries to control the inland water communications by way of Skull Creek between Savannah and Charleston.
As no advance had been made from our position on Hilton Head since we came in possession yesterday evening, and as nothing certain was known of the position and movements of the enemy since he was driven from the work, I deemed it proper to exercise great caution against surprise, and accordingly requested Colonel Terry to cover the advance of the main body of escort by skirmishers. Over a very considerable portion of the route we took to Seabrook Point-the one running through the woods beyond General Drayton's plantation, as distinguished from the one near the shore-skirmishers could not be deployed, as both sides of the road are lined by an impenetrable jungle. Our progress was necessarily quite slow. We reached Seabrook Landing about 2 o'clock p. m.