without encountering any of the enemy or any white person whatever. From what I can gather from negroes, there are no rebel troops on any of the northern portions of Hilton Head Island.
About 300 of them, with some wounded, passed over the road last night about the time we were disembarking. They were under the influence of a terrible panic; knapsacks, haversacks, canteens, cartridge-boxes, &c., were found scattered over the road and on the wharf at Seabrook, where the hasty embarkation took place. We also found at the landing a number of rifled muskets and bayonets. There is near the wharf, women in store and some outside, a considerable quantity, say fifteen or eighteen large wagon loads, of valuable commissary supplies, such as bacon, hard bread, sugar, rice, corn, vinegar, &c. We brought back two wagon loads of these articles, which Colonel Terry will account for. Had my orders admitted of it I would have remained at Seabrook with half the escort until boasts could have been dispatched form headquarters under convoy to bring off the commissary stores. At Seabrook an excellent position for a battery, elevated some 12 or 15 feet above the level of the river, to sweep and control the Skull Creek channel, has been selected. The river at that point is about one-fourth of a mile inside, and is skirted on the farther side by a marsh, witch enlarges the distance between the firm ground on the opposite shore to half a mile or a little more.
I caused sounding to be taken across the stream at half tide, finding two fathoms at the end of Seabrook wharf, three fathoms a short distance out, and a good 5-fathom anchorage in the middle of the stream.
A battery of five or six heavy guns at Seabrook would be quite sufficient to close it against a coup de main I would recommend an inclosed work of strong relief and of sufficient capacity for 1,000 men, with guns on the gorge and with suitable flanking arrangements, should be commenced immediately. It should mount fifteen guns, at leant, of all calibers. The route over which I passed is practicable for heavy artillery and heavy transportation generally, but materials can best be taken to Seabrook by water. The wharf there requires some repairs.
On my return I increased the guard at General Drayton's plantation at the request of the officer in charge there. I found no public property of papers at General Drayton's, with the exception of two letters already in your possession.
There is no post-office at Seabrook. I have to acknowledge the cordial and efficient co-operation of Colonel Terry in carrying out the objects of the reconnaissance.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Q. A. GILLMORE,
Captain of Engineers, Chief Engineers E. C.
Commanding Forces on Hilton Head, S. C.
NOVEMBER 1-11, 1861.-Expedition from Hilton Head to Braddock's Point, S. C.
Report of Captain Q. A. Gillmore, U. S. Corps of Engineers.
U. S. ENGINEER OFFICE, Hilton Head, S. C., November 12, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to report that I accompanied Brigadier-General Wright on a night expedition to Braddock's Point, leaving Hilton