Major Oswald's conduct was all I knew it would be in a brave and judicious officer. He mentions in his report that Captain W. G. Green, of the Salkehatchie Guerrillas, was cool and collected, and was willing to advance, but that in his (the captain's) judgment it was not advisable.
I did not recross the ferry, but remained on the other side with private Martin, and ordered them to recross. This they did at 12 midnight with the utmost alacrity, cheering me with the utmost enthusiasm. From this moment I am spared the pain of recording anything more to their discredit. I conducted the column to a plantation on the road to Beaudiscredit. I conducted the column to a plantation on the road to Beaufort, and bivouacked the column to a plantation on the road to Beaufort, and bivouacked until daylight about 2 miles from the ferry.
Early in the morning I moved the column to within 4 miles of Beaufort, when I called for volunteers to go into the town. I wanted but 8, but nearly all the detachment volunteers. I ought to have added that at the ferry, my guides having left me, I sent over for volunteers ot Captain Barnwell's and Captain Smith's Company, but received only one-a Mr. Givens. The detachment of volunteers passed round the head of Saltwater Creek to within 2 miles of Beaufort, and within the lines of the enemy's pickets, and exchanged shots within them. They were commanded by Captain Smart, of the Allendale Mounted Guard, an officer whose conduct has won my respect by the manner in which he discharged the duty assigned to him. Privates Edward Bostick, V. F. Martin, B. T. Lawton, J. E. Bailey, and J. A. Owens, of his company; Sergt. Major Marion Green, and Charles Jones and Shepherd, of Green's company, and the guide, J. C. Gives, above named, constituted his party.
Mrt. Given's and Mr. Shepherd's services as guides were meritorious and valuable to me until I left the island.
On the return of my pickets form the enemy's lines I divided the column into two detachments, and taking charge of one, and assigning the other to Major Oswald, we proceeded respectively to the waters around the island where the plantations lie and burned all the cotton, except where the quantity was too inconsiderable to destroy the building or where the owners were engaged in removing it. I have reason to suppose but little cotton remains on the island. Where the cotton was in the dwelling-houses, orbits destruction involved the loss of valuable buildings, it was thrown out and rendered valueless.
The two detachments united at a rendezvous near the ferry, and crossed at 10 p. m. on [the] 7th instant, the men having been almost incessantly in the saddle for thirty-four hours, with but two meals, which they carried in their haversacks.
I have no casualties to men or horses in my command to report, and, regretting the necessity of so lengthy communication, I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. E. MARTIN,
Colonel Mounted Regiment.
]Coosawhatchie, S. C.
P. S.-I ommited to state, on my arrived within half a mile of the ferry, on my way to cross over form this side, I concealed my men in a dense thicket and allowed no negroes to pass; that when Bivouacked on the plantation beyond the ferry I guarded every negro house and the country around, sand that the all times, after the pickets fire on us, I took every negro who was passing into custody, and that all opportunity of conveying intelligence of our movements was cut off.