DECEMBER 17, 1861.-Evacuation of Rockville, S. C., by Confederate forces.
No. 1.-Brigadier General R. S. Ripley, C. S. Army.
No. 2.-Colonel J. L. Brauch, Rifle Regiment.
Numbers 3.-Captain T. G. Budd, quartermaster Rifle Regiment.
Numbers 1. Report of Brigadier General R. S. Ripley, C. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND DISTRICT SOUTH CAROLINA, Charleston, S. C., December 30, 1861.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to inclose herewith the report of Colonel Branch and accompanying papers [Nos. 2 and 3] relating to [the] retreat from Rockville. I also inclose copy of the orders given to Colonel Branch from these headquarters when he occupied John's Island. I should have forwarded these papers earlier, but that I deemed, considering the organization of the troops, that report on the subject could not very materially benefit the service.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. S. RIPLEY,
Captain T. A. WASHINGTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Coosawhatchie, S. C.
HDQRS. PROV. FORCES, SEC'D MIL. DIST., Numbers 217.
Charleston, S. C., November 25, 1861.
1. Colonel Branch's regiment of rifles, South Carolina militia, will take post on John's and Wadmalaw Islands as soon as possible. One battalion of the regiment will land at John's Island Ferry, and leaving one company at that point in charge of the ferry and boats, which will accompany the command, will proceed to the interior of the island. The other battalion, with the headquarters, will proceed to Rockville, and take post in observation at that point.
II. The regiment will move with as little baggage as possible, and on no account will the strict regulation allowance of transportation be exceeded.
III. The different commands and detachments will be kept in light marching order, and move from point to point, as may be directed by the colonel or commanding officer, the object being to familiarize the officers and troops with the locality, as well as to give protection to the inhabitants.
IV. Colonel Branch is authorized to employ such guides as may be necessary, and if possible, until cavalry can be furnished him, to mount a small force of his command to keep up his communications.
V. The regiment will take fifteen days' rations of small stores, but the principal part of the subsistence will be purchased in the vicinity.
VI. After having made a thorough reconnaissance of the island, Colonel Branch will report to these headquarters upon the strength of the position and the disposition of his command. He will meantime