anxious to communicate with them in relation to a code of signals I had instructed two men in for the purpose of properly directing the gun-boats' line of fire. I met them about 1 mile below, and went on board the Seneca and communicated my wishes to Captain Ammen, who very kindly gave me all the assistance in his power. I suggested that a few shell should be thrown into the enemy's works opposite Seabrook's Ferry and then a number back in the woods tot he right and left. I had not idea at any time that there were more troops than one picket stationed at their works, but apprehended a concealed force in the woods to the right. At a given signal from me the troops, who until now lay concealed in the bushes, manned the flat-boats in the following orders: 1st, 9th Company, and, 2nd, 6th Company Highlanders; Company B and Company C, Roundheads. I led the way in a small boat. The tide, fortunately, was very high, and I could thus take the flats directly across 200 yards of marsh that intervened between the river and the enemy's works. The companies landed in regular succession, except Company C, Roundhead regiment, which I did not think it necessary to land. We found the work, as we expected, abandoned, with evidences of a hasty retreat of but a small party of men. The works were nearly completed, and were intended for one large sea-coast gun and a field battery. The magazine was rather out of proportion to the size of the works, being amply large enough for a fort of six heavy pieces. The works were admirably masked and pretty well constructed. I threw out a semicircular line of pickets, who reported small bodies of the enemy some distance in the interior. I gave orders for the entire destruction of the work and the felling of trees, while I started in my boat for Stewart's plantation, formerly the headquarters of a rebel picket, and situated about half a mile from Port Royal Ferry. I made a successful landing, and searched for late papers and letters or other property of service to the Army. I found none of the former, and all of the latter is now in possession of Captain Stevens, assistant adjutant-general.
From this point I had a very good view of the batteries at Port Royal Ferry and I found them quite deserted. This must have been three hours before possession was taken of the place by the troops under Colonel Leasure. I should have immediately gone there had I known officially that another column was approaching from the right. I returned to my command, and finding the work of destruction about finished, with the exception of all the trees, and not having sufficient axes for the purpose, I withdrew the troops after some trouble, as the tide had fallen and the flats were floating in an adjacent creek, the troops consequently being obliged to march some distance through heavy mud. I remanded my command at Seabrook's without further difficulty.
Truly and respectfully,
W. ST. G. ELLIOTT,
Commanding Left Column.
Brigadier General ISAAC I. STEVENS.
No. 8. Report of Colonel B. C. Christ, Fiftieth Pennsylvania Infantry.
BEAUFORT, S. C., January 2, 1862.
SIR: I respectfully submit the following: According to Special Orders, NO.-, I left our encampment at Beaufort at 5.30 o'clock p.m. December