War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0071 Chapter XV. ENGAGEMENT AT PORT ROYAL FERRY.

Search Civil War Official Records

As soon as his column advancing by the margin of the river could be seen Captain Leake opened upon it, scattering it right and left and driving it out of view, down the slope, to the marsh; and when those advancing across the fields appeared before my right wing, I opened fire upon them with musketry, dispersing and driving them back to the river, under shelter of their gunboats.

When I became satisfied that the enemy would not advance by the Kean's Neck road I changed my position to Chaplin's house, near the ferry, in support of Lieutenant-Colonel Barnes' command; but when I arrived with the head of my regiment at that point I saw that I was too late to accomplish any useful purpose. The enemy had reached the earthwork at the end of the causeway in large force, and were protected by the guns of three steamers in the river near the bulkheads of the ferry. I then withdrew the whole command to my camp, to wait for further orders from general headquarters.

On arriving at my camp I met you at the head of the Eighth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, and placed myself under your orders.

I cannot state with certainty the loss of the enemy, but I have reason to believe it was considerable in killed and wounded. Wherever we met him we invariably drove him from the field in confusion to the protection of his gunboats. We saw many dead upon the field and captured 2 prisoners, badly wounded, both of whom have since died.

I was not only satisfied, but highly gratified, with the conduct of all my officers and men during the engagement. Their coolness and enthusiasm were admirable.

I herewith transmit a complete list of the casualties* in my regiment. I also transmit two orders received during the engagement from the general commanding the Fourth Military District of South Carolina.+

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding Fourteenth Regiment S. C. Vols.

Brigadier General D. S. DONELSON,

Commanding First Brigade, Fourth Military District S. C.

No. 19. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Dixon Barnes, Twelfth Regiment South Carolina Infantry.

TOMOTLEY, S. C., January 5, 1862.

GENERAL: I transmit herewith the report of Lieutenant Colonel D. Barnes of the affair at Port Royal on the 1st instant.

I have no remarks to make on it except to correct the distance of my line from my camp at the time the lieutenant-colonel reported to me, which is probably immaterial; but the line was about 1 mile from my camp instead of half a mile, as stated by Lieutenant-Colonel Barnes.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding Fourteenth Regiment S. C. Vols.

General D. S. DONELSON,

First Brigade, Fourth Military District South Carolina.


*Embodied in No. 22, p.75.

+Not found.