HEADQUARTERS TWELFTH REGIMENT S. C. VOLS., January 4, 1862.
SIR: I submit the following report of the part performed in the recent affair at Port Royal Ferry by the detachment of the Twelfth Regiment, under my command:
Between 1 and 2 p.m. of the 1st instead I left Captain Pemberton, near Garden's Corner, with Adjutant Talley and four companies of the Twelfth Regiment, to wit: Company A, Captain [W. H.] McCorkle; Company B, Captain [John L.] Miller; Company G, Lieutenant [John M.] Moody; and Company I, Lieutenant [H. W.] Campbell, under orders from the brigadier-general commanding the Fourth Military District to proceed to join the Fourteenth Regiment in resisting the reported advance of the enemy from Chisolm's Point, where is was said they had landed in force.
On reaching the camp of the Fourteenth Regiment, at the junction of the road leading to Kean's Neck with the Port Royal Ferry road, I ascertained that the earthworks at the ferry had been abandoned, and that the Fourteenth Regiment, with some of the pieces, had advanced down the former road, leaving a small guard, with a howitzer, at the camp. I followed with my command, the direction being nearly parallel to the river and within easy range of the heavy guns of the enemy's vessels; but we came up with Colonel Jones' regiment about a half mile from their camp without having sustained any loss from the few shells which were fired. That regiments was then filing off from the road to the right, and upon reporting to Colonel Jones I was informed that the enemy were advancing on the right, and was ordered to countermarch to a gate-way some 300 yards to the rear, from which a road extended directly towards the river, and thus to gain a position to the right of that occupied by the Fourteenth Regiment. On reaching the gate-way indicated I discovered that the road to which I had been directed ran through the middle of an extensive cotton field, bounded on our right by the Port Royal Ferry road and on the left for some 200 yards by a wood of small pines, into which the Fourteenth Regiment had filled, and beyond that wood, on the left, by a rail fence, which separated the cotton field from other open lands. Directly in front of the gate-way, about a quarter of a mile distant, a ridge, whereon stood a dwelling and outbuildings (known as Chaplin's), and which was partially covered with trees and undergrowth, extended from the Port Royal Ferry road, on the right, to a considerable distance beyond the fence referred to, on our left.
My detachment marched from the gate to the left, crossing the cotton field diagonally, so as to advance nearer to the position of the Fourteenth Regiment, and at the same time gain a point between its right and the river. This we did, and forme din line under cover of the fence, our right resting near the ridge. The Fourteenth Regiment was hilden from us by the intervening growth of pines, but to the front of our line the view was unobstructed for a considerable distance. Through this open area we soon saw the enemy advancing as skirmishers upon the right of the Fourteenth Regiment, apparently in ignorance of our position. That regiment opened fire, and immediately afterward I ordered my detachment to advance. They responded promptly, with a cheer, and, leaping the fence, we advanced at a run, firing upon the enemy. They returned the fire, wounding 2 of our men, and fled, screening themselves behind a point of woodland to our right. The firing from the Fourteenth Regiment also ceased; and it having been reported to me by a few men of Company B, posted on the ridge to our