War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0077 Chapter XV. EXPEDITION TO EDISTO ISLAND.

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board of a flat-boat, which no other means of propulsion than poles. When they had reached mid-channel, their poles being too short to reach the bottom, they were left at the mercy of the tide, by which they were swept out, and fell easy victims into the hands of the enemy.

If it is said that better and surer means of escape ought to have been furnished them in the event of an attack from an irresistible force, I answer that my letter-book contains an order, dated December 23, 1861, to the brigade quartermaster, to charter a steamer of 125 tons burden, for purposes of transportation between the Key and the main-land, and the records of this office show that this officer did his duty, and that the boat was chartered. Who she was not in place I know not. If it be asked why so small a force was left upon the Key, I answer that it was all that could be spared from more important points, and that even this was in contravention, to some extent, of the instructions (by telegraph) from the commanding general. By these instructions I was directed to order all the Florida troops to Fernandina. In compliance with them, given when an attack was hourly expected at the latter point, I ordered the two companies then stationed at Cedar Keys to Fernandina.

In a few days after their removal, and when it had become obvious that Fernandina was not then to be the object of attack, I received a paper from Cedar Keys, signed by a number of its inhabitants, setting forth their fears that certain persons who had been arrested there as traitors, and released afterwards for want of sufficient testimony to convict, would, prompted by motives of revenge, now that the troops were withdrawn, avail themselves of the opportunity thus afforded to wreak their vengeance upon their accusers, and requesting, therefore, that a guard of 20 or 30 men might be sent for their protection, I took the responsibility of promptly complying with the petition.

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

J. H. TRAPIER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Captain T. A. WASHINGTON,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Coosawhatchie, S. C.

JANUARY 22-25, 1862.-Expedition to Edisto Island, S. C.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.-Brigadier General Nathan G. Evans, C. S. Army.

No. 2.-Colonel P. F. Stevens, Holcombe Legion, C. S. Army.

No. 3.-Instructions from General Evans to Colonel Stevens.

No. 1. Report of Brigadier General Nathan G. Evans, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD MILITARY DISTRICT,

Adams Run, S. C., January 25, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that the expedition under Colonel P. F. Stevens, Holcombe Legion, has succeeded in capturing about 50 negroes on Edisto Island, several of whom are the negroes that attacked of the negroes be convicted, they should be hanged as soon as possible