I landed on Daufuskie, marched 5 miles, to General Viele's quarters, and reported to him at 12 o'clock. After landing I sent the boats to Engineer's Wharf, at the upper end of the island. General Viele ordered me to encamp and wait further orders. During the evening Companies A and F arrived from Seabrook on the Mayflower, she coming from Hilton Head with commissary stores, and having taken them on board when passing Seabrook.
The next morning (Sunday, the 9th) I was ordered to embark and proceed to Savannah River, with my entire command, on a reconnaissance. I proceeded to Savannah River and some distance up the river, without seeing any signs of rebel pickets. I then returned and landed at the battery opposite Jones' Island, letting the men leave the boats a short time to rest them. While there a rebel steamer came out of San Augustine Creek in sight of our batteries and steamed up the river towards Savannah. Our batteries opened on them, making some good line shots, though they did not appear to strike the steamer, but they quickened her speed. After resting a short time I crossed to Jones' Island. As the boats were heavily laden and the tide low I could not pass down Mud River. I therefore landed the men and sent the boats around to the opposite side of the island to join me there. From there I again embarked, and returned to Daugfuskie.
The next morning (Monday, 10th) I received orders from General Viele to take one day's rations, and with all my command make a reconnaissance of Elba Island, which I proceeded to do, accompanied by Major Gardiner, of the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, and Captain Liebenau, of General Viele's staff. We left the landing known as the Engineer's Wharf at 9.45 a.m. in small boats, which were taken in tow by the steamer Mayflower to the point of Jones' Island (on Mud River) known as Sears' Landing, arriving there at 12 o'clock. From thence we proceeded in our boats, heavily laden as they were, against wind and tide, through Mud River, across the Savannah River, to a point on Elba Island opposite to and below the mouth of Mud River, where I landed, accompanied by Major Bedel, of the Third New Hampshire Volunteers, Major Gardiner, and Captain Liebenau. I at once saw the impracticability of landing my whole force, as the tall reeds and grass on the lower portion of the island had been burned, thus leaving us a fair mark for any of the enemy's steamers, should any of them (attracted by the large force under my command in small boats crossing the Savannah in daylight) have thought best to come down and attack us. I left the force there under the command of Captain Plimpton, with instructions to officers in command of the several different boats to allow no man to land, but each officer and soldier to remain seated in the boats, covered by the shores of the island, and instructing the officers in charge, as soon as any black heavy smoke became visible beyond them, to pull directly for Mud River, so as to be under the cover of the guns from our batteries and those of the Western World; to leave a small boat for us, or if this was not practicable, to take all the boats, leaving us on the island.
After these instructions I divided our small force landed, by giving Major Bedel 6 men, and instructions to proceed across to the opposite side of the island, scattering his men, and thence to the upper end, while with Major Gardiner, Captain Liebenau, and 6 men I proceeded on our course on this side, expecting to join Major Bedel at the upper end of the island. We separated to start upon our several courses at 1.45 p.m., and after traveling two hours and a quarter and crossing