MARCH 20-24, 1862.-Operations near Bluffton, S. C., including affairs at Buckingham and Hunting Island.
Numbers 1.- Lieutenant Colonel John H. Jackson, Third New Hampshire Infantry.
Numbers 2.- Brigadier General Thomas F. Drayton, C. S. Army.
Numbers 3.- Major John b. Willcoxon, Phillips Legion.
Numbers 4.- Captain Carlos Tracy, volunteer aide-de-camp.
Numbers 5.- Miscellaneous orders and correspondence.
Numbers 1. Report of Lieutenant Colonel John H. Jackson, Third New Hampshire Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS,
Hilton Head, S. C., March 25, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with Special Orders, Numbers 67, March 18, 1862, I proceeded on the 19th, with 24 officers and - enlisted men, on a reconnaissance in force on May River, running between the islands of Bull and Savage and the main-land. Accompanying the battalion from my regiment was a detachment from the Third Rhode Island Volunteers, with a 12-pounder howitzer, under the command of Lieutenant Morrow, who conducted himself in a manner deserving my thanks, and materially assisted me in all my movements during the rive days I was gone.
I left my camp at this place at 2 p. m., and arrived at Seabrok at 3.30 p. m., and had all but one company embarked at 4 o'clock, filling what boats I had, fifteen in number, one leaking so badly I had to leave it behind. The field piece I embarked in a scow we found at Seabrok and towed it with one of our large boats. Soon after leaving the wharf it began to grow dark and to rain, and the wind blew hard, so as to endanger the safety of our field piece, the scow being low in the water. After an hour and a half's rowing, I thought best to land a short time until the weather became somewhat calmer, and landed at Dr. Frank Pope's plantation, on Hilton Head Island. The men found shelter in the buildings, and at 2.30 o'clock in the morning of Thursday, the 20th, we again embarked, and about daybreak landed on a hard beach at Dr. James Kirk's plantation, on the main-land, and 1 mile from Bluffton.
I had previously sent two companies under command of Captain Randlett to the White house, on Ephraim Baynard's plantation, opposite the lower end of Pinckney Island, to drive in or capture the picket stationed there. Immediately after lading, the command remaining with me, I threw out Captain Plimpton's company as skirmishers in the direction of the above plantation, to assist Captain Randlett, and to ascertain what other pickets there were near there, and, if possible, to capture them.
Immediately after landing we could see cavalry pickets in the woods skirting the plantation. I immediately had the field piece brought up and fired three shells into the wood, scattering the enemy. As I had not made preparation to advance far into the interior, I drew off my command, and dropped down to Colonel Seabrook's wharf and plantation, on Bull Island, opposite the main-land. After landing that portion of my command I proceeded to Baynard's plantation, and found that 4 rebel pickets had been captured. Captain Plimpton's company,