War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0374 COAST OF S. C., GA., AND MIDDLE AND EAST FLA. Chapter XV.

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HARDEEVILLE, February 3, 1862.

Captain W. H . TAYLOR,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

The enemy have shelled and burnt Box's and Lawton's houses, on New River. The obstruction near Red Bluff removed, and the sailors are sounding above it. No soldiers on board gunboats. One company cavalry and three of infantry close by, watching them, ready to attack in case they leave edge of water. The shells from guns of steamers picked up 3 miles off.

THOS. F. DRAYTON,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH CAROLINA,

February 4, 1862.

General THOMAS F. DRAYTON,

Commanding, &c., Hardeeville, S. C.:

GENERAL: Mr. T. A. Reynolds, overseer of Captain John Screven, reports that on last Saturday night a party of Federal troops visited Captain Screven's Proctor plantation, and that on Sunday they made their appearance with negroes. After taking a view of Fort Jackson, &c., they retired, without disturbing anything on the plantation. They reached Proctor's by the way of Wright's Cut, which leads through the marsh from Savannah River to Wright River. This information is derived from the watchman (negro) on the plantation, and is believed by Mr. Reynolds.

You are desired to advance a company, mounted or on foot, convenient to throw out pickets to observe the approaches to the Savannah River, and to endeavor to catch or intercept reconnoitering parties of the enemy. I would suggest that they keep themselves concealed by day and take positions by night to accomplish their object effectually. Select a bold and intelligent officer for the service.

I am, &c.,

R. E. LEE,

General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH CAROLINA, &C.,

Savannah, Ga., February 4, 1862.

Brigadier General THOMAS F. DRAYTON,

Commanding, &c., Hardeeville, S. C.:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 3rd instant has been received, and your withdrawal of the guns from Red Bluff is approved. It will be necessary for you to take a line removed from New River, so as to prevent the advance of a land force of the enemy, should one be attempted from New River to Savannah River, sufficiently distant from the former not to be affected by the enemy's gunboats.

You will strengthen this line by artificial defenses, breastworks, abattis, &c., as you best can, and have a sufficient force at hand to attack and drive back and advancing foe. Should this be impracticable, you will hang upon his flank and rear to retard his progress until re-enforcements can reach you. Should a force be landed with which you may consider yourself unable to cope, you will notify General Pemberton, who is ordered to march to your relief. Should you require additional