about 1 1/2 miles, when I reached the scene of a sharp action between Major Vogdes' command and the rebels, in which 11 of the enemy were killed, and probably many more than that number wounded.
It is due to Captain Hildt, Third Infantry, to stae that our troops here engaged were under his directions, as, from the statements of that officer and Lieutenants Seeley and Taylor, the only officers with Major Vogdes, he must have been taken prisoner before the fight commenced. After marching half a mile farther up the beach I discovered a large row-boat, about 1,200 yards off, filled with men, making for the navy-yard. I directed the men to fire at great elevation on this boat, which was well executed, with some effect. Soon after this, whilst advancing rapidly, I discovered, nearly 2 miles away, on a point or neck of land, a very large body of the enemy, which I judged to be ten times my strength. I shortly after left the beach, going behind the sand ridge which skirts it, and deployed my command, for the purpose of concealing its weakness and to attack them in flank and rear. I very soon met Captain Hildt, Third Infantry; Lieutenants Duryea, Langdon, Seeley, and Taylor, of the artillery, who informed me of the capture of Major Vogdes. I ordered Captain Hildt to join me with the remnant of his command, Lieutenant Duryea to act as my staff officer, in which capacity he made a bold reconnaissance, supported only by six men, bringing me the valuable information that the enemy were embarking in two steamboats 4 miles from the fort. I directed Lieutenant Langdon to report to the colonel commanding my relative position with that of the enemy, which he could well and quickly do, being mounted, and from his recent dangerous proximity to the enemy, and to request that a field gun and a supporting force be sent me. I ordered Captain Robertson, Second Artillery, to move with his company along the sand hills skirting the beach, and to attack the enemy if a favorable opportunity should offer, which he did in the most effective manner. I proceeded with the balance of the command, Lieutenant Shipley, with his company [C, Third Infantry], leading off, within supporting distance of Captain Robertson, which portion of the command was unfortunately delayed about fifteen [five] minutes by having to turn a swamp which intervened. Both divisions of the command displayed great zeal and coolness in coming into the action. The fire of the men was deliberate and well delivered into the crowded mass on board the steamboats and flats in tow, which must have punished the enemy severely-particularly the fire delivered by Captain Robertson's company for fifteen or twenty minutes, at short range, while the flat in tow of one of the steamers was aground. I am indebted to Major Tower, Engineer Corps, for his advice on the field and for ordering up the New York volunteers as a supporting column.
Captain Robertson, Second Artillery; Captain Hildt, Third Infantry; Lieutenants Shipley, Third Infantry; Langdon, Seeley, Jackson, and Taylor, First Artillery, and Captains Dobie and Hoelzle, Sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, who served under my command during the day, did their duty nobly. My special thanks are due to Captain J. M. Robertson, Second Artillery, and First Lieutenant A. N. Shipley, Third Infantry, the two officers of my original command, for their activity, energy, and coolness displayed and valuable services rendered by them and their commands.
I refer the colonel commanding to the reports of the commanders of companies and parties specially detached for individual instances of good conduct displayed; also a list of officers and enlisted men [regulars] killed, wounded, and missing, which reports, &c., I herewith inclose.