HEADQUARTERS THIRD SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT,
Camp Jackson, Va., July 12, 1862.
SIR: On Thursday, the 3rd instant, late in the afternoon, I was directed by Brigadier-General Kershaw to move with my regiment, two companies from the Second South Carolina Regiment, and two from the Seventh South Carolina Regiment, by way of the camp of Colonel Cobb, from whom I would get definite information as to the locality of certain arms left by the enemy at Shirley and supposed to be under guard, and where I would meet a detail of 100 men from General Hill's division, which would co-operate with me in driving off the enemy and capturing the arms which I was ordered to do.
I assembled my command as speedily as possible and began the march from my camp, near Malvern Hills, to Shirley about an hour before sundown. After marching about 6 miles I arrived at Colonel Cobb's camp and procured the information desired and a guide, and then resumed the march, taking with me the detail of 100 men from General Hill's division, which was under the command of Captain Tayloe. I reached the cavalry outposts of Colonel Cobb, under command of Captain King, about 1.30 p.m., where, on account of the darkness of the night and the scattered condition of the arms, I concluded to bivouac for the night. Early in the morning I called up my command, and after requesting Captain King, who promptly complied, to send cavalry scouts in advance, I took the march for the field in which the arms were scattered. Neither a land force nor the gunboats of the enemy were to be seen; so, with the assistance of Captain King, of Cobb's Legion, of Major White, of the Seventh South Carolina Regiment, who was ordered to accompany me on the expedition, and of the officers of my command, we went earnestly to work, and soon picked up all of the arms on the field and conveyed them about a mile to the rear, where they were turned over to Captain Tayloe, who had wagons from General Hill's division in waiting to convey them to the Ordnance Department. I then allowed the men time to breakfast, and returned to camp, reporting immediately on my arrival my return to Brigadier-General Kershaw.
The number of arms gathered was about 925. Several arms were brought to the wagons after I received reports from commanders of companies is the reason I cannot specify the exact number. The arms were good, of modern patterns, and in fine condition, considering the exposure.
I take occasion to express my obligation to Colonel Cobb for furnishing me with valuable information and a guide; also to Captain King, of the same corps, for his assistance to me in gathering the arms. The distance marched was about 10 miles each way.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES D. NANCE,
Colonel Third South Carolina Regiment.
Captain C. R. HOLMES,