MAY 29, 1862.-Skirmish at Pocotaligo, S. C.
Numbers 1.-Brigadier General Isaac I Stevens, U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade, Northern District, Department of the South.
Numbers 2.-Colonel Benjamin C. Christ, Fiftieth Pennsylvania Infantry.
Numbers 3.-Colonel W. S. Walker, C. S. Army, commanding Third Military District of South Carolina.
Numbers 1. Report of Brigadier General Isaac I. Stevens, U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade, Northern District, Department of the South.
HDQRS. 2nd Brigadier, NORTHERN DIST., DEPT OF THE SOUTH,
Beaufort, S. C., May 31, 1862.
SIR: My previous dispatches and telegrams have apprised you of the steps taken by me to make the demonstration of the day before yesterday on the railroad and of the success of that demonstration. To recapitulate briefly:
1. Your telegram reached me at 6 o'clock p. m. on the 28th, and I understood the telegram as directing me to make strike according to the original programme, even though it should cause the getting afloat of my command for another object to be deferred until Saturday morning. I accordingly made my arrangements and communicated with you by telegraph.
2. Your letter per Mattano, which reached me about 7 o'clock, advised me that your intention was that the stroke should be made with my depot force, but it was not to be made if the force was deemed insufficient or if it would endanger the getting of my command afloat on the evening of the 30th.
3. Being satisfied that the force indicated would be sufficient to strike the railroad at Pocotaligo and that by proper arrangements I could get the force afloat in season I simply modified the orders accordingly, all of which I set forth in my dispatch of the same evening, from which I beg leave to make the following extract:
Your dispatch (telegram) never reached me till a quarter before 6 o'clock by my own or 6 o'clock by the Beaufort time; too late to get an answer through to-night. I however at once got my command in readiness to push the operation on the railroad so far as possible according to the original programme, when receiving your letter per Mattan I modified it so that the Fiftieth Regiment, with one company of the Highlanders and one company of the Eight Michigan as fatigue parties and one section of Rockwell's battery, with all the force which can be spared from the cavalry, will be 1 o'clock start for the ferry and be crossed by daylight. I shall direct them to attempt simply the destruction of the road in the vicinity of Pocotaligo and the Tilifiny and to return immediately. I will have the two fatigue companies brought in from the ferry in wagons to-morrow evening, so they may be in condition to go on board Friday morning. Early in the morning I shall send out strong detachments from each company of the troops destined in the cool of the afternoon. The force which remains will under the several colonels prepare of Friday.
4. My arrangements for bringing boats to the ferry were remarkably successful. Lieutenant Brown, Eighth Michigan, was dispatched to the advanced posts with orders to Captain Lewis to bring to the ferry all the boats at Seabrook and other points. Lieutenant Adams, Fiftieth Pennsylvania Volunteers, was sent to Ladies Island with similar orders to Captain Dimock, in command on that island. They brought twelve flats and boats to the ferry before the arrival of the troops. Twelve