flats, including the ferry-boat, were started from Beaufort at 9.30 o'clock each flat manned by a soldier and 6 negroes, all under the charge of Lieutenant Donohue, Eighth Michigan, and reached the ferry about daylight. The troops commenced crossing at 3 p. m. Much delay occurred in the passage of both the cavalry and artillery. The infantry commenced their march at 5 a. m., the cavalry at 6 a. m., but the artillery not till 8, and the latter were furthermore delayed inthe road nearly two hours in feeding and watering their animals. The officer in charge, Lieutenant Cannon (his first experience in service), states that he used every exertion to push up, but did not reach the advance till the enemy had been routed. The inclosed report of Colonel Christ will give the details of the affair. The enemy was handsomely driven from his position. Two prisoners were taken. He experienced considerable loss in killed and wounded. But on examining his cartridge boxes Colonel Christ found but little ammunition was left. Although his advance were in direct view and only a quarter of a mile from the railroad he determined to fall back and return to Beaufort. As he fell back, although some of the enemy's vedettes kept in view of him, no serious attack on him was attempted, and the return was very leisurely made.
5. The troops designated as reserves, viz, 25 men from each company of the Eighth Michigan and Seventy-ninth Highlanders not on other duty, and 40 men from each company of the One hundredth Pennsylvania, moved off according to orders, and were at their appropriate positions at the ferry. Camp Stevens, and the 7-mile post at the time designated.
6. At 1 o'clock I learned that the troops would not be put afloat until the 31st, and at 3.30 o'clock (having gone to the ferry in the mean time) that Colonel Christ had had a sharp engagement with the enemy in force superior to his own. I then determined to send the Highlanders to Garden's Corners as a reserve, and afterward sent to the same point the Eighth Michigan. The former numbered 225 and the latter 150 men. The One hundredth Pennsylvania were advanced to the ferry. These forces were advanced out of abundant caution, and not in consequence of there being esteemed an imperative necessity for so doing.
7. The troops all returned in good condition, the force of Colonel Christ of course much fatigued. They all recrossed the ferry before 4 o'clock the morning of the 30th, and had therefore marched 33 miles, fought two hours, and made two difficult river crossings in some twenty-seven hours. This I consider a remarkable case of endurance, for it must be borne in mind that the weather was warm, and the operation was undertaken on the jump and at the close of the day.
8. The operation, in short, was most successful as a reconnaissance or demonstration, and it is very certain, could the original programme have been carried out, that the whole line would have been borne up from Salkehatchie to Coosawhatchie. It proves the correctness of the information which I had previously gained-that the enemy was not in any considerable force at the railroad.
9. The crossings at the ferry, both going and returning and through the entire operation, were in charge of Captain Lewis and Lieutenants Brown and Donohue, Eighth Michigan. They are deserving of particular mention for their skill and endurance. Captain Cline, One hundredth Pennsylvania, assisted with his company at the return. I have to return my acknowledgments to my staff, Captain Stevens, assistant adjutant-general; Captain Lusk, aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant Porter, brigade quartermaster. Colonel Christ speaks in complimentary terms