JUNE 21, 1862.-Engagement at Simmons' Bluff, S. C.
Report of Captain Edward L. Parker, C. S. Army, Marion (S. C.) Artillery.*
HDQRS. SECOND MILITARY DIST. SOUTH CAROLINA,
Adams Run, June 23, 1862.
Major J. R. WADDY,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Charleston, S. C.:
MAJOR: Herewith I have the honor to inclose the official report of Captain Parkeer, Marion Artillery, of the affair with the gunboats at Simmons' Bluff on the 21st instant. Owing to the absence of the reigment of Colonel McCulloch the rifle pits ewe not complete when the attack commenced. I am having them arranged and have strengthened the position with two additional companies. I would here state that I will forward the report of the engagement on James Island on the 16th instant as soon as I can collect the reports of the immediate commanders.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. G. EVANS,
SIMMONS' BLUFF, S. C., June 21, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that at about 11 a. m. this day the alarm was given of two gunboats approaching. I was at Colonel Whaling's place, on a visit to pickets there stationed, and caused the alarm to be given also from that point. My guns were in the road and wagons parked before I could get to camp, nothing having been been lost. The boats approached rapidly-one large three-masted propeller and a side-wheel, probably the Planter.
I ordered the companies of Captains McJunckin and Barnett into the incomplete pit in process of construction for riflemen, directing them if driven from the pits to fall back and skirmish (if they landed) along the road and int he corn back of Simmons' negro settlement. The battery I ordered to the bluff, where I am erecting batteries for my guns abut 800 yards above the point. The road through the corn was so miry from the recent rains that my guns could not use them, and I had to take a circuit and approach it from the north. When we cleared the road we found the large vessels just below the point, the Planter on the south side of said point. To reach the full I would have had my battery exposed to fire from both ships for 400 or 500 yards, and then would only be able to reach the large vessel at the range before named, say 800 yards. I deemed it wiser, as I could inflict no injury, to run no risk.
The fire of shot, shell, case-shot, and canister was very heavy from both ships. I kept my men and guns under cover, anticipating a landing. The riflemen kept up a continuous and steady fire until their position was enfiladed, when they retreated to the road, straggling far ahead of their officers up it. I halted them and deployed them to the left of road, directing a gradual advance, under cover of woods, hedge, and corn, to the negro settlement. The men were very much fatigued and I could not get the movement properly executed. A few men were
*The report of Lieutenant A. C. Rhind, U. S. Navy, appears in the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy, December 1, 1862.