to Pinckney Island, organize din pursuance to orders from district headquarters:
On the 18th, in company with Captain Mickler, I made a careful reconnaissance of the island and formed my plan of attack. I extended orders to Captain Mickler to transport four boats from Horton's to Bear Island and to join me on the evening of the 21st with 100 men. I also directed that 50 men of the Beaufort Artillery, with muskets and a 4-pounder boat gun, should meet me at Body's Landing on the 19th, in order to take six boats to Foot Point and Bear Island by the way of Broad River. The dispositions were successfully accomplished within the required time.
On the 21st, at 3 a. m., I left Bear Island with detachments of Captains Mickler's, Leadbetter's, and Wescoat's companies, under the command of their captains, and of the Beaufort Artillery, under Lieutenant Stuart, amounting in all to 120 men, 36 of whom acted as oarsmen, and remained in the boats, nine in number.
Passing down a creek 10 miles in length, I landed at early dawn on Pinckney Island, 300 yards in rear of the dwelling-house, which is situated at the apex of an angle whose sides include [incline] about 40 deg. Deploying rapidly across the base, I moved forward toward the point over ground on one side open and on the other covered by a dense thicket up to the camp of Company H, Third Reigment New hampshire Volunteers, surprising them, killing, according to the most careful estimate, 15 and capturing 36, 4 of who wee wounded. Six were seen to escape and 5 are known to have been absent. These, with the previous numbers named, give 62; the number on their morning report book. The lieutenant in command, the only officer present, either escaped r was killed. There is good reason to believe the latter. To avoid delay in so exposed a position I forbade the men to touch an article, and we returned, bringing off the company records and two fine boats, having remained on the island fifteen minutes.
Eight of my men were wounded, 6 of them, I regret to say, by their own men. This is the more provoking, as I earnestly and repeatedly warned both officers and men against this very danger. Some palliation may exist in the fact that some of the men were engaged for the first time; that the disaster sprung from an excess of zeal and courage, and that there was no light enough to distinguish persons at any distance. The mixture of small detachments too, at all times an element of confusion, is especially so in surprises at night, when the necessity of silence demands the most rigid discipline and uniformity of action.
I take please in saying that the whole command acted with great spirit and determination. It is a juste tribute to a gallant officer to say that Captain Mickler, by his ceaseless energy and labor for days and nights previously, as well as by his valuable suggestions, contributed petuous courage he rendered complete the surprise of the enemy.
Inclosed are lists our wounded* and of the prisoners. I send also the book and papers captured.+
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
STEPHEN ELLIOTT, JR.,
Captain Beaufort Artillery, Commanding Expedition.
Lieutenant E. H. BARNWELL,
A. A. G., Third Military District, Department S. C.
*Nominal list shows 8 men wounded.