War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0127 Chapter XXVI. EXPEDITION FROM HILTON HEAD, S. C.

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SEPTEMBER 30-OCTOBER 13, 1862.-Expedition from Hilton Head, S. C., to Saint John's Bluff, Fla.

SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS.

October 1, 1862.-Engagement at Saint John's Bluff.

2, 1862.-Skirmishes between Mayport Mills and Saint John's Bluff.

3, 1862.-Capture of Saint John's Bluff.

5, 1862.-Recapture of Jacksonville.

6-9, 1862.-Expedition from Jacksonville to Lake Beresford.

7, 1862.-Capture of the Governor Milton.

REPORTS, ETC.

Numbers 1.-Brigadier General John M. Brannan, U. S. Army, commanding expedition.

Numbers 2.-Lieutenant Colonel Tilghman H. Good, Forty-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry.

Numbers 3.-First Lieutenant George H. Hill, Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Infantry, Acting Signal Officer, including expedition from Hilton to Pocotaligo River, S. C., October 21-23, 1862.

Numbers 4.-Lieutenant Franklin E. Town, Forty-second New York, Acting Signal Officer, of recapture of Jacksonville.

Numbers 5.-Lieutenant George W. Bacon, Aide-de-Camp, of capture of the Governor Milton.

Numbers 6.-Brigadier General Joseph Finegan, C. S. Army, commanding Department of Middle and East Florida.

Numbers 7.-Lieutenant Colonel C. F. Hopkins, C. S. Army, and resulting correspondence.

Numbers 1. Reports of Brigadier General John M. Brannan, U. S. Army, commanding expedition.

HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY FORCES, U. S. TRANSPORT BEN DE FORD,

Saint John's River, Fla., October 4, 1862.

GENERAL: In accordance with your instructions I arrived within the bar of this river on the afternoon of the 1st of the present month, and the same night effected a landing at a place known as Mayport Mills. I afterward established a position on Mount Pleasant Creek, though with great difficult, owing to the swampy nature of the country and the number of unfordable creeks intersecting it. On our first arrival in the river the rebels, as far as I could ascertain, received re-enforcements, making their garrison in Saint John's Bluff batteries about 1,200 infantry and cavalry, with a light battery of eight guns, in addition to the heavy armament of the batteries. I further learned that they were momentarily expecting re-enforcements from Georgia.

On the 1st instant the gunboats made a reconnaissance on the river, and were immediately and warmly engaged by the batteries on Saint John's Bluff, on which they withdrew.

However yesterday, the 3rd instant, on making a further reconnaissance, the batteries were found to have been evacuated by the rebels I immediately advanced from my position on Mount Pleasant Creek and occupied the batteries and late camps of the enemy. The batteries, which are skillfully constructed, well armed, and well supplied with ammunition, appear to have been deserted in great haste, the guns being all mounted, loaded, and in good condition, the ammunition served, and everything in excellent fighting order. I am in fact utterly at a