War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0129 Chapter XXVI. EXPEDITION FROM HILTON HEAD, S. C.

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to operate against the rebel batteries at Saint John's Bluff and such other parts of the Saint's River as should contain rebel works: The Forty-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel T. H. Good, effective strength 825; Seventh Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, Colonel Joseph R. Hawley, effective strength 647; section of First Connecticut Light Battery, Lieutenant Cannon, effective strength 41; detachment of First Massachusetts Cavalry, Captain Case, effective strength 60. Total, 1,573.

The expedition left Hilton Head, S. C., on the afternoon of September 30, ont eh transports Ben De Ford, Boston, Comspolitan, and Neptune, and arrived off the bar of Saint John's River early on the following moving (October 1), but was unable to enter the river until 2 p. m. the same day, owing to the shallowness of the channel.

This expedition was joined by the following fleet of gunboats, Captain Charles Steedman, U. S. Navy, commanding, ordered to co-operate with it: Paul Jones, flag-ship; Cimarron, Captain Woodhull; Water Witch, Lieutenant-Commander Pendergrast; Hale, Lieutenant-Commander Snell; Uncas, Lieutenant-Commander Crane, Patroon, Lieutenant-Commander Uran.

On the expedition coming within the river three gunboats were sent up to feel the position of the enemy and were immediately and warmly engaged by the batteries, apparently of heavy armament, on Saint John's Bluff. A landing was effected at a place known as Mayport Mills, a short distance from the entrance of the river, and the entire troops, with their arms, horses, and rations, were on shore by 9 o'clock on the night of the 1st. The country between this point and Saint John's Bluff presented great difficulties in the transportation of troops, being intersected with impassable swamps and unfordable creeks, and presenting the alternative of a march, without land transportation, of nearly 40 miles, to turn the head of the creek, or to remand up the river at a strongly guarded position of the enemy. On further investigation of the locality a landing was effected for the infantry about 2 o'clock on the morning of the 2nd at a place known as Buckhorn Creek, between Pablo and Mount Pleasant Creeks; but, owing to the swampy nature of the ground, it was found impracticable to land the cavalry and artillery at that point. Here the bunboats rendered most valuable assistance, by transporting the troops in their boats and in sending their light howitzers to cover their landing. Colonel T. H. Good, with the entire infantry and the marine howitzers, was ordered to proceed immediately to the head of Mount Pleasant Cree, and there establish a position to cover the landing of the cavalry and artillery. This movement was executed with great promptness and skill, surprising and putting to flight the rebel pickets on that creek. Indeed, the landing of the troops at Buckhorn Creek and their rapid movements on Mount Pleasant Creek proved to be most fortunate for us, such a proceeding being so unexpected on the part of the enemy as entirely to disarrange any plans they may have formed to prevent our landing. The pickets retired in such haste and trepidation as to leave their camps standing, their arms, and even a great portion of their wearing apparel behind them, and the men themselves may thank the intricate nature of the ground, together with their superior knowledge of a country almost impracticable to a stranger, that they effected their escape.

On the afternoon of the 3rd the command of artillery and infantry was in position at the head of Mount Pleasant Creek, distant about