War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0135 Chapter XXVI. EXPEDITION FROM HILTON HEAD, S. C.

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and the other commanders of the different gunboats and transports. At about 12 o'clock midnight of the 21st on board the Paul Jones wee displayed three red lights (the signal previously agreed on), and the expedition started up the Broad and Coosawhatchie Rivers, the Paul Jones leading off. At daylight on the morning of the 22nd we anchored in the Coosawhatchie River, off the mouth of the Pocotaligo River, at a place known as Macknay's Poin, and as the different vessels came up their troops were at once landed. Lieutenant Cross accompanied General Terry ashore and opened communication with me. From 6 a. m. till about 11.30 a. m., during the debarkation of the troops, the signals were extensively used, so much so in fact that there was at no time an interval of five minutes that I was not engaged in either sending or receiving messages, orders, and reports of the operations of the force on the land. At about 11.30 a. m., October 22, most of the troops being landed and having pushed forward, General Brannan and staff landed, and we soon reached the head of the column. When about 6 miles from the place of landing we came in sight of the enemy's cavalry at a place known as Caston. We opened on them with the artillery, advancing as we fired. We were soon received with a heavy fire from the enemy's artillery posted in a thick wood. As the country was low and thickly wooded, and the troops not being able to act in concert with the gunboats, our services as signal officers were rendered useless. Lieutenant Cross acted as aide to General Terry and I acted as aide to General Brannan throughout the day, the other signal officers remaining on board the gunboats. After an engagement of nearly an hour the enemy fell back to the north side of a creek, destroying the bridge int heir retreat. Here the enemy made another stand at a place known as Frampton, but after a resistance of about two hours they were again compelled to retreat. They fell back to the east side of Pocotaligo River, where they seemed to have rifle pits. They destroyed the bridge across the Pocotaligo River, rendering it impossible for us to reconstructive bridge in front of their battery of field pieces and the river was not fordable. At this point it is believed the enemy received re-enforcements. We engaged the enemy here until dark, when, our ammunition being nearly exhausted, we fell back to the place of landing (Mackay's Point) in the morning, a distance of about 10 miles, and by 4 a. m. October 23 the whole command had reached Mackay's Point, and during the day embarked on board the transports and returned to Hilton Head. I learn that our loss in killed, wounded, and missing was 419.* That of the enemy must have also been severe, besides having lost several prisoners. During the embarkation of the troops and until we arrived at Hilton Head the signal detachments were kept employed and of some service. On the morning of the 24th I received orders from General Brannan to report to Lieutenant E. J. Keenan, chief acting signal officer Department of the South, for duty, and I have since been on duty at this station at Hilton Head.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. H. HILL,

First Lieutenant Fifty-fifth Regiment Pa. Vols., Acting Signal Officer.

Major ALBERT J. MYER,

Signal Officer, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

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*But see revised statement, p. 148.

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