War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0147 Chapter XXVI. SKIRMISH AT COOSAWHATCHIE, S. C., ETC.

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was returned to them (the ammunition) on the banks of the Pocotaligo from our naval howitzers.

While those events were in progress the detachment under the command of Colonel Coosawhatchie River to within 1 1/2 miles of the village. A landing was effected, and the troops of Colonel Barton, accompanied by a detachment of Engineers and Mechanics, marched upon the village. When within about 100 yards of the railroad a train of eight or ten cars came up at high speed, and was received by a volley from our infantry and a discharge from one of the naval howitzers. As the troops were mostly upon platform cars,and very much crowded, this fire must have been very destructive. The engineer was killed, but the train was stope dint he village, and these troops were added to those already guarding the bridge, and this force made it necessary to draw off the Engineers, who were engaged in tearing up the track, having taken with them the tools required for this purpose, and the entire detachment fell back, under the protection of the armed transport and the gunboat. The enemy pursued, supposing the Planter to be an unarmed transport, but her heavy guns soon drove them back in disorder, and Colonel Barton, having determined, in his dash upon the village, the position of the bridge and of the depot, shelled them both with his 30-pounder Parrotts for nearly two hours during the afternoon. Before dark he returned to Mackay's Point, with no loss except the wounding of Lieutenant Blanding, of the Third Rhode Island, whose arms was shattered and his side pierced by a Minie ball.

I regret to say that the main body, under the command of Brigadier-General Brannan, suffered severely in killed and wounded in the three fights, which constituted almost one continuous battle during the entire afternoon.

I desire to acknowledge the deep obligations I am under to Commodore Godon, as well as to Captain Steedman and the other officers and sailors of the Navy, who accompanied the expedition, and to the officers and soldiers composing the expedition, who fought with distinguished gallantry and with signal success, and have earned the thanks of the Government and of the country.

I inclose a list of casualties, which I think is nearly complete, and from which it appears that our loss amounts to about 50 killed and 300 wounded.* The loss of the enemy it was of course impossible for us to ascertain.

A few prisoners have fallen into our hands, and we have every reason to believe that the enemy suffered severely.

The greatest activity prevailed on the railroad, and trains of cars with troops appear to have been sent from both Charleston and Savannah.

I have planned three other expeditions, but am so deficient in troops that I am compelled to recruit my forces after each expedition, and this delay is disastrous. I most earnestly beg for re-enforcements, that our blows may fall with far greater rapidity, and thus secure more perfect success.

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

O. M. MITCHEL,

Major-General, Commanding.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.

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*But see revised statement, p. 148.

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