War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0150 COAST OF S. C.,GA.,AND MID. AND EAST FLA. Chapter XXVI.

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Numbers 4. Reports of Brigadier General John M. Brannan, U. S. Army, commanding expedition.


U. S. Transport Ben De Ford, October 24, 1862.

COLONEL: In accordance with instruction received from Headquarters Department of the South, I assumed command of the following forces, ordered to destroy the railroad and railroad bridges on the Charleston and Savannah line:

A portion of the First Brigade (Brannan's), Colonel J. L. Chatfield, Sixth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, commanding, effective strength 2,000; a portion of Second Brigade, Brigadier General A. H. Terry commanding, effective strength 1,410; detachment of Third Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers, Colonel Brown commanding, effective strength 300; detachment of Forty-eighth Regiment New York State Volunteers, Colonel Barton commanding, effective strength 300; detachment of First Massachusetts Cavalry, Captain L. Richmond commanding, effective strength 108; section of First U. S. Artillery, Lieutenant G. V. Henry commanding, effective strength 40; section of Third U. S. Artillery, Lieutenant E. Gittings commanding, effective strength 40; detachment of New York Volunteer Engineers, Lieutenant-Colonel Hall commanding, effective strength 250. Total effective strength, 4,448 men.

With this command I left Hilton Head, S. C., on the evening of October 21, and, proceeding up Broad River, arrived off Pocotaligo Creek at 4.30 a. m. with the transport Ben De Ford and the gunboat Paul Jones. Colonel William B. Barton, Forty-eighth Regiment New York State Volunteers, 50 men of the Volunteers Engineer Corps, and 50 men of the Third Rhode Island Volunteers, in accordance with my order, delivered early that morning, proceeded direct to the Coosawhatchie River, to destroy the railroad and railroad bridges in that vicinity. The other gunboats and transports did not all arrive until about 8 a. m. on October 22. I immediately effected a landing of my artillery and infantry at Mackay's Point, at he junction of Pocotaligo and Tulifiny Rivers. I advanced without delay in the direction of Pocotaligo Bridge, sending back the transports Flora and Darlington to Port Roayl Island for the cavalry, the First Brigade being in advance, with a section from the First U. S. Artillery, followed by the Second Brigade, with Colonel Brown's command, the section of the Third U. S. Artillery and three boat howitzers, which Captain Steedman, commanding the naval forces, kindly furnished for this occasion, and a detachment of 45 men from the Third Rhode Island Volunteer Artillery, under Captain Comstock, of that regiment.

On advancing about 5 1/2 miles and debouching upon an open rolling country the rebels opened upon us with a field battery from a portion on the plantation known as Caston's. I immediately caused the First Brigade to deploy, and, bringing my artillery to the front, drove the rebels from this position. They, however, destroyed all small bridges in the vicinity, causing much delay in my advance. These, with the aid of the Engineer Crops, were reconstructed as we advanced, and I followed up the retreat of the rebels with all the haste practicable. I had advanced about 1 1/4 miles farther, when a battery again opened on us from a position on the plantation called Frampton. The rebels here had every advantage of ground, being ensconced in a wood, with a deep