not having even sufficient transportation to remove the wounded, who were lying writing along our entire route, I deemed it expedient to retire to Mackay's Point, which I did in successive lines of defenses, burying my dead and carrying our wounded with us on such stretchers as we could manufacture from branches of trees, blankets,&c., and receiving no molestation from the rebels, embarked and returned to Hilton Head on the 23rd instant.
Facts tend to show that the rebels were perfectly acquainted with all our plans, as they had evidently studied our purpose with care, and had two lines of defense, Caston and Frampton, before falling back on Pocotaligo, where, aided by their field works and favored by the nature of the ground and the facility of concentrating troops, they evidently purposed making a determined stand; and indeed the accounts gathered from prisoners leave no doubt but that the rebels had very accurate information of our movements.
I greatly felt the want of the cavalry, which, in consequence of the transports having grounded in the Broad River, did not arrive till nearly 4 p.m. and which in the early part of the day would perhaps have captured some field pieces in the open country we were then in, and would at all events have prevented the destruction of the bridge in the rear of the rebels. Great praise is due to the brigade and regimental commanders for their calm and determined courage during the entire day and for the able manner in which they handled their several commands. Colonel Barton, Forty-eighth Regiment New York State Volunteers, as will be seen from the accompanying copy of his report, partially effected the object of his movement on Coosawhatchie; but, meeting with too strong a force of the rebels, was obliged to re-embark.
I desire to call the attention of the major-general commanding the department to the gallant and distinguished conduct of First Lieutenant Guy V. Henry, First U. S. Artillery, commanding a section of light artillery. His pieces were served admirably throughout the entire engagement. He had two horses shot. The section of Third U. S. Artillery commanded by First Lieutenant E. Gittings, was also well served. He being wounded in the latter part of the day, his section was commanded by Lieutenant Henry.
The three boat howitzers furnished by Captain Steedman, U. S. Navy, commanding the naval forces, were served well, and the officers commanding them, with the crews, as also the detachment of the Third Rhode Island Volunteers, deserve great credit for their coolness, skill, and gallantry. The officers commanding these guns are as follows: Lieutenant Lloyd Phoenix and Ensigns James Wallace, La Rue P. Adams, and Frederic Pearson.
The conduct of my entire staff-Captain Louis J. Lambert, assistant adjutant-general; Captain I. Coryell, assistant quartermaster and Lieuts. Ira V. Germain and George W. Bacon, aides-de-camp-gave me great pleasure and satisfaction. My orders were transmitted by them in the hottest of the battle with great rapidity and correctness. To Colonel E. W. Serrell, New York Volunteer Engineers, who acted as an additional aide-de-camp, I am much indebted. His energy, perfect coolness, and bravery were a source of gratification to me. Orders from me were executed by him in a very satisfactory manner. Lieutenant G. H. Hill, signal officer, performed his duties with great promptness. He acted also as additional aide-de-camp, and gave me much assistance in carrying my orders during the entire day. Colonel T. H. Good, Forty-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers (Colonel Chatfield being wounded early in the day), commanded the First Brigade during the latter