Mackay's Point Colonel Serrell was attached to the staff of the general commanding, and Lieutenant Colonel James F. Hall, upon whom the command of the detachment devolved, was ordered to report to me.
The embarkation from this point was effected during the afternoon of the 21st and was completed at dusk, the troops being distributed on the transports as follows: The Seventh Connecticut on the transport Boston; the Third New Hampshire on the Boston and the gunboats Patron and Uncas; the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers on the transport Flora and the gunboat Water Witch; the Third Rhode Island Artillery on the gunboats Marblehead and Vixen; the Volunteer Engineers on the armed transport George Washington, and the section of artillery on one of the flats constructed for that purpose. After the embarkation the vessels of the expedition moved in their places prescribed by the order of sailing.
Between 9 and 10 o'clock in the evening I received a verbal order from the brigadier-general commanding to detail 107 officers and men to embark in the boats of the men-of-war, and proceed to and beyond Mackay's Point and endeavor to capture the enemy's outposts in that vicinity. In accordance with this order I detailed for this service 2 officers and 75 men from the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers and 2 officers and 32 men of the Third New Hampshire Volunteers. Captain Gray of the Seventh Connecticut with 95 men, was directed to proceed up Broad River, beyond Mackay's Point, and land in the rear of the pickets and cut off their retreat in the direction of Pocotaligo. The remaining 12 men, under command of Lieutenant S. M. Smith, of the Third Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers, were directed to proceed up the Pocotaligo River and capture the pickets upon Cuthbert's Island. I have received no written report from Captain Gray, but I learned from him verbally that, under the guidance of the negro guide furnished to him, he ascended Broad River some 3 miles above Mackay's Point, a distance much beyond the proper point for a landing, and when the error was discovered it was too late to effect his object. Lieutenant Smith was more fortunate; he landed undiscovered, and by a judicious disposition of his men succeeded in captured 1 lieutenant and 3 men of the enemy, together with their horses. I inclose you Lieutenant Smith's report.*
Owing to the sailing signal being unobserved or misunderstood much confusion and delay occurred in the movements of the vessels on which my command was embarked, and they did not arrive at the point of debarkation until long after the anticipated time. The Bostom, on which were my own headquarters did not arrive until nearly 8 a.m. of the 22d, and the gunboats Marblehead and Water Witch were delayed until a very late period of the day.
Upon my arrival I found that the debarkation of the troops already arrived was proceeding and I immediately commenced landing the men upon my own vessel.
I here received orders from the general commanding to form my own brigade in columns, right in front, immediately in rear of the First Brigade, and to put the whole force in motion toward Pocotaligo. On landing I found that the First Brigade, under Colonel Chatfield, with the exception of the Fourth Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers, had already moved forward and that the battery of my brigade and the one company of the Third Rhode Island Artillery, which had arrived, had accompanied them. Lieutenant Henry, with the battery of the First