I have since learned, from the Savannah papers of the 24th and 25th, that among the killed at this point was Major Harrison, of the Eleventh Georgia [South Carolina] Regiment, which regiment, with the guards named above, were on the train.
Immediately after the train had passed Captain Eaton, by my directions, set vigorously at work tearing up the railroad track, and continued thus until the retreat was sounded. After this occurrence I concluded, if possible to push rapidly into the town and attack the troops while in the confusion of disembarking and marched forward for that purpose. I had proceeded but a short distance, however, before I came in full view of the enemy's forces advantageously posted on the other side of the public road bridge, between that and the railroad bridge. They were flanked on their left by the river and on their right by a thick swamp with three pieces of artillery commanding the bridge. They immediately opened fire upon us with their artillery and infantry, fortunately, however, for us, firing too high. I fired a few rounds in return, when (as it was now nearly night and the enemy's re-enforcements alone were double my entire force) I marched slowly back to my boats. During my retreat the skirmishers frequently observed and encountered small bodies of the enemy's cavalry, who were, however, easily driven off.
I directed Captain Eaton, of the Engineers to destroy the bridges on the road in my rear, which he did thoroughly, thus, in a measure, hindering the pursuit. The enemy, however, made his appearance and attacked us with infantry and artillery several times during our embarkation but in each instance we drove them off with serious loss, as they were directly under the guns of the Planter and Patron. As soon as the steamer again floated we returned to Mackay's Point by order of General Brannan, and thence by way of Hilton Head to this post.
I regret to report that during the last attack of the enemy Lieutenant J. B. Blanding of the Third Rhode Island Artillery at that time in charge of the Planter was dangerously wounded in the left arm and side. He is, however, doing well. This was the only casualty on our side during the day.
It affords me great pleasure to state that every officer and man of my command behaved during the entire day in the most commendable manner, evincing only a desire to meet the enemy and regret at the necessity of retreat.
Major Green acting lieutenant-colonel of the Forty-eighth New York Volunteers, and Captain Strickland, acting major Forty-eighth New York Volunteers were especially useful. Captain Gould of the Third Rhode Island Artillery, also rendered me most efficient service, as did also Captain Eaton, Serrell's Volunteer Engineers all of whom displayed the utmost zeal, energy, and ability in all they were called upon to perform.
I have the honor to be, captain very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. B. BARTON,
Colonel Forty-eighth New York Vols., Commanding Post.
Captain LOUIS J. LAMBERT,
12 R R-VOL XIV