1,000 able-bodied negroes are now in the employ of the Engineer and Quartermaster's Departments. Were I to enlist from these I could fill up the regiment in one day; but I have thus far abstained from any interference with these departments.
The steamer Darlington was captured from the rebels by the Navy and was subsequently transferred to the Quartermaster's Department. She returned from the expedition completely riddled with rifle balls. Fortunately but 4 of our men were wounded.
Great credit is due to Colonel Beard, Mr. French, and Captain Trowbridge for their bravery and skill in managing the expedition.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
Numbers 2. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Oliver T. Beard, Forty-eighth New York Infantry, commanding expedition.
BEAUFORT, S. C., November 10, 1862
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, as directed by you, I have tried a portion of the First South Carolina Volunteers (negro regiment.)
On Monday, November 3, with the steamer Darlington, having on board Captain Trowbridge's company of colored troops (62) I proceeded up Bell River, Florida, drove in the rebel pickets below Cooper's and destroyed their place of rendezvous; thence proceeded and destroyed the salt-works, and all the salt, corn, and wagons which we could not carry away, besides killing the horses; thence we proceeded to Jolly River, and destroyed two salt-works, with a large amount of salt and corn; thence proceeded to Saint Marry's, and brought off two families of contrabands after driving in the enemy's pickets.
On Tuesday, November 4, I proceeded to King's Bay, Georgia and destroyed a large salt-work on a creek about a mile from the landing, together with all the property on the place. Here we were attacked by about 80 of the enemy, of whom we killed 2.
On Thursday, November 6, landed on Butler Island and brought off 80 bushels of rice; also landed at Darien and captured 3 prisoners and some arms.
Friday, November 7, accompanied by the gunboat Potomska, Lieutenant Budd commanding proceeded up Sapello River. The gunboat could proceed no farther than King's. Lieutenant Budd came on board the Darlington and proceeded up the river with us to Fairhope. At Spaulding's we were attacked by 80 or 90 of the enemy, who were well posted on a bluff behind trees. At this point the channel runs within 50 yards of the bluff. We killed 2 of the enemy and had 1 colored man wounded. At Fairhope we destroyed the salt-works, some tan-vats, corn, and other things that might be of use to the enemy.
On return past Spaulding's we were again attacked by the enemy in greater force. We effected a landing and burned all the buildings on the place and captured some arms, &c. Five of the enemy were killed;