Great credit is due to Lieutenant-Colonel Beard for his energy and skill in the management of this 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 22, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, as directed by you, I proceeded on the 13th instant, on the U. S. steamer Darlington, with 160 of the First South Carolina Volunteers (colored regiment), in request of lumber and other articles needed for the department. The steamer Ben De Ford, ordered by you to report to me at Doboy Sound, did not, owing to the heavy fogs and adverse winds, reach that point until the 19th instant.
On the 18th accompanied by the U. S. gunboat Madgie, I proceeded to the mills located on Doboy River, Georgia. On reaching the mills I found it necessary to reconnoiter the land adjacent thereto. To do this it was necessary to cross a narrow causeway, leading from the mill through a swamp to the main highland, a distance of about 450 yards. This highland was heavily wooded, except on the summit, which was cleared and occupied with houses. My men (34 in number) had no sooner passed across the causeway and through the wood to the clearing beyond than they were fired on by the enemy, who were posted in the thicket in front and both sides. At the first fire one man was dangerously wounded and a momentary panic seized the men; but it was only momentary. They speedily rallied and opened a brisk fire on the places occupied by the concealed enemy. This fire they kept up with great regularity and coolness until ordered by me to retire to the end of the causeway. They retired, firing as they went with a slowness and deliberateness that could not have been surpassed by veteran troops. Three others were severely wounded while they were retiring. When my men reached the end of the causeway I had the bow gun of the Darlington directed on the wood, after which the fire of the enemy ceased, though numbers of them were seen during the two days and nights we remained.
I succeeded in loading the steamers Ben De Ford and Darlington with from 200,000 to 300,000 feet of superior boards and planks, besides securing a number of circular and other saws, belting, corn-mills, and other property, which I was directed by you to obtain for the use of your department.
When it is remembered that these men never had arms in their hands until four days before they started on the expedition I think you cannot fail to give them great praise for standing a galling fire from a concealed enemy so bravely and for holding the causeway referred to during the two days and nights required for loading two large steamers with valuable property in the face of an enemy. To do this, my men
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