War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0201 Chapter XXVI. CAPTURE OF U. S. S. ISAAC SMITH.

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with cavalry. I ordered also three rifled 24-pounder guns to be put in position at or about Grimball's and two more at or about Battery Island (both positions situated on the east side of the Stono), to assist in the attack, taking advantage of whatever shelter those localities afforded, the expedition to take place as soon and as secretly as practicable. I left its details to General Ripley, and well had he (Colonel Yates), and all tho took part in it, executed my instructions. The vessel has been secured and will be speedily repaired and ready for service as a guard-boat in this harbor. She is said to be very fast. Her armament will be much reduced, and the guns taken from her will be most usefully employed here and at Savannah.


General, Commanding.

Numbers 3. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph A. Yates, First South Carolina Artillery, commanding expedition.


Charleston, S. C., February 1, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to instructions from district headquarters, a secret expedition was organized for the purpose of attacking the enemy's gunboats in Stono River, consisting of the following troops: The siege train-composed of Captain B. C. Webb's company (A) and Lieutenant S. W. Willson, jr.; commanding Company B-commanded by Major Charles Alson, jr.; Captain F. C. Schulz's company (F), Palmetto Light Artillery Battalion; light battery, manned by Captain F. H. Harleston's company (D), First South Carolina Artillery (regulars); one Parrott gun, in charge of Lieutenant T. E. Gregg, Third Howitzers (siege train); Captain John C. Mitchel's company (I), First South Carolina Artillery (regulars). Company H, Captain S. M. Roof, and Company I, Lieutenant M. Gunter commanding (Twentieth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers), acted as sharpshooters.

On the afternoon of January 30, at 4.30 o'clock, the enemy's gunboat Isaac Smith, mounting one 30-pounder Parrott gun and eight 8-inch heavy columbiads, came up the Stono River, passing our batteries (which were masked at Legare's Point Place and at Grimball's, on John's Island), and came to anchor a little above them. She was immediately fired upon from our guns posted at Grimball's, on James Island, when she attempted to make good here escape, fighting our batteries (which had then opened) on John's Island as she passed. She succeeded in getting as far as Legare's Point Place, at which point she was disabled by three shots striking her machinery, when she dropped anchor and unconditionally surrendered. We took prisoners her entire crew, consisting of 11 officers, 105 men, and 3 negroes.

The enemy's loss was 25 killed and wounded; on our side 1 man wounded (since died).

Major Alston commanded the batteries at Grimball's, on John's Island; Captain Harleston those at Point Place. Captain Mitchel commanded the sharpshooters. Lieutenant Charles Inglesby, First South Carolina Artillery, acted as adjutant.

The officers and men under my command behaved with great coolness and bravery, fighting their guns without breastworks, entirely exposed to the enemy's fire within 200 or 300 yards.