The Smith has been towed up the Stono and put under the guns of Fort Pemberton.
In closing my report I will not omit to mention the very signal service rendered by the Stono Scouts, and also Captain John [B. L.] Walpole.
The members of the Signal Corps detailed to accompany the expedition discharged their duties with great efficiency.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOSEPH A. YATES,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Expedition.
Captain W. F. NANCE,
Numbers 4. Report of Major J. Welsman Brown, Second South Carolina Artillery.
Secessionville, S. C., February 1, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report:
Pursuant to Special Orders, Numbers 6, Headquarters East James Island, on the afternoon of Tuesday, the 27th ultimo, I detailed 25 men from Company B, Second South Carolina Artillery Volunteers, and the same number from Company K, under the immediate command of Lieutenants [John A.] Bellinger and [F.] Lake; and also 50 men from the Eighth Battalion Georgia Volunteers, under charge of Lieutenants [R.] Hays and [George] Johnson, to act as sharpshooters, and moved two rifled 24-pounders to Legare's place, on Stono River. We reached the position indicated about 7 p. m. and concealed the guns in the woods. The night was exceedingly cold and wet, and this circumstance, together with the fact that the command was exhausted by the labor of hauling the guns by hand over a very bad road, prevented my placing the pieces in position that night.
The next morning, Wednesday [28th], three of the enemy's gunboats were discovered below, near Cole's Island, and so situated as to be in full view of our operations, should we have attempted to erect our platforms during daylight. I therefore kept guns and men under cover and waited until after dark. After a hard night's work the platforms were finished and every arrangement made to comply with my instructions, which were in effect to allow the enemy's vessels to pass my position unmolested on their way up the river and not to open fire until they returned or began the attack upon me.
Nothing occurred until Friday afternoon [30th], about 4 o'clock, when the approach of a three-masted gunboat was announced. I allowed her to pass my battery, which he fortunately did without suspicion, and immediately moved my guns from their concealment to the platforms, shifted them from the traveling trunnion beds, and awaited the return of the boat. In a short time a furious cannonade began up the river, but with what effect I could not see, as the trees obscured the view. Soon, however, the boat rounded the point into sight, evidently crippled, but keeping up a running fight with the shore batteries above my position on each side of the river. I was about to order my guns to open our her when I perceived that she had a white flag flying, in token of her surrender. Just at this moment another gunboat was