retired with his command to a field one-half mile in rear to form and dismount his command. Halting here for this purpose and finding that the shells from the enemy's boats at Baynard's (2 miles distant by scale of map) were falling, as he though, in dangerous proximity to his horses, he determined to move them still farther back, and tat he could accomplish this more readily by firing them back. He therefore moved his whole command back to a piece of woods 1 1/2 miles distant, there dismounted them, and marched them at a double-quick over the sandy road 2 miles to the point of support to Lieutenant Smith. (There is a difference of opinion in regard to the time consumed by Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson in this movement, he being of opinion not more than thirty minutes, and others forty-five minutes or one hour. My own judgement, from an accurate examination of the ground and distance, is that to fall back the one half mile and make the formation, then again 1 1/2 miles and dismount, and then to march forward 2 miles over a deep sandy road, granting that it were done, as I have every reason to believe it was done, with promptitude, would consume all of forty-five minutes if not one retire hour. Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson, however, is very positive, and fixes his dates by his first dispatch from camp at 7 a. m., and his second, write after dismounting and returning, at 9 a. m. I rode over this distance and timed it twice.)
The company of Lieutenant Smith after having, a part of them, fired into the enemy, were ordered but him to retire, in accordance, as he states, with his constructions of the order of Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson to him. It appears from the statement of Captain Lowry that during the absence of Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson he had sent a courier to him to inform him that Lieutenant Smith had engaged the enemy and that the enemy were firing the town. Before the return of this courier he stated that Lieutenant Colonel Johnston ordered him (lowry) to press the enemy into the fire. During the absence of this courier Lowry states that he heard Lieutenant Smith give the order to his command to retire, saying that he was being flanked on the left; that he asked him who brought him such intelligence, to which Smith replied, Sergeant Woods, of his company. That he then suggested to him that he should extend his skirmishers to the left and ascertain the fact before retiring, assuring him that he (Lowry) had a reliable scout out on the left, who would doubtless afford information of any movement of the enemy from that direction; that Smith hesitating, he told him he was in command of his own company and must use his pleasure, and that Lieutenant McAvoy and others agreeing with Smith that if flanked he ought to retire, Smith withdrew his command until met by Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson on his return with his dismounted troops. Lieutenant McAvoy and his scouts remaining with him, Captain Lowry did not retire with him, but continued to hold the position, and reports that the enemy remained quiet and did not advance after they had been fired upon.
Upon his return with his dismounted forces, retaining the company of Captain Cordes mounted, as they were armed only with sabers and pistols, Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston met Smith retiring with his company some distance in rear of the point from which he had ordered him to advance; inquiring by what authority he had retired, he again ordered him forward as skirmishers, with the dismounted cavalry closely following in support. (At this time the steamers of the enemy, three at Bluffton and two at Baynard's, were rapidly shelling, though necessarily firing uncertainly, as our troops were not in view.)
At this point Captain Mickler (who a Hardeeville had seen a dispatch to Colonel Colcock and had ridden at full speed to join his command)