Wednesday morning, the 25th instant, I was called on by Captain Pinckney for re-enforcements, said steamers being 3 miles from them in the river, manned with twenty-one guns. I immediately ordered Captain Wheeler's infantry company to his assistance. In the afternoon I was informed that the enemy had passed up the river, firing three shots at Captain Pinckney and his command, passed up the river above him some 2 miles, and anchored in said river. Captain Pinckney was compelled to remove his command to a point of more security. The next morning, the 26th, I went in person. I had not guns that I could use to any effect but one 6-pounder rifle gun (except one 32-pounder gun and one 12-pounder gun, which I could not use for the want of ordnance stores, for which I made two requisitions previous to this time. I then sent up for Captain Gaillard to bring his 6-pounder rifle gun, with which he arrived in time, just as the boats were moving down the river. I ordered him down to the edge of the rice field and to open fire on them, which he did very promptly; the first shot did not take effect; the second shot entered the stern of the last steamer as they moved off, at which time they (the enemy) commenced shelling and shooting solid shot at such a rapid rate I ordered Captain Gaillard in the woods some distance. They kept up shelling until night and moved down the river some 3 miles, and remained down the river until the morning of the 27th. They steamed up, and came up the river and commenced shelling the woods and the buildings on the bluff of the river. I kept my infantry and cavalry in a skirt of woods all the time, and also kept my pickets out day and night, waiting for them to land and to prevent the negroes from going to the enemy as much as I could. At 12.30 o'clock p.m. my pickets informed me that the enemy had landed men and had sent them in the direction of Mr. Blake's house, said house being about three-fourths of a mile from the river. I then took with me Captain Pinckney's cavalry and Captain Wheeler's infantry companies and proceeded down the road some half a mile from the point where I was stationed. I there formed my men into columns, dismounting 25 of Captain Pinckney's men, and placed them as skirmishers on the left of Captain Wheeler's company. Near Mr. Blake's gate I discovered the enemy. I moved in column till meeting them, and they appeared to pause and retired beyond the crook of the road, but in a short time they came up at a double-quick along the road. They advanced in about 150 yards and halted and fired on my column (which I had in the woods, except about 12 men.) I had the fire returned, and at that moment they retreated around the bend of the road and fired on my column again, which I had returned. The enemy retreated to their gunboats. They also made an attack in the rear of my column with about 10 or 12 men. Lieutenant P. Bacot Allston, with 4 or 5 privates, [who] was left in charge of the horses, repulsed and drove them back. In doing so Lieutenant P. Bacot Allston killed 1 man, who was carried off by the enemy. They all then ran aboard of their boats and immediately commenced shelling.
I ordered my command out of range of their guns. They threw some 9 and 11 inch shell and some 32-pound balls. I am satisfied that they had some one or two killed and several wounded, but carried them off.
I must state that the officers and men behaved nobly and bravely all the time.
I did not have a man hurt during the entire action.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. D. M. BYRD,
Major, Commanding Battalion.