and at dusk on the 18th, having spent most of the day aground at Eightmile Island Bar.
The men are in excellent spirits, and appear to fell a renewed confidence in themselves and their officers, having thus successfully brought off an immense amount of property, in the face of a largely superior force, successfully holding them in check whenever they came up with us.
This is the first retreat that the Forty-fourth Ohio and the Fourth Virginia Regiments have participated, in the first general action in which the latter has been engaged, and I have to express my great admiration at the coolness with which they performed their duty. All waited for orders, and obeyed them carefully to the letter. There was no confusion or disorder at any time among way portions of the troops of my brigade. Offices and men, without exception, conducted themselves in the most soldierly manner. The Forty-seventh Ohio, being an older regiment, and having seen more service in the field, performed its duty with that steadiness which is expected of such troops. No commander need feel any apprehensions for the results, when chances are anything near equal, if he has the ability himself to handle the troops in action or on the march, while he has such troops under his command. Lieutenant-Colonel Parry, of the Forty-seventh Ohio, deserves particular mention, both for his participation in the retreat of Colonel Siber's column from Cotton Hill, on the 11th instant, and in the battle at Charleston on the 11th instant, and in the battle at Charleston on the 13th. His gallantry and clear-sighted sagacity won him the confidence of officers and men. Lieutenant-Colonel Russell and Major Mitchell each managed their respective commands, during the entire time covered by this report, with that uniform skill and judgment which marks them both as valuable officers, of whom their States may well be proud. The honor of the Union cause will not be tarnished when intrusted to their keeping. The medical staff of the brigade was under general control of the medical director, Dr. Kellogg, and I am not able to report upon them. Doctors Bonner, of the Forty-seventh,and Rodgers and Luce, of the Forty-fourth, were frequently in my sight on the march, on the battle-field, and in bivouac, and appeared to be attentive to their duties. A number of ambulances were unnecessarily abandoned along the route from Charleston, but I do not know who is responsible. First Lieutenant J. G. Telford, adjutant Forty-fourth Regiment and acting as assistant adjutant-general and aide-de-camp (none having been detailed) for my command, deserves special mention for his gallantry and activity. Always ready, carrying orders to the most exposed positions on the field and along the line, in several cases himself directing the movements of detachments, where emergencies required it, he was my mainstay throughout the whole time. The detachments in charge of the artillery were composed of men who, in most cases, had been recently detailed from the infantry regiments. None of them had ever been in action before with that arm of service. The horses were also in the same undrilled condition, and the officers in charge of these pieces, Lieutenant De Lille, Lieutenant Fischer, and Sergeant Hamilton, deserve your thanks for the excellent manner in which their pieces were brought along on the march and served in action. Sergeant Hamilton, especially, deserves notice. He, having served in the artillery in the Regular Army, was enabled to afford me that greatest service, and to his judgment and experience we are mainly indebted for the efficiency of the field battery of my command, and I would respectfully recommend that he be given a lieutenant's commission, as a reward for meritorious service.