the swiftness of the current; consequently we did not effect an arrival at the landing of the town at the time previously set upon until Monday evening, at or about 4 o`clock, the One hundred and third Pennsylvania Volunteers, steamer Southfield, not arriving until about 8 o`clock. The enemy having been previously formed in line of battle, with skirmishers deployed within a distance from us easily discernable, at our appearance they began to disappear into the town. In the meantime, the steamer Whitehead threw a shell in the direction where their main body was supposed to be stationed, eliciting no response from their guns. I ordered Companies I and K, One hundred and first Pennsylvania Volunteers, on shore, in quarter-boats, to be deployed as skirmishers, or lie in reserve, as might be thought most practicable by the commander of the companies, in order to reconnoiter the movements of the enemy and obtain the strength of his force, if possible. One hour after the first shot (as stated above) from the steamer Whitehead, several other shots (shells) were sent over into the town. After firing a few shots, a flag of truce was sent to the town, composed of the following officers, viz: Major A. W. Gazzam, One hundred and third Pennsylvania Volunteers, and Captain [Hartmann K.] Furniss, of the Valley City, demanding an evacuation of the town (a copy of which I hereby inclose), which was responded to by an obstinate refusal, evincing evidence that it was their intention to hold the town at all hazards. The gunboats kept up a desultory firing during the night. In the meantime, I issued orders giving the manner of advance on the town (a copy of which I inclose*). My orders were carried into effect, and obeyed promptly, and all performed with vigilance and activity, in a manner worthy of praise. We occupied and held the town an hour and a half, finding all had been deserted, with the exception of a few citizens (not exceeding 25 in all, black and white), the other on main portion of the citizens having retired to a grove about 1 1/2 miles beyond the town. From what information I could obtain from citizens and otherwise, the enemy had taken a stronghold about 3 miles beyond, where he had a formidable force and position. After accomplishing all, and obtaining all information I could, confident that the enemy were out of supporting distance of the gunboats and our land forces, I therefore had my command re-embarked in the same order as that of our advance.
All of which is respectfully submitted for your consideration.
D. B. MORRIS,
Colonel, Commanding Land Forces.
Colonel T. F. LEHMANN,
ON BOARD U. S. S. VALLEY CITY, July 6, 1863-6 p. m.
Major A. W. GAZZAM,
One hundred and third Pennsylvania Regiment Vols.:
Captain FURNISS, U. S. S. Valley City:
GENTLEMEN: You will proceed at once to the town of Williamston, and there confer with the officer in command of the Confederate forces at that place.
* Not found.