JULY 3, 1863.-Expedition to Ossabaw Island, Ga.
Report of Major Edward C. Anderson, jr., Twenty-fourth Georgia Battalion.
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DISTRICT OF GEORGIA,
Savannah, July 6, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose a copy of Major Anderson's report of his expedition to Ossabaw Island, and to command the good conduct of those concerned.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. MERCER,
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,
Chief of Staff.
CAMP LEE, July 4, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that I have just returned from a scout of Ossabaw Island. With a party of 9 men, I landed there just about daylight yesterday morning, July 3. We scouted it carefully up to McDonald's place, where we arrived about 12 m., without seeing any sign of the enemy, excepting a few abandoned picket posts. After our arrival at McDonald's, we lay in wait there until this morning without seeing a human being, though I know some were there, from hearing a pistol fired off. Wishing to see the battery at the north point, and ascertain the number of men, if practicable, we left our lair before day; but on our way Captain [R. H.] Wylly, of Company C, was taken suddenly and violently sick, and we had to return without accomplishing it. On our way back, however, we paid a formal visit to McDonald's, and surprised and captured there a Yankee picket post of 2 men; also, we captured 8 negroes. The names of the former are Sergt. J. C. Wilson, Company B, Forty-seventh New York, and Private Thomas Rourke, Company D, Forty-seventh New York. The sergeant is reserved, but the other seems capable of having information obtained from him. He states the force on the island to be about 8800 or 900, and they have six guns mounted. This the sergeant contradicts. I got no papers or letters. They state that within the last few days 120,000 men have been sent from Hilton Head to Folly Island. This has either just been done or is about to be done. So much for what they say. Of the negroes, I could bring off but 3; my boat would hold no more. The others were turned loose. Those brought off are a boy. Cato, belonging to Mr. Starr (he was waiting upon a Yankee officer), a girl, Maria, with infant, belonging to Mr. Hart, and a girl, Jane, belonging to Dr. Johnston, all of this county.
The alarm was given to the battery and gunboats, and the latter were stationed so as to cut us off; but thanks, under Providence, to the heroism and endurance of Privates A. W. Dixon and [J. M. S.] Cosby, of Company B, [John S.] Perrin, of Company C, [G.] Lewis, of Company A, and of my acting surgeon, Dr. Ruddell, who pulled the boat through the marsh grass, in water up to their waists, for nearly 2 miles, we eluded their watch, and arrived up here at 12 m. to-day.
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