War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0197 Chapter XL. ENGAGEMENT AT WILLSTOWN BLUFF, S. C.

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The force of the enemy was variously reported from 300 to 500; the former number, I think, is in excess. Some, though very few, may have been negroes. Our own force was but little over 100 besides the artillery.

I have no means of ascertaining our injury to the enemy. Marks of blood were discovered at several places in the woods, and screams and groans were distinctly heard from their gunboats. Two bodies were said to have been seen the next day floating down the river. From the wreck of the steamer destroyed we took two brass rifled 6-pounders, with carriages, &c., uninjured and in good order. We had 2 men wounded, 1 of whom was taken prisoner. A courier is also missing.

We probably prevented the enemy doing more than they have done, but cannot congratulate ourselves that we did not accomplish more.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. K. AIKEN,

Colonel, Commanding.

Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General, and Chief of Staff.

Numbers 3. Report of Lieutenant Thomas G. White, Palmetto Battalion (South Carolina) Light Artillery.

CAMP JENKINS,

Toogoodoo Creek, July 11, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to state that on the morning of Thursday, July 10, instant, I was aroused at daylight by the sergeant of my section of [F. C.] Schulz's battery, stationed on picket at Willstown Bluff, with the information that the enemy's boats had approached, under cover of a dense fog overhanging the river, to the obstructions, distant about 800 yards from my position. I immediately harnessed up my horses and prepared one of my guns (the nearest to the enemy) for action. At 4.45 o'clock I fired the first gun at the smallest of the enemy's steamers nearest inland, situated then up to the obstructions, and apparently on and over them. A column of the enemy numbering about 150, composed of negroes and white men, was seen advancing up the causeway by file at long intervals, and was then within 300 yards of the side road leading to the rear of my position. At this stage a friction-primer became impacted in the vent of this piece, rendering it unfit for immediate service. The enemy in the meantime kept up an incessant firing of shot, shell, and grape. I ordered this gun to withdraw out of range, and repaired to the other, to my right and in battery, and found that a ball had been forced into it without a cartridge. Under these circumstances, and having no support of infantry or cavalry (excepting 7 vedettes), I thought it prudent to withdraw the section beyond the risk of the flankers.

I remained alone to watch the operations of the enemy. After saddling my horse with my own hands, I caught up my valise and