saddle-bags, and after finding that the enemy had by this time gained the edge of the bluff, I retired just in time to save myself from capture.
The enemy were now deployed through the dense woods and undergrowth that surrounds the position, and while in the act of trying to force back a party of negroes, who were being driven before them from above, I perceived a party of the enemy in the road making toward me. I then rejoined the section at a safe distance to the rear.
My impression is that the boats landed their infantry at early dawn (perhaps at midnight) at Mr. Morris' mills, situated in a rice-field to my left, and moved along the river to our position, the strength and nature of which they doubtless had been fully informed of by the negroes surrounding us. I am warranted in my supposition from the fact that there were several negroes about the camp on the previous evening, when the company of infantry stationed with us had been removed to be sent to Charleston, and from the fact that at the first gun that was fired the negro women from Colonel Morris' rushed in a body in the direction of the approaching party, knowing, apparently, exactly what to do to get off to the boats. The men had doubtless all gone before, for I did not see a single male slave with them. All were women and children.
I remained at the junction of the Jacksonborough and Adams Run road, awaiting orders and for a support, for fully two hours before any arrived. It was then feeble, and of a character not to warrant an approach or attack, and I was ordered to repair above, and open upon the boats as they passed Barnwell's, which was done, when quite a spirited engagement took place, the enemy, however, enjoying the advantage of his long-range and heavier guns. Twice they essayed to pass and twice they retired beyond range of our guns, while we were within range of theirs.
I was then ordered to retire, and to follow the river road up, and endeavor to punish them when they got up higher. Lieutenant [Augustus] Fludd then rode up and assumed command. The enemy passed up, and encountered Captain Walter's battery above and on the other side of the river, which caused them to retire.
We again took up our position at Gibbes' place, in company with a section of the Marion Artillery, under Lieutenant Murdoch, and there I believe we inflicted serious damage to the two boats returning, as several shots were seen to strike them both. These two got away, however, after leaving the third and smallest aground and afire on the obstructions below Willstown Bluff.
In this raid the enemy burned Colonel Morris' mills and barn, and pillaged and plundered the adjoining private residences, carrying off negroes of Colonel Morris and those of Mr. Manigault, adjoining.
I take pleasure in stating that our men behaved with coolness and courage, and, like myself, regretted the want of support which necessitated our withdrawal.
Owing to the want of transportation, some baggage was lost by being left in our camp.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
THOMAS G. WHITE,
Lieutenant Co. F, Palmetto Batt. Lt. Art., Commanding Post Willstown Bluff.
Captain P. K. MOLONY,