from Little Folly upon our batteries at south end of Morris Island. After shelling heavily about an four monitors took position to the eastward of south point Morris Island, and opened a heavy fire, enfilading us completely on our left. At the same time, a large number of barges filled with troops were seen proceeding from Little Folly River and up the inlet toward our batteries. These boats opened a terrific fire from their howitzers, thus enfilading us on the right. To this fire our batteries were completely exposed, being entirely unprotected on that side. After a continuous bombardment of an hour and a half longer, during which time these barges continued slowly to advance toward Oyster Point, they were effected a landing, disembarking about three regiments. At the same time, I discovered a large number of barges proceeding directly from Little Folly Island toward and in front of our batteries. I found that these barges had landed about these regiments more, who advanced directly upon our batteries.
Finding my works completely flanked on our right by the column which landed at Oyster Point, and finding our infantry were being driven back, I sent an order by my adjutant, Lieutenant [W. C.] Simmons, to Captain [J. C.] Mitchel to prepare to make good his retreat. Lieutenant Simmons found it impossible to reach Captain Mitchell without falling into the hands of the enemy, and that Captain Mitchel was already retreating. He delivered the order to Lieutenant [Henry W.] Frost, it being evident that our batteries were lost .
I immediately sent an order to Captain Chichester to be prepared to open fire upon the head of the advancing column of the enemy as soon as the rear of our column had passed within range of our guns, which order was promptly obeyed, completely checking the advance of the enemy for that day .
I take pleasure in stating that Captain Mitchel, and officers and men under his immediate command, behaved with the greatest gallantry, and did not abandon their works until already three of their guns had been disabled and some of their officers and many of their men had been killed, wounded, and taken prisoners while working their guns; also, in mentioning that the officers acting on my staff- Captain Ford, Lieutenant Simmons, Lieutenant [W. H.] Grimball, Lieutenant Mazyck, ordnance officer-behaved with great coolness, discharging their duties most energetically under a most terrific fire.
I regret to have to report the following loss:
Captain [J. R.] Macbeth, slightly wounded and taken prisoner; Lieutenant [J. S.] Bee, feared mortally wounded and taken prisoner; Lieutenant [J. G.] Heyward, wounded and taken prisoner; Captain [C. T.] Haskell, [jr.,] with a detachment of infantry under my command, killed.
Company I, First Regiment Artillery: Killed, wounded, and missing, 38.
Company E, First Regiment Artillery: Killed, wounded, and missing, 42.
Captain Haskell's detachment First Infantry (regulars): Killed, wounded, and taken prisoners, 10. Also the loss of 9 guns, camp equipage, &c.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOSEPH A. YATES,
Captain W. F. NANCE.