War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0745 Chapter XL. SKIRMISH NEAR CUNNINGHAM'S BLUFF, S. C.

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scribed in case of an assault on Fort Sumter. The Brooke gun was also fired twice during the day with hollow shot for the purpose of getting the range around Fort Sumter. The mortars were fired eight times this morning at Cumming's Point.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. PRESS. SMITH, JR.,

Captain, Commanding Post.

Lieutenant E. C. EDGERTON,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

NOVEMBER 24, 1863-Skirmish near Cummingham's Bluff, S. C.

REPORTS.

Numbers 1.-Brigadier General Rufus Saxton, U. S. Army, commanding on Port Royal Island.

Numbers 2.-Brigadier General W. S. Walker, C. S. Army, commanding Third Military District.

Numbers 1. Report of Brigadier General Rufus Saxton, U. S. Army, commanding on Port Royal Island.

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Beaufort, S. C., November 30, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that on Monday evening last I dispatched a force under the command of Captain J. E. Bryant, Eighth Maine Volunteers, to the vicinity of Pocotaligo, for the double purpose of bringing away some 30 slaves there, belonging to a Mr. Heyward, and capturing the enemy's picket opposite Barnwell Island. The force consisted of a detachment of 30 men, Company E, First South Carolina Volunteers, under command of Captain Heasley, and another of 30 men of Company K, same regiment, commanded by Captain Whitney.

It gives me pleasure to report that, under the skillful guidance of Captain Bryant, the details of the affairs were admirably arranged and the extension was a complete success. The pickets, 2 in number, with their horses, were captured. Sergt. Harry Williams, of Company K, went with a party and liberated 27 slaves on the Heyward plantation, 6 miles in advance of our force and within 4 miles of the enemy's headquarters. Great credit is due this dusky warrior for the skill with which he managed his part of the affair.

Everything was now completed and the party would have returned in safety, but a dense fog coming on, their boats, under command of Lieutenant Cass, were unable to find the point agreed upon for debarkation. While they were waiting for their boats a company of the enemy's cavalry, supposed to be about 100 in number, preceded by a pack of five bloodhounds, attacked Captain Heasley, who was guarding a road leading to the landing. They attacked in great fury, urging their dogs on in advance. Captain Heasley allowed them to approach within a few feet of his men and then ordered a charge, which they did most gallantly, killing three of the blood-hounds with the bayonet. At the same time a well-directed volley threw the enemy into disorder and he retreated amid the groans of his wounded

He, however, soon rallied. The situation now seemed to be very