or Sullivan's Islands or the Edisto. I had reduced the force on Sullivan's Island to the lowest point I thought advisable to re-enforce James Island, and every available man along the line of the Savannah Railroad had been ordered to John's Island.
As soon as the movement of the enemy was known on the 2nd, I telegraphed General Johnston asking for re-enforcements, and repeated my request on the 4th, and also telegraphed the War Department and General Whiting asking for re-enforcements, and to Brigadier-General Chesnut asking for reserves. General Johnson sent me two small regiments (the Fifth and Forty-seventh Georgia) and General Whiting sent me two companies of artillery. I could obtain no State reserves.
When the troops sent by Generals Whiting and Johnson arrived Colonel Georgia P. Harrison was ordered to carry his own regiment, the Thirty-second Georgia, the Forty-seventh Georgia, the Forty-seventh Georgia, and Bonaud's Georgia battalion to John's Island and to report to Brigadier-General Robertson, commanding that district. With the force thus collected, though not more than a third of the enemy's force on the island, it was intended to attack the enemy on the morning of the 8th, but the steamer sent through Wappoo Cut to transport the troops getting aground the attack was delayed.
At daydawn on the 9th, the attack was gallantly made, Colonel Harrison commanding the advance column, composed of the Thirty-second and Forty-seventh Georgia Regiments and Bonaud's Georgia battalion, and the enemy was driven from one line of defensive works, but rallied behind a second line and maintained their position until late in the evening, when they withdrew and embarked on transports in the Stone, and on the 10th, the enemy's monitors and gun-boats (the naval force had been increased to twenty-two vessels of all classes) kept up heavy fire on our picket-line and batteries, especially Battery Pringle, which replied with spirit and accuracy, crippling and driving out of action on e of the monitors. But the active operations of the enemy were abandoned after their reverse on John's Island on the morning of the 9th.
The details of these operations are given by the reports, which are herewith forwarded, of Brigadier-Generals Taliaferro, commanding on James Island, and Robertson, commanding on John's Island. I send also a copy of General Foster's confidential circular, found on the field, directing the sailing of the expedition, and also a letter* dated 5th of July and published in the New York Tribune, giving an account of the enemy's operations to that date. From them it will, I think, be seen that the expedition was one of considerable magnitude, form which much was expected. Officers captured concur in representing that the expedition was well and carefully considered and planned, and was confidently expected to result in the capture of Charleston. That it failed is due, under Providence, to the gallantry and good conduct of our officers and men.
Generals Taliaferro and Robertson, whose districts were attacked, were untiring in watchfulness and efforts to defeat the plans of the enemy, and they were admirably seconded by the officers and men. Colonel George P. Harrison is deserving of special commendation, first, for driving back the enemy's line on James Island, and, secondly, for his gallantry and good conduct in the engagement on the morning