Finding that they had entirely left for their gun-boats and Kiawah Island, I ordered all my forces,except a strong picket, back to Fripp's, and there relieved General Colquitt. He went on immediately to Rantowles for Savannah. My own troops, all except Major Jenkins' command and the companies of the Fifty-ninth Virginia Volunteers, I ordered to return to their camps and works. I left Colonel Tabb with Major Jenkins to construct some rifle-pits at the Haulover which Colonel Harris laid out. Colonel Tabb's command was retained for these works at the request of Major Jenkins, and will be relieved as soon as they are completed.
I have ordered your note of congratulation to be announced to the troops of my command, and we regret only that we did not do more to deserve your note of congratulation to be announced to the troops of my command, and we regret only that we did not do more to deserve your approbation, which, I assure you, sir, is very grateful to us all. As soon as detailed official reports are sent in they shall be forwarded. The delay is owing to the scattered condition of my command.
With the highest respect and esteem, I am, general, your obedient servant,
HENRY A. WISE,
Brigadier-General, Commanding, &c.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF S. CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA, Charleston, S. C., February 17, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded, for information of War Department.
On being informed on 9th instant that the enemy had appeared in force on John's Island and attacked the enemy had appeared in force on John's Island and attacked Major Jenkins' force, stationed to guard the approach from Seabrook Island, via Haulover Causeway, I suspended to orders issued 8th instant, sending General Colquitt's brigade to Savannah en route for Florida, directing three and a half of his regiments, still awaiting transportation, to repair by shortest route to the assistance of General Wise, then on John's Island. This order was obeyed with great alacrity, and these troops arrived in time to re-enforce General Wise at the critical moment, but at too late an too much fatigued to permit a vigorous pursuit of the enemy. Meanwhile my chief engineer, Colonel Harris, had been sent to report to General Wise was also ordered by telegraph to ambuscade the enemy if practicable.
On the evening of the 10th instant, having been informed that the enemy was still if force (about seven regiments, or 4,000 men) on John's Island, in position in advance of the Haulover Causeway, and wishing to get rid of him as soon as practicable to permit General Colquitt to resume his journey to Savannah and Florida, and having strong reasons to believe form the statements of prisoners that to organize that expedition the enemy had withdrawn troops from Morris and Folly Islands, I determined to make a diversion in favor of General Wise by ordering all the harbor batteries bearing on Morris Island to open vigorously for one and a half hours at 2 o'clock next morning, as though preceding an attack in half hours at 2 o'clock next morning, as though preceding an attack in force with infantry. General Wise was also telegraphed to that effect, that he might be prepared to take advantage of any unusual movement of the enemy in his front. But the enemy retired, however, so cau-