point during the day, but there must have been very gross negligence on their part leading to their capture. There was no negligence on the part of the officers in charge of the picket.
C. H. SIMONTON,
Captain P. N. PAGE,
HDQRS. SEVENTH MIL. DIST. OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
May 13, 1864.
The post at which these men were captured is a very important one and very near the enemy. It is strengthened at night, and this unfortunate capture occurred after sunrise, when the supports were withdrawn and it was a mere vedette. The men must have either been all asleep or willing to be captured, as they could have either driven off the boat or have effected their escape. Colonel Simonton says that had they been infantry he is sure they could not have been surprised. As it is, having no infantry in the Second Sub-Division, and none to send there, we have to rely for all duties upon inexperienced men.
WM. B. TALIAFERRO,
No. 42. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph A. Yates, First South Carolina Artillery, of assault and attack on Fort Johnson and Battery Simkins.
ROYALL'S HOUSE, July 3, 1864-9.30 a.m.
CAPTAIN: In absence of Colonel Black, commanding, I am instructed and have the honor to forward, without remarks, the following report of Lieutenant-Colonel Yates, commanding at Fort Johnson:
There was no firing from any of the batteries of this command yesterday; the enemy did not fire. The enemy's fleet off Morris Island is as follows: Five monitors and 9 sailing vessels; in Light-House Inlet, 3 schooners. The commander of the expedition (Colonel Hoyt, Fifty-second Pennsylvania Regiment) says the expedition was about 500 or 600 strong, but the adjutant, who is mortally wounded, says they were 1,000 strong, his statement is credited by most the prisoners. I have the honor to report the capture of 140 prisoners, including 5 commissioned officers, including some wounded; also, 5 barges, 114 stand of small-arms with accouterments. Enemy's loss in killed and wounded cannot be estimated, as most of the wounded were taken off; we will be able to tell better at low tide. Our loss very small. The expedition was composed of men of army, advanced in two columns, barges about twenty-eight in number, one column around Gregg, and one down Schooner Creek; as far as ascertained they numbered 1,000 strong. The expedition was formed at south end Morris Island; the prisoners have left for Charleston. The enemy brought implements for intrenching, also rations.
J. R. PRINGLE,
Lieutenant and Assistant Inspector-General.