7th of September, arriving at Light-House Inlet about 9 a. m. A heavy gale from the northeast set in about 4 a. m., and blew steadily for three days, keeping me shut up in the inlet. On the morning of the 8th, the armed transport Golden Gate arrived at Light-House Inlet and reported to me. From her I learned that the Plato had attempted to join us, but had been obliged to put back.
At 3 p. m., September 10, I took on board my two steamers two companies of the One hundred and twenty-seventh New York Volunteers, numberings in the aggregate 120 men, with 6 officers. Captains Little and Weston were in command. I also took on board some cask buoys. The hay bales on board the steamer were arranged on the promenade deck, to serve as a breast-height for infantry and to protect the pilot-house. Having got everything on board, I left the inlet and communicated with Captain Green, U. S. Navy, commanding in Charleston Harbor. He referred me to Captain De Camp, of the Wabash, which ship I reached about sundown. Captain De Camp gave me two large launches, which we took in tow. About an hour afterward two armed launches reported to me, one from the U. S. steamer Nipsic, and the other from the U. S. steamer Winona. They were also taken in tow. At early daylight we sailed for Dewees Inlet. I being dead low water when we arrived, the steamers were afraid to go in. I therefore put all the men I could into the two boats of the Wabash and into the two ship's boats, and rowed over the bar. The channel was easily found, and we got in without any trouble. One company, under Captain Weston, landed on Long Island, and explored it for about a mile and a quarter. They found the tracks of a cavalry picket who had made off at our approach. There were no roads, nor any signs of the island being inhabited. It is heavily wooded. The other company landed on Dewees Island, and explored for about a quarter of a mile back from the beach. There are three houses on the shore of Dewees Inlet. They were all deserted, and had been so apparently for some time. Some men's tracks were seen, but we could not find any one.
In the meanwhile the two steamers had entered the inlet, but I sent them out again, as I did not wish to be hampered with them or run the risk of losing them. They were ordered to buoy out the channel and wait off the bar until 5 p. m., and then proceed to Caper's Inlet and wait for us to joint them. Having in view the rescue of escaped prisoners and refugees, I did not think it advisable to approach the mainland with any show of force. I therefore directed the lieutenant commanding the boat from the Island City to proceed cautiously in the direction of Fuller's house, concealing his movements as well as he could. His orders were to approach near enough to examine the landing and ascertain whether there were any troops there. In case it was unoccupied he was to land, but not to venture into the country. He was also directed to take sounding as he went along. I desired him if possible to come back by the channel laid down on the map as running from Fuller's toward Capers' Inlet. If this could not be done he was to return by way of Dewees Inlet. The boat from the Golden Gate was left on picket in Dewees Inlet to warn him of danger on his return. In case the enemy should attempt to prevent their returning by way of Dewees both boats were to come out by Capers'. The first boat reached a point within 100 or 200 yards from Fuller's house. The intervening space was occupied by a mud flat over which his boat would not float. In endeavoring to discover a channel he was seen