the enemy. He delivered several volleys and a number of them were seen to fall. Sharp pressed close upon and drove their skirmish line back upon their main body, which was covered by the guns of at least thirty men of war lying broadside to the beach. It would have been madness to have advanced farther, besides I was fearful the enemy would land a force at Gatlin and push up the Wilmington road, which was covered by put one regiment. Night appeared and the enemy not advancing I deemed it prudent to reconnect my lines, so a strong picket was left in their front and Lieutenant-Colonel Sharp was instructed to fall back to the works at Sugar Loaf. I neglected to state I had a piece of Southerland's battery on the military road leading to Anderson to delay the enemy should he beat back my infantry. During the night Colonel Lipscomb, with the Second South Carolina Cavalry and Captain Paris' battery of five guns, reported to me. I sent one squadron of the cavalry to a ford reported to be eight miles up the sound - Montgomery's Landing. I also sent strong scouting parties down the telegraph road, river beach, and other roads by which the enemy could advance.
At daylight of the 26th I had my line of battle extending from the river to the neighborhood of Gatlin, with artillery covering the approaches, and I felt confident I could repulse the enemy should he come in my front. Other troops began to arrive, and with them the commanding general. What followed came under his eye and need not, therefore, be mentioned in this report.
In conclusion, I take pleasure in stating that my command behaved well. Lieutenant Colonel J. P. W. Read, of the artillery, who has been conspicuous for gallantry on so many fields, was dreadfully wounded on this occasion while in the full discharge of his duty. Captain Southerland succeeded him as chief of artillery, and was prompt in the execution of my orders. The reports of these two officers I inclose. I am indebted to Lieutenant Thompson, Second South Carolina Cavalry, for conveying information of the movements of the enemy. To Colonel John E. Brown, Forty-second North Carolina Regiment, I am greatly indebted for assistance in every particular. Lieutenant-Colonel Sharp and the Seventeenth North Carolina Regiment moved upon the enemy in a manner and Company G deserve special notice. Major Davis, with his 100 men of the Sixty-sixth North Carolina Regiment, submitted to a tremendous shelling, but no man flinched. To my staff my thanks are due. They bore my orders with intelligence, and were frequently exposed to the fire of the enemy. I beg to mention their names to the commanding general: Captain Charles G. Elliott, assistant adjutant-general; Major Lucius J. Johnson, acting assistant adjutant and inspector general; Lieutenant Albert Stoddard, aide-de-camp.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. KIRKLAND,
P. S.-I inclose herewith a tabular statement of killed, wounded, and missing.
W. W. K.
Lieutenant Colonel ARCHER ANDERSON,