where my skirmishers drove the enemy from an advanced work into their main line, capturing a few prisoners. At 10 a. m. my other brigades were brought up and my line was established along an old Richfield dike-my left (Barnum's brigade) resting on the river-bank, my right (Pardee's brigade) extending toward the Augusta road, while Jones' brigade was massed in reserve in rear of Barnum's. Toward night the left of the First Division moved forward and connected with my right. Sloan's battery reported to me during the afternoon and took position on the river-bank near Jones' brigade. My front line was concealed by the woods, with the exception of my left, which lay in open ground within 250 yards of a large work on the river-banks in which the enemy had seven heavy guns. In front of my entire line were open fields, affording a full view of the intrenchments held by the enemy. Immediately in front of these intrenchments were extensive rice fields flooded with water, and between the fields in my front and these flooded rice fields was a canal twenty-five fee wide and five or six fee deep, which also was filled with water. The sluice gates to these fields were all under control of the enemy, as was also the mouth of the canal, between which and my position was the large advanced work before mentioned as being in front of my left. Besides this one the enemy had in my front three other works, mounted with heavy guns, in their main line across the flooded rice fields. These guns all opened upon us, keeping up a steady fire throughout the day, but causing very few casualties. No reply was made by my artillery, but my skirmishers were advanced as far as possible and annoyed the enemy considerably. Opposite my left, in the Savannah River, was the upper end of Hutchinson's Island, which extends from there down opposite the lower part of the city of Savannah. This island contains about 900 acres in rice fields, and on the upper end of it is a large rice mill. A great number of negroes had been left there. On discovering our troops a few of them crossed in canoes. Captain Veale, aide-de-camp of my staff, taking one of these canoes, went alone to the island, and, guided by a negro, walked nearly its entire length, reconnoitered the enemy's position along the river, and returned safely, bringing valuable information.
December 12, my troops strengthened their breast-worked during the night so as to resist the enemy's heavy shot. A steady artillery fire was kept up by the enemy all day, causing a few casualties. I had Hutchinson's Island reconnoitered again, but found only a few of the enemy's scouts there.
December 13, the usual constant artillery fire was kept up by the enemy, their gunners improving in practice. They had posted some sharpshooters in the upper story of a house near their advanced for ton the river-bank. These sharpshooters annoyed the left of our line considerably. Among the casualties to-day was Lieutenant Ahreets, adjutant of the One hundred and thirty-fourth New York Volunteers, and acting assistant inspector-General, Twentieth Corps, who was killed instantly by a short from that house while engaged in reconnoitering our lines. Last night the enemy landed some troops on Hutchinson's Island and captured a few of our men who had gone there for forage and supplied. To prevent such a recurrence Major Hoyt, One hundred and thirty-fourth New York Volunteers, was sent to the island to-day with a detachment of forty-seven men to hold the upper part of it. This evening he was re-enforced with 100 men, and the whole were placed under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson, of the One hundred and thirty-fourth New York Volunteers. A sunken