War of the Rebellion: Serial 092 Page 0346 Chapter LVI. OPERATIONS IN N. C., GA., AND FLA.

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from the city in a direct line. The object of this movement was to plant the battery in a position commanding the main channel of the river and prevent the enemy's gun-boats that were known to be up the river from getting to the city. The battery went into position and the regiment also, one wing being placed on the right, the other on the left of the guns. A strong earth-work was constructed, and parties were at once sent out to secure all small boats and rice barges (a species of scow) that were in the river, it being rightly foreseen that they would be of use in future. Opposite to us lay an island, several miles in length and from one to two in width. The island (called Argyle) was one grand rice swamp, and was thickly traversed by ditches, dikes, and canals. A large rice mill, just opposite to our position and on the farther or eastern side of the island, was guarded by Company F, Captain R. T. Pugh. At dark the Third Regiment Wisconsin Infantry, Colonel Hawley, belonging to First Division, Twentieth Army Corps, commenced crossing over to the island, using all the boats collected by the regiment during the day. The Third Wisconsin relieved the guard over rice mills, and they returned to the regiment during the night.

December 12, the forenoon was occupied in strengthening works and collecting boats; guards were also sent to rice mills one and two miles above us on the river-bank. At about 3 p. m. a smoke was discovered some miles up the river, but rapidly nearing. At last they were made out to be three boats, two side-wheel wooden boats and one having the long, low hull and rakish build of a modern gun-boat. As they came within range our battery opened fire and was quickly responded to by the gun-boat, which was behind, and soon after by the second boat in the line. The battery worked rapidly, and by the time the boats had arrived within half a mile two of them had been struck. As they came to a turn in the channel that gave us a raking fire at them there appeared to be some hesitation, which ended in the two rear boats heading up stream, and, putting on full steam, rapidly leaving the boat on the lead to shift for herself, but she was both disabled and aground. This being observed word was at once sent to Colonel Hawley, proposing that he move his men up from the mill on the island and take possession of the boat, as she had gone ashore on Argyle Island, and as there were no boats that were available for that purpose at the regiment. This was done. The boat, Resolute, C. S. Navy, ran up the white flag and was boarded by our men. Her crew consisted of 7 officers and 22 men; she had no armament. The other two boats carried each several guns. A crew was selected from the regiment, who brought her off the bar and moored her just below the battery. Repairs were at once commenced. It was found that two shots had passed with her, and that she was also seriously damaged by colliding with the other boats as they turned round. No further attempt was made by the boats that escaped to get to the city. From this time nothing of importance occurred for some days. A party of the regiment, under the charge of myself, explored Argyle Island to the head, finding canals extending from one channel into the other. December below the island were burned before the occupation. The enemy still hover about the South Carolina shore, and there is some skirmishing across the channel that separates Argyle Island from the shore. December 22, 23, and 24, remained in camp, sending guard of 100 men to first rice mill on river. December 25, broke camp at 10 a. m. and joined brigade in outskirts of the city.