War of the Rebellion: Serial 092 Page 0422 OPERATIONS IN S. C., GA., AND FLA. Chapter LVI.

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embarked. The Naval Brigade was the first organized body landed.

It was immediately pushed to the front to occupy a cross-roads two miles in advance of the landing. Attached to this brigade was a battery of eight light guns, drawn by sailors. The brigade met and drove toward Bee's Creek a small force of the enemy. The Thirty-second U. S. Colored Troops, as soon as landed, was sent to the support of the brigade. At 4 p. m. the detachment of cavalry and a large portion of Potter's brigade having landed, I determined to push forwarded immediately and attempt to seize the railroad at Grahamville, without waiting the landing of the artillery and the remainder of the infantry. The debarkation of the remainder of the troops continued through the night and following day as the transports arrived. Unfortunately the maps and guides proved equally worthless. The Naval Brigade had pushed back the enemy, who, retreating toward Bee's Creek, were followed two miles from the cross-roads in a direction opposite to the route we were to march, supposing in the direct road to Grahamville. Potter's brigade followed, and it was not until the latter had overtaken the Naval Brigade that the error was discovered. The troops counter marched and returned to the cross-roads. The sailors dragging the artillery were found to be worn out, and the Naval Brigade was left at that point, with orders to come up in the morning. We then pushed on with Potter's brigade and the cavalry. Two miles from the crossroads was found a fork in the road near a church. The guide, pretending to recognize the point, led the column on the left-hand road. Four miles beyond the church it became evident, that the guide had mistaken the road, and I returned to the church, where we bivouacked at 2. a. m. The men had marched fifteen miles, had been up most of the previous night, had worked hard during the day, and were unable to march farther. The distance marched, if upon the right road, would have carried us to the railroad, and I have since learned we would have met, at that time, little or no opposition.

On the morning of the 30th of Artillery and Naval Brigades having come up, it was reported to me that horses had been furnished the naval battery, except for two mountains howitzers. These I directed to return to and hold the cross-roads, supported by four companies of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers. They were attacked, and repulsed a body of the enemy from the direction of Bee's Creek battery. I then marched on the direct road toward Grahamville in the following order: Cavalry; Potter's brigade, with Mesereau's battery, Third New York Artillery; Naval Brigade; Titus battery, Third New York Artillery; and all of Hartwell's brigade that had arrived at the point, consisting of one regiment and two companies of a second. At 9. 15 a. m. met the advance of the enemy, consisting of two pieces of artillery with an infantry support. Our column was marching in a narrow road with dense woods on both sides. The action was opened by General Potter, who advanced the One hundred and twenty-seventh New York Volunteers as skirmishers, supported by the Twenty-fifth Ohio and the One hundred and forty-fourth and One hundred and fifty-seventh New York Volunteers. The supports were deployed on the sides of the road when the country opened sufficiently to allow it. Hartwell's brigade was also brought forward as soon it could find open ground on the right side of the road. We advanced gradually, driving the enemy about three miles and a half, their artillery being silenced at every opening of the section with our advance. Our casualties were not severe during this advance, but a valuable and gallant officer, First Lieutenant Edward A. Wildt, Third New York Artillery, fell mortally wounded whilst