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WAR OF THE REBELLION:
A COMPILATION OF THE
UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.
PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
The Hon. RUSSELL A. ALGER, Secretary of War,
MAJ. GEORGE W. DAVIS, U. S. ARMY,
Board of Publication.
SERIES I–VOLUME LIII.
REPORTS, CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.
OPERATIONS IN SOUTH CAROLINA, SOUTHERN
GEORGIA, MIDDLE AND EAST FLORIDA, AND WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA.
EMBRACING DOCUMENTS FOUND OR RECEIVED TOO LATE FOR INSER
TION IN VOLUMES 1, 6, 14, 28, 35, 44, AND 47.
January 1, 1861—June 30, 1865.
[The number in brackets at the lower left hand of each document indicates the volume to which it
MARCH 13, 1862.—Affair at Mattis' Plantation, S. C. Report of Lieut. Col. James A. Beaver, Forty-fifth Pennsylvania Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS FORT DRAYTON,
Otter Island, s. C., March 15, 1862. CAPTAIN: It is my duty to report to you, through your office to the general commanding, the details of an unfortunate occurrence which took place on the morning of the 13th instant on the mainland at the plantation of a Mr. Mattis, resulting in the death of Captain Rambo and Corporal Reighand, of Company K, of the Forty-tifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, and the wounding of several others, privates in the same company, one of whom has since died from the effects of his wounds:
I started on the morning of the 12th instant with parts of three conpanies of the Forty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, for the purpose of reconnoitering the north bank of the Mosquito Creek, which has heretofore been occupied by small parties of rebels. With two negro guides we proceeded through the entire length of the creek, landing occasionally at important points and making observations in the viciuity, and landing in the evening at the plantation of Mr. Michael
(1) 1 R R-VOL LIII
Seabrook; our negro guides had formerly belonged to Mr. Mattis and bad escaped from his plantation but a night or two previous. I exam. ined them separately, and finding that they agreed in their estimate of the number and station of the rebel picket, it was agreed, after consultation with the officers who accompanied me, to endeavor to capture them the next morning before daylight. For this purpose I divided the force under my command into three parts, directing Captain Schieffelin, with one of the negro guides, to proceed by a circuitous route to the rear of the house in which it was supposed the guard was quartered. The countersign was given and a signal agreed upon at which Captain Rambo should advance from the front, surrounding the house, and, if possible, secure the inmates. If he failed in this and the rebels retreated, Captain Schieffelin was ordered to cut off their retreat in the direction of Willtown. The third part of the force was held as a reserve at the boats. Waiting some twenty minutes after Captain Schieffelin bad started, I advanced with Captain Rambo's party, having first thrown out two scouts witli instructions to overpower the sentinel at the door as soon as the signal to advance was given. Passing through a gateway I stopped to post two sentinels and give them their instructions, I regaining the main body just as it had received a volley of musketry, resulting as I have already stated. This volley proved to have come from the party in charge of Captain Schieffelin, who explains it by saying that he came to a broken bridge, which he fixed in order to cross; that after he had crossed he observed two men approaching; that he challenged, and that instead of answering they turned around; he then directed his men to fire. The scouts who were in advance say they heard no challenge. They are both wounded, and from the position of their wounds would seem to have had their backs to the fire. I amn, captain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
JAMES A. BEAVER, [6.] Lieut. Col. Forty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.
MARCH 30-31, 1862.—Affairs on Wilmington and Whitemarsh Islands, Ga. Report of Col. Rudolph Rosa, Forty.sixth New York Infantry. *
TYBEE ISLAND, GA., April 3, 1862. GENERAL: In accordance with your orders I arrived at the swiniming battery, Montezuma, near Decent Island, on the evening of March 29, 1862, with a detachment of two commissioned officers and thirty men of the Forty-sixth New York. Shortly after my arrival Lieutenant Serviere, having effected the relief of the men in the guard boat near Hunter's farm, reported that he had been shot at repeatedly by about thirty rebels near Gibson's farm, without the shot taking effect. On the following day, with four commissioned officers and seventy-five men, I made a reconnaissance on Whitemarsh Island, landing at Gibson's and marching thence on land to Turner's farm. From there we were recalled by shots, and found that the small stern wheel steamer had shown herself near to our boats in Oatland Creek, and had returned after being fired at by the boat's guard. I then went again across the island to MacDonald's farm, and returned without meeting the enemy. The topographical results will be embodied in a little sketch. In returning I heard that by the lieutenant left in command of the Montezuma leave had been given to Dannenfelser and two men to go with a
boat to Wilmington Island, that they had been last seen going into Turner's Creek, and were now missing. The guard boat was left at the usual place opposite Hunter's farm over night. At dawn on the 31st the guard were revised and partly relieved by Captain Hinckel, who then made a patrol to Dannenfelser's house, and was told that Dannenfelser and the two men had been there for half an hour the previous day, and then had departed. Captain Hinckel also captured a negro in the act of entertaining communication between the fort and Savannah. The guard was instructed to keep a sharp lookout along the shore for our missing men. At noon Lieutenant Serviere was sent. to relieve the guard, and with the instruction to search at the same time Gibson's and Screven's farms for the missing and for interlopers, but not to proceed farther. At 4 o'clock Captain Hinckel went with the captured negro for verifying his description at the cuts used for smuggling. He came back at 8 o'clock and reported that no trace of the guard and relief boats was to be found.
On the evening of the 1st of April we received promptly a re-enforcement of two officers and thirty men of the Forty-sixth New York, and ove 6-pounder at the Montezuma. At 10 o'clock in the same night Lieutenants Serviere and Rettig and fifteen men in the relief boat returned and reported as follows: When the relief boat met the guard boat at Hunter's farm they both proceeded to Gibson's house, the relief boat in advance, the guard boat (with the small old iron 6-pounder, private property of the subscriber) bringing up the rear. At Gibson's they saw two men; then Lieutenant Serviere with fifteen men landed and found himself soon engaged in a skirmishing fight with about thirty rebels, whom he successfully drove out of the houses and the farm, killing at least one of them. When the guard boat neared the landing Lieutenant Rettig also jumped ashore, but the helmsman, a canal boatman promoted to a sergeant's position since two days, suddenly lost his self-possession entirely, backed the boat off, and dropped back with the tide. Lieutenant Serviere then took to the relief boat, which during the time had filled with water, and had to be bailed out, and set afloat again under cover of a chain of skirmishers. They left without any loss, though fired at repeatedly, and then saw in the distance that the guard boat had drifted on the flats between Screven's and Hunter's place; that a fire was opened against it at about fifty paces distance, by, at the least estimation, about sixty men; that the men laid themselves flat on the bottom of the boat and waved their caps as sign of surrender. The relief boat then took to the small creek and swamps between Oatland Creek and Wilmington Narrows, was fast aground over night, and succeeded in coming back late the next evening by way of the narrows and the stockade. The total loss, therefore, consists of eighteen enlisted men, the man Dannenfelser, and about twelve rounds of ammunition. Two boats and one small iron 6-pounder were also lost, being prizes of the Forty-sixth Regiment New York State Volunteers, and not belonging to the United States. There seems to be a determination to keep up at all events the communication to the fort by way of Whitemarsh and Wilmington Islands and the very numerous creeks running through McQueen's marshes. I most respectfully propose to keep a small armed steam-boat there. Your most obedient servant,
RUDOLPH ROSA, Colonel, Comdg. Forty-sixth Regiment New York State Vols. General Q. A. GILLMORE,