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Gen. Sherman's Official Report Of The Fight At Beaufort, S C.

Gen. Sherman's Official Report Of The Fight At Beaufort, S C. image
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IIlABQUARTEns OF -C11F. F.Xl-lMTIi'N CnCP 1 1'OP.T RoY4L,S O.KO. 8, 18M. { To the A1jntant 'Jcncral, U. S. A., Witsliington, D. O. Sin - I havo the honor to roport that tlio force umler my eoromand ombarkcd at Annapolis on the 2 Lst, of Octobei, and arrivod at Ilampton Roads, Va., ou tho 22d. In consequenee of tlie delay in the arrival of somc of our tramipart nnd tlie unfavoraLle state of lbo weatfirf tho i fleet was unable to set out for the Southern ooast till the '29th, when, undcr eoBvoy of the naval squadron in command of Commodore Iupont, and aftcr tho most maturo consideration of the objcets of tho expedition by that flag oflucr and mysclf, it was agreed to íirst reduce any works tlint migbt bc found in Fort lloyal, 8. C. and tlius open tlie finest harbor ou the coast that exista south of Hattcras. It was calculated to reach Port lloyal in five days at most, but in consequeneo of adverse winds and a perilous storm on the day and night of the lst of November, the fleet did not arrivo at Port lloyal bar till tho -Mi, and then but ia part, for it had been almost entirely disperscd by the gale, and the vesscls havo been straggling in up to tliis date. ïhe transport stcamrrs Union, Bolïidere, Oeccola and Peerless have not urrived. Two of thein are known to too lost, and it is probable all are. It is gratifying, however, to say that none of the troop transporta conncctcd with the land forces were lost, though the Win field Scott had to sacrifice hur wbole cargo, and the lloanoke a portion of her cargo, to save the lives of the regiments on board, The former will be unable to again to put to soa. The vcssels conucoted with the naval portion of tho flcet have also suffered mucb, and somo have been lost. After a careful reconnoisMBCfi fE Port Royal 13ay, t was ascertained that tho rebels had three field works of reutarkable stftngtl), strongly garrisoned and covored by a flect of three gunbontiunder Gapt. Tatnall, late ot the United States Navy, besides strong land forces, wfaich the rebels were concentratiug from Charleston and Savannah. The troops of the rebels were afterwards ascretained to have been conimanded by Gen. Drajtoo, One of th& forts, and probably the strongost fort, is situated on llilton ITead, and the othcr two on Phillips' Islaud. It was deomed proper to first reduce the fort on Hilton Head, although to do this a or less fii'cmight have to be met from the batteries on Buy Point at the saine tivac. Our original plan of co-oporation to land the foroes in the attack had to bc set aside, in conscijucnce of the loss, during the voyago, of a greater portion of eur means of diaembarkment, together with the faot that the cnly poiut whcre troopa should have landcd was from five to six miles, messuring arouud the ïntenreuing shoal, from the anchoring place our transport? ; altogethcr too great a distance tbr sucoessive debarkation with our Liniited means. It was tliereforo agreed tliat the place s'aould be reduecd hy naval t'urce alone. In consoquence of the shattered condition of the and ttelay in arrival of véasela that were imlespeusable for attack, it had to be postponcd until the 7th inst. I was a mere spectator of the comba t, and it is not iny province to ronder any report of this action ; but I it in imperativa duty to say that tho firing and manocuvering of the war nVot againet that of the rebols and their formidable laúd batteries, was a magttrpiece of activity ai.d professional skill that must have clicited the applause of the rebels themselves. As a tact kal operation, I thipk that too much praise eau not be awarded to the science and ikill exhibited by the flag-officcr of the naval squadron and the offieers counectod wi;li bis ships. I deem the perfonnanee a masterly ono, and it ought to have been Been to have been fully appreciated. After the works were reduced, I took possession of them with the land forcea. The beautifully constructed wo.k on Hiltou Head was severely crippled, and many of the guns dismounted. Mimh slaughter had evidently been m:ide tliere, many bodies having been buried in tho fort, and sorao twenty or thirty were found some half mile distant. The Island for many miles wa foucd strewn with the arms and accoutrements and baggage of the rebels, wbich they threw away in their hasty retreat. W'o have algo come in possession of about ty pieces of crduanco, mostot wlucli are of the heaviest calibre and the most improved niodels, and a largo quantity of ammunition and camp ctjuipage. It is niy duty to report the valuable services of Mr.Bontells, Assistantin theCoast Survey, assisting me in his accurate and exteiisive kuowlcdge of the country. Il is services are invaluable to the army as well as to the navy, and I earnestly recommend that important notice be taken of this very able and scientitic ofBcer by the War l'epartmcnt, I am very respectfully your obedient servant,


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