Today in History:

729 Series I Volume XXVIII-I Serial 46 - Ft. Sumter - Ft. Wagner Part I


GREEN POND, September 16, 1863.

CAPTAIN: On Saturday evening, a little after 3 o'clock, it was reported to me by Mr. [J. H.] Buckhalter, roadmaster, that there was a small force of the enemy about a mile south of this station, and that they had attached a wire to the telegraph line. I immediately ordered up Captain [W. P.] Appleby's company, stationed 2 miles below here, which reported very promptly. I then ordered Captain Appleby to dismount 15 of his men and to proceed on the train, then at the depot, to the point at which the enemy had attached his wire for the purpose of intercepting dispatches form Charleston and Savannah, and to engage the enemy, if he found them; if not, to pursue them.

The enemy having gone before he arrived, he immediately commenced the pursuit. I ordered First Lieutenant [J. W. R.] Beerry, with eh remainder of Captain Applbeby's company, to proceed by the way of Ballouville and to skirmish the woods between Whitehall and this place. With my other cavalry company, First Lieutenant [W. E.] Hewitt commanding, which I ordered to report to me on the Combahee and Ashepoo Ferry road, and 6 men from Lieutenant [J. J.] Guerard's section-Company C, Eleventh Regiment Infantry, Sough Carolina Volunteers, in charge of the battery at Lowndes' Mill-I picketed the Combahee and Ashepoo Ferry road from Colonel Heyward's place ot the Chehaw road, as I felt certain I was below them, and, Captain Appleby pursuing, they would have to cross that road at some point.

Just at dark, Corporal, [T.] Myers and 2 privates, of Company C, Eleventh Regiment Infantry, South Carolina Volunteers, stationed at the corner of Colonel Heyward's fence, allowed the enemy (6 in number he states, but since ascertained to be 11) to pass them without either halting or firing on them. Had these pickets have done their duty, the whole party would certainly have been captured at this point, as Captain Appleby with his small detachment, that had pursued them for about 6 miles through dense swamps, lagoons, and rice-fields, were only about 200 yards behind them. When Captain Appleby came up to these pickets they acted so badly that he mistook them (owing ot the darkness of the night) for the enemy, and ordered his men to fire on them, when they ran off. Fortunately, none of them were hit.

The darkness of the night rendering farther pursuit useless, I had the Combahee River well guarded, and on Sunday morning I again commenced the pursuit with a detachment of Captain Appley's company at the point where he stopped the night previous, and hone I gotten nearly into Mr. Lowndes' rice-field, on the Combahee River, I hear the report of the rifled gun in battery at Lowndes' Mill. I immediately drew off the detachment and proceeded there, thinking that a boat might be coming up the river. On arriving at the battery Lieutenant Guerard informed me that he had heard a noise at Mr. Lowndes' mill, immediately on the river bank, and had thrown a few shells near there, thinking it might be the enemy trying to cross the river. I ordered Lieutenant [F. R. M.] Sineath, Company C, with 6 men of Lieutenant Guerard's section, to proceed to the mill, where the noise had been heard, and to investigate the cause, and Captain Appleby back, to follow out the trail with his detachment, which he did through the rice-field to the above-mentioned place. Lieutenant Sineath on arriving there found a small raft that the enemy had constructed of old planks to cross the river on, and