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7 Series I Volume XIV- Serial 20 - Secessionville

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Page 7 Chapter XXVI. SKIRMISH ON WHITEMARSH ISLAND, GA.

cover as could be obtained. Order was soon re-established and the rebels held in check for an hour or more. After the ineffectual efforts of Colonel Enton and myself to form enough men to charge their line and drive them from the hedge a portion of one company was carried to the right, and under cover of the timber skirting the marsh on that side the left flank of the enemy was met and frustrated in an attempt to move in that direction.

An advance on the left and along the whole line dislodged the enemy and put him in full flight. He fell back rapidly, leaving several dead and wounded on the field, and was closely pressed for a half or three quarters of a mile. As it was now almost night it was not deemed advisable to continue the pursuit farther. Our skirmishers were gradually drawn in; strong advance guards were posted well out on both roads, and two companies again posted on the line of the hedge and the fence to the right. After having made these admirable dispositions of his force to secure our position Colonel Fenton then directed the removal of our killed and wounded to the steamer, and after holding the ground for three hours the entire force was quietly embarked without further accident, though it must be confessed had the enemy renewed his attack while we were engaged in embarking we should have suffered great loss.

Our five small boats could not remove more than 50 men every thirty minutes, and the steamer lay in such a position that the 6-pounder could not be brought to bear without jeopardizing to lives of our won people.

Our less is 10 killed and 35 wounded. Among the former is Lieutenant and Adjutant Pratt, who fell while gallantly cheering on the men. Lieutenant Badger, in command of the advance guard, was dangerously if not mortally wounded and fell into the hands of the enemy, but in the hurry of their retreat succeeded in effecting his escape.

The loss of the enemy cannot be ascertained. Two of their dead were left in our hands. One, mortally wounded, died before we disembarked; the balance were carried off.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. H. WILSON,

First Lieutenant, Top Eng., and Chief Top Eng. Dept. South.

Lieutenant W. L. M. BURGER,

A. A. A. G., Hdqrs. U. S. Forced, Tybee Island, Ga.

TYBEE ISLAND, GA., April 17. 1862.

SIR: In accordance with Special Orders, Numbers 41, I have made a re-connaissance of Wilmington Island, and have the honor to report as follows:

From Goat's Point through Lazaretto Creek, Tybee River, and Turner's Creek to Screven's plantation the navigation is safe at half-tide for vessels of 10 feet draught. The channel through Wilmington Narrow to Saint Augustine Creek is obstructed at its junction with Tybee River by a well-constructed barrier of piles and live-oak logs. From this fact and its relation to the other streams I am of the opinion that it is navigable for gunboats. Turner's Creek is also navigable at half-tide, but as its main entrance into Wilmington River is below the batteries occupied by the enemy there is advantage to be obtained by using it. Oakland Creek was not ascended, but from the size of its entrance and the evidence of the negroes it is probably not naviga-


Page 7 Chapter XXVI. SKIRMISH ON WHITEMARSH ISLAND, GA.

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