Today in History:

58 Series I Volume VI- Serial 6 - Fort Pulaski - New Orleans


30, 1861, with four companies of my command, viz, C, E, F, and K, and proceeded along the shell road in the direction of Port Royal Ferry to the cross-roads, where I was joined by Companies D and H. We then proceeded along the shell road to the 6-mile post, where we bivouacked until 2.30 o'clock a.m. January 1, 1862, when I again took up my line of march, under the direction of a guide, to a point on Coosaw Creek. From this latter point I was ordered by the general commanding to a point called the Brick-yard, on the upper end of Port Royal Island, and as soon as boats were furnished me to push across Coosaw River and land at the Adams house, where I arrived at 12.30 p.m., and immediately formed a junction with Companies A, B, G, and I, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Brenholts, who had reached this point from Beaufort by boats. The whole regiment then took their position in the center of the brigade, and proceeded with it under heavy cannonading of the enemy over a narrow causeway and along a road leading to the fort at Port Royal Ferry. When within three-quarters of a mile of the fort I was ordered to move with the right wing of my command on the enemy's right, with a view of support Colonel Fenton, of the Eighth Michigan, who was gallantly leading his command in the face of a battery on the enemy's left. I accordingly moved forward, taking the precaution to throw out small skirmishing parties, the better to watch the movements of the enemy and to guard against surprise. After moving forward about 300 yards my advance was fired upon by the enemy from a wood on our left. I called in my skirmishers, and immediately put my command on a double-quick until within god musket range, when I discovered from 400 to 500 of the enemy forming in line of battle and evidently preparing to give us a warm reception. I, however, anticipated his movement, and before his line was completed mine was formed and ready for action. I immediately commenced firing, and I believe with telling effect, for at the third volley the enemy broke and beat a hasty retreat towards the woods.

I again rapidly pushed forward, with a view to cut off his retreat and prevent a junction with the main body, when I was arrested in my further progress by shells from our gunboats, which now came pouring in among them, making sad havoc in their already decimated ranks. After firing one more volley at their broken and disordered ranks we retired about 200 yards out of range of the gunboats, and were subsequently ordered to take a position near the fort, where we bivouacked for the night, and to-day, January 2, crossed the Coosaw, and reached our encampment at 5 o'clock p.m.

Although the whole of my command were within range of the enemy's cannon for a half hour and a portion of them within 100 yards of a detachment of his (the enemy's) infantry, and for some time sustained a heavy fire, I have no killed to report and none wounded save M. Weidenhammer, of Company E, a slight wound on the right foot, and Ensign Herbert, wounded in the leg by a spent piece of shell.

I cannot close this report without expressing my decided approbation of the conduct of both officers and men of my command-to the officers for anticipating almost every order, thereby rendering my portion of the work comparatively easy, and to the men for their strict attention and prompt compliance with every command.

All of which is respectfully submitted.


Colonel, Commanding Fiftieth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.


Assistant Adjutant-General.