Today in History:

59 Series I Volume XXXV-I Serial 65 - Olustee Part I


During the time a detachment of the Seventy-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers and Forty-first New York Volunteers repaired the bridges from Cole's Island to James Island and crossed over, the Rocket Battery on Cole's Island and the guns of the fort at Long Island supporting the movement. At Battery Wright Major Morrison halted his command, gave nine cheers for the Union, and awaited my further orders. Colonel von Gilsa directed these movements from Cole's Island.

The enemy showed in the first part of the engagement about 400 to 500 infantry, and was re-enforced about noon by about 200 more infantry and a light battery of four pieces.

During the afternoon columns of dust on the road showed plainly that the enemy was advancing with considerable force against our troops on James Island,and, as my object was accomplished, I gave orders to retire. Had I known, general, your intentions in regard to another movement it would have been an easy matter for me to hold part of James Island, and thus to keep a most threatening attitude against the enemy.

Last evening three steamer loads of troops were taken across from Charleston to James Island. It is estimated by those who saw them that they took over from 1,200 to 1,500 men. I hope by demonstrating and attacking the enemy again to-day to keep those troops on James Island. The annexed order will show you what I am about to do. Besides this, Colonel Gurney, commanding Morris Island, is ordered to drag boats over the marsh in the direction of Sumter to lead the enemy to believe we are making preparations for an attack on the forth.

None of the parties sent out on the night of the 21st succeeded in making prisoners. On John's Island the enemy retired, and my troops met only cavalry.

My loss on the 22nd was, wounded, 11.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding District.

Brigadier General J. P. HATCH,

Commanding Department of the South.

HDQRS. NORTHERN DISTRICT, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH, Folly Island, S. C., May 28, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I respectfully report that, from the detailed reports sent in by the different commanders relative to the demonstration on the 22nd and 23rd instant, it is known that the enemy left 2 dead on the ground when they retired; also that his ambulances were in motion during the forenoon of the 22nd and the afternoon of the 23rd. The Seventy-fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers captured 1 horse, slightly wounded, and brought him over from James Island to Cole's Island.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, Commanding District.

Captain W. L. M. BURGER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.