Today in History:

18 Series I Volume LIII- Serial 111 - Supplements

Page 18 Chapter LXV. S. C., S. GA., MID. & E. FLA., & WEST N. C.

Fourt. I think Colonel Kemper in error in attributing the ill success of the expedition to what he calls the loss of the diversion in favor of the two lower batteries expected from the upper battery and that of Captain Charles-the upper battery being the only one embarrassed by the expected movements of the infantry, which, under existing circumstances, would not at any time have drawn the fire of either boat. Charles' battery and the infantry did draw the fire of the Marblehead from the time the Pawnee came into the Kiawah River, as well as an occasional shot from her, and, as before stated, was the last to cease firing.

Colonel Kemper seems to think that a direction in favor of the siege pieces was to have been made by the field artillery and the upper battery, and that this was prevented by the infanty, whereas the real desing and expectation was that the siege batteries would so cripple and disable, if not destroy, the gun-boats as to enable the infantry to make an attack on the enemy on the island near the village. The lower batteries, instead of crippling or driving off the Marblehead, made no impression or but little upon her at all. She was lying at first in position to cover the causeway from the island to the village-about from 300 to 500 yards; in ten or fifteen minutes got under way and moved down the river in front of the middle battery and paused there ten or fifteen minutes; moved a short distance down the river and returned, and was all the time thereafter under way to take any position so as to rake the village, the causeway from the island to the village, or the field form the hedge to the village. The siege guns of the lower batteries were so inefficient in their fire as to make an attack on the village, island, and causeway wholly unjustifiable, and therefore I ordered a retreat after Colonel Kemper had informed me that he was retiring. To the inefficiency of his siege pieces the failure of the expedition is to be attributed. I was instructed that Colonel Kemper was to "command the artillery engaged and thus be able to give his special attention to that arm of the service, upon the handling and service of which the success of the affair would depend." Neither my report or Colonel Kemper's states the fact that the body of Private William J. Johnston, of siege train, was left on the field at or near his battery. This was not reported to me until I reached Roper's. There Colonel Kemper proposed to leave a force of infantry to go down and recovered the guns and the dead body. I at first declined, thinking it not prudent to do so, but immediately, onreflection, left the infantry and remained until the 26th with the view of recovering the guns and the body. Major Jenkins that night succeeded in getting the body and gave in honorable burial, as reported by him verbally to myself and in writing to General Wise.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding Expedition.


Assistant Adjutant-General.


Report of Lieutenant Colonel Del. Kemper, C. S. Artillery.

ADAMS RUN, December 26, 1863.

SIR: Daybreak on the morning of the 26th [25th] instant found the several batteries under my command disposed in exact accordance with Special Orders, Numbers 276, from department headquarters. At 6

Page 18 Chapter LXV. S. C., S. GA., MID. & E. FLA., & WEST N. C.