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Occupation of Edisto Island, SC - April 1862

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April 5, 1862

Occupation of Edisto Island, S. C., by Union forces.


Report of Col. Enoch Q. Fellows, Third New Hampshire Infantry.


HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, North Edisto. S. C., April 5,1862.


GENERAL: I have the honor to report that the reconnaissance contemplated last evening for to-day has been made and proved very satisfactory. I have take possession of the entire island, and have not as yet seen the enemy. The Third Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers and two pieces of artillery are stationed at the farther part of the island. I think our position is secure, and do not apprehend any danger. The Third New Hampshire Volunteers will be reinforce immediately by the Forty-seventh New York Volunteers, the Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers being held in reserve. Two gunboats of light draught would be of great value to us here as a means of defense. The Crusader draws too much water to be able to run around in the creeks. Gunboats of light draught will be able to pass around the island, therefore keeping the enemy at bay, and securing all necessary positions. The steamer Boston arrived at this post this p. m. The sloop of war Dale is still in Saint Helena Sound. I am not frilly prepared to give you a full detail of the different positions now held by our forces, but will make a full report soon. Colonel Moore has permission to visit Hilton Head, leaving Major Kane in command, who is frilly competent. The Ben DeFord returns to Hilton Head early tomorrow. A line of communication is kept up with the outposts by means of the cavalry. I will make a farther report to-morrow.


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


Colonel Third New Hampshire Volunteers, Commanding Post.



SOURCE: The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 - Volume 6; page 123.


Hilton Head, S. C., April 8, 1862.


Col. ENOCH Q. FELLOWS, Commanding U. S. Forces, Edisto Island, S. C.:


COLONEL: The general commanding desires that you would take every opportunity that offers, either by negroes who come from the rebels, by scouts, or other means, of acquiring and transmitting to him all information, with sketch, plans, and descriptions, when practicable, of the best routes of approaching Charleston or James Island, either by land or water. If the rebels come down in force to occupy or remain at Jehossee Island, and you feel sure that you have strength enough, with the aid from Otter Island, to make a dash at them and to rout them from there, you are authorized to do this; or, on learning from you that more force would be requisite, he would, if such force were available from this vicinity, either send or take it to you for this purpose. It does not appear desirable to occupy the island farther inland, than Edisto, except such small portions of adjacent shores as may be necessary for the security of our pickets on that island, and the main body of your troops will habitually be kept in such position that they can easily be concentrated for resistance to an attack. An especial vigilance is urged upon you at this time, when other important efforts are being made here, as there may be attempts at diversion in your direction, and a full security for your forces would be preferable to attacks upon, the enemy, if they even appear to be open to it, at this juncture.


Respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. B. ELY,

Acting Assistant Adjutant- General.



SOURCE: The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 - Volume 6; pages 265-266.