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Series 1 Volume XLIV; Part 1, Skirmish near the Pocotaligo Road, S. C.

Official Report Number 02

Report of Lieut. Col. Towbridge, Thirty-third U. S. Colored Troops.
Headquarters Thirty-third U.S. Colored Troops.
In the field, December 21, 1864.

Lieutenant: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with instructions received from the colonel commanding brigade, I proceeded at 3:30 p.m. yesterday, the 20th, with 300 men of my command, along the right bank of the Tullifinny to a point two miles beyond our picket-lines; then turn to the right endeavored to strike the Pocotaligo road, a mile beyond the plantation house known as the Thomas Stewart place. When within three quarters of a mile of the Pocotaligo road I encountered a strong Calvary picket line at the enemy, apparently so posted that his left rested on the Pocotaligo River, his right reaching around to a swamp on the west side of the toad and nearly a mile from it. As soon as I encountered the picket I ordered a halt and sent two companies, under the command of Major Whitney, who was ordered to get between the enemy’s pickets and the swamp and capture them if possible; but in so doing they were discovered and fired upon by the enemy. They returned the fire, gave the alarm, and immediately the enemy's picket line retired to their reserves, dismounted, formed line of battle, apparently 300 strong, under cover of the woods in my front, and opened a brisk fire upon on my men. I then sent forward a company of skirmishers to engage the enemy until the two companies under Major Whitney had rejoined the main column. I then formed line of battle and charged across the open field into the woods and routed the enemy, who broke and fled in the direction of the railroad. The number of enemy killed or wounded is not known, but one killed was found in the field; but from the number of haversacks, blankets, and forage (all of which was destroyed on the field or brought away), their loss must have been considerable. The enemy had no artillery, but their calvary horses were apparently very fine in the men armed with good carbines. My casualties were 7 enlisted men wounded, 4 seriously and 3 slightly.

My observations yesterday have convinced me that the only way to reach the railroad with a force of men from our present position is by the way of the Pocotaligo road, as the country on our left is full of swamps, which are impassable for anything except light troops. The Pocotaligo road between our entrenchment and the Stewart plantation I found obstructed in three places by felled trees.

My thanks are due to Lieutenant Robbins, of the Twenty-sixth U.S. Colored Troops, who proved himself to be a brave and efficient officer.

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

C. T. Trowbridge,
Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Lieut. George F. McKay,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.



Title: The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.
Series 1Volume XLIV; Part 1, Skirmish near the Pocotaligo Road, S. C.; Page 450-451
Chapter:LVI - Operations in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. November 14-December 31, 1864
Author: United States. War Dept., John Sheldon Moody, Calvin Duvall Cowles, Frederick Caryton Ainsworth, Robert N. Scott, Henry Martyn Lazelle, George Breckenridge Davis, Leslie J. Perry, Joseph William Kirkley
Published: Washington: Government Printing Office
Date: 1893