|Report of Lieut. Col Oliver T. Beard, Forty-eight New York
along the coast of Florida and Georgia
November 3, 1862
War of Rebellion Records
Report of Lieut. Col. Oliver T. Beard, Forty-eighth New York Infantry, commanding expedition
Beaufort, S. C. November 10, 1862
General: I have the honor to report that, as directed by you, I have tried a portion of the First South
Carolina Volunteers (negro regiment).
On Monday, November 3, with the steamer Darlington, having on board Captain Trowbridge's
company of colored troops (62) I proceeded up Bell River, Florida, drove in the rebel pickets below
Cooper's, and destroyed their place of rendezvous; thence proceeded and destroyed the
salt-works, and all the salt, corn, and wagons which we could not carry away, besides killing the
horses; thence we proceeded to Jolly River, and destroyed two salt-works, with a large amount of
salt and corn; thence proceeded to Saint Mary's, and brought off two families of contrabands, after
driving in the enemy's pickets.
On Tuesday, November 4, I proceeded to King's Bay, Georgia, and destroyed a large salt-work on a
creek about a mile from the landing, together with all the property on the place. Here we were
attacked by about 80 of the enemy, of whom we killed 2.
On Thursday, November 6, landed on Butler Island and brought off 80 bushels of rice; also landed
at Darien and captured 3 prisoners and some arms.
Friday, November 7, accompanied by the gunboat Potomska, Lieutenant Budd commanding,
proceeding up Sapello River. The gunboat could proceed no farther than King's. Lieutenant Budd
came on board the Darlington and proceeded up the river with us to Fairhope. At Spaulding's we
were attacked by 80 or 90 of the enemy and had 1 colored man wounded. At Fairhope we destroyed
the salt-works, some tan-vats, corn, and other things that might be of use to the enemy.
On return past Spaulding's we were again attacked by the enemy in greater force. We effected a
landing and burned all the buildings on the place and captured some arms, &c. Five of the enemy
were killed; we lost 3 wounded. We were greatly aided here by the Potomska which from a bend
below shelled the woods. Under the guns of the Potomska we landed at Colonel Brailsford's, drove
in a company of pickets from his regiment, and destroyed all the property on the place, together with
the most important buildings.
I am greatly indebted to Lieutenant Budd for the success of this day.
The colored men fought with astonishing coolness and bravery. For alacrity in effecting landings, for
determination, and for bush fighting I found them all I could desire--more than I had hoped. They
behaved bravely, gloriously, and deserve all praise.
I started from Saint Simon's with 62 colored fighting men and returned to Beaufort with 156 fighting
men (all colored). As soon as we took a slave from his claimant we placed a musket in his hand and
he began to fight for the freedom of others.
Besides these men we brought off 61 women and children. We destroyed nine large salt-works,
together with $20,000 worth of horses, salt, corn, rice, &c. which we could not carry away.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
O. T. Beard,
Lieut. Col. Forty-eight New York Vols., Comdg. Expedition
Brig. Gen. Rufus Saxton,
Military Governor, Department of the South
|Charles Tyler Trowbridge
|Brig General Rufus Saxton