Gen. Edward A. Wild
Home of a
guerrilla spared by Wild
The following report was filed by Brig. Gen. Edward A.
Wise, commander of the expedition:
Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS,
Adjutant-General U. S. Army.
“On quitting Elizabeth City, I sent 250 to
land on Powell's Point and march up, ferried 400 across to Camden
Court-House, and returned with the rest to South Mills. There I dismissed the
cavalry and artillery and sent home Colonel Holman's regiment with our
trains; marched with the remainder to Indiantown, met Colonel Draper, who had
gone southward with his party to Shiloh, thence northward again.
He had had three encounters with guerrillas. At Shiloh they made a
strong night attack, driving in his pickets and pouring in volley after
volley upon his camp fires. But Colonel Draper had previously withdrawn all
his men to sleep inside the church, leaving the fires burning. The picket
reserve having been secretly posted, returned the
fire and drove away the enemy before the colonel could form his men and reach
them. He pursued them in vain. The next day he was waylaid at Sandy Hook by a
force estimated at 200, who had taken a position at the edge of a swamp 400
yards distant, which they, held with some determination long enough for the
colonel to bring 300 guns to bear upon it, and to send two flanking parties
round their right and left. One of these, charging with the bayonet, they did
not wait to receive, but vanished in the swamp. The guerrillas, as we
afterward learned, lost in this fight 13 killed and wounded, although
sheltered, thus faring worse than our men, who lost 11, though exposed.
After crossing Indiantown Bridge, his rear
guard holding the bridge was attacked, but drove back the enemy. The next
day, with our combined force, I went back to meet them, drove them a long
chase into their swamp, and after much trouble struck their trail, viz, a succession of single felled trunks leading into
their citadel. We filed in single, burned their camp, took
many guns, chiefly new Enfields (Tower mark, 1863),
considerable fine ammunition, drum, clothes, provisions, &c. After
burning the neighboring houses and giving them another chase, we marched to
Currituck Court-House, where we met our little steamer again, also the army
gunboat Flora Temple. Sent more loads to Roanoke Island.”
- Brig. Gen.
Edward A. Wild