In October 1862, 4,500 Union troops boarded steam-powered US Navy transports for a foggy crawl up the Broad River in southwestern South Carolina. They had left from their camps at Hilton Head Island and Beaufort, SC. The Unionists' intent: Burn the extensive trestlework of the newly constructed Charleston and Savannah Railroad. Only a total of 750 Confederates could be gathered to oppose the main Union column of 3,800.
A mobile battle lasted from morning until after sunset, with 3 main engagements. The Unionists failed. Meanwhile, a few miles away, a Union raiding force of 500 New Yorkers was almost entirely captured, before retreating to the protection of the big guns of 3 of the more than 20 Union naval vessels on hand for the landings.