The Raid on the Combahee


The following dispatch from Surgeon Robinson appeared in Harper’s Weekly July 4, 1863.


I inclose you a sketch of the operations of Colonel James Montgomery (formerly of Kansas), of the Second South Carolina Volunteers (colored), in the interior of South Carolina, among the rice plantations on the Combahee.

We destroyed a vast amount of rice, corn, and cotton, stored in the barns and rice-mills, with many valuable steam-engines. We broke the sluice-gates and flooded the fields so that the present crop, which was growing beautifully, will be a total loss. We carried out the President's proclamation too, and brought away about 800 contrabands, 150 of whom are now serving their country in the regiment which liberated them. The rest were old men, women, and children. The rebel loss from our visit must amount to several millions of dollars. We are now about commencing operations on the Georgia coast.

We skirmished all day with the rebels, but escaped without the loss of a man. Their cavalry killed and wounded some of the slaves as they swarmed to the protection of the old flag.