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the adrance was fired on by the enemy's pickets, tion of names, to the report of Lieut.-Col. Hawley and two at least of company H, Eighth Michigan, Commanding. wounded. Silence was still preserved, no shots The Twenty-eighth Massachusetts volunteers returned, but the four men of the enemy's pick- filed through the first hedge, and came rapidly ets were captured and sent to the rear. The two up, after the advance of artillery which preceded advance companies were deployed into line be- them, forming column of companies and then yond the hedge, and marched toward the enemy's coming into line, and, arriving near the Seventh works, followed by the Eighth Michigan, which Connecticut, filed up to the left by the flank. came up into line on the march. Advancing with For a short time the left of the two regiments this regiment, as they formed into line in open were clustered together in the bushes, but the field, in view of the enemy's works, and observ- march of the Seventh Connecticut cleared them. ing as well as practicable his position, I deemed The Twenty-eighth then filed up to the obstrucit desirable to gain ground to the right, for the tions, a short distance from the enemy's intrenchpurpose of flanking his left in the assaults, and ments, near the tower, opening fire upon them. advancing the other regiments into position for Lieut.-Col. Moore's report embraces further pareffective fire on his infantry, supporting their ticulars of the action of this regiment, to which I works, and ordered an oblique march, which was respectfully refer. All the regiments behaved executed promptly and in good order. I then well, subjected as they were to the most galling despatched Lieut. Belcher, Acting Aid, to bring and raking fire until they retired. up the Seventh Connecticut, to form on the left The storm of grape and canister, as well as of the Eighth Michigan, and Lieut. Brackett, Act- musketry, continuing, and many of our officers ing Assistant Adjutant-General, to bring up the and men being disabled, orders were received to Twenty-eighth Massachusetts to the support of withdraw the troops. My command was then the two former, taking my position in the front withdrawn and re-formed behind the main hedge, and centre, to receive and direct the other regi- from which an advance was again made to the ments as they advanced.
cover of a ditch or second hedge, in support of a The order not to fire but use the bayonet, was field-battery, which was pushed forward. In the obeyed, and the advance companies reached the woods on our right, near the angle of the Fort, parapet of the works, at the angle on our right, were posted some of the enemy's sharp-shooters. and in front, engaging the enemy at the point of They were also in rifle-pits, and under cover in the bayonet. They were closely followed by the the rear as well as in the house, which was filled remaining companies of the regiment. During with them. From these and other covers in and our advance, the enemy opened upon our lines about the fort, and on its right, a constant fire of an exceedingly destructive fire of grape, canister musketry was kept up by the enemy, who were and musketry, and yet the regiment pushed on in considerable force. The Second brigade of as veterans, divided only to the right and left by the Second division was promptly pushed forward a sweeping torrent from the enemy's main gun in to our support, and from all accessible points the front. This brought a portion of the regiment to enemy were vigorously replied to. I have no the left, near the tower or look-out, and a brisk doubt they suffered a severe loss of killed and fire of musketry was soon opened on both sides. wounded. From the enemy's floating-battery or The enemy's fire proved so galling and destruc- hulk, to our right and front, at least four shots tive, that our troops on the parapet were obliged were fired. When the order to retire was given, to retire under its cover, and that of the ditch I sent Lieut. Fenton, Acting Aid, to our extreme and slope on our right at the marsh, and slope right and front, to recall the men there. At this and trees on our left. They maintained their po. time he found them near the angle of the Fort, sition partially covered, doing good execution as and directed them to fall back, which was done by sharp-shooters. Further details, and honorable most of the troops, but after the regiments were mention of gallant officers, will be found in Lieut.- re-forming behind the hedge, one hundred or more Col. Graves' report.
of the Eighth Michigan still remained at the The Seventh Connecticut volunteers, Lieut.- angle, and were recalled by Lieut. Belcher, who Col. Hawley, formed into line as they advanced, rode over the field to bring in all who were able reaching a point in the open field, in front of the to move. The field of battle was furrowed across tower, with their left resting in the bushes skirt- with cotton ridges, and many of the men lay ing the marsh, when I ordered their march by there loading and firing as deliberately as though the right flank across the field, and up to the on their hunting-grounds at home. All the support of the troops on the right. I personally horses connected with my command were either directed the movement, which was executed in killed or wounded, and all my aids and orderlies good order under a continued shower of grape hit in some way. During the engagement the and canister, as well as musketry, on nearing the Eighth Michigan's colors were carried on to the work.
parapet, and after the men first withdrew were In the mean time, one section of the Connecti- unfurled to protect them from shots of friends in cut battery had opened on the enemy from our the rear. left, and the march of this regiment at first was While the fire was hottest, and during the between two tires. I refer for further particulars' day's action, through the efficient attention of of the action of this regiment, and honorable men-i Surgeon Francis Bacon, and Assistant Horace
Porter, of the Seventh Connecticut, Surgeon formed by cutting deep ditches on either side of Willson, of the Eighth Michigan, and Surgeon an embankment, six feet in height. Connell, and Assistant Snow, of the Twenty- The First brigade, under Colonel Fenton, had eighth Massachusetts volunteers, with their re- meanwhile advanced upon the works, and the spective corps, speedy relief was afforded to the fort had opened fire. I now received the order wounded who were accessible. Orders having from the Brigadier-General commanding the divibeen given to that effect, about nine o'clock A.m. sion, to form the column to support the attack of this command was withdrawn, and returned to Colonel Fenton. I immediately ordered the regi. camp in good order.
ment on the right—the Seventy-ninth New-York The conduct of all the officers of this com- volunteers-into line of battle, and when about mand, who came under my notice, was gallant two companies on its right had got into line, an without exception. The men behaved with ad- urgent message came from Col. Fenton to hasten mirable bravery and coolness. I regret to report to his support, and Gen. Stevens gave me the the heavy loss in this command, which is not yet order to advance at a double-quick, and the comprecisely ascertained, but as last reported amounts panies then in line started off at that step, which to three hundred and forty-one killed, wounded, made it extremely difficult for the left to get into and missing, of which one hundred and eighty- line, which, indeed, it never did, until it reached two are reported in the Eighth Michigan volun- the fort, where the right, or about two companies teers, cighty-five in the Seventh Connecticut, and of the right, under charge of Lieut.-Col. Morriseventy-four in the Twenty-eighth Massachusetts. son's command, gained a position alongside of,
I will transmit, at the earliest practicable mo- and upon the embankment; the left, having enment, a correct list of names, etc., which is in countered a perfect storm of grape and canister, preparation. Licut. Brackett, Assistant Adjut- was obliged to seek shelter either by obliquing to ant General, Lieuts. Belcher and Fenton, Acting the left under cover of a small ravine, or by dropAids, were active and efficient. Lieut. Belcher ping among the cotton ridges in front of the fort, was wounded slightly, as he supposed at the where they kept up a steady fire of musketry time, and continued through the entire affair on upon the enemy's gunners. duty, although, on his return to quarters, he had Immediately following the advance of the a ball extracted from his shoulder. His wound, Seventy-ninth New-York regiment, the One Hunhowever, is not dangerous.
dredth Pennsylvania regiment, under command The forces engaged were as follows:
of Major Leckey, formed while marching at a double-quick to support the advance of the
Seventy-ninth New-York regiment. The line of Eighth Michigan,.. Seventh Connecticut,
battle of the One Hundredth was so formed as to Twenty-eighth Massachusetts,*
cover with its right that portion of the left of the Total,.........
Seventy-ninth which I saw was not likely to per* Two companies were on fatigue-duty.
fect its formation before reaching the breastworks.
The Forty-sixth New-York, Col. Rosa commandAccompanying this are copies of reports of ing, was formed in like manner to cover the left regimental commanders, and a rough sketch of of the One Hundredth regiment Pennsylvania the scene of action, not claimed to be entirely volunteers, thus forming three lines of battle in correct, but as near as could be made from the echelon. Pending these movements of the One view had under fire on the field of battle. Hundredth Pennsylvania and the Forty-sixth I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, New-York regiments, I advanced to hasten up
WM. M. Fenton, the left of the Seventy-ninth New-York, and lead Col. Eighth Michigan Volunteers, Commanding First Brigade. the assault in person.
On arriving at the intrenchment or hedge, three HEADQUARTERS SECOND B.RLG. ADE ļ not get my horse over, and dismounting, as did
hundred yards in front of the fort, I found I could , N. D. D. S. JAMES ISLAND, 8. C., June 17, 1862. also my Assistant Adjutant-General, Lieut. LeaCAPTAIN: The undersigned respectfully reports sure, we proceeded on foot. At this point, tothat, pursuant to orders from Division Headquargether with the left wing of the Seventy-ninth ters, the Seventy-ninth New-York volunteers, and New-York, we entered the range of a perfect that portion of the One Hundredth regiment, Penn- storm of grape, canister, nails, broken glass, and sylvania volunteers, not on advanced picket-duty, pieces of chains, fired from three very large pieces were formed into line, and at 1.20 o'clock a.m. in the fort, which completely swept every foot of started for the rendezvous of the brigade at the ground within the range, and either cut the men headquarters of the First brigade, where the re-down or drove them to the shelter of the ravine maining regiment, the Forty-sixth New - York on the left. volunteers, joined, and the troops moved toward I now turned to look after and lead up the One the enemy's works in good order and the most Hundredth Pennsylvania regiment, and found its profound silence. About four o'clock, the head centre just entering the fatal line of fire which of the column, marching by the flank, on a double- completely cut it in two; and the right, under quick for the last half-mile, arrived opposite the Major Leckey, obliqued to the right, and advanced works of the enemy, about a mile in front of them, to the support of the right of the Seventy-ninth with an open field, traversed by two hedges, New-York, and many of the men reached the
Field and Line-
509 573 520
REPORT OF COLONEL LEASURE.
foot of the embankment, and some succeeded in colors at the hedge, three hundred yards in front mounting it with the few brave men of the Sev- of the fort, and on these, with the assistance of enty-ninth who were there, with a portion of the Lieut. Leasure, Assistant Adjutant-General, and Eighth Michigan. It was here that Lieut.-Col. Lieut. Justice, Acting Post and Division QuarterMorrison was wounded, and many of the Seventy- master, I soon succeeded in rallying the whole of ninth either killed or wounded, as were also some my command, and formed in regular order for of the One Hundredth Pennsylvania. The prin- attack where we lay, till orders came to fall back cipal casualties to the Seventy-ninth New-York to the hedge in the rear, which we did in good occurred at this point from the enemy's musket- order, bringing off our wounded, but leaving our ry; while the principal casualties to the One dead. Hundredth Pennsylvania occurred during the During the battle two of my mounted orderlies few minutes that the centre of the regiment was were wounded, and one had his horse shot under under the fire of the guns of the fort, throwing him. I may be permitted to report further, that every conceivable kind of missile, and that por- at the time I arrived in front of the hedge near tion of the left which remained with a portion of the fort, I saw nothing of any part of the support: the left of the Seventy-ninth New-York, under ing regiments of the First Brigade, between the partial cover of the ravine before spoken of. advancing Highlanders and the fort, and only a
The One Hundredth Pennsylvania volunteers portion of the Eighth Michigan, who led the atwent into battle a fragmentary command. Three tack in front of the fort, that regiment having hundred and odd privates, with the necessary already been more than decimated by the murofficers, were on the advanced picket-posts, not derous fire through which we all had to pass. more than fifty of whom could rejoin before we After I had formed my command behind the went into battle. The previous morning report, hedge ready to move again to the attack, I rode as shown by Major Leckey's report, verified by down to the troops lying back half a mile in rethe official report, shows five hundred and eighty- serve, behind a hedge where I had myself rallied three privates present for duty. This would not half an hour before, and begged them for leave two hundred and eighty-three privates to God's sake to come up to the front and support go to battle, added to which the fragmentary por- me in a charge, and was very coolly told that tions of companies that were able to join from the those troops did not belong to my division, and pickets, amounting to not more than fifty men, could not either obey my orders or Gen. Stevens's. would make the whole number of that command of course, this was a very distant support ; and in battle not more than four hundred men, with I did not feel at liberty to take the responsibility the necessary complement of officers, and of these of acting without the order of Gen. Stevens. one hundred and thirty men who joined from The troops under my command behaved with pickets, three companies did not arrive in time much intrepidity and coolness, and did not to join their regiment till it was under the thick- shrink from exposing themselves, as the list of est of the fire, when they joined on the left, and casualties will show, and did not at any time suffered severely. It was of these companies evince any tendency to panic, though to maintain that Lieut. Morrow was mortally, and Lieuts. a position for two and a half hours under a con: Blair and Gilliland seriously wounded.
stant stream of fire, was an affair calculated to During the formation of the column of attack try the disposition of soldiers pretty severely. one mile from the fort, the Forty-sixth New-York Accompanying this report please find the revolunteers, by order of Gen. Stevens, had pro- ports of the several regimental commanders, toceeded to the left along the road leading toward gether with a list of their casualties. Secessionville, to form, if possible, a junction with I must return to the officers of the several reGen. Wright's troops on that side; but on my giments my thanks for their steadiness and cool. plan of advance being represented by my Assist- ness, and for their ready and prompt obedience ant Adjutant-General, the General directed that to my orders. Lieut. S. George Leasure, Assistthe regiment should be recalled and support the ant Adjutant-General, and Lieut. Jefferson JusOne Hundredth Pennsylvania regiment. This tice, Quartermaster of the One Hundredth regicaused some delay, which was no disadvantage, ment Pennsylvania volunteers, deserve my under the circumstances, as it enabled that corps marked approbation for most effective assistance, to form a good line of battle, which it did, and and for setting an example of coolness and disremarched steadily to the front, until ordered to gard of personal danger, that aided materially in halt and remain in reserve. This regiment after preserving coolness and intrepidity throughout ward advanced and took its position in the bri- the command. All of which is respectfully regade, when it was rallied at the hedge, three ported.
DANIEL LEASURE, hundred yards in front of the fort.
Colonel Commanding Brigade, As soon as the advance had been checked it
HAZARD STEVENS, was found impracticable for the few troops on the Captain and Ass't Adj.-Gen., Second Division, N. D.D.S. embankment to take the fort. Capt. Stevens, as
COLONEL WILLIAMS'S REPORT. I am inforined, ordered them to fall back and let
HEADQUARTERS Hilton HEAD, July 13, 1862. the artillery play upon the works, which was ac- To His E.xcellency Gov. Sprague, Providence, cordingly done in very good order. Meantimne R. I. : about two companies of the One Hundredth regi- Governor: I have the honor to enclose herement Pennsylvania volunteers had rallied to their with the official copy of Major Edwin Metcall's
MAJOR METCALF'S REPORT,
report of the part taken by his battalion, Third field-battery in their rear, which was firing with Rhode Island artillery, in the battle of Secession- fatal effect on the Third New Hampshire regi. villa, James Island, s. C., June 16th, 1862. ment. The battalion was immediately ordered Major Metcalf's command were thrown forward to about-face and advance upon the thicket beinto the position of which he first speaks, with hind which the enemy's field-guns were conthe Third New Hampshire regiment, and sup- cealed. In effecting this object we encountered ported by the Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania and a galling fire from the enemy's sharp-shooters in Forty-seventh New-York regiments, for the pur- the thickets at our front and left, and many were pose of keeping down the fire of the enemy's wounded in our ranks, but all pressed forward, main work, while Gen. Stevens made his second the men cheering and firing with spirit
. advance. This was so well done by the Third I urged them into the cover of the woods as New Hampshire regiment, and by Major Met- rapidly as possible, and with great difficulty they calf's battalion while with the New-Hampshire forced their way in, encountering small parties regiment, that the enemy were wholly unable to of rebels, many of whom were shot and bayonet. man their guns, and Gen. Stevens succeeded in ed, one prisoner being secured. A few of my bringing forward his command to a small em- men succeeded in reaching the inner edge of tho bankment about four hundred yards of the work, thicket and gaining sight of the field-guns, three without the loss, I believe, of a man, while cross- in number, without horses, and supported appaing a large open space before reaching the em- rently by only two or three companies of infantbankment.
ry. I felt confident of securing them, but the I desire to express to your Excellency my ex- Third New Hampshire regiment having fallen treme admiration of the courage and soldierly back, I deemed it my duty to order my men to conduct of Major Metcalf's battalion, and par- retire, which they did in good order, but slowly ticularly of the Major himself. It is my belief and reluctantly, bringing off such of our dead and that no officers or men could have behaved better wounded as could be seen on our way. under fire than they did, and certainly no officer Feeling my utter want of experience, I have could have led his command with more skill or great hesitation in speaking of the conduct of bravery than did Major Metcalf.
those under my command, some of whom wero I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, not, like mysell, for the first time under fire. I
ROBERT WILLIAMS, keenly appreciate the honor of leading such men Col. First Mass. Cavalry, Commanding Post. into battle, and cannot too highly praise their
coolness, steadiness, and courage. If any faltered,
I was spared the shame of seeing it, where all did JAMES ISLAND, 8. C., June 18, 1862.
their duty so well. I mention a few whose bear LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report, that ing was conspicuous, without detracting from the in accordance with instructions received in the merits of others. evening of the fifteenth instant, from the Acting Major H. T. Sisson deserves much credit for Brigadier - General Commanding First division, his successful management of the skirmishers headquarters brigade, my battalion was held in during the advanco, and for his constant efforts to readiness to move at three o'clock on the morn- aid me in carrying out the various orders received ing of the sixteenth, company I (Capt. Strahan) in the course of the morning. being detailed for duty at the battery in advance I take great pleasure in speaking of the Adjuof the First brigade, and a detachment under tant of the battalion, First Lieut. J. Lanahan, Lieut. Metcalf, of company K, remaining in Co. I, always prompt and cool, and sustaining charge of the battery at this point. My command me in every difficulty by his good judgment and comprised but five companies, B, E, F, H, and long experience as a soldier. First Lieut. A. E. K, numbering three hundred and sixty enlisted Green, commanding Co. B, was especially enermen, with two field, three staff, and fourteen getic and active. Second Lieut. E. S. Bartholecompany-officers.
mew, Co. E, nobly proved himself deserving the Leading the brigade, three companies, B, F, commission he had received since our departure and K, of my battalion were deployed as skir- from Hilton Head, falling mortally wounded mishers, under the direction of Major Sisson, at while cheering on his men into the thicket from the entrance to the wood covering the approach to which the enemy so severely annoyed us. Capt. the rebel battery. The other companies marched H. Rogers, Jr., and First Lieut. C. R. Brayton, steadily to the front, halting in a position to sup- of Co. H, were untiring in their exertions, and port the troops of the First brigade, who had zealously supported me. First Lieut. A. W. fallen back, and being joined at this point by the Colwell, of Co, F, and Second Lieut. D. B. parties thrown out as skirmishers.
Churchill, of Co. K, particularly attracted my After again advancing in line, under orders to notice by their coolness and energy. support the Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania volun. I am pleased to name First Sergeant G. W. teers, the battalion was ordered to take position Green and Sergeant J. B. Batchellee, of Co. B. on the right of the Third regiment New-Hamp- First Sergeant 0. A. Thompson, of Co. E, and shire volunteers, and for this purpose crossed First Sergeant W. Wheeler, Jr., of Co. K, as disthe marshy ground flanking the enemy's battery. tinguished for gallant conduct. I shall feel justiWe had hardly formed in line of battle and com- fied in recommending them to the Governor of menced firing, when an order came to capture a Rhode Island for promotion,
A. A. A. General,
GENERAL STEVENS'S ORDER.
It is with a bitter feeling of regret, though with in line of battle, and the enemy did not venture no sense of shame, that I have to report the seri- to interrupt you. ous loss sustained by my battalion.
IV. Men of the Second division! You covered geant, six privates, killed; two officers, four cor- yourselves with glory on that gory field. Your porals, twenty-four privates, wounded; one corpo- intrepid and able brigade commanders, Leasure ral, seven privates, missing; total, forty-five. and Fenton, in the hottest of the thick fight;
your regimental commanders, like the heroic I have the honor to be, Lieutenant, very re- parapet, again led his men to the assault
Morrison, who, shot through the head on the spectfully, your obedient servant,
to avenge his wounds; at all points rallying and Major Command's Second Battalion, Third Regt. R. 1. Artillery, cheering on their men, and officers and men alike To Lieut. CHANNING CLAPP,
gave signal proof of their devotion to duty and their country. In congratulating his comrades on their heroic valor and constancy on that ter
rible field, the Commanding General of the diviHBADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION,
sion has not words to express his and your grief NORTHERN DISTRICT, DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH, at the sacrifices that have been made. Our best James Island, S. C., June 18, 1862.
and truest men now sleep the sleep that knows GENERAL ORDER No. 26.
no waking. Their dead bodies lay on the oneThe Brigadier-General commanding the Second iny's parapet. Church, Pratt, Cottrel, Guild, division, in communicating to his command the Morrow, Horton, Hitchcock, and many other gal. thanks of the Commanding General, for the good lant and noble men we shall see no more. conduct of the troops in the action of the six- Honor therefore, all honor to you, men of the teenth inst., desires to express his own profound Second division. You have shown what you will sense of their valor, conduct and heroism.
do when you shall have the proper opportunity. I. Men of the Second division! You displayed You did not seize the fort, because it was simply in the attack on the fortified position of the ene- impossible, and known now to be impossible by my at Secessionville, on the sixteenth inst., the the reconnoissance referred to in the orders of highest qualities of veteran troops. You formed thanks of the Commanding General. in silence and secrecy in the darkness of the
By order of night. You moved forward in perfect order at
Brigadier-General STEVENS. the earliest dawn, and surprised and captured HAZARD STEVENS, the enemy's pickets. You were ordered not to
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General. fire, but to push forward and use the bayonet.
CHARLESTON “ MERCURY" ACCOUNT. You obeyed the order. You formed in line of battle under a terrible and murderous fire of
CHARLESTON, June 18, 1862, grape, canister and musketry. You pushed to Secessionville is a small village, the summer the ditch and abattis of the work from right to retreat of a few of the James Island planters. It left. Parties from the leading regiments of your is on the eastern side of the island, on a high two brigades, the Eighth Michigan and the Sev- plot of land on a bold creek, which winds through enty-ninth Highlanders, mounted and were shot the marshes between James, or Morris, or (Solly) down on the parapet, officers and men. Those Island, and empties into the Stono River, near two regiments especially covered themselves with its mouth. This creek runs immediately up to glory, and their fearful casualties show the hot Secessionville. On the west of the village, a work in which you were engaged. Two fifths of short shallow creek makes its way toward the the Eighth Michigan and nearly one quarter of waters of Charleston Bay. Thus a tongue of the Seventy-ninth Highlanders were struck down land is formed between the two creeks. It is either killed or wounded; and nearly all the re- connected with the body of the land by a narrow maining regiments-One Hundredth Pennsylva- neck of thirty yards width, some four or five nia, Seventh Connecticut, Forty-sixth New-York, hundred yards south of Secessionville. Here and Twenty-eighth Massachusetts—had a large Lamar's battery is located across the high land, number of casualties.
and flanked on each side by marsh and the creeks. II. Notwithstanding these fearful losses you It is a simple earthwork, heavily constructed, havwere not discouraged. Some of you were tem- ing a plain face, with an obtuse angle at each porarily withdrawn from the murderous fire of side. It faces south, in the direction of Battery the enemy. You retired in order of battle, and Island, Legare's, River's and Grimball's plantayou returned to the attack in order of battle. tions, on the Stono River, which is about two Some held, throughout the action, the advanced miles off. From this point the cleared high land position at the abattis and ditch of the work. stretches out toward the Stono River, like the This position was held by you unflinchingly and top of a funnel, for the distance of near a mile, confidently. And at this very hedge the light interrupted only by the division lines between battery of Rockwell threw its effective fire upon fields, hedges and ditches. These fields are cov. the enemy.
ered with weeds three feet high. The edges of III. In obedience to orders from superior au- the high land and marsh are skirted with brush. thority you all finally returned in good order and / wood and sea myrtles. In the background are