previous next

[211] The conduct of officers and men was deserving of all praise.

To Captain Hamilton, Third artillery, Chief of Artillery, of the left column, I desire to express my obligations for the judicious management of the artillery, which had much influence in subduing the fire of the enemy; and to the various members of my staff, Col. E. W. Serrell, volunteer engineers, Chief Engineer; Capt. C. W. Foster, Assistant Adjutant General; Capt. Goodrich, Assistant Quartermaster; Lieut. Frederick A. Sawyer, Acting Brigade Commissary ; Lieuts. T. L. Hayan and H. W. Hubbell, Aids-de-Camp; John Darlington, volunteer Aid-de-Camp, and Capt. J. M. Rice, of Gen. Hunter's staff, but serving with me as a volunteer Aid — I desire to acknowledge the prompt and satisfactory discharge of the various duties assigned them.

The troops of the entire column left the field in the most perfect order, the Forty fifth Pennsylvania regiment bringing up and covering the rear, as far as our front line of pickets, where it was halted and remained in position till all prospect of an attack on the part of the enemy had passed away.

The withdrawal from the field of both columns was ordered by Gen. Benham.

Accompanying this are the reports of Colonels Chatfield and Welsh, commanding brigades.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. G. Weight, Brigadier-General Commanding.

General Stevens's report.

headquarters Second division, N. D. D. S., James Island, S. C., June 19, 1862.
Brig.-Gen. H. G. Wright, Commanding United States Forces, James Island, S. C.:
sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my division in the action of the sixteenth instant.

The instructions of Brig.-Gen. H. W. Benham, who commanded the forces, were to form my entire division before the break of day, in secrecy and silence, at the outer pickets; and at the break of day — say about four o'clock--to move rapidly upon the enemy's works at and about Secessionville, with a view of carrying them by a coup de main. In the attack, it was arranged that all the available forces of Wright's division and Williams's brigade were to move to its support as soon as the fire from my attack was heard. In the event the attack proved successful, the other operations of the day were to be determined by the circumstances of the occasion.

My command was all in order of battle at half-past 3 o'clock at the outer pickets, the head of my column being within rifle-range of the advanced position of the enemy. The First brigade, Col. Fenton commanding, consisting of the Eighth Michigan, Lieut.-Col. Frank Graves commanding, the Seventh Connecticut, Lieut.-Col. J. R. Hawley commanding, and the Twenty-eighth Massachusetts, Lieut.-Col. M. Moore commanding, being in front, and the brigade of Col. Leasure, consisting of the Seventy-ninth Highlanders, Lieut.-Col. David Morrison commanding, the One Hundredth Pennsylvania, Major David A. Leckey commanding, and the Forty-sixth New-York, Col. Rudolph Rosa commanding, being in support. A storming party, consisting of companies C and F, commanded by Capts. Ralph Ely and Richard N. Doyle, of the Eighth Michigan regiment, was in advance, followed by company E, Serrell's Engineers, Captain Alfred F. Sears commanding. Four guns of the Connecticut light battery, Capt. A. P. Rockwell commanding, followed the First brigade, and company H, First Massachusetts cavalry, Capt. S. M. Sargeant commanding, followed in rear.

The strictest orders were given to maintain the most perfect silence, for each regiment to follow the preceding regiment within supporting distance, and to rely exclusively upon the bayonet in encountering the enemy, resorting to firing only in case of manifest necessity.

At the first break of day, or about four o'clock, it being a dark and cloudy morning, the entire command was in motion. My Aid-de-Camp, Lieut. Benjamin R. Lyons, with a negro guide, was at the head of the storming party. My Aid-de-Camp, Captain William T. Lusk, guided the

Twenty-eighth Massachusetts. The command pushed forward, surprised and captured the pickets at the house occupied by them, entered the fields beyond, and as they came within the effective range of grape and musketry, pushed forward into line of battle, and the entire Eighth Michigan regiment, at about one hundred yards from the enemy's works, the main body being preceded only about forty feet by the two storming companies, received his fire of grape, musketry and canister.

At this period of time the entire three regiments of Fenton's had passed the hedge, some five hundred yards from the enemy's works, and I was engaged directing the attacking and supporting force of Col. Leasure. They were ordered to keep to the left, and to push up to the work, regiment following regiment, as in the case of Col. Fenton.

Up to this period not a shot had been fired, although five men of the Eighth Michigan had been wounded by the pickets who were surprised and captured.

The firing now became general and continuous in front. The advance of the Eighth Michigan was on the parapet. The light battery of Rockwell was immediately pushed to the front, and took its position at the second hedge, and the Highlanders, led by Morrison, seeing the hot fire to which the Eighth Michigan was exposed, pushed forward at the double-quick, and moving from the left to the right of the field, entered a narrow opening, gained the parapet to the right of the point reached by the Eighth Michigan, and shot down the enemy whilst serving their guns.

The front on which the attack was made was narrow, not over two hundred yards in extent, stretching from the marsh on the one side to the marsh on the other. It was at the saddle of the peninsula, the ground narrowing very suddenly

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
James Island (South Carolina, United States) (2)
Secessionville (South Carolina, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 19th, 1862 AD (1)
16th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: