Porter, of the Seventh Connecticut, Surgeon Willson, of the Eighth Michigan, and Surgeon Connell, and Assistant Snow, of the Twenty-eighth Massachusetts volunteers, with their respective corps, speedy relief was afforded to the wounded who were accessible. Orders having been given to that effect, about nine o'clock A. M. this command was withdrawn, and returned to camp in good order. The conduct of all the officers of this command, who came under my notice, was gallant without exception. The men behaved with admirable bravery and coolness. I regret to report the heavy loss in this command, which is not yet precisely ascertained, but as last reported amounts to three hundred and forty-one killed, wounded, and missing, of which one hundred and eighty-two are reported in the Eighth Michigan volunteers, eighty-five in the Seventh Connecticut, and seventy-four in the Twenty-eighth Massachusetts. I will transmit, at the earliest practicable moment, a correct list of names, etc., which is in preparation. Lieut. Brackett, Assistant Adjutant-General, Lieuts. Belcher and Fenton, Acting Aids, were active and efficient. Lieut. Belcher was wounded slightly, as he supposed at the time, and continued through the entire affair on duty, although, on his return to quarters, he had a ball extracted from his shoulder. His wound, however, is not dangerous. The forces engaged were as follows:
Accompanying this are copies of reports of regimental commanders, and a rough sketch of the scene of action, not claimed to be entirely correct, but as near as could be made from the view had under fire on the field of battle.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
|Regiments.||Field and Staff-Officers.||Line-Officers.||Rank and File.|
Wm. M. Fenton, Col. Eighth Michigan Volunteers, Commanding First Brigade.
Report of Colonel Leasure.
headquarters Second brigade, Second division, N. D. D. S. James Island, S. C., June 17, 1862.Captain: The undersigned respectfully reports that, pursuant to orders from Division Headquarters, the Seventy-ninth New-York volunteers, and that portion of the One Hundredth regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers, not on advanced picket-duty, were formed into line, and at 1.20 o'clock A. M. started for the rendezvous of the brigade at the headquarters of the First brigade, where the remaining regiment, the Forty-sixth New-York volunteers, joined, and the troops moved toward the enemy's works in good order and the most profound silence. About four o'clock, the head of the column, marching by the flank, on a double-quick for the last half-mile, arrived opposite the works of the enemy, about a mile in front of them, with an open field, traversed by two hedges, formed by cutting deep ditches on either side of an embankment, six feet in height. The First brigade, under Colonel Fenton, had meanwhile advanced upon the works, and the fort had opened fire. I now received the order from the Brigadier-General commanding the division, to form the column to support the attack of Colonel Fenton. I immediately ordered the regiment on the right — the Seventy-ninth New-York volunteers--into line of battle, and when about two companies on its right had got into line, an urgent message came from Col. Fenton to hasten to his support, and Gen. Stevens gave me the order to advance at a double-quick, and the companies then in line started off at that step, which made it extremely difficult for the left to get into line, which, indeed, it never did, until it reached the fort, where the right, or about two companies of the right, under charge of Lieut.-Col. Morrison's command, gained a position alongside of, and upon the embankment; the left, having encountered a perfect storm of grape and canister, was obliged to seek shelter either by obliquing to the left under cover of a small ravine, or by dropping among the cotton ridges in front of the fort, where they kept up a steady fire of musketry upon the enemy's gunners. Immediately following the advance of the Seventy-ninth New-York regiment, the One Hundredth Pennsylvania regiment, under command of Major Leckey, formed while marching at a double-quick to support the advance of the Seventy-ninth New-York regiment. The line of battle of the One Hundredth was so formed as to cover with its right that portion of the left of the Seventy-ninth which I saw was not likely to perfect its formation before reaching the breastworks. The Forty-sixth New-York, Col. Rosa commanding, was formed in like manner to cover the left of the One Hundredth regiment Pennsylvania volunteers, thus forming three lines of battle in echelon. Pending these movements of the One Hundredth Pennsylvania and the Forty-sixth New-York regiments, I advanced to hasten up the left of the Seventy-ninth New-York, and lead the assault in person. On arriving at the intrenchment or hedge, three hundred yards in front of the fort, I found I could not get my horse over, and dismounting, as did also my Assistant Adjutant-General, Lieut. Leasure, we proceeded on foot. At this point, together with the left wing of the Seventy-ninth New-York, we entered the range of a perfect storm of grape, canister, nails, broken glass, and pieces of chains, fired from three very large pieces in the fort, which completely swept every foot of ground within the range, and either cut the men down or drove them to the shelter of the ravine on the left. I now turned to look after and lead up the One Hundredth Pennsylvania regiment, and found its centre just entering the fatal line of fire which completely cut it in two; and the right, under Major Leckey, obliqued to the right, and advanced to the support of the right of the Seventy-ninth New-York, and many of the men reached the