It is with a bitter feeling of regret, though with no sense of shame, that I have to report the serious loss sustained by my battalion. One sergeant, six privates, killed; two officers, four corporals, twenty-four privates, wounded; one corporal, seven privates, missing; total, forty-five. . . . . . . I have the honor to be, Lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
General Stevens's order.
headquarters Second division, Northern District, Department of the South, James Island, S. C., June 18, 1862.General order No. 26. The Brigadier-General commanding the Second division, in communicating to his command the thanks of the Commanding General, for the good conduct of the troops in the action of the sixteenth inst., desires to express his own profound sense of their valor, conduct and heroism. I. Men of the Second division! You displayed in the attack on the fortified position of the enemy at Secessionville, on the sixteenth inst., the highest qualities of veteran troops. You formed in silence and secrecy in the darkness of the night. You moved forward in perfect order at the earliest dawn, and surprised and captured the enemy's pickets. You were ordered not to fire, but to push forward and use the bayonet. You obeyed the order. You formed in line of battle under a terrible and murderous fire of grape, canister and musketry. You pushed to the ditch and abattis of the work from right to left. Parties from the leading regiments of your two brigades, the Eighth Michigan and the Seventy-ninth Highlanders, mounted and were shot down on the parapet, officers and men. Those two regiments especially covered themselves with glory, and their fearful casualties show the hot work in which you were engaged. Two fifths of the Eighth Michigan and nearly one quarter of the Seventy-ninth Highlanders were struck down either killed or wounded; and nearly all the remaining regiments--One Hundredth Pennsylvania, Seventh Connecticut, Forty-sixth New-York, and Twenty-eighth Massachusetts--had a large number of casualties. II. Notwithstanding these fearful losses you were not discouraged. Some of you were temporarily withdrawn from the murderous fire of the enemy. You retired in order of battle, and you returned to the attack in order of battle. Some held, throughout the action, the advanced position at the abattis and ditch of the work. This position was held by you unflinchingly and confidently. And at this very hedge the light battery of Rockwell threw its effective fire upon the enemy. III. In obedience to orders from superior authority you all finally returned in good order and in line of battle, and the enemy did not venture to interrupt you. IV. Men of the Second division! You covered yourselves with glory on that gory field. Your intrepid and able brigade commanders, Leasure and Fenton, in the hottest of the thick fight; your regimental commanders, like the heroic Morrison, who, shot through the head on the parapet, again led his men to the assault, eager to avenge his wounds; at all points rallying and cheering on their men, and officers and men alike gave signal proof of their devotion to duty and their country. In congratulating his comrades on their heroic valor and constancy on that terrible field, the Commanding General of the division has not words to express his and your grief at the sacrifices that have been made. Our best and truest men now sleep the sleep that knows no waking. Their dead bodies lay on the enemy's parapet. Church, Pratt, Cottrel, Guild, Morrow, Horton, Hitchcock, and many other gallant and noble men we shall see no more. Honor therefore, all honor to you, men of the Second division. You have shown what you will do when you shall have the proper opportunity. You did not seize the fort, because it was simply impossible, and known now to be impossible by the reconnaissance referred to in the orders of thanks of the Commanding General. By order of
Charleston Mercury account.
Charleston, June 18, 1862.Secessionville is a small village, the summer retreat of a few of the James Island planters. It is on the eastern side of the island, on a high plot of land on a bold creek, which winds through the marshes between James, or Morris, or (Solly) Island, and empties into the Stono River, near its mouth. This creek runs immediately up to Secessionville. On the west of the village, a short shallow creek makes its way toward the waters of Charleston Bay. Thus a tongue of land is formed between the two creeks. It is connected with the body of the land by a narrow neck of thirty yards width, some four or five hundred yards south of Secessionville. Here Lamar's battery is located across the high land, and flanked on each side by marsh and the creeks. It is a simple earthwork, heavily constructed, having a plain face, with an obtuse angle at each side. It faces south, in the direction of Battery Island, Legare's, River's and Grimball's plantations, on the Stono River, which is about two miles off. From this point the cleared high land stretches out toward the Stono River, like the top of a funnel, for the distance of near a mile, interrupted only by the division lines between fields, hedges and ditches. These fields are covered with weeds three feet high. The edges of the high land and marsh are skirted with brushwood and sea myrtles. In the background are