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[220] patches of wood between these fields and the Stono. On the borders of these woods, three batteries of the enemy are located; and besides these land batteries, the gunboats, approaching by way of the Secessionville Creek, can open fire as they please. For the last fortnight, a fight at long taw has been going on, at intervals, between the Secessionville battery and the guns of the enemy, and our artillerymen have been much fagged by their watching and exertions. They have done much to keep the foe in check.

On Sunday night, two companies, consisting of the Charleston light infantry, from the Charleston battalion, under Capt. T. Y. Simons, and company A, Capt. Smart, from Smith's battalion, were thrown out half a mile in front of the work. The rest of the men of these two battalions of infantry, stationed at Secessionville to support the battery, were laboriously occupied during the night. The two companies of Lamar's South-Carolina volunteer artillery--Reid's and Keitt's — were also engaged in labor until a half-hour of dawn, when they were ordered by Col. Lamar to take a nap. At break of day, the pickets came running in just before the advancing foe. When Col. Lamar was notified and looked out from the work he was to defend, the enemy had approached to within four hundred yards. But twenty-five of the garrison were awake. It was a complete surprise, and nothing but the nerve, promptitude and energy of the officers, especially the commanding officer, saved the battery from easy capture. The first round was fired when the column was within thirty paces of the guns. It was directed by Col. Lamar himself. The shot burst through the closed ranks with great havoc, and the foe soon retired. The wearied men, startled by the sound, or aroused by shakes or bayonet-punches from their officers, sprang to their guns. The two infantry battalions rushed to their quarters for their weapons, formed under their officers, and came to the assistance of the gunners. Three land-batteries, two sections of field-artillery, and three gunboats, began to open fire upon the work.

The second charge of the enemy was made and repulsed with slaughter. And again the third. The animated fire from our riflemen, cooperating with the deadly discharge of grape and canister, swept the field in front, and cut down the skirmishers, who, deploying on the left flank under cover of some bushes, had come up to the very work at that angle. In these successful efforts, which occurred at five o'clock in the morning, Col. Lamar fell from the effect of a Minie-ball striking him through the lower part of the ear, and running around the neck under the skin. To his cool courage and energy, in the early part of the action, is due the preservation of the position, under circumstances of great peril, from the surprise. His brave example and personal efforts greatly inspired his command. After Col. Lamar was wounded, he was unable to stand, from his great loss of blood, and was carried off as soon as practicable. His place in the battery was filled by that able, accomplished and indefatigable officer of the regular artillery, Lieut.-Col. P. M. Wagner--being the next officer in rank present — as Col. Gailliard had been stationed at the post with his battalion for some time, and had done good service. Col. Wagner, who was only temporarily there, requested him to assume command, adding that he would aid him and take charge of the battery. This he did until the conclusion of the fight, between eight and nine o'clock, sustaining a terrible flank fire, and directing the gunnery with great coolness and precision.

Upon failing to storm the works, or flank it on the left or eastward side, the enemy drew off and came up on the right flank on the other side of the small creek, and north to the marsh. Here, at the short distance of about one hundred and fifty yards, three regiments, deploying in line of battle, and partially covered by a small growth of underbrush, poured upon the gunners of the work, and upon the two batteries of infantry drawn up facing them across the marsh, a continuous and deadly fire. The gun-carriages were torn and perforated by many balls. Many of our men fell at the guns and along the line forward, to the rearward of the battery and its right flank. The contest was very unequal and trying. It raged for some time, but at this critical juncture, the Louisiana batteries came up gallantly at the double-quick, under its skilful officer, Lieut.-Col. McHenry. By the guidance of Major Hudson, of Smith's battalion, it formed on the right of that corps, facing the marsh. The reinforcement and its galling fire disheartened the foe. Capt. Boyce, with one gun of light artillery, began to play on his rear. He began to fall back, fairly beaten off. While the struggle was progressing, immediately on the rear right flank of the battery against these three regiments, a formidable force of the foe attempted, by passing further out to the west, to gain the rear of our position. But in skirting a wood, they came upon the advancing lines of the Eutaw regiment, Col. Simonton, who had come two miles. Declaring they were friends, not to shoot, they came close up and fired into our men, killing many. But the response they got was cutting. The wood edge was strewn with the dying and dead. Thirty or forty bodies were picked up here. The movement was foiled. Nothing was left but retreat from every portion of the field.

It was a bloody fight, fought against odds by exhausted men, without preparation. It was a signal victory of Southern patriots over the murderous invaders of the soil. The five regiments attacking are said to be the Seventy-ninth New-York (Highlanders) the Eighth Michigan, one from Massachusetts, a New-Hampshire and Connecticut regiments. But for the distance of our troops and the brief time occupied in the action, together with obstructions in the road, preventing the passage of light artillery to the enemy's rear, their whole force might perhaps have been taken or cut up. From the account of prisoners, who assert that there were nine United States regiments out that morning, it is probable that four

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T. G. Lamar (5)
P. M. Wagner (2)
T. C. H. Smith (2)
J. M. Smart (1)
Charles H. Simonton (1)
T. Y. Simons (1)
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